A few weeks ago, I remarked to a friend of mine (Fieroguy123) I was going to find some leather bucket seats that fit in a Fiero without extensive modification. Making good on my promise, I set out in search of some seats that would fit well and look good using the Pennock's search button. There were some interesting options like Firebird seats, C3 Corvette seats, and others, but I wanted something that would both sit as low as the stock seats AND be as or more comfortable. The second part was a pretty tall order considering how comfortable Fiero seats are.
A week or so into my off and on search, a forum member posted he had some C5 Corvette seats for sale for only 300 dollars. I hadn't considered C5 seats because they're so damn expensive. They routinely fetch over 700 dollars on Ebay + shipping. I did some checking around and the only Fiero I could find on here that had them was, of course, Madcurl's. But he said they sat up higher and did not lean forwards or backwards because of clearance issues. Nobody else has done it as far as I know and there were unfortunately no write-ups on the topic since Archie did the mods for Madcurl's. Determined to make them work, I bought the Corvette seats.
In short, the install was a great success and they C5 seats are FAR superior to a Fiero seat in both comfort and looks. With power inflatable lumbar support and power side bolsters, you can make these seats fit you like a glove. I get out of them after 2 hours of driving and don't feel like I've been driving a car.
I want to add first that my install procedure does not in any way damage the seats or make it so you can't bolt the Corvette tracks back up and use them again. I could pull mine out right now, mount the Vette stuff back on, and nobody would ever know they had been in a Fiero.
Here is the install section.
I'd say difficulty is moderate. Don't try this if you're a dunce, but you don't have to be a genius to do this.
Length of Swap
Something like 3 hours if you're moving or 5 if you're taking your time. It took me 5 having never done this before and having no guide or write-up (Or help).
Things To Be Aware Of
Cost - These seats can be expensive. If you look around you can probably find them for 300-600. This may seem like a lot, but Mr. Mike's leather covers are 600+ IIRC. I LOVE Mr. Mike's seats. They are absolutely fantastic and are a great product...but you still end up with Fiero seats. The C5 seats are far superior in my opinion.
Power Options - You WILL lose your power backwards and forwards power feature. Since we'll be mounting Fiero rails to the C5 seats, you will move them backwards and forwards just like your Fiero seats, but you can still keep the other power options. Using the Corvette rails like Madcurl did was just not an option for me. I had to be able to lean the seats forwards and backwards, and I did not want to sit up high in the seat. My car is lowered and I like having my butt sit 7 or 8 inches off the ground. I test fitted the Corvette seats with the rails still attached and they just don't fit that well. Also, they make the car feel like a Buick because you're up so much higher than before. If you REALLY want power seat slides I would look somewhere else.
13MM 1/4" Socket - A 3/8's socket may work but we are dealing with small tolerances here so use the smallest wrench and socket you have.
13MM Wrench - If you have a ratcheting wrench, I envy you, because I could have done the install in much less time with one. Being a poor college kid I have to use crappy tools...
Set Of Drill Bits - Most of the bits you need will be larger than 1/4 inch bits, but a good assortment is a plus.
Drill - AC drill preferred as it spins faster, has more power, and does not run out of battery. Makes the process much faster.
Wire Strippers/Crimpers - You don't NEED these. But having a couple strippers in your garage isn't anything to complain about.
Wire - You'll need to run some wire for the power seats. This was easy for me because I had amp wiring to tap into, but you may need to take power from elsewhere.
Beer - Yes, beer. You'll be busting knuckles and having a hard time getting wrenches in place, so being (Slightly) drunk may ease the frustration.
Fan/AC - Hopefully you have some means of cooling yourself, because I didn't, and my garage was around 105 when I did this.
We'll start with the driver's side seat. Obviously, remove your Fiero seats first.
1. Flip the seat onto its back so you can see the rails with the front of the seat up in the air. Remember to protect the seat from whatever you lay it on.
2. There is a specific way you have to dismount the rails. First, untie the tension strings that make the seat cover tight on the foam. They should untie near the back of the seat bottom. After that you should be able to peel the front of the seat cover around where your knees lay up exposing the seat frame. Don't worry, this won't hurt the seats. You should now have access to two 13MM bolts that hold two brakcets on the front of the seat in place. They are black and "L-Shaped". If you look at my picture, they have blue dots on them near the rear of the seat because in that picture the Corvette rails and the front 2 brackets had already been removed. Using a wrench on the nut and a 13MM socket on the bolt, remove these two bolts. NOTE: Some C5 seats have threaded holes here meaning there is just a bolt and no nut. This does nto change anything, simply remove it with a socket.
3. Now for a tricky part. There are two more of those L-Shaped brackets that hold the rear of the Corvette seat rails to the seat. These you should not remove by removing bolts. I removed the bolts first, and later realized those two brackets could help with mounting so reattached them. To dismount them from the Corvette rails without removing the bolts, you have to drill out a rivet holding them in so you end up with ONLY the L-Shaped bracket attached tot he seat frame. The easiest way I found to do this was with a large drill bit that had wings near the tip so they stripped the inner side of the rivet out easily. After you remove the rivet however you want to, the Corvette rails will come off the seat. Remember to carefully disconnect all wiring and air lines first.
4. Now that you're looking at a bare seat bottom with no rails or electrics, you are ready to mount your Fiero seat rails. Remove them from the Fiero seats by removing the 4 13MM bolts on each seat. Now is a great time to clean and lubricate them! In the picture shown, I had the Fiero rails mounted in a way that placed the seat too far to one side. You'll want to drill a hole large enough for a nut and bolt (Can be any nut and bolt. I found that the Fiero bolts work well if you have nuts for them). Drill in place I have placed a red dot in the picture. It should be exactly 1" up from the hole where the bracket bolt used to be, and your bit should be literally touching the edge of the metal rail adjecent to the piece you are drilling through. If you don't understand what that means reading this you will when you are ready to drill. Carefully drill through here, grab the Fiero rail that doesn't have a lever on it, and mount it using this new hole and the existing hole near the front of the Fiero rail. You may have to slide the rail slide backwards to expose the hole.
5. Now we need to mount the other side of the rail that is now partially mounted. This is why we kept those L-Shaped brackets. Rotate the bracket so it is facing directly inward towards the other side of the seat. Slide the rail all the way forward so you can see the mounting portion of the seat rail. It should lay nicely on top of the bracket. Once you have it laid on the bracket and are ready to drill, make sure it is straight. Using the same drill bit as before, or another if you prefer, drill through the Fiero rail and then through the bracket with a single hole. Attach a nut and bolt, and voila, you have mounted one of the Fiero rails to the Corvette seat.
6. Now we have to mount the rail that has the lever attached. To do this, just use the hole near the front of the seat that you removed the L-Bracket bolt from. Move the L-Bracket near the bottom of the seat in such a way that it holds it in place, but do not bolt the bottom end up the rail down. You will need to be able to move it around to mount the seats and once they are bolted down in the car the fact that there is no bolt on the bottom of this rail is a non-issue because the seat is completely solid.
7. Now you need to remount your electrics. There are 2 pieces you need. The first is the box the air lines were going into, and the second is the master control box (Should be obvious which one that is). The two boxes are pictured in this thread as well. They should both fit nicely on the bottom of the seat using the metal wires that hold the foam in place. Don't worry, you won't feel them as long as you mount them on the bottom side of the seats. The master control box has tabs to mount it to these coat hanger like wires. For the air line box, I just used Zip-Ties. Mount those two boxes, reconnect the wiring and air lines for them, and tuck away all the extra plugs other than your power plug, which should have 2 or 3 orange and 2 or 3 black wires going into a 4 or 6 prong plug. In regards to the air lines, you may have one of the two air line plugs with only one line in it. If that is the case, one of the air "Nipples" will be filled in, and this is where the empty part of that connector should go. You'll know what I mean when you see it.
8. You are ready to mount the seat! In the Fiero, one pair of the studs is an inch farther forward, so you will have to initially set up your rails like that. I THINK it was the driver side studs that was further forward on the driver side seat, but I am not sure. Anyway, find which rail needs to be an inch farther forward than the other, move it an inch forward (Should be one "Click" forward) and mount the seats. REMEMBER, leave your power plug hanging out the back of the seat or you'll have to dismount the seat again to find it.
The Fiero seat looks pitiful by comparison...
Notice how they sit as low as the Fiero seats do
9. After you enjoy your new driver's seat for a few minutes and possibly take a drive with it, you'll probably want to hook up the electrics. This can be done a multitude of ways, but here is how I did it. First, I tapped into a power wire for my amp that sits behind the passenger seat. For grounding, I used the seat belt bolts near the back of the seats near the center console. Make sure to use a wire brush on them first to get a good ground. Next, I just chopped off the power plugs on both seats, and twisted the orange and black wires together. You do not need the very large orange wire, as it is the power for the power slides which no longer are attached to the seats. After hooking everything up, your Corvette seats are fully functional.
10. Controls. A number of things can be done with the seat controls. I chose to remove them, extend the wiring, and run them up into the door panels so they are mounted in my doors. This is a matter of taste and not necessarily function, so do it however you want.
Here is the finished product.
86GT Modded 3.4l Pushrod V6 with Trueleo
1972 Honda CB350 Motorcycle
PM Me if you need:
Fiero Rotor Hubs for Brake Swaps
Or custom fabricated parts! My prices are very low.
[This message has been edited by MadDanceSkillz (edited 08-03-2010).]