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  1. #1
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    Broken drivers seat 96 cutlass supreme

    The drivers seat in my sons 96 olds cutlass supreme finally let go completely the other day. This car has been around the block a few times and he is the third family member to use it as a daily driver since 96. Still runs very good, but the front seats have always been a weak point. The drivers side is electric, the passenger side manual.

    We removed drivers seat and moved passenger seat over to drivers side so he can get to work.

    Now we need to either repair the current seat or replace it with a used one. See pictures below of the damage but at this point I think trying to find a used one is the way to go. Doesn't need to be electric, manual is fine. Of course with interior parts, matching the color can be problematic, maybe even impossible. Not sure what to do in that case other than put a set of seat covers on the two fronts seats.

    I haven't needed the services of a junkyard in about 20 years and in the old days we had really good yards around here for every major make, but they have completely disappeared. An internet search turns up some outfit called 'pick and pull' with two locations, neither are particularly close to me but it sounds like they may be the only option.

    I called them up and one yard says they have four cutlass from 88 to 96 and the other yard has a 94. They do not have info on whether there are seats available in said vehicles, what color the interior is, etc. So I guess I need to drive out there and check it out.

    I don't see any available for cutlass on ebay.

    My questions are, how can I determine what years of cutlasses specifically will have the same types/mounting of seats? And how can I determine what other makes/models would fit? For example, what is the GM version of this car, the malibu, or maybe the Lumina? What about a Pontiac version?

    Looking at the old seat, I sure don't see any easy way to just replace the track system. Of course being electric there is all manner of arms, springs, motors etc under there. Looks like the track system is riveted to the seat base with two large rivets on each end of the track. Rivets of course can be drilled out but the entire lower half of the track system would need removed in order to drill out those rivets.

    Seat



    Left track front ripped from mounting. Parent metal on track arm tore out.



    Left track aluminum channel split.



    Seat pan/base jacked up.

  2. #2
    Arrive Alive tornado_735's Avatar
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    Front seats from virtually all first generation W-bodies (1988-1996) will fit in its place. You're more likely to find one in that color out of another Cutlass Supreme.

    All of these cars are corporate twins that will have seats that will swap directly in:

    Pontiac: Grand Prix (1988-1996)
    Chevy
    : Lumina (1990-1994)
    Buick: Regal (1988-1996)
    Oldsmobile: Cutlass Supreme (1988-1997)

    The good news is that W-bodies are a dime a dozen in junkyards (there are a million of the damn things, they've been in production over 22 years) and you should not have any trouble finding a replacement seat. In your color. In a car that likely has less miles than yours Be aware that the seat styles vary from car to car, and the plug for the power options might be different.

    Good luck!

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tornado_735 View Post
    Front seats from virtually all first generation W-bodies (1988-1996) will fit in its place. You're more likely to find one in that color out of another Cutlass Supreme.

    All of these cars are corporate twins that will have seats that will swap directly in:

    Pontiac: Grand Prix (1988-1996)
    Chevy
    : Lumina (1990-1994)
    Buick: Regal (1988-1996)
    Oldsmobile: Cutlass Supreme (1988-1997)

    The good news is that W-bodies are a dime a dozen in junkyards (there are a million of the damn things, they've been in production over 22 years) and you should not have any trouble finding a replacement seat. In your color. In a car that likely has less miles than yours Be aware that the seat styles vary from car to car, and the plug for the power options might be different.

    Good luck!
    Thanks Aaron, info is much appreciated. Off to the junkyard on Monday.

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    tornado_735 (10-29-2011)

  5. #4
    Arrive Alive tornado_735's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Cartwright View Post
    Thanks Aaron, info is much appreciated. Off to the junkyard on Monday.
    No problem! Another thing I thought of is that it might be a real pain in the ass getting the power seat out of a junkyard car because the rear bolts are only really accessible with the seat slid forward. You might be able to get on the bolts with a wrench. I can't remember the exact size, but a wrench fits fine on those reverse torx bolts. If you have ratcheting wrenches, that would be even better. Break it loose with a regular wrench though.

    2006 Pontiac Grand Prix - 115k
    1995 Range Rover 4.0SE V8 - 127k
    1993 Range Rover County LWB 4.2L V8 - 153k
    "...then I saw that there was a way to Hell, even from the gates of Heaven..."

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tornado_735 View Post
    No problem! Another thing I thought of is that it might be a real pain in the ass getting the power seat out of a junkyard car because the rear bolts are only really accessible with the seat slid forward. You might be able to get on the bolts with a wrench. I can't remember the exact size, but a wrench fits fine on those reverse torx bolts. If you have ratcheting wrenches, that would be even better. Break it loose with a regular wrench though.
    Which is why i bring a jump start box with me to the yards, that way you have power for the seat to move.

    VenomousVert
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    white4d96's Avatar
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    That's what I did as well. I brought a tiny 12V battery to get my seats.
    http://i475.photobucket.com/albums/rr118/jfleck91/untitled-1.jpg


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    96-97 will be the only years with the correct color. the good news it you can change the seat on the track... and any seat track both from coupes and sedans from any of the above years will fit.


    BUILDER AND DESTROYER OF FINE(?) AMERICAN CARS.

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    Ben Cartwright (11-05-2011)

  11. #8

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    Your seat foam (under the leather ) looks crushed. If you find a car with a good passenger seat, either buy the whole seat, or take it apart to take the upper and lower foam pads. They are the same left and right. Of course, most cars get far more wear on the driver seat than the passenger, so they are usually in better shape.

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    Ben Cartwright (11-05-2011)

  13. #9
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    Same interior color as mine.. Your leather is about the same condition as mine as well. Im not sure how hard it would be to do, but what about finding another seat, and swapping the leather out between the 2?
    UISAE MINI BAJA Placed 34th at Western Washington 2013



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  15. #10
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    You need to take the leather/foam off the frame to access the bolts holding the track. Not hard to do. Remove the plastic trim from each side of the seat bottom. Unbolt the upper/back at the hinge. On either side of the bottom will be a rod held on by a plastic pushpin. Pry the plastic retainer on the front of the cover from the seat frame. The rear of the cover "clips" together with a plastic strip. Use a screwdriver to separate this clip and pull the leather/foam off the frame. The track can be separated from the frame by four bolts, one at each corner.
    Hope this helps.

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    Ben Cartwright (11-05-2011)

  17. #11
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    Thanks very much for the replies, very helpful info.

    Went to one of the pick n pull yards yesterday and took a print out of this thread with me. Looked at 4 luminas, 3 cutlass, and 3 granprix's. None of the vehicles had the floor shifter and the style of bucket seats that come with that configuration, which is how my sons cutlass is equipped. As you know the drivers seat out of the column shift cars won't work. All of the cars had cloth seats.

    Only two of the cars had passenger seats where the cloth/foam was not cut/torn up.

    I took this seat out of a 96 cutlass supreme SL thinking if worst comes to worst I could use the manual seat track out of it and try and rebuild the stock drivers seat frame and foam/upholstery. This car was hit in the passenger door and the glass was shattered, much of which fell into the seat. In addition, with no window the seat has gotten wet with the rain, though the foam is not soaked through as near as I can tell. The seat cover is not torn but it is a rank smelling thing.

    My sons car is here today so I installed this junkyard seat in the passenger side just to verify that the tracks do indeed fit the floor, which the do. I'm assuming that the manual tracks will mount up to the damaged stock electric drivers seat.

    I'm not sure what to do at this point. The picknpull I went to was one of the largest of the four in the state. However, two others that are within 1.5 hours driving show one each 96 cutlass. The picknpull doesn't list the supreme in their list of models to choose from when checking inventory. I suppose I should travel to these other two yards on the off chance that one of the vehicles have the correct style of bucket seat.

    Do the luminas, regal, grand prix's have the floor shifter and the same style bucket seats as an option?

    I have a feeling that repairing the damaged drivers seat may be the only option. I'm going to pull the cover off the seat and see what can be done in terms of straightening the seat frame base and if anything can be done with the leather/foam situation.



    Mark 97, you are correct, the foam has collapsed, especially on the left side of the seat (looking from the back). The seat frame has cut through the foam/leather.

  18. #12
    This is a common failure on many GM cars. I had a 2004 Cadillac XLR that was doing the same thing and I'm no heavyweight. The shop that did the warranty work put a pinchweld moulding over the sharp metal before installing a new foam cushion and cover to prevent a recurrence of the same problem.

  19. #13
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    Well this is not working out like I had hoped. The junkyard seat is a passenger side seat which I had hoped to use the rails and seat pan from. Plan was to patch the torn cream colored leather in the old seat base cover then install the old seat cover on the junkyard seat base, And then mount the old cream colored seat back to the junkyard seat base. This would result in two seats of the same original style and the same color/material.

    It turns out the seat rails on the junkyard seat fit the car ok, and the seat pan (the part with the springs that the seat cover sits on) is the same between the junkyard seat and the original electric drivers seat, but the original seat back from the electric seat will not fit on the passenger junkyard seat base. The recline lever is of course on the opposite sides between a drivers seat and a passenger seat which is no big deal in terms of operation. However, one side of the seat back mounting rides on a large bearing mount in the seat base frame and you cannot swap a drivers side seat back with a passenger side seat back.

    So back to the drawing board.

    I can re-assemble the passenger junkyard seat and take it back to get my money back.

    I can try and find an actual drivers seat from a cutlass supreme with the leather seat/floor shifter option from another picknpull farther away. Based on what I've seen so far, the chances of this are very slim.

    I can try to tear apart the original damaged electric seat rail mechanism and weld/fabricate some sort repair, then try and pound the seat pan back into shape (or use the seat pan off the junkyard seat). This will require a fair amount of fabrication including welding both the aluminum rail channel and the steel seat mount arms. And that's assuming this assembly can actually be disassembled. And to buy this assembly new is some pretty big bucks I believe.

    Does anyone know if the drivers seat in the cars that have a column shifter happen to have the same seat rail mounting assembly as the cars with the floor shifter? I had assumed the mechanism is different as the column mount cars had what looked like a wider seat base on them? The base looks to extend over where the floor shifter would be.

    Thanks

  20. #14
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    This is my latest junkyard seat, I'm trying to collect one of every color.

    This one is a drivers side manual seat that came out of a floor shift car so it is the same shape as the original 6-way electric leather seat, but it's not leather and not tan colored.

    I may be able to transfer the original leather seat cushion and leather seat back to this new base frame, or if that is not possible I will have to use the junkyard seat as is and put some sort of tan seat cover on it.

    It appears that this manual drivers seat has some sort of seat base tilt function.

    As you can see, that knob is broken on this seat. Can this knob be purchased?

    Also, if I use the seat as is, it will need a good cleaning to make it smell better. What product should I use for this job?

    And, do you know of some decent seat covers for these cars?

    Thanks




  21. #15
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    At this point you have a couple options, transfer your tan leather skins and plastics onto your red manual drivers seat or wait and find a 92-97 drivers side power CS seat and do the skin swap to that and have a fully functional power seat.
    Matt Shantz


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