Today, we're going to provide a basic guide on removing the stock upholstery in a Fox Body Mustang.
Given the myriad of seat designs and styles throughout the 79-93 Fox Body era, some of these steps that you see today may slightly differ, but rest assured, the majority of what you see will take away a lot of the guesswork when removing your upholstery.
Because this covers multiple years, some of the socket sizes may be different, and some of the techniques may be a little different as well.
During this removal process, we have already removed the seats from the car. If you want to see how this is done, check out our in-depth Fox Body Mustang seat removal article.
- Socket and Wrench Set
- Power Ratchet or Hand Ratchet
- Flat Head & Phillips Screw Driver
- Wire Cutters
- Allen Keys
- Trim Removal Tool
- Knife or Box Cutter
- With all of the seats removed from the car, place the rear seat bottom face down on a workbench.
- Begin cutting all the hong rings with a pair of wire cutters. Start in the center and work your way around the perimeter of the seat cushion. Be sure to remove the hog ring from the foam fully.
- With all of the hog rings removed. Roll the corners of the upholstery away from the foam.
- Flip the cushion over and remove the upholstery. Set the rear lower cushion aside.
- Place one of the rear seatbacks on your workbench face down, roll back the carpet, and remove the two hinge retaining bolts with a 7/16 socket. Set the hinge and hardware to the side.
- Starting at the bottom of the seat back, use a trim removal tool and dislodge the push pins securing the upholstery to the plastic frame.
- Rotate the back seat and dislodge all the push pins.
- With all of the push pins removed, roll the corners of the upholstery over the foam and flip the assembly over.
- Peel back the upholstery to expose the hog rings on the center listing rod. Cut and remove the three hog rings. Do the same for the two vertical listings rods, and then remove the upholstery from the foam.
- Flip the seat back over so it’s face down again. Starting on either side, remove the staples with your fingers or a flathead screwdriver. Work your way around the perimeter until all the staples have been removed.
- Flip the assembly back over and gently roll back the foam. If your seat back carpet isn’t worth saving, just cut the piping even with the frame, so you have something to grab onto.
- Pull up on the piping to remove the staples. Do this for the other side of the seat's back carpet. You can now remove the carpet from the assembly.
- More than likely, you had a few push pins break. If so, carefully remove the stems with the wire cutters by rolling them out of the frame. Also, remove any staples that may have stayed in place.
- Take this opportunity to clean the plastic frame with a microfiber towel and all-purpose cleaner.
- Upon further inspection, we noticed a few of the staples that secure the foam to the frame had come loose. This is an easy fix; you must tap them back down with your pliers or cutters. Repeat these same steps for the other seat back and set these out of your way.
- Position the driver-side front seat on the workbench so that you have access to the seat track and slider assembly.
- Before continuing, it’s important to make a note of the slider return spring. DO NOT have your hands or fingers near this side of the slider assembly whenever you move the handle. Whenever the handle is moved, the slider will move rearward with a lot of force and will cause injury. With your hands clear, move the handle and let the slider come down. After that, remove the return spring.
- Position both sliders so you can access the frontward retaining bolts. Loosen and remove these with a 10mm socket.
- Move the handle and position the sliders so that you have access to the rear bolts. Loosen and remove these with a 10mm socket.
- Set the slider assembly out of the way.
- Remove the (2) Phillips head screws securing the hinge cover.
- Loosen and remove the two bolts securing the reclining side of the hinge to the seat base with either a 13mm or 1/2-inch socket.
- On the other side of the seat, loosen and remove the pivot bolt with a T-45 Torx socket.
- Place the seat base on top of the seat back so you can disconnect the power lumber feed line if equipped.
- Separate the base from the back. On the seat base, rotate the thigh bolster adjusting knob until you can access the set screw. Loosen the set screw with a 5/64 Allen wrench.
- Depending on the condition of the knob, you may have to use some pliers for extra leverage. Once the set screw is loose, slide the knob off the shaft.
- Use a small flathead screwdriver and remove the finished plate from the power lumbar switch.
- Loosen and remove the (2) Phillips head screws securing the switch bezel to the seat.
- Pull the switch away from the seat and depress the two small tabs to remove the switch bezel from the switch.
- To remove the pull-out knee bolster, you’ll need to remove the two roll pins. Use a pair of pliers to first press the roll pin flush with the arm and then pull each one out.
- Now you can remove the bolster from the seat base.
- With the seat base flipped over, cut the hog rings securing the two pieces of welt.
- Remove the four plastic clips and flip the seat base over.
- Roll the upholstery over the foam and carefully pass the lumber feed line through the upholstery.
- At the front of the seat base, remove the two heavy-duty clips securing the upholstery rods to the frame. This can be done with a pair of pliers or a flathead screwdriver.
- Remove these rods from the upholstery.
- Go ahead and remove the three hog rings at the front of the upholstery.
- Roll back the upholstery and locate the center listing rod. Cut the three hog rings and then remove the upholstery from the foam.
- Pass the foam over the thigh bolster adjustment shaft.
- Cut the hog rings securing the foam to the adjustable thigh bolster plates if equipped.
- You can now remove the foam from the seat base.
- If equipped, loosen and remove the four bolts securing the metal frame to the bolster with a 10mm socket.
- Slide the plastic piece off the metal frame and then separate the frame from the bolster.
- Set aside the plastic piece and the metal frame.
- Position the seat back face down on your workbench. Loosen and remove the Phillips head screw securing the latch release bezel.
- Use a pry tool and carefully remove the knob.
- Unzip the zipper at the bottom of the seat back. Roll back the upholstery and cut the hog rings securing the large listing rod to the frame.
- Remove the listing rod. Do the same for the other one.
- The easiest way to remove the upholstery is to cut it along the rearward seam. If for some reason, you’re trying to preserve decent factory upholstery, you’ll have to wrestle with it to get over the foam without it tearing. Go ahead and cut the upholstery along the seam until you reach the top, and then do the same for the other seam.
- Roll the upholstery back and remove the clip from the frame.
- Flip the assembly over and lift the foam so you can find the headrest release if equipped.
- Use a small pry bar and lift the release so you can slide a flathead screwdriver in place. This will help hold the release so you can remove the headrest.
- With the screwdriver in place, remove the headrest and the screwdriver.
- Roll back the upholstery and release the center listing rod from the metal hook in the foam. Gently pull the headrest sleeve out of the frame. This is held in place by a small tab on the sleeve.
- Now, you can roll the upholstery over the top and clip the three hog rings securing the upper listing rod to the foam.
- Fully remove the upholstery from the foam and then remove the foam from the frame.
- Position the headrest on your workbench and release the clips.
- Starting on either side of the headrest, squeeze the foam and work the upholstery over the side of the foam.
- You'll need to retrieve the listing rods from the stock upholstery.
- Remove the two listing rods from the seat back and the two listing rods from the seat bottom. Go ahead and repeat these same steps for the seat back and seat bottom.
- After that, you’ll want to inspect and clean your hardware.
- During disassembly, the passenger side lower seat frame and its components had some bad rust. We took everything apart, blasted the frame, painted it with a black e-coat, and then cleaned and regreased the needed components.
- We also used this opportunity to replace the lower seat foam springs. Check out the full install article over the lower seat foam spring. That completes the removal of the factory upholstery.
We hope this step-by-step article has provided a better understanding of removing the upholstery in your 1979-1993 Fox Body Mustang.
This one will take some time and cause frustration. But in the end, it'll completely change the interior look once you finish the reupholstery process!
Keep it here with the real Mustang Enthusiasts at LMR.com.