Drivers seat position

This area is for posting questions/information concerning 1961-63 year Thunderbirds NO FOR SALE POSTINGS

Moderator: Wklink

Post Reply
TommyRay
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:43 pm

Drivers seat position

Post by TommyRay »

Happy Thanksgiving to all whom it applies..! Question: I have a new to me 1963 coupe....WHY is the drivers that so close to the wheel? My seat appears to be back as far at it will go and I still have no room. Before I unbolt the seat and move it back...is this normal? Electrics work fine so I have no reason to not believe it is back as far as it is made to go.

Thanks in advance...

krave
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:08 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by krave »

sounds normal to me...I have the same issue

TommyRay
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:43 pm

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by TommyRay »

No moving it back...rekon I will have to retro a new steering wheel if it bothers me too much.

GeorgeG
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:51 pm
Location: Smith Mountain Lake, VA

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by GeorgeG »

The seat attaches to the floor with four bolts. You might be able to drill four new holes in the floor a couple of inches rearward and move the seat back, but then you'd have virtually no legroom in the rear. You'd also have to plug and seal the original holes. Not sure if there's a cross brace in the floor that would get in the way though.

George
VTCI #9586
Early '61 slowly going back together...in family since new: my project
'75 Porsche 914 1.8 FI upgraded to 2.0 specs: my toy

ICON 1956
Posts: 1196
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Mokena, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by ICON 1956 »

That's the way the seat is mounted from Ford. Your right there is no room for the driver when life catches up with a few pounds in front. Remember people back then weren't that big. Some drivers have used a smaller steering wheel, and there is another solution. Not to offend this might be a way for one to lose weight. When I had my 61 bird I was heavier when I received my bird in January. I had a few months to work on a diet so I could comfortably drive it. And it worked.
It's the worst time of the year to think about losing weight due to the holidays, But there's a fresh start in January for those that live in the states that has snow, You can start on a health plan and there is a silver lining you'll feel better and by the spring you can fit behind the steering wheel .
Image
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

User avatar
Richard
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:51 am
Location: Long Island New York

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by Richard »

TommyRay wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:23 am
Happy Thanksgiving to all whom it applies..! Question: I have a new to me 1963 coupe....WHY is the drivers that so close to the wheel? My seat appears to be back as far at it will go and I still have no room. Before I unbolt the seat and move it back...is this normal? Electrics work fine so I have no reason to not believe it is back as far as it is made to go.

Thanks in advance...
I am 6 foot and had the same issue with seat being to close with my 65..I drilled 4 new holes in floor and moved seat back. It is now very comfy. Now no one can sit in the rear behind me which I dont care...I dont know about your year but with 65 the seat track sits on a small platform. The rear 2 bolts after moving back will sit off the platform. What I did is take a piece of 1/2 inch electric conduit and made a sleeve over the bolt so the track doesnt squeeze down..Hope I am being clear..Also spray painted it chrome not that it can be seen...Good luck
As far as losing weight that is not the issue,seat is just to close for tall people..
1965 Hardtop Charcoal Gray Metallic
VTCI#12157

bbogue
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by bbogue »

I had the same issue with my 61 with an electric driver’s seat. I’m 6’1” with long legs. As some on this forum have done, I considered finding a non-electric frame and cutting/welding it so as to move the top portion rearward while leaving the lower portion in place. Not something I could do myself, I decided against this. Instead, I purchased some 5/16” thick aircraft aluminum (1/4” would have sufficed) and mounted the seat to it, carefully measuring and cutting the plate as required for clearances of the seat mechanicals. I then mounted the seat/plate to the car using the original front mounting holes. I drilled new rear holes (one of the old ones was too damaged to use) and used shouldered eye bolts with giant washers in the rear for the plate and as my seatbelt anchors. No one can sit in the left rear seat as it is now 3” further back. Although my fix cost me some headroom, my hair barely touches the headliner when I need a haircut. Works for me. Good luck.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

User avatar
Alan H. Tast
Posts: 3185
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by Alan H. Tast »

Check your bottom seat cushion: Ford was supposed to have placed two sets of nuts on the seat frame placed 2-inches apart to allow the seat to be moved back by repositioning the seat on the frame - the default location has the seat closer to the dash. Ford issued a Technical Service Bulletin for this back in '61 alerting the dealers to move the frame for taller users, so it should carry forward to '62 and '63 seats.
Last edited by Alan H. Tast on Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

GeorgeG
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:51 pm
Location: Smith Mountain Lake, VA

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by GeorgeG »

Alan H. Tast wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:10 pm
Check your bottom seat cushion: Ford was supposed to have placed two sets of nuts on the seat frame placed 2-inches apart to allow the seat to be moved back by repositioning the seat on the frame - the default location has the seat closer to the dash. Ford issued a Technical Service Bulletin for this back in '61 altering dealers to move the frame for taller users, so it should carry forward to '62 and '63 seats.
Alan. Two questions:

1. Do you have a picture of this or a copy of the Ford TSB that describes it?

2. Does this apply to both power and manual seats?

George
VTCI #9586
Early '61 slowly going back together...in family since new: my project
'75 Porsche 914 1.8 FI upgraded to 2.0 specs: my toy

User avatar
Alan H. Tast
Posts: 3185
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by Alan H. Tast »

GeorgeG wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:15 pm
Alan. Two questions:

1. Do you have a picture of this or a copy of the Ford TSB that describes it?

2. Does this apply to both power and manual seats?

George
1. Not at the moment. I'm going off of memory and can't find a copy of the TSB.
2. It should - the cushion is what's supposed to have the two sets of holes.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

bbogue
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by bbogue »

I just looked at my 61, electric seats, built June ‘61. The underside of the seat cushion where it bolts to the frame is not visible. It is covered by the edge of the seat cover. Where the seat bolts to the frame there is scarcely 2” to the front of the seat bottom. Even if the seat bottom could be moved rearward from its current position, the plastic seat “fenders” would encounter the seat frame and mechanicals very quickly. I don’t think moving my seat rearward on the frame from its current position is possible. All this with the seat as far back as it can travel. I conclude, for my car only, that it is either already installed in the most forward of the holes in the seat cushion (for most rearward travel) or there are not 2 sets of holes. After sitting in several 61 and 62 cars , I concluded that these cars were just not built for 6’ plus folks. The Ford modification is interesting. I’ll be interested to hear what other investigations discover.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

RAVEN
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:33 am

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by RAVEN »

I am not current with 61/63 seat tracks, but pretty sure they are the same as 64/66 tracks. 64/66 tracks have the 2 location holes in the base of the tracks, not on the upper slides, and the threaded holes for mounting to car floor are only about 1.5 inches apart.
There is a difference in the spacer fillers, between manual and power seat tracks, where the seat bolts to the tracks. If memory suits there is a 2 inch tall riser block shim on the rear 2 track mounts to seat on a power seat vs no shims on a manual track. Possibly removing those spacer shims will allow the seat to sit lower to the floor, giving more space between the steering wheel and the seat front edge.
CDN Member since 1975 #2086
Flock: 1964 Landau Original Family Owned
1964 Sr Convertible "RAVEN"
Past: 2003 Blk Lab "RAVEN" "RIP"Nov 15/17
1964 Lincoln vin4Y86N00007
1964 Red Convertible

bbogue
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by bbogue »

RAVEN wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:25 pm
I am not current with 61/63 seat tracks, but pretty sure they are the same as 64/66 tracks. 64/66 tracks have the 2 location holes in the base of the tracks, not on the upper slides, and the threaded holes for mounting to car floor are only about 1.5 inches apart.
There is a difference in the spacer fillers, between manual and power seat tracks, where the seat bolts to the tracks. If memory suits there is a 2 inch tall riser block shim on the rear 2 track mounts to seat on a power seat vs no shims on a manual track. Possibly removing those spacer shims will allow the seat to sit lower to the floor, giving more space between the steering wheel and the seat front edge.
Raven.
Below is a picture of the 61/63 electric seat frame. Found in an on line sale listing. I think the frame is shown bottom side up. It looks like my 61’s, near as I can tell. Only single holes for mounting seats to frame and frame to body. Do I misunderstand?

Bill
58D34B59-BCE5-45D9-8D86-E7371329CE80.jpeg
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

RedRocket
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:51 pm

Re: Drivers seat position

Post by RedRocket »

Hi TommyRay- I'm 6' and also feel that the electric seat in my 61 was too far forward for comfort. Similar to what 'bbogue' posted, I used 1 1/2" wide x 3/16" thick steel flat bar to make an "adaptor" to relocate my seat 2" farther back. Was fairly easy, can be undone if some future owner wanted and doesn't impact the rear seat too much. If someone sits behind the driver then just adjust the seat forward temporarily. I also replaced the steering wheel with a smaller diameter wheel which also helped.

Post Reply