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Figure I'd share what I did today. Awhile back my friend bought a Neon SRT4 seat from a guy for his '99 Dakota R/T. He tried to install it but decided it was too much hassle and held on to it. I got tired of my worn down drivers seat in my '89 EGT so I tinkered with it a bit. After some measurements, I decided it would fit. So I went to work.

Disclaimer: I originally expected that I would have to swap the seat rails for proper fitment, so I went through and removed both rails. Turns out you do not need to, and if you do remove the rail on the SRT4 seat; it will not work properly as the back angle adjustments are tied into the seat rail.

Here's what I have been sitting on:



Notice how the padding is worn down, tears are occurring, and how it's dirty?

The replacement:



It's more of a bucket-style racing seat that still has padding and is quite comfortable. From what I understand this seat can be pulled from an '03-'05 Neon SRT4, but I've been told that some Neon R/T's had them '01-'04, but I can't guarantee that. 9/10 SRT4 drivers get rid of them for weight reductions, or because they've added official racing seats with openings for racing harnesses. I don't think I'll be needing harnesses anytime soon, that and I picked up this seat for $35.

Step 1:

(keep in mind I removed the seat rail)

First, remove the Escort seat and do what you will with it. There are 4 bolts holding it in, with plastic covers held in by phillips head, +, screws. Easy to remove. If I recall correctly, the bolts are 13mm sockets. Once you remove the bolts take out the seat.

I measured out the holes of the two seat rails and discovered that they pretty much all match up perfectly with a slight variation (about 1/16 of an inch). You'll have to remove the bolts from the bottom of the SRT4 rail (the ones hidden by the sliding part of the rail), as well as the 4 "connecting" bolts for the cross-piece that keeps both sides moving simultaneously.

Step 2:

There are 2 mounting brackets on the SRT4 rails that are used in the neon, I took a dremel to the welds used on them and then pryed them off with a screwdriver/hammer combo.

Here's the bracket:



After removal:



And finished product:



You don't have to have a dremel to take off the brackets, but grinding down the welds makes it quite a bit easier.

Step 3:

Installing the seat is the hardest part, but even then it's not too difficult.

I found that using the bolts for the escort seat wouldn't work because they are about 1/4" too short, so I traded out bolts from the escort seat to the SRT4 seat (I stole the ones from the cross-bar on the bottom) which are about the perfect length. I originally aligned both the front first and got them screwed in, then went for the back ones.

The front are a pain because the seat rails are about 1/16" shorter than the escorts, making them hard to match in the holes. After about 20 minutes of screwing with them I gave up and tightened down the front right bolt, then the two rears. I jimmy-rigged the front left so it won't wobble or come loose, I may fix it later but it seems to hold pretty tight right now.

Installed product: It was late at night, and this is the best I could get; I'll snap one and update tomorrow when it's light outside.



So far I love the new seat, A) Because it was only $35, B) because it's much firmer and holds me in place better.

Pros:

- My old seat was worn down and torn, so any new seat would have been an improvment.

- This holds me in better around turns because it's more of a bucket/racing seat in comparison to the factory escort seats. It could be a con, but the seat is firmer as well, it doesn't have as much spring/cushion as the old seats, but it still is comfortable.

- It just looks better, there's a mix of leather/cloth on the seat, which makes it look up to date.

Cons:

-The new seat sits about an inch lower than where the escorts did, it could be a plus if you're taller, but I'm somewhat short and it'll take some getting used to.

-The lap belt is no longer conveniently located on the side of the seat, there are slots for the belt on the new seat, however it doesn't retract very well.

-If you're heavy-set, this seat might not be the best choice. Since it's tighter and more bucket styled, I could see getting uncomfortable quick, might test it out first.

-There's not much adjusting the distance from the wheel; I found there's only 3 notches available because the seat sits closer to the wheel and there's not much room. I'm sure you could modify it to work better, however it doesn't bother me, but I'll look into it when I do the passenger seat. At the furthest distance, I'd say it's about 2 notches in from the old escort seat, when it's located at the farthest back.

-If you pull the seat from an SRT4, the car is a 4 door, so there is no reason for the seat to fold forward to let occupants into the back seat. If you've got a 2 door this might pose a problem if you use the back seat frequently. If you slide the new seat forward, and lean it; there's room to get through to the back, but it's not nearly as spacious as the old seat. I don't use the back seat much, so it doesn't bother me; but again, I'll look into it when I do the passenger seat.

I took about 2 hours to do this with all of the disassembly/reassembly. I could see this taking about 30 minutes with no screwing around; however I'd say to alot an hour to do it.

Sorry for the small cellphone pictures, if you'd like larger ones let me know, I figure these will at least give you the general run-down. I was getting bored with the escort's interior which is mainly the reason why I did this. I'm glad I did, and I'm glad I found a seat that I liked and fit. I hope that I don't end up being the only one who does this, or hopefully someone out-does me. If you'd like any more info, lemme know.
 
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