How To - Remove Front Seat Headrests & Repair Loose Headrests

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Guides (For How-to guides, NOT how-to ' started by NoSlo, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. NoSlo

    NoSlo GoldMember

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Home Page:
    How To - Remove Front Seat Headrests & Repair Loose Headrests

    (sorry, all my photos were deleted off my web hosting, and I can't seem to find a backup. If anybody saved these, PM me.)

    The headrests in the Taurus are held in using a plastic retainer, and a spring clip. The spring clip passes through a cutout slot in the plastic retainer, and catches on the indented notches on the headrest rod. The notches are bi-directional at several different places on the rod, so the headrest will lock into place in several positions. The last notch, however, is shaped so the spring clip will catch on it and prevent the complete removal of the headrest.

    [​IMG]
    figure 1 - Headrest retainer, spring clip, and screw-on trim cover


    The plastic retainer snaps into a hole in the seat frame. The bottom of the retainer shaft has little tabs that snap in place to prevent the removal of the retainer from the hole. Unfortunately, these tabs can break off which will make the headrest loose.
    In addition, it is very difficult to remove the retainer intact without complete removal of the seat upholstery. One must depress the tabs, squeezing the end of the retainer, and then push it back up in the seat rail which can only be done from inside the seat.

    [​IMG]
    figure 2 - cutaway - headrest retainer in seat - assembled


    [​IMG]
    figure 3 - Clip catches on last notch on headrest shaft


    Remove Headrest

    To remove the headrest without removing the seat fabric, one must perform these steps on each of the two headrest rods and retainers:

    - Climb into the back seat
    - Raise the headrest to the top position
    - Unscrew the two trim covers and slide them up the rods
    - With a flathead screwdriver, poke into the hole and slide the spring clip enough to disengage it from the notch on the headrest rod and pull the first side of the headrest out a little bit
    - Repeat for the second side
    - When both spring clips are disengaged, pull the headrest out

    [​IMG]
    figure 4 - Using screwdriver to disengage spring clip


    [​IMG]
    figure 5 - detail of spring clip, before sliding


    [​IMG]
    figure 6 - detail of spring clip, after sliding

    Do not slide the clip completely off, or it may be lost inside the seat. About 1/2 inch (1 cm) should be plenty.

    To replace the headrest, slide the clips back into the original position, and push the headrest back into the seat.

    Removing the retainers, without removing upholstery

    The only way to remove the retainers without removing the upholstery is to destroy them. You will break the bottom plastic tabs off which will fall down inside the seat somewhere. This is okay, because the only reason to replace these is if the headrest is loose because a few tabs have broken off anyway.

    Procedure:
    Without unscrewing the trim covers or loosening the spring clips, repeatedly lower the headrest and slam it into the highest position, like a slide hammer. Doing this multiple times will eventually break off the tabs and you will be able to remove the headrest with the retainers still attached to the rods. You will need to work the retainers through the holes in the upholstery, as they are a bit larger than the holes in the upholstery.
    To install new retainers, you may need to stretch the holes in the upholstery and foam with screwdrivers, and work the new retainers down into the holes. Once they are fully seated they will snap into place, and not be able to be removed.

    That's it! Hope that information serves you well!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  2. shomesomesho

    shomesomesho G-force addict

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    43
    Occupation:
    fixing stuff
    Location:
    more rubber, more HP.....
    Home Page:
    Awesome write up, thank you very much.
     
  3. Baddflash

    Baddflash SHO Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Nice write-up and illustrations, very informative and clear. Now I know how to do it on the SHO.

    Thanks
     
  4. Minnesho

    Minnesho i was wrong

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,631
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Automotive Technician
    Location:
    MinneSHOta
    The retainers are still availible from ford I presume?
     
  5. ShoGuy93

    ShoGuy93 Yes I Have Blue Rims

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    8
    Occupation:
    Night Team Leader at Sams Club
    Location:
    New Palestine, Indiana
    Home Page:
    Awesome right up! I was looking how to remove them and I found this! Thank you sir :hail:
     
  6. zak

    zak SHO Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    235
    Location:
    east of Hartford
    Home Page:
    Jay - thanks for the outstanding how-to, the pictures are especially helpful. In my case I >think< only ne of the two retainers is broken, as my headrest only flops down on one side.

    Can I take apart the "good" side using the first technique, then slide hammer out the bad side per above?

    The Liberty SHO Club site had a similar writeup, but indicated that part of the retainer would fall down into the seatback - partial unzipping of the seat cover would allow removal of the pieces. It is critical not to unzip them all the way otherwise its very difficult to zip them back together.

    My problem is I can't find the zippers on my 95's front seats . . . . . zak
     
  7. NoSlo

    NoSlo GoldMember

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Home Page:
    If you want to remove the clip from one side so the rod slides out on that side without damage, and then just break and replace the retainer on the other side using the 'slide hammer' method, that should be fine. You may still find that both plastic retainers are wobbly because of a broken tab at the bottom.

    There is a zipper on the bottom of the seat back - you would need remove the seat, and then unbolt the seat back from the seat bottom to get access to the zipper, which is NOT FUN. Removal of upholstery from the seat back on the SHO is also a major pain because of the bolsters and lumbar, and the hoses going to them through the seat. If you can work a hand up through the zipper, you might find some plastic pieces inside the frame, but why bother... Reviewing the notes at http://www.klimesgroup.com/lshoc/lshoc/headrest.htm, the reason he had to unzip the seat was that he hammered the whole retainer down inside the seat with a pipe. There should be no reason why you can't remove the retainer through the top.

    As a side note to the above procedure, I have also had the 'slide hammer' method just break off the top of the plastic retainer above the spring clip and leave the rest in the seat. If this happens, you can take a large flathead screwdriver, insert it inside the retainer, wedge it between the tabs at the bottom and pry and twist to break them off. After one or two tabs are gone (which is the reason you replace them anyway) the retainer usually comes out pretty easily.
     
  8. Niki Knuckles

    Niki Knuckles SHO Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Home Page:
    Excellent!!!:thumb:
     
  9. 92yamaha

    92yamaha SHO Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ky
    Great Help! thanks
     
  10. RAYJAY

    RAYJAY WHO ME ?

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    NEWS PAPER PRESSMAN
    Location:
    UNION DALE PA
    just did mine on my 93 great write up, and yes ford still stocks the parts .

    the price for each insert is list price 13.58 jobber 10.05, so it cost me 40.20 to do all 4 inserts

    Jeff
     
  11. dwagner302

    dwagner302 SHO Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    photos

    I cannot open photos. Is there another method you can use?

    Sounds like you got it wired.

    thanks.




     
  12. platoribs

    platoribs Live to Drive

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    Plat0ribs House of SHO,il
    Nevermind...
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009

Share This Page

If you wish to help keep SHOforum running, please click the donation button below