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Hot Rods 1960-66 Suburban seat replacements

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Jun 3, 2022.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,039


    The factory second row seat is narrower than the third row so a passenger could get past it, with the tube frame they look just like what comes in a school bus. I'd bet you could modify a school bus seat real easy to be the second row seat and it'd look just like factory, with a gap on the passenger side, which would be good for hauling long stuff.

    Late model high back seats look like dogshit and I'm ashamed of anyone here who would suggest that. You need something with a square back that the back folds down basically flat on the passenger side. I had a '66 Suburban and the driver's seat was fixed position but the passenger side fold-down seat actually pivoted forward a bit as you folded it down to make more space to get in past the door. If @saltflats says he's got one, I think you should get it, they work great. Maybe another bus seat on the driver's side if it's narrow enough to get the little tiny passenger fold down seat next to it, would look just like stock. Modify the angles and position and stuffing in the little bench so you're comfortable in it, that's what I'd do.
    Cosmo49 and Roothawg like this.
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    I’ll probably go with something more modern, rather than try and collect a full set of originals. I am with @saltflats on this. It looks a lot like bus seats and I spent a lot of my youth sitting on those uncomfortable torture devices, so I am not super excited about an original set. I do appreciate the offer though.

    It will have to be a low back version. I can’t stand the high backed seats. I’m only gonna run two rows because I need the space for hauling crap.

    I am going to check it out next weekend. It’s not a definite yet that I am gonna even buy it. I just like to know what I am getting into.
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  3. 31 Coupe
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 321

    31 Coupe

    Thanks for your reply Dan, very much appreciated.
    Dan Hay likes this.
  4. To put into the back of your mind.....look at the 50s/60s Willy Wagons. They're odd looking, cheaper, usually are still complete (seats intact) and pretty roomy for a re power. The 2wd versions are a little harder to find........did I mention before I like odd makes :).
    Roothawg likes this.
  5. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,319


    Just go to a salvage yard and grab some 80`s suburban seats. The floorpan should be close. The covers are easily removable so you can shorten the frames width ways. The rears flip down for more storage room as well. Bucket seats for the front if that suits you. Just grab a set of buckets out of a similar blazer.
    Tman and Roothawg like this.
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    What years were the glue on seat covers?
  7. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,196

    Joe H

    If you are in yard looking around, look at '99-06 VW Beetle seats for ideas, the lay back to recline in, have full sliders, and flip forward lever where the whole seat flips up and forward. A lot of them came with heater leather, our '01 is still real nice to ride in on long trips.
    Roothawg likes this.
  8. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,775

    from colorado

    root, i have an OG front split bench you can have should you need it. need to be recovered. remember, if you go buckets, these are pretty cavernous, so i used mid 60's gm buckets to help fill the space.

    on the rear bumper, i welded new tabs on the frame instead of drilling holes to mount a front bumper on the rear, so i would not have extra holes.

    that one you're looking at looks to have roughish quarters, rust, dents, probably bondo too. not an easy fix since there are no direct fit aftermarket panels, and they are harder to get to the backside because of the way they are constructed. these subs are not on every street corner anymore, so you will have to compromise, but keep in mind how much work it may take to make it nice. given the driver quality finish of that one, i'd be suspicious of similar hidden driver quality repairs that you may be redoing.
    Roothawg likes this.
  9. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,459

    from Oregon

    Chevrolet installed rectangle plugs into those holes. And if you had clamshell doors thye put round plastic plugs in the barn door hinge holes. I've not seen the rectangle plugs for sale anywhere, so it would require shaping something from plastic or rubber if a guy did the switch to barn doors.
    Most I've owned had clamshell doors and you're right; they're a PITA to load and try to reach items inside. My current '69 has them, and it's too much invasive work to switch to barn doors. The doors bolt right up, but top and bottom latches require metal welded in from a donor Burb to make them work.
    Roothawg likes this.
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,460


    I think you don't quite get what I'm saying. Here are two suburbans with barn doors, one had them originally had has no holes in the lower valence, the other was converted, and has the holes.

    no holes.jpg holes.jpg
    Gasser 57 likes this.
  11. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,705

    phat rat

    I've had a number of Burbs from 63 to 95 and all had barn doors. I don't care for the clamshell type, they are a pain in the rear to load things, especially heavy items.
    1971BB427 and Roothawg like this.
  12. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,013


    Most regular cab pickups used a forward folding seat. Least through the 80’s.
    Roothawg likes this.
  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    Thanks for the insight. I’ll look it over pretty good once we get to physically see it.

    I’ll take a paint thickness gauge to look for shady repairs.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
    Tman likes this.
  14. We put some sort of Bronco seats in my friends '33; pass side has extra movement. If they work in there, they ought to work in a big old Suburban.

    Be sure to chop the highbacks down so they look like they belong.
    Roothawg likes this.
  15. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    Like I say, it’s not a done deal. It’s a possibility though. Right now, I have so many projects, I am not sure of the time table when I could actually get to it.
  16. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,459

    from Oregon

    I've seen them both ways also Jim. And if they have the recess with slots Chevy had plugs that went into the slots. Nothing to fill the indent or recessed area.
  17. steeltappet
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 66

    from PA

    about a year ago I was looking at buying a '65 to build into a tow vehicle. I spent too much time thinking about the seats and other parts i needed and it sold before i looked at it.
    The seats i was planning to use were 2010-2015 honda pilot 2nd and 3rd row seats. The 2nd row flips and slides in a 60-40 split. They have a plain squarish shape with headrests that tuck in tight, seem to be readily available in leather and not too pricey. I figured the 2nd row would be the front seat and the 3rd row would be the back seat.
    Roothawg likes this.
  18. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    I am scheduled to look at this one Friday on my way to Indy.

    Good info, I will check them out.
  19. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,989


    99-2006 silverado work truck regular cab will have manual split bench that slides forward. It has integrated seat belts and headrests, whether that's a plus or minus is up to you.

    The rear seat from extended cab is pretty basic and could be modified to sit on that platform.

    Seat covers are readily available and the headrest could be removed. Integrated seat belt - I'd keep it, but it would depend on the new cover if you can get rid of it.
  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,129


    upload_2022-6-27_4-18-34.png old Friday Art


    One of our old neighbors had a slew of Suburbans for their family transportation. When their kids were small, the owner wanted bucket seats and a small console. But, the bucket seats were for access to the rear seating areas where the kids were seated. On their long vacation road trips, access to the next row of seats was necessary and the bench seat was not doing it.

    We talked on several occasions and he was ready to get some smaller bucket seats from a sporty car so they both had access to the rear seats. The smaller seats would have been set up so they both could fit in either seats with adjustments levers. But rear seat access was the key. At first, he wanted a center console, but without a console, the access would be unrestricted.


    These days, the idea of bucket seats is prominent in the latest designs, but those early bench seats were not the most comfortable of seats. It was like driving in an early truck… well it was a basic station wagon truck… But, the blob between the seats blocks access to the rear… The designers must have thought cup holders were more important than access to the valuable package(s) in the rear seats.

    So, my wife thought those old Suburbans needed some flash, besides being all black and intimidating.
    Lowered with custom detailing and old style "Claw" flames..

  21. :p:p:p
  22. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,298


  23. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    I passed. It needed some updates to make it hamb friendly and it was at the top of the price range.
  24. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,275

    from oregon

    That takes mine out of the mix!
  25. Bummer..........................keep looking though :D.
  26. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 2,372

    41 GMC K-18

    Hey @Roothawg
    You might want to consider looking for this year of Chevy Suburban, 3 door, I owned this one for a number of years, super comfortable, good running 327, and a lot of room. I liked the rear fold up and fold down doors over the barn door type, less complications with the locking mechanism, but that was just my preference.

    68 Chevy 3-door suburban (3).JPG chevy suburban 3 (2).JPG
    NoSurf likes this.
  27. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,990


    I looked into the 3 doors, but the wife prefers the 60-66. I like em all, that's why I have a barn full and nothing runs.
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  28. @Roothawg

    I'm on my 4th OT Suburban, so I get the daily desire.

    As for the second row seat, consider a 200-2006 third-row bench and mount it to the left (driver's side justified). That way, a passenger could crawl in the rear door and squeeze between the seatback and the passenger quarter. Make sure to get the floor latch/hinge points when you get the seat!

    "Bus and vasectomy"...classic!!!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2022
    Roothawg likes this.
  29. Willys wagon seats
    1D964A5F-7DA4-41B2-B6C8-FE426FD848AD.jpeg 9EA77E0A-CECA-43DB-946A-5B153E14BEC8.jpeg E077551D-081C-4A10-8C21-45DC5A69201F.jpeg
    41 GMC K-18 and guthriesmith like this.

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