Installation in 99 Cobra
Sent in by: David MacCallum
I have found a mistake in the current Recaro catalog that will affect
every Recaro dealer that is referencing it. The correct brackets
for 98-00 Mustangs are incorrectly listed. The CORRECT part numbers,
according to Recaro CEO, John Marcozzi, is 1.74.0 (driver) and 2.74.0
rest of this article is simply one Recaro customerís experience
with the Recaro Sport Seat order and installation process - Dave
The use of Recaro Sport seats in the about to be released Ford Mustang
Cobra R has generated much interest in these seats. After much research
and pricing comparison, I chose to order from Speedware Motorsports (www.speedwaremotorsports.com)
in Redmond, WA. My salesperson was Dan Reiss and he was very knowledgeable
and extremely helpful. Recaro offers many colors available in fabric or
leather. Expect to pay approximately $700 for fabric and a little under
$1000 for leather. You will also need to order brackets that mount between
your existing manual and/or electric seat tracks and the Recaro seat.
These brackets run about $99 each.
The first disappointment came when the UPS driver delivered two large
boxes at my door. One of the boxes looked like it had been to hell and
back. I opened this box first and lifted the Recaro out slowly. While
lifting, I heard pieces of plastic hitting the bottom of the box. Sure
enough, about every piece of plastic on the Recaro seat was cracked or
shattered including the large plastic shell back plate and shattered side
seatback adjustment knobs.
The drivers seat was a little better but not much. I believe the real
culprit was Recaros totally ridiculous packing. There was only one
piece of thin cardboard liner on the bottom of the box. There is no foam
or other material for the seats to rest on to soften any blows the box
may take during shipping. The top of the seat is wrapped in large bubble
wrap. Then there is a cardboard wedge that holds the top of the seat to
prevent it from wobbling in the box. Many if not all the cracks and shattered
plastic could have been prevented if Recaro would just use a $5 cushioned
tray to position the bottom of the seat in.
Once I was assured by Dan at
Speedware Motorsports that he would take care of getting a claim filed
with UPS, I decided to proceed with the installation since I had a weekend
of racing at Willow Springs planned.
Removing the stock seats
The stock seats are easily removed by using a socket to remove 4 bolts
that hold the seat and seat track in place. Once removed, you need to
remove the 4 bolts that attach the seat tracks to bottom of the stock
seats. If you plan on retaining the drivers electric seat track, you will
need to remove the wiring harness attached to the bottom of the stock
chair. I used tie wraps to attach this harness to the bottom of the new
drivers seat. I positioned the electric seat adjustment controls
on the left side of the seat (see picture at the bottom of this article).
I plan to ditch the electric drivers seat track for a manual track
because it causes me to sit 2 inches higher compared to the passenger
seat. My head constantly bumps into the roof when wearing my helmet. Not
fun when going 125mph and concentrating on slowing for Turn 1
If you ensure that Recaro sends you the correct brackets for your
car, you will not need to go through the custom installation procedure
below to make your brackets fit! The correct brackets for 98-00 Mustangs
is 1.74.0 (driver) and 2.74.0. Please note that the Recaro catalog
has an error and incorrectly identifies these brackets.
What a bracket!
I next turned to attaching the Recaro brackets to the Recaro seat bottom.
I started by checking the fit of the Recaro brackets. The first concern
came while unwrapping the brackets. The bracket sheet read: Kit No. 0.07.4
Application: Ford Mustang (Manual Tracks) (79-92). Dan at Speedware swore
that these are the only available brackets for Mustangs. I aligned the
brackets to the drivers electric track and neither the left or right
Recaro brackets fit flush - mainly due to a raised metal ridge on the
electric rack. I have seen others (such as Jeff Fisher http://jwfisher.home.texas.net/motorsport/ford/mods/project99/pro-6/default.htm)
describe using a flanged hex nut to take up the empty space created by
the poor fitting Recaro brackets. I decided to take a different approach
- with my hacksaw. I had to remove a good two inches of the bracket to
make it fit. This was very tedious and quite a workout since the brackets
are very thick. I found the bracket was much easier to cut if I clamped
it to my workbench with a large C-clamp.
The bracket closest to the drivers door also required cutting to fit to
the stock electric seat track:
Before Hack. After Hack
am happy to report that the Recaro brackets for the passenger seat did
not require any modifications to fit the passenger seat track.
Once you complete the hacksaw
cutting, you can mount the brackets to the seats. Recaro provides 4 Hexnuts
to secure the bracket to the seat. Once again, the installation took a
30 minute detour because Recaro did not properly align the holes above
the bottom of the bracket to allow the Hexnuts to be tightened with a
Hex tool. To solve this, I had to use my power drill to enlarge the hole
in the bracket to allow the hex tool to properly fit in the end of the
Hexnut. The picture below shows the hexnut in its hole in the bracket.
You can see how the hole that was drilled to allow you to tighten the
bolt is not properly aligned:
With the hole drilled out,
I proceeded to finally mount the Recaro brackets to the Recaro seats.
I strongly recommend tightening the Hexnuts by hand before using the Hex
tool to tighten so as to not strip the retaining nut permanently embedded
in the bottom of the Recaro seat.
With the brackets on the bottom
of the seats, I placed the seat on its back and lifted the estimated 35
pound electric rack in place (it weighs a ton). I used the bolts, nuts,
and washers provided by Recaro. No problems with fit here.
Once attached, the drivers
seat was ready to be placed in the car. Since these Sport seats are tall,
I found it easiest if I tilted the seatback forward before lifting it
into the car. I reattached the 4 bolts to secure the seat. The passenger
seat installs much easier and in a similar fashion to the drivers seat.
Be careful of the passenger side spring mounted manual tracks as they
hurt if the release and smack you in the hand!
Recaro Sports offer a much more aggressive look for any Mustang. The side
support, which is totally lacking in the stock Mustang seats, is excellent.
They are also extremely comfortable!!
This installation is very involved and not recommended for someone that
is not handy with tools. Recaro could make this experience so much better
if the fixed the following things:
a) Provide bottom padding for
their shipping boxes. A friend ordered the same seats as mine and both
of his seats were more damaged than mine (The UPS inspector authorized
up to $600 to repair his Recaros). So I dont think my shipping experience
was necessarily a fluke accident.
b) Make brackets that fit the seat tracks
c) Tell bracket manufacturer to center the hole above the hexnut on the
One last concern is the rubber
air hose from the hand pump on the side of the chair to the lower back
bladder. It is tightly wedged between the plastic backing shell and a
piece of metal. The rubber gets stretched when you raise the seatback
to allow someone to get in the back seat. Its only a matter of time
before the hose gets torn.
Recaro USA: http://www.recaro-nao.com/
the Mustangworld crest logo above and MOLLERNET are registered
trademarks of MoLLER DIGITAL / DiscMEDIA INC. Copyright ©
1986 - 1998 MoLLER DIGITAL. Some web elements on this site are
copyrighted and are being used with permission from their respective
owners. MUSTANGWORLD web elements may not be "re-posted" on any
website anywhere in the free world without permission from MoLLER
DIGITAL INC. All original graphics are digitally watermarked to
aid us in copyright enforcement.