Sam's Evaluation of Reproduction Fold Down Seat Trim

How does the reproduction trim size up?

And, more importantly, how does it fit?

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Identification by Model Year

65 Identification

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68 Identification

69-70 Identification

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Parts needed to Convert to Fold Down Seat by Model Year

67-68 Conversion

69-70 Conversion

How to restore your Fold Down Seat

Restoring main panels

Salvaging a Trap Door

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How to make Adjustments

Reproduction parts evaluation

Trap Doors

Seat Trim

How to make use of 65 panels

Cutting a 65 Seat

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All of these pictures are thumb-nailed so that you can see the full resolution picture if you so choose.

This is the new reproduction trim as it comes out of the box.  It comes with 14 pieces total.  These come from Dynacorn as part number M3507 for 65-66 Mustangs.  I will show you below that these same parts can also be used for 67-70 Mustangs as well, with some minor modification to just 2 of the 14 pieces. 

UPDATE:  Dynacorn has now released specific 69-70 seat trim!!  I was recently provided with a set by Brant at Virginia Classis Mustang to evaluate.  I have to say it is pretty darn close to the original.  Skip down to the middle of the page for the 69-70 specific info.

 

This is the unwrapped set.

 

Close-up of the chrome finish.  Yes, it really looks that good in person.  Now, I will add however, that like all overseas chrome, it is not perfect.  You will see some machining marks in the finish because the metal wasn't polished smooth or the copper and nickel wasn't sanded or polished smooth.  The new trim sets run about $200 for a set of 14 pieces.  I pay $110 for one single original piece to get replated.  Yes, these are nice, but you also get what you pay for.

 

This is a 65 seat in red and a 70 seat in black.  Starting in 66 the bumper went to one that looks like a boot vice a flat round circular bumper used in 65.  The new bumper was used from 66-70.  The 65 flat round bumper screwed in with a regular sheetmetal screw, the 66-70 bumper used a 5/16" bolt.  Why am I telling you this?  Because the seat trim piece that goes on this edge of the seat is drilled for the 66 style bumper, not the 65.  If you are working on a 65, you will need to drill 2 1/8" holes to install your flat round bumpers.

 

Here is a comparison between an original 70 trim piece and the new reproduction.  They are identical, and are drilled for the 66-70 rubber bumpers. 

If you are going to use this trim on a 65 with the round flat bumper, you will need to drill one hole at each end of this trim piece!!

 
 

This is the piece that goes over the latch hole on either side.  The top piece is what is included in this reproduction kit, and is correct for 65-66 .  The middle piece is a replated original 67-68 piece, and the bottom is a replated original 69-70 piece.  Yes, these are the only pieces out of the 14 piece kit that are not correct for use on 67-68 and 69-70.  I had the original pieces replated at a cost of $110 each.  Yes each.  

Oops, I took a picture of the wrong side of that trim for comparison, these are driver side pieces.  Technically the driver side piece for 65-66 does not have a latch hole.  The piece pictured above is the driver side piece with a latch hole intended for use on 67-70 cars.  I will fix this picture next time I get these three pieces together again.

 
 

Now, this last piece is included in the box, but is not used for all years.  This is mounted on the rear side of the rear panel on 65-Mid 68 cars.  Starting sometime in the 68 model year, this trim piece was no longer used, and the carpet was just folded over the edge and stapled.  If you are building a late 68, 69, or 70, you will have this piece left over.

69-70 Specifics

Here are the pics of the trim in the box.  Notice right away you only get the 2 side trim pieces that you need.  Also notice that just like the 65-68 kit, you also still get the rear most trim panel that you don't need.

A cursory look shows that the recess is pretty close.  A closer look shows that the angle into the recess is slightly steeper on the original than the reproduction.  Where this will be a factor is when the piece is installed and the metal latch guide is in place.  Due to the shallow angle on the reproduction, the metal latch guide does not fit perfectly flush.  The rest of the trim is the same as that used in the 65-68 kit.

Here is the original trim installed on the left, the new reproduction installed on the right.  Look close at the full resolution picture, focusing on how the metal latch guide fits against the recess.  Other than the quality of the chrome on reproduction versus the triple chrome plated original, that angle of the recess is the only significant difference I notice. 

Overall I consider this set on par with the 65-68 trim in regards to fit and finish.  Considering that I used to pay $110 EACH for this trim to get replated, I will gladly use the new trim at the price they sell for retail for a complete set.  I would have no problem installing this in a concours restoration.

 

 
 

 

Now, how about the rest of the trim? 

Overall, I think it looks good and fits good.  It is not flimsy.

BUT, I do have issue with two individual pieces that do not fit as well as they should.

Having installed about 5 of these sets personally, I can tell you that the most of the trim pieces go on and fit the way they are supposed to.  The only pieces that do not fit well are the piece number 2 as labeled below due to being too short (there is a left and right, for a total of 2 of 13 trim pieces that don’t fit right), but unfortunately that discrepancy affects the mitered corners in all 4 corners of the middle piece of the fold down seat.

These aren't full resolution, so I am saving you the trouble of clicking on thumb-nails.

 
 

Middle panel of a fold down seat with new M3507 trim installed.

Gap in corner junction between new trim pieces, approx 1/32”.  This gap is not present with OEM trim.

More significant gap on other side, approx 1/16”.

In this shot you can see that piece number 2 as labeled bends the corner and then is recessed for piece number 1 to overlap it.  Because piece 2 is too short, the portion that is bent around the corner is unable to make a full 90 degree corner and thus there is a gap in the corner seam. 

Additionally, the portion of piece 2 that bends around the corner is also too short and there is a noticeable gap in the recessed area where piece 1 should overlap it.  More elaboration on this is coming up.

With OEM trim lined up by screw holes, you can see it is longer on the left side.

Another shot showing the OEM trim is longer than the M3507 piece.  Additionally, you can see a slight bulge under the new trim from the metal frame it fits against pushing against it.

The longer piece is the correct length as compared to the original.

Here you can again see how the portion of piece 2 that bends around the corner is shorter compared to the OEM piece and that if it was the correct length there would be no gap in the recessed area between piece 1 and piece 2

The workaround:

I have found that because this piece is too short, it is difficult to install in a way that doesn't bend it up too bad.  What I do is start at the opposite end than is shown immediately above, the end that curves inward to make room for the mounting bracket, and just slide the trim on enough to push a screw in and get it started.  Then I go back to this end, as pictured above, with the mitered corner, and get that screw started.  Then I go to the middle and get that started.  Then I slowly work my way back and forth pushing the trim on and tightening the screws.  Once both end pieces are on, don't panic, it looks ugly but it will get better.  Next I snap on piece 1 as pictured above, but don't use any screws yet.  Then put the piano hinge in place and screw both the piano hinge and piece 1 on with the same screws.  As you tighten down the end screws, it will draw in the short corner of piece 2.

 

 
   

 

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  Copyright © 2007 Sam Griffith