Finally, the much anticipated replacements for those worn out XR7 seat cushions are available!
* - We have received customer feedback that indicates this is seat foam works well or is easily adapted to work with the 1968 XR7 Interior or the 1968 - 1969 Decor Interior.
Here is some feedback from a customer who adapted this 69 foam for his 68 XR7. Judging by the pictures he sent us, the results were very good.
Hey Lin & Don,
When I ordered the 1969 XR-7 front seat foam from Lin, he asked me for some feedback regarding how it worked for my 1968 XR-7. The installation is now finished and I can report.
I attached a picture of one of my front seats. The covers were sewn up by Lee Williams at Nationwide Auto Restoration, Jeff Giffen's shop. And that's Italian leather. I had the covers installed locally by a professional upholstery guy, Tom, who is also very good friends with a work buddy who recommended him. As a result, I got a chance to watch and help install my covers for a few hours. It's worth mentioning that Tom was very impressed with the covers that Lee made me. He ended up super happy with both the covers and the foam that I provided him.
I was really concerned about finding correct seat foam for my 1968 XR-7, since it's generally said that no one makes repro foam that is specifically correct for the car. I know manufactuer who makes the '69 XR-7 foam, tells folks it's right for the '68 XR-7 and some people take exception to that. The '69 foam worked really well for me.
The '68 and '69 seat frames are the same so that is a plus. We placed the Repro seat back foam and my original seat back foam side-by-side and they are molded identically the same. Exactly the same, even down to the two horizontal creases - though only one is needed for a listing rod. We looked at the backsides of the seat back foams, and the manufacturing techniques are a bit different, but again the shape was identical. The difference is in the scrim material bonded to the backside. I helped install a seat back cover, I didn't watch the seat bottoms go on, but Tom said the seat bottom foam was also molded perfectly and the creases for the listing rods were properly located.
The most disappointing thing about the 1969 XR7 foam is how it lacks firmness compared to the original 1968 XR7 foam and to other reproduction foam available for Mustangs. It was not much of an issue for the seat back but the seat bottom needed extra material to compensate. The reason the seat back didn't need extra material was because it is molded fairly thin anyway, and a good portion of the seat back padding comes from the cover, which had 1/2" foam on it from the way Lee made it in addition to the pleated section. Bottoms were a different story. With my original passenger seat bun and one of the new ones side-by-side we did a one-hand squish test. The new bun was less than half as stiff as the original and a hand pressing on it with unlimited force could bottom out the bun. We couldn't really bottom out the original bun with one hand - it sort of reached stack height - if you will - with more bulk remaining.
Now, an ass print is bigger than a hand print so a squishy bun isn't the end of the world but Tom put lots of extra material in there to compensate for the wimpy foam.
From bottom to top:
* First layer was something he calls 'carpet'. It's 1/2" thick non-woven bonded fiber with a thick cloth backing.
* Second layer was a 1/2" thick dual density foam with a scrim reinforced backing.
* Third layer was the Mustang Market foam.
* Fourth layer was pieces of jute, sectioned into puzzle pieces to clear the listing rods. Tom used an extra layer of jute to build up the side bolster area.
* And, just like the seat back, Lee put 1/2" foam on the seat bottom when he fashioned the cover.
Tom showed me how the original burlap had wire listing woven into it. Once the original burlap rots out, you lose that wire listing that was integral to the burlap also. Tom doesn't use burlap with the wire reinforcement - he uses plain burlap, so the 'carpet' he uses is to replace the support the wires in the original burlap provide. And that's the first layer over the steel springs.
My conclusion is that the foam is good, but it takes a professional to install it. The backs are a drop-in replacement but the bottoms take a lot of extra work. The large amount of extra material required to make the seats properly firm would lead me to say the foam serioulsy should be re-engineered to a higher durometer. The moulding is perfect.
Tom installed some repro covers on some '66 Mustang seat frames with whatever foam is out there, he thought it was Distinctive, and he was really impressed with the firmness and fit. He did this job just before he got to my front seats and the difference between my foam and the foam for these Mustang seats took the wheels off his cart. The job didn't require extra materials and the covers look plump and filled out. He was telling me we needed foam with that kind of firmness for my job, but since none exists, he went for it. I'm happy with the result - but it took some extra effort. It really is squishy foam, but I guess it's the only thing that fits.