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Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
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Geoff

How to improve the lumbar in these seats

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I have been finding the lumbar support, or lack thereof, to be increasingly unbearable. I can't stand it anymore. I want to improve the comfort of the front bucket seats. I also don't really want to get one of those things you place on the seat... it takes away from the original pristine interior look. (I know...) 

My seats are in good shape, generally speaking. But I want to get in there and do something. I think, if I take the back off the seat, I will be able to see where the springs and foam meet... maybe I can add some padding?

Has anybody else done this? Anybody have any suggestions before I tear into the seat?

Oh, in case it matters, I have a '70 LeMans Sport Convertible.

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Say the magic word and win a hundred dollars!!!! :D  Just kidding! Welcome to FP Geoff.

I own a '72 LeMans Sport Convertible, so you I know what you have. You have the famous GM Strato Bucket seats. This can go one of two ways depending on your back and, of course, your wallet.

The first thing would be to remove your seats and complete re-foam both seats. My interior guy not only completely replaced the 40-year old foam but he added a little extra (not a lot since you don't want to ruin the seat cover or make it look peculiar). You can order foam kits from most of the major online restoration catalogs. However, most of them get them for the likes of Legendary Auto Interiors out of New York. So just order it directly from them and save a couple of buckets. While the seat covers and foam are off, you can inspect the springs to see if any are broken or need repair. Again Legendary and most of the catalogs can help you get new ones. So this method is the cheapest route and will get you the stock look back in your car.

http://www.legendaryautointeriors.com/

However, if your back is still screaming at you because these seats simply don't provide the lumbar support you are looking for, then you need to come up with a different solution. Let's face it, GM did not put a whole lot of ergonomic design into their seats like they do now. GM really didn't start making ergonomic seats until the early 80s. So if you truly need real lumbar support, then you need to find bucket seats that fit and support you, then you will have to have them custom upholstered and adapted to the car. This clearly is a lot more money, but if you spend a lot of time in your car, then you know it's well worth it. 

If you go down this path, I would go thru your local junkyards and look for adjustable bucket seats. Keep in mind that anything you find may still need to have springs and foam redone do it's age and condition, along with custom matching seat covers to match your interior. Here are some possible suggestions but it is by no means an exhaustive list. Certainly other OEM manufacturers can be looked at as well. Expect to have to adapt or customize the seat rails to fit the convertible

-1982-2002 Camaro
-1982-2002 Firebird
-1982-2005 Cavalier
-1995-2005 Sunfire 
-1982-1994 Sunbird 
-1985-1998 Grand am 
-1984-1988 Fiero 
-1987-1996 Beretta
-1994+ GMC Jimmy or Chevy Blazer

I would tend to avoid the full size pickups and SUVs due to their size (e.g. width). 

Lastly some guys will buy straight black ergonomic racing seats out of one of the catalogs. Personally, I don't like that look unless the interior is all black and the interior and seats are matched pattern wise (that's my taste anyway). What can I say? I like a coordinated interior. For guys who plan to race their cars, this is fine. For a convertible, not so much, in my opinion.

 

Edited by Frosty

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