Folding down the rear seats in '97 wagon cargo area? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Folding down the rear seats in '97 wagon cargo area?

Discussion in 'Interior Modifications' started by edglenn, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. edglenn

    edglenn New Member

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    When I fold down the rear seats in my '97 wagon, they don't go down flat because the rear bench seat is in the way. I tried to lift up the bench seat (like my old Subaru wagon), thinking it would hinge toward the front seat, and allow the rear seats to fold out completely flat.
    No workie.
    Did Ford make it so that the cargo area isn't completely flat, with the back seats tilted upwards? That would suck if I wanted to go camping and sleep in the back.
    It would suck worse if I tried to yank the rear bench seat up, and it wasn't supposed to.
    Does the rear bench seat lift up?
    Nothing in the Owner's manual.

    Thanks!
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The rear seat 'bench' is not too hard to remove, but its not designed to hinge up or anything. About 13" in from the end of the seat on each side there are latches. You have to look between the lower front edge of the seat and the place where the carpet meets it; pry the seat up a little. If you push in on the plastic tab on each side, that will unlatch the seat from the front. You can do it one side at a time. The seat may resist a little, due to the rubbery material that the bottom side has been sitting in for years. Once the front edge of the seat is free, you can tug the seat forward, and it comes loose. Whats left is not a surface meant to be bare though, as you will see. But itts possible that will allow the rear seat backs to fold down a little more.
    I also was disappointed to find that I would not be able to lie flat in my wagon (I have two of the 2nd gen. Escort wagons), unless I constructed some kind of a platform - which would itself take up too much room. The one time I had to sleep in my Escort was on a saturday night in the Prairie Du Chien area - cause the motels in the area were all filled with the folks visiting the casinos on the Mississippi. With the front seat reclined I got a poor nights sleep.
  3. edglenn

    edglenn New Member

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    Thanks for the info.
    I was afraid the seats won't fully extend flat.
    Typical Ford engineering.......almost, but not quite.....
    :)
    Oh well.
  4. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    Old thread, old info, but here it is. Pulling the bottom seat as denisond described above works to get the seats to fold flat, but you cannot easily just lay in the back like a bed. The hardboard that covers the spare tire is very weak and not intended to support more than a few pounds at a time. To put any significant weight on the floor of the wagon, you have to fix that shortcoming. I went to the big box hardware store and had a piece of scrap plywood cut to the rough dimensions of the floor. Now with the seats folded down and the bottom pie ce removed I can sleep in the wagon. I'm 5'10" and it's almost right for me with the front seats folded full forward.

    Tapatalk
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  5. Specialk

    Specialk FEOA Member

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    Volkwagen made camping hinges, has anyone done that for Ford?
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I havent seen any such accessories for our Escorts. I used to haunt the junkyards, looking for that kind of stuff. The junkyards I used to go into back then dont have Escorts show up much these days.
  7. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    Camping hinges? Do tell...

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  8. Specialk

    Specialk FEOA Member

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    Will get photos may be a few days,;)

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