Mustang Seat Replacement Guide

Mustang Seat Replacement Guide

"A look at seat replacement options and their benefits for each Mustang generation."

Last Updated October 12, 2021 | Hamilton Schutt
Contents

Choosing replacement seats for your Mustang boils down to one question: What do you plan to do with your pony? If an authentic restoration is the goal, then you’ll need exact seat replicas. For those of you looking to boost your daily driver’s ride quality, aftermarket buckets are a great choice. If motorsports are your calling, you’ll want to go the racing seat route.

This guide will walk you through the different types of seats available, ensuring you have a strong grasp on the benefits of each style. If you’ve already decided which path to take, head down to the generational sections for specific recommendations and replacement options.

Mustang Seat Replacement Options

The table below compares the four most common front seat options for Mustangs. While front bench seats will only be available in a few classic Mustangs, bucket and racing seats are applicable to every generation. Click on your preferred seat type for more information.

Seat Options
Front Bench Seats Stock Bucket Seats Aftermarket Bucket Seats Racing Seats

Front Bench Seat for a First-Gen Mustang

Factory bucket seat for a First-Gen Mustang

Aftermarket Mustang bucket seat

Mustang fixed-back racing seat

  • Single seat that spans both the driver and passenger side
  • Front seat option only for first-gen Mustangs
  • Single person seat
  • Raised sides create a “bucket” effect
  • Same or similar to what came from the factory
  • Single person seat
  • Raised sides create a “bucket” effect
  • Made by third-party manufacturers
  • Similar to a bucket seat
  • Has extended side bolsters and slots for a harness

Pros:

  • Room for three up front
  • Unique
  • Console armrest folds down for comfort

Pros:

  • Full center console provides extra storage space
  • Simple direct-fit installation
  • Better support than bench seats

Pros:

  • Full center console provides extra storage space
  • Enhanced comfort and power features
  • Better support than stock seats

Pros:

  • More supportive for a connected feel
  • Better safety for motorsports
  • Added stability at high speeds
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Less sporty looking
  • Not as supportive as bucket seats

Cons:

  • Not built for motorsports
  • Heavy
  • Older seats may lack comfort features

Cons:

  • May require custom wiring and tracks
  • Not built for motorsports
  • Heavy

Cons:

  • Less comfortable for daily driving
  • Will require new seat brackets and tracks
  • Seats need to be sized to fit your body

Reupholster the Original Bench Seats

First Generation Mustang with a front bench seat

If you have a rare option like front bench seats, reupholstering them is the way to go. These seats are exclusively found in first-gen Mustangs, and only 66,517 were ordered with the option. Being a rare option, it’s hard to find a front bench seat replacement. But new upholstery and foam are readily available and can make your bench seats factory fresh.

If you want to keep your Mustang as stock as possible, you can also reupholster your bucket seats.

Replace Your Stock Bucket Seats

First Generation Mustang with a front factory bucket seats

If you’re looking to keep installation simple while maintaining factory correctness, direct-fit replacement buckets are your best option. Replica Mustang seats are built to factory standards for a perfect fit and use OEM upholstery to look as close to the originals as possible.

A major benefit to stock replacements is that you gain new seat comfort while keeping the factory look and style. With a staggering amount of color choices, you won’t have a problem matching your Mustang’s original interior. And since they’re designed to factory specs, you won’t need to install new tracks or brackets.

Add Modern Bucket Seats

Fox Body Mustang with a front aftermarket bucket seats

If you’ve got Mustang seats with sagging foam wrapped in stained, threadbare upholstery, then you’re past due for an upgrade. Modern bucket seats offer comfort for daily drivers; not to mention plenty of customizable options like color, material, and seat-back style.

While the benefits of modern seats are plentiful, installation could be a challenge. For newer Mustangs, seat replacements might bolt right in. But, it’s common to need updated brackets or tracks to get the perfect fit. If you want heated or power seats, you may have to do some custom wiring. Also, if your new seats aren’t compatible with your current seat belts, you’ll need belt extenders or new belts.

A Note About Seat Materials

Choosing seats made from different materials than the stock options can provide varied benefits:

Leather seats are typically twice as expensive as other materials, but they clean easily, look great, and last a long time (if you take care of them).

Vinyl seats are more budget-friendly, but provide similar benefits to leather. They're easy to clean and are pretty comfortable.

Cloth seats hold up well against scratches and daily wear and tear. They're a great choice for daily drivers and families with pets (claws have a tendency to scratch leather).

Upgrade to Racing Seats

S550 Mustang with front racing seats

If you’re planning on taking any generation of Mustang to track events, racing seats are essential. These seats have extended side bolsters, holes for safety harnesses, and can be used with roll cages or harness bars. However, choosing to go with racing seats requires more research and planning than a simple stock replacement.

  • Motorsport Requirements - Make sure you’re familiar with your motorsport’s rules and requirements. While most people prefer a reclining seat, a fixed-back racing seat is needed to meet some organizations’ safety regulations. Another common requirement is the use of a harness and headrest. Many racing organizations also require the use of a submarine strap. This keeps you from sliding out from under your harness while you drive.
  • Body Fitment - Racing seats need to fit your body well to be safe and effective. To find the right size, you’ll need to know your chest and hip width, armpit and shoulder height, and chest depth. Use a yardstick or metal tape measure to be as accurate as possible.
  • A guide to measuring your body for a racing seat

  • Vehicle Fitment - Due to the secure nature of racing seats, installation is going to be more complicated. You’re almost guaranteed to need new seat tracks, and you’ll have to install any required safety equipment. Check out our racing seat install video for a general idea of what the process is like before you commit.

Of course, you’ll also have your aesthetic and comfort considerations like color, material, and padding.

Try a Rear Seat Delete to Shed Some Weight

If your Mustang is track-focused, the back seats are probably just taking up space and weighing your pony down. Deleting the rear seats with a delete kit could cut 50-100 lbs off your curb weight and save you seconds on your next ¼-mile. Check out some rear seat delete kits to get a good idea of what would work best for you

First-Gen Mustang Seats (1964.5-1973)

First-Gen Mustang interiors are often restored to factory standards for classic shows and events. Due to their popularity, factory seat replacements are readily available. This is even true for luxury options, like the Deluxe or Pony Package, and performance editions, like Shelby and Boss Mustangs.

If you’re more interested in comfort than factory correctness, restomod seats will fit the bill. Restomod seats can offer power adjustments, seat heaters, better materials, and classic style for a perfect interior upgrade.

Fox Body Seats (1979-1993)

While the Fox Body build is the ideal choice for many motorsports like drifting or drag, the stock seats are not. A set of racing seats will give you the support and safety features necessary to compete.

For daily drivers, modern buckets can provide amenities like better padding, power adjustments, and seat heaters for comfort on the road.

Pro Tip: If your Fox Body’s seat track is doing the gangster lean, check out our quick video on how to get your seat back to factory standards.

SN95 (1994-2004) / New Edge (1999-2004) Seats

Aside from the addition of power adjustments, the seats in the ‘94-’04 Mustangs are as uncomfortable as the Fox Body’s stock options. To avoid discomfort, invest in bucket seats with better side bolsters and support.

Bucket seats will improve ride quality, and install easily with bolt-on seat tracks. If you plan on taking your SN95 drifting, racing seats will ensure you stay safe during competitions and events.

S197 Seats (2005-2014)

As a modern Mustang generation, your S197 might have side airbags in the seats. A quick look at the seat tag will tell you if your model is equipped with side airbags. If it is, you’ll need to disengage them before removing your seats. Whether your new seats have side airbags or not is up to you. But be aware, if you don’t keep the airbags, there will be a warning light on the dash.

Aftermarket buckets are a great option to boost comfort if your Mustang is a daily driver. For motorsport builds, racing seats will keep you safe and in control.

S550 Seats (2015-2021)

The S550 Mustangs held nothing back with the stock seats, using extended side bolsters and headrests for extra support. But if you’re set on a unique cabin, you still have options. Ford Performance offers Recaro seats as a factory choice for your S550, using a bolt-in design for a simple yet dramatic interior style update.

Of course, competition builds won’t be complete without racing seats. Be aware, similar to the S197s, some S550s have side airbags in the front seats. Check the plastic seat belt guide near the top of the seat for the “airbag” indicator. You also might have to install new mounting brackets for some seat options.

Protect Your New Seats

Once you have your new seats installed, it’s a good idea to take protective measures against harmful hazards like UV rays, spills, and anything else life throws your way. Seat covers are the best way to keep them clean and fade-free. If a spill has already happened, a quick detailing should take care of any residue.

For extra defense against UV damage, sun shades are a budget-friendly, easy-to-use option that will also help keep your Mustang’s inside temperature comfortable.

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About the Author

Hamilton is a product expert and fan of all things automotive. He uses his in-depth knowledge and endless curiosity to create informative and thoughtful articles for enthusiasts of all skill levels. Read full bio →

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.

Mustang Seat Replacement Guide

Find out what type of Mustang seat is best for your project. Then, explore different seat replacement options and considerations for each Mustang generation.