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'98 Ranger --> '05 Escape Seat Swap?


avid

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Hey @avid did you get the seats in?
Alright, finally an update. Got the second seat in this morning and they are an amazing improvement over the original saggy seats.

61393


What I still need to do is find that plastic cover from a non-electric driver's seat as the ones I have were from the original power seat. It's not a huge issue but I had to jerry-rig an attachment point at the front. Otherwise, everything is good. Passenger seat plastic was fine.

I was real busy last year with a whole house remodel and then along with everything else these seats sat in my basement for more than a year. Add to that for the last 6 months my wife and I have been sharing my truck while looking for something for her. So she finally got a vehicle last Sunday so I got my truck back.

What I finally figured out is that the black track with the feet can be separated from the silver track with just a little work. There's one stop riveted in on the silver track side, and then the black tracks have two little tabs at the front. Grind down the tabs and grind off the top of that riveted stop and punch it through with a hammer, and you can remove the black track through the back of the silver track. Maybe I'm just dense but up until this point I was originally trying to figure out how to cut off the feet and get them on the new seat track.

So anyway, I had also gotten a donor track from a 98 ranger at the junkyard and was able to use that while experimenting in case it wasn't going to work and so I wouldn't ruin my current seats. I swapped the black tracks from the ranger into the silver tracks from the Escape and tested the fit in the truck. As I already knew, it wasn't going to fit as is, but I wanted to see what I was dealing with.

61394


With the interior feet bolted in, the two feet near the door were almost near enough to just drill another hole. I'd considered moving the whole set in toward the middle and drilling new holes in all four feet but I felt like the best fit was with those interior feet in their original positions. And also, a couple of the holes would have been very near the edge of the feet. So what I wanted to do was just add on to the outside feet. An added benefit to leaving the interior feet alone was that the interior is where the seatbelt attaches so I wouldn't be compromising it's attachment in any way.

I considered lots of options but I knew the "correct" way was to weld on an extension. Problem is I have never welded. But I have been interested in it for a while, so I decided to buy a little welder and try to do this myself. I don't have 220 in my garage, so I had to get a 110 model. I watched some videos and read a bunch, including some of the welding discussions on here, and ultimately got the Century FC90 FCAW. So welding is a whole other discussion, but I'll just say it is not easy. Anyway, after some practice in the 95-degree heat here and with all the protective gear I gave those feet a shot. And this was my solution:

61395


I cut the feet off my extra set of tracks and welded those onto the good tracks. Don't judge my welds too harshly. After that was done, it's just a matter of re-assembling the new seats with the ranger tracks. That's a little bit tricky because of the little bearing strips but not too bad. The other good thing is on the Escape seat tracks the stop isn't riveted in- it's a bolt you can remove and re-tighten.

There are a couple issues with this swap. First is that the Escape seats don't incline forward as much as the old ranger seats, so getting things in and out of the back will probably need to be done through the center. Not a huge issue for me as that's what I do 99% of the time anyway. And related to that, the seats also don't slide as far forward or back because the silver Escape tracks are shorter. But considering those things account for so little of my time compared to driving, I don't think I could be happier. The nice thing for anyone considering this swap is that the junkyards, at least around here, have a ton of those Ford Escapes, and most of them seem to have pretty decent interiors.

Now, if I can just figure out how to wire up those seat heaters.
 
Last edited:


CavVet2

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Interesting thread and the first I have been able to find about swapping escape seats into a Ranger.
I have a 98 Std cab XLT stepside and a couple weeks ago I was at a local pick and pull JY and they were having a 50% off sale on everything. I was walking all the rows with my tape measure looking for grey leather bucket-seats to replace my 60/40 seat and I found 2 2002 Escapes with gray leather buckets that were in excellent condition. I pulled all 4 seats (actually ran out of time and went back the next day for the 2nd pair) and got them for $24.50/pair. Both pairs are the same gray leather but the pair I intend to use don’t have airbag “tags “ but the other pair do, which puzzled me since they all came out of the same year vehicles. Both drivers seats are power and the passenger seats are manual. Although the feet mounting holes are about 6” wider on the escape seats the actual tracks are approximately only 7/8” different. I have some 1” wide steel pieces I am going to use to adapt the tracks and feet from my Ranger seats. I am going to have to re-examine the drivers power rails today to see if the power assemblies are like your newer Eacape seats because I don’t remember seeing that on mine. The inner female ends of the seat belts are bolted on the seat frame like the ranger seats so that should require any adapting the wiring for the power seats are intact and the controls are on the seat so I should be able to connect a hot wire and a ground and plug up the seat belts to complete the wiring requirements. I am planning on doing the swap in the next few days since I now have what I foresee needing to complete the adaptation. The escape seats aee red 1 1/2” narrower than the ranger setup so I have a bit of leeway as tkk on positioning. Like your seats these are a world apart in comfort from my ranger seats and the driver seat has a lumbar knob to adjust that. I also pulled one of the escape consoles since it matched the seat colors but after measuring it again and comparing the height and width of the existing flip up console concluded it won’t work since it would stand 4+ inches higher than the flip up console does.
I will also take pictures and post them for comparison to the newer escape seats.
I believe I have found A replacement console and since I only paid $4 for the escape console I should be able to recoup that if I can find someone wanting that console. Meanwhile I will attach the pics I took of the seats in the back of my ranger for the trip home. The passenger seat also has a storage tray underneath to store something in.
(Wonder if my post claims the record for longest first post on this forum?)
 

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rusty ol ranger

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Side impact bags were optional that would explain the difference in bag vs non bag.
 

superj

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my son just got rid of some spare mazdaspeed seats he had. i wonder if those would have fit our ranger since our 04 seats are hard as a board? too bad its to late to find out
 

avid

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I don't remember if I made it clear that I swapped out the power drivers seat base/tracks for a manual set, so both sides are manual (but with seat heaters - unconnected). However, the trim piece on the driver's side is still for the power seat so it has all the power controls still. I've actually forgotten all about wanting to change it. I need to add that to my junkyard list so I remember. I doubt heated seats were an option on the manual drivers seat.

The seats have been fine-- much better than my originals. I no longer need to use a lumbar cushion to make driving tolerable. The downside as mentioned is that seat travel is more limited due to shorter tracks, but I don't think about this anymore either.

Good luck.
 

CavVet2

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Side impact bags were optional that would explain the difference in bag vs non bag.
Thanks. The difference makes sense now. After I document and get the ones installed that don’t have air bags I will probably put the pair with air bags up for sale for someone that has a newer model with air bags in their seats to use.
 

CavVet2

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Alright, finally an update. Got the second seat in this morning and they are an amazing improvement over the original saggy seats.

View attachment 61393

What I still need to do is find that plastic cover from a non-electric driver's seat as the ones I have were from the original power seat. It's not a huge issue but I had to jerry-rig an attachment point at the front. Otherwise, everything is good. Passenger seat plastic was fine.

I was real busy last year with a whole house remodel and then along with everything else these seats sat in my basement for more than a year. Add to that for the last 6 months my wife and I have been sharing my truck while looking for something for her. So she finally got a vehicle last Sunday so I got my truck back.

What I finally figured out is that the black track with the feet can be separated from the silver track with just a little work. There's one stop riveted in on the silver track side, and then the black tracks have two little tabs at the front. Grind down the tabs and grind off the top of that riveted stop and punch it through with a hammer, and you can remove the black track through the back of the silver track. Maybe I'm just dense but up until this point I was originally trying to figure out how to cut off the feet and get them on the new seat track.

So anyway, I had also gotten a donor track from a 98 ranger at the junkyard and was able to use that while experimenting in case it wasn't going to work and so I wouldn't ruin my current seats. I swapped the black tracks from the ranger into the silver tracks from the Escape and tested the fit in the truck. As I already knew, it wasn't going to fit as is, but I wanted to see what I was dealing with.

View attachment 61394

With the interior feet bolted in, the two feet near the door were almost near enough to just drill another hole. I'd considered moving the whole set in toward the middle and drilling new holes in all four feet but I felt like the best fit was with those interior feet in their original positions. And also, a couple of the holes would have been very near the edge of the feet. So what I wanted to do was just add on to the outside feet. An added benefit to leaving the interior feet alone was that the interior is where the seatbelt attaches so I wouldn't be compromising it's attachment in any way.

I considered lots of options but I knew the "correct" way was to weld on an extension. Problem is I have never welded. But I have been interested in it for a while, so I decided to buy a little welder and try to do this myself. I don't have 220 in my garage, so I had to get a 110 model. I watched some videos and read a bunch, including some of the welding discussions on here, and ultimately got the Century FC90 FCAW. So welding is a whole other discussion, but I'll just say it is not easy. Anyway, after some practice in the 95-degree heat here and with all the protective gear I gave those feet a shot. And this was my solution:

View attachment 61395

I cut the feet off my extra set of tracks and welded those onto the good tracks. Don't judge my welds too harshly. After that was done, it's just a matter of re-assembling the new seats with the ranger tracks. That's a little bit tricky because of the little bearing strips but not too bad. The other good thing is on the Escape seat tracks the stop isn't riveted in- it's a bolt you can remove and re-tighten.

There are a couple issues with this swap. First is that the Escape seats don't incline forward as much as the old ranger seats, so getting things in and out of the back will probably need to be done through the center. Not a huge issue for me as that's what I do 99% of the time anyway. And related to that, the seats also don't slide as far forward or back because the silver Escape tracks are shorter. But considering those things account for so little of my time compared to driving, I don't think I could be happier. The nice thing for anyone considering this swap is that the junkyards, at least around here, have a ton of those Ford Escapes, and most of them seem to have pretty decent interiors.

Now, if I can just figure out how to wire up those seat heaters.
I got my 02 Escape seats installed last week. Guess I need to make a post about the swap so I can include some pics.
 

joe34513

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Alright, finally an update. Got the second seat in this morning and they are an amazing improvement over the original saggy seats.

View attachment 61393

What I still need to do is find that plastic cover from a non-electric driver's seat as the ones I have were from the original power seat. It's not a huge issue but I had to jerry-rig an attachment point at the front. Otherwise, everything is good. Passenger seat plastic was fine.

I was real busy last year with a whole house remodel and then along with everything else these seats sat in my basement for more than a year. Add to that for the last 6 months my wife and I have been sharing my truck while looking for something for her. So she finally got a vehicle last Sunday so I got my truck back.

What I finally figured out is that the black track with the feet can be separated from the silver track with just a little work. There's one stop riveted in on the silver track side, and then the black tracks have two little tabs at the front. Grind down the tabs and grind off the top of that riveted stop and punch it through with a hammer, and you can remove the black track through the back of the silver track. Maybe I'm just dense but up until this point I was originally trying to figure out how to cut off the feet and get them on the new seat track.

So anyway, I had also gotten a donor track from a 98 ranger at the junkyard and was able to use that while experimenting in case it wasn't going to work and so I wouldn't ruin my current seats. I swapped the black tracks from the ranger into the silver tracks from the Escape and tested the fit in the truck. As I already knew, it wasn't going to fit as is, but I wanted to see what I was dealing with.

View attachment 61394

With the interior feet bolted in, the two feet near the door were almost near enough to just drill another hole. I'd considered moving the whole set in toward the middle and drilling new holes in all four feet but I felt like the best fit was with those interior feet in their original positions. And also, a couple of the holes would have been very near the edge of the feet. So what I wanted to do was just add on to the outside feet. An added benefit to leaving the interior feet alone was that the interior is where the seatbelt attaches so I wouldn't be compromising it's attachment in any way.

I considered lots of options but I knew the "correct" way was to weld on an extension. Problem is I have never welded. But I have been interested in it for a while, so I decided to buy a little welder and try to do this myself. I don't have 220 in my garage, so I had to get a 110 model. I watched some videos and read a bunch, including some of the welding discussions on here, and ultimately got the Century FC90 FCAW. So welding is a whole other discussion, but I'll just say it is not easy. Anyway, after some practice in the 95-degree heat here and with all the protective gear I gave those feet a shot. And this was my solution:

View attachment 61395

I cut the feet off my extra set of tracks and welded those onto the good tracks. Don't judge my welds too harshly. After that was done, it's just a matter of re-assembling the new seats with the ranger tracks. That's a little bit tricky because of the little bearing strips but not too bad. The other good thing is on the Escape seat tracks the stop isn't riveted in- it's a bolt you can remove and re-tighten.

There are a couple issues with this swap. First is that the Escape seats don't incline forward as much as the old ranger seats, so getting things in and out of the back will probably need to be done through the center. Not a huge issue for me as that's what I do 99% of the time anyway. And related to that, the seats also don't slide as far forward or back because the silver Escape tracks are shorter. But considering those things account for so little of my time compared to driving, I don't think I could be happier. The nice thing for anyone considering this swap is that the junkyards, at least around here, have a ton of those Ford Escapes, and most of them seem to have pretty decent interiors.

Now, if I can just figure out how to wire up those seat heaters.



Wow lots of thought went into this. Any chance you have a few pictures of what the seats look like after modification. If I understood correctly you slide the ranger floor bracket in the escape seat tracks and welded the mounting hole on both doors side floor bracket?
 

avid

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Wow lots of thought went into this. Any chance you have a few pictures of what the seats look like after modification. If I understood correctly you slide the ranger floor bracket in the escape seat tracks and welded the mounting hole on both doors side floor bracket?
All the photos you need are in post #16. The only modifications done were to the two feet on both outside (door side) tracks (see photo). Besides that, what you do is separate the tracks from the bottom of the Escape seats so you can swap in the original Ranger feet tracks. Then you weld some extensions onto those original Ranger feet (but only the outside (door side) tracks as the inside feet will bolt in exactly as is.

Let me add here: if you look at the photo with the tape measure that is showing the outside (door side) foot location while the inside (console side) feet are bolted in. Escape seat tracks are spread apart wider than Ranger tracks, so that's why you need to extend the feet in a little bit. That's what the photo with the tape measure is showing.

Clear?
 

joe34513

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All the photos you need are in post #16. The only modifications done were to the two feet on both outside (door side) tracks (see photo). Besides that, what you do is separate the tracks from the bottom of the Escape seats so you can swap in the original Ranger feet tracks. Then you weld some extensions onto those original Ranger feet (but only the outside (door side) tracks as the inside feet will bolt in exactly as is.

Let me add here: if you look at the photo with the tape measure that is showing the outside (door side) foot location while the inside (console side) feet are bolted in. Escape seat tracks are spread apart wider than Ranger tracks, so that's why you need to extend the feet in a little bit. That's what the photo with the tape measure is showing.

Clear?
Yes clear, thanks for the fast response and the load of confidence your solution is smart and elegant, I will follow your lead and take my time and get them mounted. Will update when completed.
 

CavVet2

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View attachment 61395

There are a couple issues with this swap. First is that the Escape seats don't incline forward as much as the old ranger seats, so getting things in and out of the back will probably need to be done through the center. Not a huge issue for me as that's what I do 99% of the time anyway. And related to that, the seats also don't slide as far forward or back because the silver Escape tracks are shorter. But considering those things account for so little of my time compared to driving, I don't think I could be happier. The nice thing for anyone considering this swap is that the junkyards, at least around here, have a ton of those Ford Escapes, and most of them seem to have pretty decent interiors.

Now, if I can just figure out how to wire up those seat heaters.
Looks like you have a tilt wheel. My 98 doesn’t and the steering wheel is borderline close to the top of the seat bottom since they are a bit taller than the original.
I purchased some late model mustang Gt leather seats that I’m going to put in my 99 ranger and I’ll put the leather explorer sport buckets currently in that truck in my 98 and sell the escape seats to someone with a tilt wheel.
 

racsan

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I will say escape seats are very comfortable, never put any in a ranger but have plenty of escape seat time. Ive never seen the point of a power drivers seat. Once Its where I want it I never move it. Only good thing about it was it gave me a source for hot 12v+ for my trailer light harness & I didn’t need to go clear to the battery for it.
 

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