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 99-06 Seats in a 73-87 truck, ...installing new seats into my '77
Old77
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 09:19 AM
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On other sites inquiries are becoming more and more prevalent as to how to get seats out of a NBS (99-06) truck to fit in a square body truck (73-87) so I thought I’d do a little write up on what I did in order to get this mod to work and the seats to fit correctly. The casual observer initially thinks they’ll just fit right in with just slight modifications but that is far from the truth!! There are two ways you can tackle this install so let’s explore both. I’ll start with the method that I did NOT go with first and finish off with how I tackled the project.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind this was done on a ’77 C-10 which is a 2wd cab. I understand there are some differences between the 2wd and 4wd cab but the concept should generally be the same. You will want to take these differences into account for your project.

1. You could modify the seats to fit. At first glance, it appears that just modifying the seat brackets will make the seats fit and will be an easier way to go about making them fit. There are a couple of issues with this method...
a. You need to create at least 6 to 8 inches worth of clearance in order to get the seat to fit under the steering wheel. There’s no way to modify the existing bracket in the seat to make this happen and create this much space. If you look in the photo below that shows the floor prior to modification there’s a slope towards the rear. This slop is what largely prevents this method from working.
b. If modifying the seat was possible, due to the amount of customization you’d have to do to the brackets on the seat you’d lose the functionality of being able to move the seat back and forth on its track. If you had leather seats with heat you’d probably lose this functionality as well in order to create more room.
c. Even if you were successful in cutting down the seat bracket you have to figure out a way to finish off the side of the seats for the couple of levers that are on each side.

So based on these factors, and I’m sure others that I’m forgetting 6 years after the fact, we decided to go with route #2.

2. Cut down the floor which essentially removes the humps where the gas tank(s) are usually located under the cab and relocate the gas tank. The relocating of the tank is pretty straight forward. We just bought a new tank that’d normally go into a 73-89 blazer/Suburban and fit it between the frame rails at the rear of the truck. The only fabrication that had to be done was for the new filler neck location and mounting spots for the tank straps. I’m sure there are numerous ideas for relocating the tank. If I was to do it over it again (and I might as some point) I’d get a flip down license plate and get a different tank that’d allow me to fill up at that location.

The hardest and more time consuming part is the modification that needs to be done to the floor. Take your time here! You want to measure several times before one cut is ever made. We measured several times, drew our cut lines on the floor and measured again prior to cutting. You will have to leave a small “hump” on each side due to the frame but this does not hinder the seat location at all. At this point, I don’t remember the exact measurements but hopefully the pics will give you a good idea. Even if I had the measurements I’d strongly encourage you take your own measurements just to ensure they were accurate for your truck. Starting in front of that “ledge” that comes out from the back wall, I would cut as much out of the floor as possible to make the seats fit because you’ll need all the room you can get. This is one of the reasons I ended up with a billet steering wheel because it was slightly smaller than the original and gave us a couple more inches clearance for driving comfort. Again, the frame will limit how much you can cut out (at least for the 2wd models) so we just cut out as much as we could and left the small humps for the curvature of the frame.

Before
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Now time for some cutting!! http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys2/superhack.gif

NOTE: As a precautionary measure, before any cuts were made we braced the cab near the roof just to prevent and “sagging”. Because I had some laying around I just used two 4x4 pieces of wood in a “T” formation but you could do this a multitude of ways by tack welding metal in or however is easiest for you.

After the holes are cut in the floor, you’ll need to fab up the floor pans. At this point I forget what gauge of steel I used but you should get a gauge that closely matches that of factory steel. These pieces should be pretty straight forward to create but again you’ll need to measure and then bend the metal accordingly and then welding the corner seams together prior to putting it in the cab. You will want to do a test fit of the pieces in the cab by tack welding them in, place the seats on the new panels and mark where you want the seats to fit in order to drill holes in the panels prior to permanently installing the panels. Once you’ve accurately marked the holes take the new panels back out and drill the holes. Along the strip where the bolts will be a strip of metal about 3” wide was welded in just for added bracing just in case of accident. Might have been overkill but I’d rather it be extra strong smile.gif Once the holes are drilled the nut was tack welded on the under side. You need to be very careful here because the heat of the welding could mess up the thread of the nut. We tack welded them in only to make it easier for one person to bolt/unbolt the seats at any given time but if going this route is not absolutely necessary. At this point, the new panels are ready to be put in permanently.

During
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After everything was in and finished off, I undercoated the entire underside of the cab (along with the rest of the undercarriage of the truck) in POR-15 to prevent rust from forming in the future. There are several products you can use to accomplish the same thing but I liked the POR-15 and how it came out in the end. The downside to this stuff is if it gets on your skin it’s extremely hard to wash off and impossible if you don’t get it off immediately after it makes contact with your skin so I usually just covered myself with clothing from head to toe! smile.gif Once the undercoating was complete I just threw those clothes away because they were essentially ruined smile.gif

Once the mod is complete and the seats and carpet are installed no one will know what level of work it took to get the job done until you point it out to them. Everyone who looks at my seats at any cruise or show just opens the door and says, “Boy, those fit in there pretty good don’t they? Did they just bolt right in??”. This is the kind of response I look for when doing any mod. Subtle is what you want! smile.gif

After
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Sorry for the bad quality of that last pic. It’s a cell phone pic. I will try and get a better pic(s) posted up of the finished product. If I can scrounge up better pics of the process I will certainly post them up by editing this original post so that I can keep it all together. These are all I could find at the moment but there may be more on my other computer.

Hopefully this will give you a good idea of what is involved. Don’t hesitate to post up any questions or comments!!!

http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys2/driver.gif


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bobkyle2
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 09:28 AM
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Holy shat!!! lol..Who did the metalwork?


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Old77
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 09:33 AM
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I did most of it with the guidance of a good family friend who helped us brainstorm ideas of how to make it fit and that kinda thing. It was a HUGE learning experience! http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys/waytogo.gif


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NorthportTroller
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 01:02 PM
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Very nice bro. http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys/smile2.gif

Did you do the welding? I'd be scared as shit to cut my floor up like that, lol.


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Jay
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 03:09 PM
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http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys/popcorn.gif


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Old77
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 03:14 PM
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QUOTE (NorthportTroller @ Jun 16 2011, 01:05 PM)
Very nice bro.  http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys/smile2.gif

Did you do the welding? I'd be scared as shit to cut my floor up like that, lol.

Yes. With the cutting we definitely measured numerous times and drew it out and measured numerous more times prior to cutting smile.gif I was definitely nervous too but once you cut once there's not much going back so ya might was well go for the gold biggrin.gif I sure am glad it turned out alright cuz that one attempt at a cool mod could have spelled doom for the project....


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NorthportTroller
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 03:43 PM
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Was that new metal a bitch to fab? I bet it was. Was it the same guage as the original steel?


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Old77
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 03:55 PM
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It wasn't that bad because most of the edges were straight so it was mainly a matter of measuring and bending and all the bends were at right angles. So it was like we were fabbing up a piece that required a lot of contours or something and each piece of floor was separate from the other so it's not like it was all one piece that we laid on the floor and then welded up or anything. You just had to make sure that all measurements were spot one!!


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NorthportTroller
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 03:57 PM
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What did you use for the bending to bend it all even? http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys/popcorn.gif


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Old77
 Posted: Jun 16 2011, 04:07 PM
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Well because we had to improvise and didn't have all the right tools I think all we used a combination of 2x4 and clamps and made sure it was place right on the line where we wanted it to bend.

I wish I woulda taken more pics of the process but at the time I wasn't on any forums and didn't think about it http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys2/shrug.gif


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