Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery (1981-1993) Installation Instructions

1. To start the installation of your new Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery, unbolt each of the seats from the frame and remove them from your car for easy replacement of the upholstery.
2. Flip the front seat over so that you are facing the bottom of the seat to remove the seat tracks from the seat frame. With the seat turned over, there will be a spring that is connected from the seat track to the seat frame. Pull up on that spring to unhook the spring from the frame.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
3. Now that the spring has been disconnected, the track is free to slide up and down on the frame. Remove the two 10 mm bolts on each side holding the track to the seat frame. One bolt is at the top of the track and the other is at the bottom. Access each bolt by sliding the track up or down out of the way.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
4. The procedure for the other track is the similar but the larger spring is connected to the track instead of the frame, so it does not have to be disconnected. This track has the front to rear seat adjustment handle, which can be used that to slide the track out of the way to access the two bolts that secure the track to the frame.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
5. There are two Phillips head screws to remove the plastic trim piece. Removing this piece will give access to the bolts that will separate the top and bottom of the Mustang seat.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
6. There are two Phillips head screws to remove the plastic trim piece. Removing this piece will give access to the bolts that will separate the top and bottom of the seat.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
7. Lay the seat bottom side up. On each of the four sides of the underside of the seat, pull the white clips up and over the bottom of the seat frame.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
8. Starting with the front of the seat, (the thicker side) carefully roll the sides toward the top of the seat and off of the frame. There are hog rings attaching the upholstery to the foam on the seating surface, so do this gently and stop if you feel too much resistance. There are two hog rings at the front of the seat that need to be clipped. Note the position of the hog rings and rods for re-installation. A black marker can be used to mark the location of hog rings directly on the seat foam. If you are using new foam, you can transfer the marks from the old foam to the new.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
9. Pull the upholstery further back and there will be four more Mustang hog rings to clip, two per side.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
10. Lay the old upholstery and new next to each other. Transfer the rods from the old to the new, if you do them one at a time, it will prevent you from mixing them up. You may have to cut the ends of the rod sleeve on the new upholstery to insert the front rod. Cut in the locations of the green arrows in the picture below. If you are unsure where to cut, insert the rods into the new seat cover. Once you realize that you cannot stick the front rod in, you will see where to cut. Look at the next picture to see the rod sleeve cut and all of the rods inserted.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
11. Place the foam back on the seat frame and stretch the new upholstery over to check the fit. Once the upholstery has been arranged properly, pull the sides back up to install the six hog rings that attach the upholstery to the seat foam. Start with the front two hog rings, and then two more hog rings on each side. The hog rings should be clamped around the rods that are in the upholstery, and the rods that are in the seat foam. Make sure that the rod is positioned so that it fits inside the crease in the foam. If you are having trouble getting the rod in the upholstery close enough to the rod in the foam, then you can put a zip tie loosely around each side of the upholstery rod, and carefully snug the zip tie down until the two rods are touching. Be careful not to bend the rod. The zip ties can be clipped and removed after the hog rings are attached. Add extra hog rings if necessary.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
12. After the hog rings are installed, pull the sides of the Mustang upholstery back down over the sides over the frame and check the fit again. If it looks good, then pull the white clips back over the seat frame. If it doesn’t look good, then clip the hog rings, reposition, and reattach.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
The bottom of the seat is now done except for cutting the bolt holes to reattach the bottom to the top. These do not have to be cut until the two pieces are being assembled, and waiting will let the vinyl settle.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
13. To start on the front seat back, remove the Phillips screw that attaches the tilt trim and unzip the zipper on the bottom of the back of the seat.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
14. Look under the seat cover to see the rods that run vertically from the seat bottom up toward the headrest. Clip the hog rings on each side and then slide the rods down and out of the cover sleeve
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
15. Horizontal rod - Continue to roll up the cover until you see a smaller rod parallel to the headrest that is hog ringed. Clip the hog rings and continue to pull the cover up towards the headrest.
16. With a flat head screwdriver, if you can peek through the foam to see the tab. The picture below is with everything removed, you may have to do this blind. Stick the flat head under the tab to raise it. Pull up on the headrest while the tab is up to pull the headrest out of the seat. If the plastic headrest sleeve does not come out of the seat with the headrest, raise the tab again while pulling the plastic sleeve out.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
17. Pull the old cover the rest of the way off. Take the new top seat cover and turn about two-thirds of the cover inside out. Slide the top part that is not inside out over the seat frame and foam. Transfer the top upholstery rod from the old seat upholstery to the new. If necessary, make cuts in the rod sleeve as before with the seat bottom.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
18. Line up the upholstery rod in the groove in the Mustang seat foam and double hog ring both sides. Add extra hog rings if needed.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
19. Now roll the inside out upholstery halfway down the seat frame. Grab the bottom of the seat upholstery, and punch your fist around the seat to take up any slack. Roll down more of the upholstery, punching as you go until the seat cover is almost to the bottom.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
20. Reinstall the trim piece with the two Phillips head screws that goes around the tilt lever. Note the shape and size of the rectangular opening around the tilt lever and where the tilt lever trim piece screw hole (right below the trim lever) is located because you will have to make cuts here. Pull the rest of the cover down over the seat so it is no longer inside-out.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
21. Turn the seat over and insert the vertical rods into each of the rod sleeves and put at least two hog rings through the rods in the upholstery, and the rods in the foam.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
22. Looking at the back of the seat, you should see the tilt lever sticking up into the cover. Press around the area and feel underneath the upholstery cover so you get a feel for where the lever is and how it moves. While visualizing the tilt trim piece that you just reinstalled, press on the upholstery and you will be able to see the outline of the opening.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Make a small cut with a sharp knife to just let the head of the lever poke through.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
23. Feel the outline of the opening around the trim lever and carefully cut inside of that opening on three sides. You do not have to cut a whole rectangle out, just fold the uncut side back into the seat. This is how the OEM covers were cut. Start with small cuts and slowly make them larger if needed. If the rectangle needs to be larger, make diagonal cuts towards the corners like in the picture below. This will keep the upholstery tight between the trim piece and frame. Poke a sharp knife tip into the screw hole. Insert the screw and tighten it. While screwing it in, the screw will make the hole only as large as it needs and will help hold the upholstery in place.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
24. Remove the screw, and insert the tilt lever trim sideways onto the tilt lever otherwise it will not slip over. Once you clear the tilt lever handle, rotate the trim piece back into the proper orientation and screw it on.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
25. Feel the opening where the headrest will slide into the seat and make a small cut (about an inch and a half) in the center of that opening. As you slide the plastic headrest sleeve in, it may make the hole bigger, start with a small cut and make it larger until the plastic sleeve just slides in. The notch on the plastic headrest sleeve goes towards the front of the seat.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
26. To cut the bolt holes to attach the lower and upper seat pieces, feel around and look on the inside of the seat bottom. Poke a sharp knife tip into the center of each bolt hole. You can stick a screwdriver into the hole to make it larger. Thread the bolts back into the seat and the bolts themselves will make the holes in the upholstery the perfect size. If you cannot engage the threads, make the hole bigger and try again.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
27. Line up the two seat pieces together. It may help if you stick screw drivers through the bolt holes on one side to keep it inline while you do the other side.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
28. Tighten the bolts, and reinstall the plastic trim piece that goes around the coil seat spring.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
29. Reattach the seat tracks. The passenger and driver side tracks are oriented the same.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
30. Use pliers to remove the pins that hold the cardboard in place. It may help to push the cardboard down to expose some of the pin head to grab.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
31. Carefully pull one side of the headrest over the foam while compressing the foam. After one side has been removed, roll the upholstery off towards the other side. Pay attention here, because the cover is tight, and this procedure has to be reversed to put the new cover on. If you pull too hard removing the old Mustang headrest, it will rip. If you can remove the old headrest without ripping it, you will know how much force to use so the new headrest stitching will not be ripped.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
32. Compare the foam and old and new upholstery to determine the orientation of the cover; there is a difference. Starting at one side, compress the foam and insert it into one end of the new cover. Be careful not to use too much force and rip anything.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
33. After the cover is on, tuck the ends of the upholstery into the middle and reinsert the cardboard and pins. Use a hammer to send the pins into place.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
34. To reinstall the headrest, line up the groove in the aluminum track with the notch that is oriented on the front of the seat on the plastic headrest sleeve and push down. You will hear a click when it locks in.
35. For the rear bench seat, flip the seat over and note the location of the hog rings. The green arrows in the picture below show typical hog ring locations. You can mark the location on the seat foam with a marker to help with re-installation.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
36. Go around the seat edges and clip the hog rings. The hog rings can fly in any direction as they are clipped, so safety glasses are recommended. As you are clipping the rings, notice how the hog rings are closed around a metal band that may be hidden under the foam. The metal band is in between the green lines in the picture below. This is how the new upholstery should be reinstalled.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
37. Go around the seat edges and clip the hog rings. The hog rings can fly in any direction as they are clipped, so safety glasses are recommended. As you are clipping the rings, notice how the hog rings are closed around a metal band that may be hidden under the foam. The metal band is in between the green lines in the picture below. This is how the new upholstery should be reinstalled.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
38. Start at the middle, and move around making sure the upholstery is tighly fastened and pull out any slack. The new upholstery may be slightly larger than the OEM seat cover. When possible, you should install the hog rings through the white fabric on the edges as seen in the picture below. It may be necessary to clamp a hog ring through the vinyl in order to keep the cover tight in some areas.
39. If you removed the under seat insulation, reattach it with hog rings at each corner. If you see wrinkles similar to the right side in the picture below, remove the hog rings readjust and reinstall.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
40. Remove the Phillips screw that fastens the seat tilt handle, and then remove the tilt handle.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
41. Remove the three screws that hold the tilt handle trim and remove the tilt handle trim.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
42. Remove the two Phillips screws at the bottom of the seat that holds the bottom flap of the seat back carpet on.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
43. This will reveal five 7/16” bolts that hold the mounting brackets to the seat. There are three bolts on the outer bracket and two on the inner bracket. The left and right seatbacks are mirror images of each other. After the bolts are removed, the brackets can be removed.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
44. There are five black nylon retainer push-in clips at the bottom of the seat that hold the upholstery to the frame. Putting a flat head screwdriver on each side of the clip and carefully prying it up will free them. Remove four more clips on each side, and then six more clips across the top.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
45. After all the clips are removed, the upholstery can be rolled up over the front carefully. There are hog rings and rods on the top front, so do not pull hard. The seat foam is stapled to the seat back frame. These are located between the hog rings on the sides close to the top hog ring. These staples do not have to be removed unless you want to remove the seat foam to replace it.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
46. Clip the two top hog rings, then roll the sides up and clip two more Mustang hog rings on each side.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
47. To remove the carpet on the seatback, there are staples that go through the carpet on the back of the seat that staple into the plastic sides of the seat frame that must be removed. The staples are in between the black plastic push in clips. The surface that the staples are stapled into is made of a plastic, so carefully use a flathead screwdriver or pliers to pull out each staple because you will have to re-staple the new carpet back onto this same surface. After all the staples on the edges are removed, the carpet is still attached to the inside of the seat back at the piping.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
48. Line up the new Mustang carpet back on the seat frame. Reinsert the handle trim to align the carpet, and make sure that there is enough carpet on the two sides and top to re-staple the carpet back to the frame. Make sure to staple in between the holes where the clips on the upholstery will go. You do no have to add a lot of staples right now, just enough to hold the carpet in place. You can add more staples after the holes for the clips are located in the next step. Use a safety pin or other something similar to stick through the carpet the find the holes in the plastic frame. After the hole is located, gently stick a knife into the hole, and then you can stick a screwdriver through that small cut to widen it so that the plastic clip can enter through that hole in the carpet and into the seat frame. The holes are about 3” apart. Use the old upholstery as a guide if you have trouble locating the holes. Once all holes have been located, you can add more staples to hold the carpet down if needed.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
49. Turn the new Mustang upholstery inside out, and cut the top rod sleeve if necessary. Reinsert the rods from the old upholstery and place the new upholstery over the frame to check the fit.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
50. Start at the top rod and clamp a hog ring on each side.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
51. Then hog ring the sides.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
52. Look at the old upholstery, and you will see how the vinyl was neatly folded over the sides and top of the seat. Reinsert the black clips into each hole in the new upholstery, fold it over, it and line up the clips with the holes in the seat frame. At this point, you do not have to press them all the way in, just insert them into the hole enough to where they will stay in place. It is easiest to start at the top corners, do the top, then sides, and lastly the bottom. Originally, the length of the clips was 3/4-inch. I chose to use 1-inch clips because the new upholstery will be tight and the extra length helps when lining up the holes. After they are pressed in, there is not any noticeable difference.
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
53. Using a rubber hammer padded with rags, go around the seat and tap the clips all the way in. After the handle trim and handle is reinstalled, you are done installing your new Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery!
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image
Mustang TMI Standard Low Back Upholstery Install Image