Bench to Bucket Conversion Advice

Mopar Interiors

  1. 67fish383S

    67fish383S Well-Known Member

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    I have a '67 Barracuda Fastback 383 S 4-speed with a bench. I am considering swapping the bench with a couple of buckets I took on trade. I think they are factory A body buckets out of a '69, but I am not 100% positive - let's assume they are for the sake of this discussion. I did some searching of older threads that talk about the dimples that should be in the floor pan for the buckets (I haven't pulled the carpet yet) and saw mention of reinforcing the floor for buckets.

    My first question is, if these are in fact factory A body buckets, do I need to reinforce the floor if I drill in the factory mounting locations? There seemed to be differing information about the need for this in the threads I saw that seemed to indicate the reinforcement was needed only for aftermarket seats that did not bolt into the factory locations. Would some sturdy washers be sufficient?

    Also wondering about whether or not I will need to add any spacers to level the seats or if they should just be a drill and bolt-in fit. Any other tips, tricks or pitfalls anyone has to share?

    Thanks

    IMG_7691.JPG IMG_7698.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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    • Steven190

      Steven190 Well-Known Member

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      I do not know about the Barracuda, the Dart has re-enforcement plats near the tunnel for the seat
       
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      • doug 371

        doug 371 Well-Known Member

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        the outside mounts need nothing the inner mounts need reinforcement plates
         
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        • 67fish383S

          67fish383S Well-Known Member

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          Ok thanks. I see I can buy a set of 4 plates from JEGS for $30.
          Stupid question...can I avoid welding them in by doubling them up (one inside and one outside) and 'capturing' them with the mounting bolts? It's my understanding that they are primarily for keeping the bolts from pulling through the floor pan. My suggestion probably sounds pretty hokey, but I don't have access to a welder.
           
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          • RogerRamRod

            RogerRamRod The Older I Get, The Faster I Was FABO Gold Member

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            They are to prevent the nut from pulling through the sheet metal when you crash. The top load is spread out over a larger span of sheetmetal by the seat tracks themselves. the bottom gets the plates to spread the load from pulling up. If you are not concerned about factory look, go to Home Depot, Lowes, a scrap metal place, or look around your garage or work etc & find 4 plates of 3/16 or 1/4, approx. 3" square, Drill a hole in the center and use it as a big washer. At some point in the future if you get a welder, get some other work done, have a buddy, whatever- you can weld them in at that point.
            I used some stock from HD that was about 2" wide, but it was like "U" channel, but a very shallow u. More like flat bar with the 2 edges turned up. I cut longer lengths and spanned 2 bolts. I think I went side to side, but I was welding subframe connectors and also welded to that. If there isn't any dip down to the floorpan, you might be able to span front to back. just a couple options.

            That all said, I drove mine around for years with nothing but a standard size washer. back then, I never even knew a plate went there, and I wasn't wise enough to think about it any further than that.

            EDIT, reading other posts further down, there might be a plate under the carpet, over the floorpan, If that's the case, I would still just use something I could find.
             
            Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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            • doug 371

              doug 371 Well-Known Member

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              They go under the carpet, not the bottom so glue them if u want just to ease installation and nut em up...
               
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              • 512Stroker

                512Stroker We are all here because we are not all there.

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                ^^^^^^^ This is the path I am taking.
                I am also doing a seat conversation to my 67 Barracuda (long term project)
                I was going to Panel Bond the brackets to the floor pan.
                 
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                • bryan Schaupp

                  bryan Schaupp FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Here is picture of mine with inside plates and console brackets welded.

                  plates for bucket seat conversion.JPG
                   
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                  • RogerRamRod

                    RogerRamRod The Older I Get, The Faster I Was FABO Gold Member

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                    Thanks for that pic. Its been a while since I looked at my floorpan, I forgot there was a bit of a recess on the top side for plates as well. To O/P, you can see a couple dimples to the inside of the humps and holes where your bench bolted in. That's where I remember the seat track being the only thing on the top side. The buckets bolt in at those dimples (talking about outer set of holes, not close to trans hump). when you drill those, they go through the floor pan & the bracket that was there for the bench. Do yourself another favor that young, stupid, too eager me didn't do way back then, and plug those bench seat holes with something.
                     
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                    • doug 371

                      doug 371 Well-Known Member

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                      The bucket seat cars all had the bench seat holes drilled with plugs installed, so there is factory plugs available...
                       
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                      • str12-340

                        str12-340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Are those plugs available? My bucket seat dart is missing a couple, but I haven't found them yet...
                         
                      • bryan Schaupp

                        bryan Schaupp FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      • bryan Schaupp

                        bryan Schaupp FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        As you can see I got 20. I can look Monday and send you some for cost of mailing which I think will be $ 3.60 measure and verify how many you need. Wont be able to do anything until Monday working 12 hour shifts=commute
                         
                      • 67fish383S

                        67fish383S Well-Known Member

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                        Finished. For the seat installation, I located the 'dimples' in the floor pan that mark the factory mounting bolt locations for the bucket seats (4 per seat), also visible underneath the car. You DO NOT use the bench seat holes. Because I did not want to remove the glued-down carpeting, I carefully center-punched the dimples from below (not fun) and drilled small pilot holes up through the floor pan and carpet. I then used these pilot holes to locate topside to finish the drilling. The carpet was thick and padded, so there was a lot of stopping to clear debris from the drill bits. This was a lot of fiddly work that went a lot more slowly than I thought it would. Doing this without the carpeting would be much easier. As noted above, a correct installation would have reinforcement plates welded on top of all inboard holes (under the carpet) to keep these bolts from pulling through in the event of a crash. Because I did not pull the carpet or have a welder, I substituted really wide, thick washers underneath.

                        Here are some pics of the seats I had to work with. Did a bunch of cleaning, but they had been abused by previous owners.

                        After many successive attempts to clean the very dirty buckets that have some red paint overspray:
                        IMG_7801.JPG

                        A lot of the red came off with a light wipe-down with lacquer thinner. This was risky, but I wasn't going to use them if they were pink. Took many tries and a lot of work, but they came clean enough to use. Final step was a steam clean and leather treatment after this pic was taken. I may get them recovered at some point.
                        IMG_7802.JPG

                        Finished installation:
                        IMG_7824.JPG

                        IMG_7827.JPG
                         
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                        • RogerRamRod

                          RogerRamRod The Older I Get, The Faster I Was FABO Gold Member

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                          Nice job. I still think I would use something much larger than a washer down below. Even a 4” blank electric box cover.
                          The chances of “needing “ it might be slim, but...
                           
                        • RedFish

                          RedFish Well-Known Member

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                          Factory nut under the car had a toothed washer about the size of a half dollar. The reinforcement plate was inside the car to prevent the floor pan cracking. There are threads with pics here of floor pans cracked at the perimeter of the factory plate too. Amazing how much shifting body weight along with the weight of the seat stresses a thin piece of sheet metal. Does a clutch pedal cause more shifting that automatic builds? I would check the yes box. I have a 66 drivers bucket seat base frame that was cracked at a hole the factory put in it. No idea why the hole was there but I feel certain clutch pedal use caused the frame to crack there.
                           
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                          • 67fish383S

                            67fish383S Well-Known Member

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                            That's a great suggestion. I will revisit after I've had a little break or maybe just do it over the winter. I didn't just do the seats. I also pulled the instrument cluster to replace the performance indicator with a tach, update the cluster lighting to LEDs, and installed a Retrosound stereo/speaker in place of the stock radio/speaker. So I've had enough of being folded like a pretzel for a bit lol.
                             
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                            • hwd2

                              hwd2 Well-Known Member

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                            • D's Nuts and Bolts

                              D's Nuts and Bolts Active Member

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                              Did you get rid of your bench ? I'm actually looking to to the reverse, go from bucket to bench.
                               
                            • 67fish383S

                              67fish383S Well-Known Member

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                              Still have it. Wasn't really considering selling it, but I'd discuss if you want to. It would probably need to be a pick up, because shipping would be insanely expensive and not something I'd even want to deal with on my end. I am in Spring Lake, MI and it looks like you are in Kansas, so...anyway, PM me if you want to talk about it. Thanks.
                               
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                              • 512Stroker

                                512Stroker We are all here because we are not all there.

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                                I may have a bench available from my 67 Barracuda
                                It is still in my car but may come out within the next year.
                                 
                              • D's Nuts and Bolts

                                D's Nuts and Bolts Active Member

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                                Ok keep me in mind, what color and condition is the vinyl in? Part of the appeal of the original posters was it matches the pearl white. Ha I'm probably weird for wanting to go from buckets to bench.
                                 
                              • 512Stroker

                                512Stroker We are all here because we are not all there.

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                                My bench is pearl white with the arm rest.
                                It is not original, at some point it has been recovered.
                                It is in very good shape other than a weird yellowish mark under the arm rest?
                                 
                              • 67fish383S

                                67fish383S Well-Known Member

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                                I had a fair number of critics when I posted here and elsewhere about wanting to do my swap. Why people care what you do with your own car is beyond me. :) Good luck with yours and let me know if you need anything.
                                 
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                                • MoparMike1974

                                  MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  I just did this on a 67 barracuda yesterday. The dimples are in the floor pan. You will need to add braces on the inside holes only, so 2 per seat. The outside holes are supported by the same brace the bench seat bolted through.
                                  AMD's reinforcement plates do not line up correctly on the early cars. They should have provided these without the hole in them. I ended up making my own. For the old bench seat mounting hole I put body plugs in them. I think a 3/4" plug fits but sometimes you have to clean up the hole with a step bit a little to make them fit.
                                   
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