How To Mount W-body bucket seats in a G-body

81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 16, 2009
3,274
113
Western MN
I searched for a how-to on this topic and have seen a lot of people do it, but nobody has shown measurements or details, so here is how I did mine.

We have reached a point where G body buckets (newest are +30 years old) are very hard to find in the salvage yards in good shape. Even if you are lucky to find a set, they probably need to get recovered or you have to find seat tracks, which are also tough to find.

My 2+2 had factory buckets but were mouse infested and were pretty flat in the cushions. 2+2 upholstery and seat buns are not re-popped so if I was going to go back to factory style, I was going to have to get something made at an upholstery shop which was more $$$ than I was willing to pay for less than stellar seats.

3rd or 4th gen F bodies have buckets that are popular, along with early J or N bodies, and a few people have gone with 04-06 GTO, cavalier, or other seats.

I stumbled on a clean 96ish W body cutlass at the salvage yard with leather (power drivers) buckets. This should apply to any 1988-1997 'first gen' W bodies, not sure if stuff changed on the later 'second gen' W bodies or not. Also, I know early lumina/monte's are not 'w bodies' so I don't know how much swaps but any Regal, Cutlass, or GP from this era should be the same.


1590514930391.png


To pull them you need some goofy external torx socket, but I used an 8mm 6 pt and they came out well. There is some phillips head screws for track covers and 4 bolts on each seats. You need to move the seats to get at all the bolts so I brought an old drill battery and jumped them by cutting into the black and orange wire in the harness under the rocker trim.

1590515350265.png



Rear bottom cushion pulls up and out and the top cushion comes out with 3 or 4 M10 head bolts on the bottom and 4 clips (real similar to a G body) on the top.
1590515453000.png


Stock drivers G body bucket left, W body right.
1590515510099.png


The seats are pretty similar in mounting but the big differences are the W body tracks are slightly narrower, and are on one plane where the G body ones sit about 1.75" higher in the back.
1590515557008.png


G body width, 14 3/8"
1590515636627.png


W body width, 14 3/4"
1590515662059.png


Just drilled the front hole a bit wider
1590515677951.png


And on the drivers side, the inner (and outer) tracks almost line up but there is the height change.
1590515692088.png



Left track on drivers side
1590515737794.png


I had some 1.5x3" aluminum material on hand so I built some standoffs
1590515772177.png


Standoff is about 2" long
1590515780400.png


Trim sits well with the floor
1590515796633.png



The passenger side manual track was a bit different. Since the W body used bolts and the G body used studs, I couldn't reuse the factory holes. The W body bolts through the track & locking mechanism and since the holes need to be slightly narrower, the bolt head would interfere with the track so I had to place it forward to clear. I just drilled a pair of new holes farther forward on the tracks and reused the factory W body mount bolts and installed a nut & cut off the remaining bolt length.
1590515825920.png


Passenger side, brackets are the same concept as the drivers side, just 2.5" in length since the seat sits 1/2" rearward since I had to move the tracks.
1590516040570.png

1590516087787.png


1590516107810.png

1590516124184.png


Overall, I am happy. They fit well in the car and if you can drill some holes and have a grinder, they are bolt in with some simple brackets. A lot more reclining than the stock G buckets, more support, and you don't have to deal with fragile as glass G body power seat tracks. Also more front to back adjustment so if you are tall (I am 6-2) there is still like 2+" of slide farther back. The bottom cushion is wider but it doesn't put tons of pressure on the console and still has room to the door panel (about 2").

Rear seat in part 2 once I work through it.
 

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81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Feb 16, 2009
3,274
113
Western MN
And this is the inspiration to why I started this.
1590516743663.png

1590516752870.png
 

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
11,258
113
Gainesville, Fl
Nice seats. Jake.
Good score. They look very comfortable. Thanks for sharing the information. (y)
 

1evilregal

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 23, 2009
2,988
113
Greensboro, NC
I've got cloth units for the Regal, but have not installed them. the rear seat, I took the cover off and grafted the armrest into the original frame, and used a conglomeration of foam buns to reassemble them. will check to see if I still have the pics on my old computer.

looks good in the 2+2!
 
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5spdCab

G-Body Guru
Dec 29, 2019
931
93
Tukwila, Wa.
I searched for a how-to on this topic and have seen a lot of people do it, but nobody has shown measurements or details, so here is how I did mine.

We have reached a point where G body buckets (newest are +30 years old) are very hard to find in the salvage yards in good shape. Even if you are lucky to find a set, they probably need to get recovered or you have to find seat tracks, which are also tough to find.

My 2+2 had factory buckets but were mouse infested and were pretty flat in the cushions. 2+2 upholstery and seat buns are not re-popped so if I was going to go back to factory style, I was going to have to get something made at an upholstery shop which was more $$$ than I was willing to pay for less than stellar seats.

3rd or 4th gen F bodies have buckets that are popular, along with early J or N bodies, and a few people have gone with 04-06 GTO, cavalier, or other seats.

I stumbled on a clean 96ish W body cutlass at the salvage yard with leather (power drivers) buckets. This should apply to any 1988-1997 'first gen' W bodies, not sure if stuff changed on the later 'second gen' W bodies or not. Also, I know early lumina/monte's are not 'w bodies' so I don't know how much swaps but any Regal, Cutlass, or GP from this era should be the same.


View attachment 147280

To pull them you need some goofy external torx socket, but I used an 8mm 6 pt and they came out well. There is some phillips head screws for track covers and 4 bolts on each seats. You need to move the seats to get at all the bolts so I brought an old drill battery and jumped them by cutting into the black and orange wire in the harness under the rocker trim.

View attachment 147281


Rear bottom cushion pulls up and out and the top cushion comes out with 3 or 4 M10 head bolts on the bottom and 4 clips (real similar to a G body) on the top.
View attachment 147282

Stock drivers G body bucket left, W body right.
View attachment 147283

The seats are pretty similar in mounting but the big differences are the W body tracks are slightly narrower, and are on one plane where the G body ones sit about 1.75" higher in the back.
View attachment 147285

G body width, 14 3/8"
View attachment 147286

W body width, 14 3/4"
View attachment 147287

Just drilled the front hole a bit wider
View attachment 147288

And on the drivers side, the inner (and outer) tracks almost line up but there is the height change.
View attachment 147289


Left track on drivers side
View attachment 147290

I had some 1.5x3" aluminum material on hand so I built some standoffs
View attachment 147291

Standoff is about 2" long
View attachment 147292

Trim sits well with the floor
View attachment 147293


The passenger side manual track was a bit different. Since the W body used bolts and the G body used studs, I couldn't reuse the factory holes. The W body bolts through the track & locking mechanism and since the holes need to be slightly narrower, the bolt head would interfere with the track so I had to place it forward to clear. I just drilled a pair of new holes farther forward on the tracks and reused the factory W body mount bolts and installed a nut & cut off the remaining bolt length.
View attachment 147294

Passenger side, brackets are the same concept as the drivers side, just 2.5" in length since the seat sits 1/2" rearward since I had to move the tracks.
View attachment 147295
View attachment 147296

View attachment 147297
View attachment 147298

Overall, I am happy. They fit well in the car and if you can drill some holes and have a grinder, they are bolt in with some simple brackets. A lot more reclining than the stock G buckets, more support, and you don't have to deal with fragile as glass G body power seat tracks. Also more front to back adjustment so if you are tall (I am 6-2) there is still like 2+" of slide farther back. The bottom cushion is wider but it doesn't put tons of pressure on the console and still has room to the door panel (about 2").

Rear seat in part 2 once I work through it.
I am ecstatic that you posted this. The timing could not have been more perfect. I just picked up an identical pair for my Caballero this last Saturday, from a '97 Cutlass, and have yet to have taken any measurements. I like the simplicity of the stand-offs that you made.
I included a pic of the seats I got in the "what did you do to your gbody today" thread on Saturday 5-23. I will add it here also.

20200523_171030.jpg


I did not get the rear seat because I will install these in the Caballero.
 

81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Feb 16, 2009
3,274
113
Western MN
Stage two this weekend. Rear seat.

The W body rear seat mounts almost identically to the G body in concept, but the mount locations are different.

The factory top cushion on the G body seat has 3 hooks that snap into the package tray area, one in the middle and 1 each about 22" from center. The bottom of the seat is held with 2 torx bolts that are shared with the seatbelts.

The W body rear top cushion has 4 hooks on top and 3 bolts on the bottom.

To adapt the top W body cushion into the G body I bought a 48" piece of round rod and bend it into shape to create an L bracket. One hole is shared with one of the fold down latches and the other side is held with a 1/4" cable clamp.

The middle bar used the two center most hooks on the W body seat. I didnt take a photo of that bar because it's literally just a 22" round bar with a slight bend in the middle held to each hook with another cable clamp.
1591025527403.png


Those top brackets slide into the 2 side hooks and the middle bar into the middle hook.
1591025533199.png


Bottom is held in with a carriage bolt and some aluminum brackets I bent up to tie the W body bottom mount to the G body seatbelt retractor
1591025677303.png

1591025686109.png



For the bottom cushion i again used some thin aluminum and bolted it to the bottom tab from the frame and added a 1/2" diameter 1" wide slot
1591025734218.png


That tab inserts into the factory G body lower hook that's welded to the floor pan.
1591025753512.png


All the seatbelts fished through the pockets that are sewn in and it fits well. The only issue is the crack between the top and bottom cushion is tighter than the G body so the seatbelt retractors on each side bind a bit. Im sure there would be a way to make that work like factory, but nobody sits in the back seat on my car so its more for show.

1591025829508.png


There is a bit of a gap between the seat and the quarter trim since the seat itself is about 3" narrower total, but you don't notice unless you really look IMO.
1591025876686.png


Other pros, it folds down. If you are so inclined to remove the insulation b/w the trunk and cabin you have full wagon length to haul lumber or skis.
1591025925352.png


And an armrest
1591025979467.png


Overall the seats fit better than I thought and aren't saggy and don't move around badly. The fitment on the rear seat isn't as good as the fronts being narrower and there is about a 2" gap between the bottom of the lower cushion and the floor pan since the front of the seat is thinner than the G seat and there isn't a molded in driveshaft tunnel hump. A simple filler panel would go a long ways to solving that and there is enough carpet leftover that you could just put a 1X2 between the carpet and floor pan and solve most of the gap.

It took me about 5 hours total to make all the brackets and figure everything out. I could do it in about 2 hours if I had to do it again (not counting time to clean the seats).
 

5spdCab

G-Body Guru
Dec 29, 2019
931
93
Tukwila, Wa.
I don't work as fast as 81cutlass, but I got my passenger seat in today. I removed the old seat yesterday evening and created my rear standoffs. I could not get the same type of box tube that 81cutlass used. The box tube that I could get is shown in the photo below.
20200607_143554.jpg


My seat tracks are different from the ones that 81cuttlass shows in his pic, so I had to design mine a little bit different.
20200607_120445.jpg
20200607_120418.jpg


I spent about 2 hrs yesterday, then today I probably spent about 2-1/2 hrs. In and out, in and out, don't know how many times, bolting down, measuring, take out again, fabricate, bolt in, take out,... I think you get the picture.
Speaking of pictures, here is the final result.
20200607_145937.jpg


Getting the tools put away, then I will take my best girl for a ride. I hope to do the driver side next weekend.
 
Last edited:

81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Feb 16, 2009
3,274
113
Western MN
I don't work as fast as 81cutlass, but I got my passenger seat in today. I removed the old seat yesterday evening and created my rear standoffs. I could not get the same type of box tube that 81cutlass used. The box tube that I could get is shown in the photo below.
View attachment 148482

My seat tracks are different from the ones that 81cuttlass shows in his pic, so I had to design mine a little bit different.
View attachment 148483 View attachment 148484

I spent about 2 hrs yesterday, then today
I probably spent about 2-1/2 hrs, in and out, in and out, don't know how many times, bolting down, measuring, take out again, fabricate, bolt in, take out,... I think you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, here is the final result.
View attachment 148485

Getting the tools put away, then I will take my best girl for a ride. I hope to do the driver side next weekend.


The way you did the passenger seat front mounts is the same as mine. I didn't show a picture of the mods I did to the front from the top. The difference comes in the power drivers vs. manual passenger tracks.


The 1.5x3 rectangle tubing is from some donations that a local aerospace company gave to my university machine shop when I was going to college. We had hundreds of linear feet of it and when we remodeled the room a lot of it hit the recycler because we had so much. I grabbed a 3ft piece. I don't know how available it is, probably a custom order thing. Your way used a bit more hardware but worked just as good!


In other news I realized I never took a full interior photo. Overall I am happy with these, I cruised the car for about 4 hours this weekend and the seats were comfortable and my wife didn't complain either. Didn't feel beat up or sore which is what you expect for a factory seat.

1591586740078.png
 

5spdCab

G-Body Guru
Dec 29, 2019
931
93
Tukwila, Wa.
Last Friday evening, I pulled the driver seat out and made/installed the rear standoffs.
20200612_210547.jpg
20200612_210633.jpg


Saturday morning I had to set up my HF tent because of the rain.
20200613_065153.jpg


After removing the sill plate and kickpanel, I ran some 10 gauge wire to the cutout under the seat, and fished the other end through the plastic channel in the doorjam up to the kickpanel.
20200613_072242.jpg


Next, I cut it to length, and marked it for future identification.
20200613_093323.jpg


Using crimp on connectors, and shrink tubing, I fastened it to a junction block that I added behind the kickpanel.
20200613_094724.jpg


I then ran a length from the engine bay side through the firewall to the junction block, and on the engine bay side, I tucked the wire into the wiring loom to the core support, and across to another junction block that I had earlier installed for the hookup of an ammeter.
20200613_171343.jpg
20200613_171418.jpg


After the electrical was completed, I bolted the seat in. Because the new tracks were 1/2" wider, I first drilled new holes to center the seat, but there was not enough room to operate the seat controls, so I ended up using the original holes in the track on the left, and drilled another new hole in the track on the right. It is still a bit tight spacing for the controls, but that extra 1/4" helped. I did not get pics of the holes that I drilled, but here is the end result.
20200613_154246.jpg
20200613_154429.jpg


81cutlass had mentioned that he had to cut part of a stud from the original gbody mount. Due to my seat being 1/2" offset to the right, my front mount stud stopped the forward motion of the seat. I only needed a small amount trimmed off the top to clear the slider.
I do sit higher than with the stock seats, which might end up being a problem, but I will go with it for the time being.
 
Last edited:

Jim Rockford

Greasemonkey
Nov 10, 2007
231
63
Shelby,N.C.
All luminas are w bodys, 1st gen and then later they went with the last style that is considered gen 1.5 and not a second gen like the monte carlos went on to be.
 
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