79 El Camino Bench Seat Headrests Won't Go Back In

Drizan

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 27, 2023
12
6
3
Howdy,
I had my bench seat out of the car recently and I pulled the seat covers off that a previous owner had put on them. Doing this required taking the headrests off of my bench seat. They came right out. No fuss or anything which seems weird in hindsight. When I went to put the headrests back in they won't go in. They stop on this metal spring(?) a couple inches down. I realize that it is meant to catch at the 2 different holes to adjust the height but I can't get the headrests down at all. I took a flathead screwdriver to see if I could get any play in the metal spring(?) and it has almost none. It is connected to the seat on the front side of the seat and I believe it should flex down or up on the back side where it is not connected but I must be totally wrong since I can't get it to do anything. Am I just doing something wrong? Is something maybe broken from the previous owner when he put those seat covers on?
 

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86LK

Royal Smart Person
Jul 23, 2018
1,970
2,036
113
there is actually a piece of plastic in there that may be jamming you up. I cut some headrests out of an 82 because a buyer wanted the plastic piece that is no longer made or available. I literally cut the back of the seat out and mailed the whole piece to him to remove. that plastic piece was inside the section I mailed him.
 

Drizan

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 27, 2023
12
6
3
there is actually a piece of plastic in there that may be jamming you up. I cut some headrests out of an 82 because a buyer wanted the plastic piece that is no longer made or available. I literally cut the back of the seat out and mailed the whole piece to him to remove. that plastic piece was inside the section I mailed him.
What's the plastic piece look like and where is it found in the seat? You have a picture of it or a link?
 

ELCAM

Royal Smart Person
Jun 19, 2021
1,121
1,267
113
Make a shim from sheet metal 1 1/16 inches wide and about 6 inches long . Cut the corners off where it will go into the seat.
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Push the shim in and then install the headrest part way and remove the shim. Push the headrest the rest of the way in and it should be good. Might have to try it twice I forget if the shim goes in the front or back of the slot.
 
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SoFloG

Royal Smart Person
Mar 9, 2016
1,107
1,258
113
South Florida
Make a shim from sheet metal 1 1/16 inches wide and about 6 inches long . Cut the corners off where it will go into the seat.
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_____________________________________/

Push the shim in and then install the headrest part way and remove the shim. Push the headrest the rest of the way in and it should be good. Might have to try it twice I forget if the shim goes in the front or back of the slot
Old shop trick there, we had a modified slim jim for that
 
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86LK

Royal Smart Person
Jul 23, 2018
1,970
2,036
113
What's the plastic piece look like and where is it found in the seat? You have a picture of it or a link?
thought I had some pics but can't find them. the back of the seat is 2 pieces of sheetmetal welded together. the plastic piece is an insert in that headrest slot that is tough to get out . as others pointed out, it would take a shim short of cutting it out.
 

ELCAM

Royal Smart Person
Jun 19, 2021
1,121
1,267
113
Drizan you are correct the headrests should not come completely out with no tools like yours did.

The shim is supposed to be used to remove the head rests. The plastic piece is a lock to keep the headrests from falling out in case of roll over.

Unfortunately most headrests have been brute forced out and the plastic piece is broken and will require the shim to reinsert them.
 
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pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
9,159
15,335
113
Elderton, Pa
For the tool, the Fisher manual shows a shop made one out of .0156 thick flexible strap steel. It should be at least 6" long with a rolled end to hold/pull, 1-1/16" wide, the working end having a 5/8" wide tip, the tip will have angle cuts that starts 3/8" from the tip/end. The removal will have the head rest pulled all the way up them lowed about 10mm (3/8"), the tool inserted down the front post about 101mm (4-1/2") to unlock & remove.
 
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