Miata Seat Installation - Sept '09





Separating the Seats

There are a couple of excellent "How To" guides available on line for reupholstering Miata seats. One is at LeatherSeats.com and the other is at the very helpful Miata.net Forum. I mostly used this one from Miata.net and found it to be "spot on"!

The first step after getting them out of the car is to separate the back from the base. This is pretty straightforward and requires a 12 & 14 mm socket and/or wrench and a Philips head screwdriver. But the first thing you want to do is to release the reclining mechanism so that the seat is fully titled forward.

NOTE: The Miata seats are asymmetrical just like a TR6 so there's a driver's seat and a passenger's seat and the two are not interchangeable. Make sure you mark the pieces Driver or Passenger.

NOTE: DO NOT just cut the old covers off as you will need to refer to them during the re-upholstery process.

Make sure the seat is fully tilted forward as you'll be removing that whole reclining mechanism and you don't want it snapping forward and removing a finger or two!

Now that the seat back is in the proper position, it's time to flip it over and check for any wires that need to be disconnected. The driver seat will have a seatbelt interlock wire and there may also be headrest speaker wires. Grab some baggies to label and store all of the screws and bolts.

Let's start with the seat belt side of the seat.

Remove these two bolts

And then the screw

and your left with this bracket that we'll be cutting off later on.

On the hinge side of the seat remove the Philips head screw. Make a mental note of the upholstery design at this location on the hinge side versus the tilt mechanism side. The sides are different and this is the only way to tell them apart.

Now we move the seat side with the tilt lever mechanism.

Remove these two screws to get the cover loose

Another screw to remove

Now you can slide this cover up and off

Which exposes these two bolts to remove

Now you can move the seat top forward and lift and twist it to remove the post from the other side where the hinge is located..... see next picture. And here you can see the upholstery difference from the hinge side.
This is the hinge side, and once you get those pieces separated, you can lift the seat back away from the base.

Pop this piece out

And slide this cover up and off

Now that the seat back is separated from the base, let's get that tilt mechanism off

Seat Back is gone

Lift up the cover and you'll see two bolts that need to be removed.

The tilt mechanism is removed

Grab a long punch and tap the handle off with the punch and hammer. It should slide right off.

It needs a good cleaning and lube

Now that we have two separated seat pieces, it's time to cut some Hog Rings!..........next