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Swivel Bucket Replacements?

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Post by sportster_restorer on Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:42 pm

Has anyone replaced the swivel buckets on 73-77 Chevelles with any more commonly available seats?

The reason I'm asking is the swivels on my 74 are basically falling apart. The seat structure is ok, but all the foam and upholstery are shot. I just watched a vid on YouTube where PUI replaced the upholstery on swivels and said the swivels were basically the most difficult seat to reupholster of any they've done. Difficult usually means expensive.

By more commonly available, I was thinking third or 4th gen Camaro seats or even S-10 seats. Or has anyone grafted in any other available seats? From photos I've seen, you can take the swivel mechanism off the seat sliders, and you have basic bucket seat sliders.

I was in a junk yard this week and was looking at truck seats. There are tons of them at decent prices and likewise on CraigsList. But I think the truck seats are too thick.

I've looked at some generic sport seats and while they lose the originality of swivels, they do seem to be good prices.

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Post by chevellelaguna on Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:12 pm

You could make just about anything fit...would it look proportionally correct though. The seat back may be too high, that looks dumb. And the seat may be too thick, as you've already experienced. Other than a swivel seat, it'll be difficult to get into the back seat. Even if you move it all the way forward.
I installed buckets from a 80-87 cutlass in my 75. They basically bolted right in (I had a bench at the time) have to drill 2 holes per side in the back.
You'll have to deal with seats that are a different color/material than your interior.
For the price of swivel seat covers around $230, and $300-400 for the seat foam, I don't think that's too unreasonable for a new set of covers and foam. I'm sure a set of used seats are going to run a couple hundred bucks and you still have to modify them to fit.
Just some stuff to think about. Putting covers on our seats isn't as big a deal as upholstery shops are letting on.
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Post by Joe73 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:25 pm

Theres a guy on ebay that sells the front swivel covers and rear seat covers as a package for $398 plus $25 to ship. He does not have them in stock and makes them for you when you buy them. Nice that inventory is not sitting for years. He also stocks all colors and the different vinyl patterns.

So, other than buying new foam, I'd have an installer do the front seats. I'd tackle the rears. I think its reasonable for new fronts and back.
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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:55 pm

You should keep the swivels. Especially if the bases and frames are in good shape. Check Ebay/CL for replacements and you'll see what I mean.

They are VERY unique and one of the features that people talk about and remember with G3 cars. Folks pay big bucks to convert to swivels, and they will make your car worth more if you ever go to sell.
If you replace them with Craigslist/Ebay/junkyard seats from a different car, you'll probably still be looking at replacing foam and upholstery or dying it. If you buy the newer style seat like Procars, it will still be in the $1000 range for seats and brackets.
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Post by dynchel on Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:31 pm

I have '76 cutlass salon bucket seats.  They are era correct & the upholstery is a perfect match. BUT... They have been it there since 1986.  Are you wanting to modernize the way it like looks, or have it look like it came that way?  One final thing to remember is that you will have to have to have seats that  tilt forward for back seat access..which would require seats from a two door car.  Camaro, mustang, etc.
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Post by sportster_restorer on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:06 am

I wasn't going to get rid of the swivels, they'd just go into storage along with the swivel mechanisms. I was just looking to the forum to see if anyone's adapted any inexpensive seats.

I do have access to a free set of third gen Firebird buckets. Driver is ok, passenger is ok but the fabric is pretty much gone. But I'll be looking to them to see how difficult they are to adapt to the swivel bucket seat sliders. I was just wondering if anyone on the forum might have done this or similar before.

I agree about the swivels being unique to the 73-77 vintage and I'd never get rid of them. Although my 74 Laguna isn't totally original, its close enough that I don't want to make any mods that can't be easily reversed. But I've heard at least around here, that getting new foam, upholstery, and installation is around $800 or greater. It appears local upholstery shops know how difficult these are to upholster. Even the guy I usually use, who's unbelievably skilled and reasonably priced, rolled his eyes when I mentioned swivels.

Procar seats, which are very comfortable, are right around that price. I've sat in Procar's many times at SEMA and they seem the best value compared to Corbeau or Recaros. Johnny Hunkins used Procars in his Laguna buildup and seemed to praise them. I've come across a few used sets of Procars and they are usually sold in a few hours of being listed.

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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:14 am

If I was gonna replace the swivels, Procar is what I'd use. The upholstery pattern is close to the swivels as well.

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Post by Joe73 on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:41 am

Those Procar are real nice. And probably way more comfortable than the swivels for a big guy.
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Post by thatfnthing on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:05 am

You could PM ImpalaMonte on this forum -- he's done the ProCar switch, and they came out beautifully. He visits every so often, maybe he'll see this thread.
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Post by alowerlevel on Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:09 pm

I bought a set of non swivel bucket brackets of ebay for like 60 bucks, and then put a set of GM seats I had laying around on them and bolted them in place of the factory bench (even used the seatbelts from the bench seat).  Not the best looking seats, Im not even sure what they are out of (possibly 2nd gen s10 blazer) and they dont match the rest of the interior, but it really doesnt bother me because at least I can fit my big-A$$ in the car now, something I couldnt do with the bench in place, Laughing

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Post by g3chevy on Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:29 pm

For about $450 bucks you can buy an upholstery kits from 1A-Auto to redo your interior. Below is the link to the post I did back in June. Hope this helps.

https://www.g3gm.com/t8476-75-laguna-bucket-seat-upholstery-set-install?highlight=swivel+bucket
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Post by Wallyuph on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:34 pm

I personally do not like the swivels seats at all. I have a set here and I don't plan to use them. On my 73 I have 88 Old trofeeo seats in it. The have a power seat bases. Power lumbar and power side/lumbar. I also installed seat heaters in them for long drives in the fall. Most comfortable seats I have ever had. I have not done the head rest yet and they are low profile head rest so they wont look to out of place.

Swivel Bucket Replacements? <a href=Swivel Bucket Replacements? Img_7110" />

On the 74 Laguna I have these Blue Monty seats for now installed on 6 Way power seat bases. They fit good.
Swivel Bucket Replacements? <a href=Swivel Bucket Replacements? Img_3310" />

I plan to use these seats in the car out of a 74 Pontiac Le-mans. But like most Upholsterers are telling you I'm avoiding them like a plague as they suck to sew up and install.
Swivel Bucket Replacements? <a href=Swivel Bucket Replacements? Photo_16" />

Just about any 80's to even 90's Gm seat will fit. Just get it out of a two door weld a tab or two on for bolting up and your good to go. The trofeeo seats are a two door car and they have power recline also.
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Post by impalamonte on Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:03 pm

Swivel Bucket Replacements? Dsc03210

Everyone that has seen all of our old Monte's recall's the swivel buckets. They have had time in the era. But older I got the more uncomfortable they became not being to recline them. I myself have got to use to sitting in modern comfortable seating. I sold the swivels...for more than I ever expected to get .....then applied towards the purchase of the Procar's. I was out for much less than the price of seat covers.

Dimensionally , they are a fit. Just as if the factory put them there !!
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Post by CINNAMON111 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:44 pm

I HAVE INSTALLED SWIVEL BUCKET SEATS INTO MY 1977 EL CAMINO'S AND THEN RE-INSTALLED THE SAME SEATS.  THEY ARE NOT EASY TO INSTALL NOR ARE THEY COMFERTABEL FOR LONG DISTANCE TRIPS.  HOWEVER, AT ONE TIME THEY WERE REVATIVELY INEXPENSIVE ($100.00 FOR 2 COMPLETE SEATS).  OF COURSE, THEY ALWAYS NEEDED RE-COVERED AND SOME TIMES MINOR WELDING OF THE SEAT LOCKING TABS.
IN AN EL CAMINO THEIR IS LIMITED ROOM TO THE REAR AND THE SEATS NEED TO BE POSITIONED AS FAR BACK AS POSSIBLE.  GETING CLEARANCE AROUND THE CONSOLE IS ALSO DICEY BUT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED.  I PREFER THE 1977 BODY WITH BUILT-IN OVER SHOULDER STRAPS.  OTHE YEAR BODIES MAY HAVE MORE PROBLEMS WITH SHOULDER SEAT BELTS.
ONE SOLUTION I FOUND WAS TO USE THE GENERIC BUCKETS FROM JEGS OR SUMMIT RACING. I FOUND THEM TO BE COMFERTABLE, REASONABALY PRICED , AND EASY TO INSTALL.
SEEMS THAT THIS SIGHT WILL NOT LET ME POST PIX OF MY SEATING .

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