All sounds good... about the panels, I think the thing is that the rear panels on the sides, if you have seats, those panels don't go all the way to the floor in the corners, and although I haven't seen a rear-seat-delete '99 truck, I have to imagine that the panels would go all the way to the floor. I had the rear seats out on the '99 because I was going to make like a platform/storage box there and it would have to come up high enough to cover the gap. CrabGuy did this very nicely. I ended up putting the seats back in and not doing anything, because I'm likely selling the '99, but I did notice the issue - you'll see what I mean once you have the rear seats out. I had to get a small ratchet to get purchase on the torx that has very little clearance above it.
I said: "No, I did/do not know what trim panels were different on the seat delete trucks."
What I meant was more along the lines of I wasn't aware that there were 4 door seat delete trucks. I knew that the 2 door extended cabs were available without jump seats. I've seen those myself, but not a 4 door seat delete. Ofcourse it would make sense that the panels are different since they are clearance for the seats and seat belts.
You actually don't gain all that much space taking out the seats so, not to discourage your plans, because I realize that would mean more dying (leaving rear seats in), but I'm just saying... plus you have like a little shelf there in back on the floor so it's not flat (aside from the hump).
Plus you still have the jack holder sticking out and so ideally you'd want to get that center panel without the jack holder - don't know if you can find that. I've seen it cut out and re-fabbed which would be kind of hard to do well. You can't really use a flat sheet because of bends in it (unlike '97 which is flat). I spent a while thinking how could you get rid of the jack/cover mount in the '99 and didn't come up with any decent solutions.
I think you can fit the jack and handles under the seats... or storage box or something. I don't know if that was in your plans (re-situate the jack).
It isn't about space, it's because I think they are stupid. They only reason they exist is so they could say in the sale brochure that it seats 5 people. Perhaps when they began putting them in rangers they were usable for children, but with the safety laws in place now they can't even be used for that. There are no adults in my family that can fit back there and any children old enough to go without a car seat are too big as well. The small amount of added space is just a bonus.
The additional dying of the rear seat parts isn't really a consideration. I'm taking those from the parts truck and it's only a little more work to dye them too. I'll be installing them until and/or unless I find the seat delete panels. I might not care for the jump seats, but I'd rather have them than the empty spaces where they obviously should be.
I wouldn't want to get rid of the jack cover or mount, where would I store the jack? Won't have room under seats if I get to do what I want in that department. Sure, I could have it rattling around in the bed, but why when there's a perfectly good storage location built in. It doesn't make sense to me to remove the factory storage location just to replace it with a storage box sitting in the floor back there.
That's a nice set of little non-scratch tools, thanks for showing that. Radio remover could be handy, although you can get it out by loosening the bezel and pulling it out a bit then you can get to the clips that hold it, but if you were working on it a lot you'd want the tool.
That works in a Ranger, but not all Fords are that easy. To take the radio out of my F-250 that way I'd have to remove half the dash.
I'm really liking that tool set. Put it to work in the couple of hours of daylight after work yesterday and finished most of the interior plastics in the parts truck Good set of non-marring pry tools, but those clip pliers are the real VIP. Use the pry tool to get a little space under the clip head, then slide those pliers under there and pop it right out. The metal pry bar tools also work great on clips where you aren't worried about damage.
About the seats, I don't know about '99 buckets, but I know my '97 buckets are comfortable as all get out so maybe you could find stock seats (that fit) in good shape and see if they are to your liking. No heating/cooling though, just lumbar support. So they did run electric to it. I don't know why they didn't put heated seats in the stock buckets. Cooling is nice, I've had it (Saabs) but to me, I could easily live without it. If your a/c is good, that's a small cab in terms of volume, it'd cool down pretty fast. Almost might be better to put in remote start and just cool it down first?
You'd have to have the switches for the heating/cooling unless they were on the seat itself. Often they have low-med-high for the heat and maybe for the fan for the cooling.
There is a section here on TRS about seats interchange so you don't end up fabbing seat rails etc.
It just depends where you want to put your dollars and how much work is involved.
No, just no. I think the buckets might be better than the split bench, but still not what I have in mind. I want more of a sports car seat. Even if they were, finding a decent set in my locale would be near impossible. I've hit up junkyards for parts on these trucks a lot over the years. Local yards just don't get them or they are ragged out before they get there. It's not like other parts of the country where trucks rust out before they wear out, down here they wear out long before they ever get taken off the road. When the do hit the yards, they don't tend to last long before being crushed.
Have you ever lived in the south? I know your profile says Virginia which is considered a southern state for some reason, but I mean the real south. I'm taking south of Birmingham, AL or Atlanta, GA. Being down here I'm more interested in ventilated seats than heated. I don't need either, but it would be a nice/interesting addition. For my seat swap those and power controls are secondary to the form and function. The goal is to get something well bolstered and supportive for handling curves a bit bit faster than it should, while still being comfortable enough to spend a full day behind the wheel driving.
Switches won't be an issue. The high dollar seats I'm considering have all controls built into the them, just have to supply power. If I end up needing switches the head unit that I'm about to install can be use to control them if I add an additional component, and maybe a 3 way switch if needed.
I know the seat swap articles on the site. They are woefully outdated, but would also be super difficult to update due to the number of potential variables. Basically nothing in the article will work for me, largely because most of the suggestions are too old and unavailable in this area, but also because I don't particularly care for those options and think there are many newer and better possibilities. Nearly any seat I'd want to install is going to take some work adapting seat tracks.
I've dropped too much on thing way worse than a set of seats. Doesn't stop me from being hesitant about spending the money. Also doesn't help that there is almost no way to try before you buy. There's no place around here that I can go plop my backside in this set of Recaros, and I don't know people with most of the other donor vehicles I've considered to try them out either. There aren't even any u-pull-it yards in the area that I could go browse.
In the '97 the rear seats are on the sides not the back and it seems like they aren't really 'in the way' like the '99's are, you kind of don't see them, by comparison.
Yes the design of the 97 (and maybe 98+ 2 door) jump seats is much better. If they had dome something similar for the 4 doors we wouldn't even be talking about this.
I know I sound like I'm discouraging the project, and if that's your truck you are going to keep a long time then I understand why doing it makes sense. I'm just saying for 1500 you could get a set of the nicest tires you want and that's something that would contribute to resale value (if you needed tires) but re-doing the interior won't really add sale value over and above just setting it back stock, which would be way less work, probably could find the parts for a few hundred tops, if that, and it'd be simple, and it would add a lot to resale value, I know myself it turns me off a lot when interior is ratty even though it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how the truck runs, I suppose.
Coming at it from a project management standpoint, just make sure you know what all is involved and have scoped out how you're going to do it before you start, you don't want to be halfway through and run into an un-solvable problem.
You can leave that project management BS where you found it.
<Intended to sound funny, not serious> Seriously though I deal with that project management stuff enough at work. I understand the importance, but you need to understand that my project expectations and goals may be much different that yours.
I bought this truck in '05 with ~90K miles, and have driven it through 200K+. I dumped way more money into fixing a 4.0L than I ever should have. I'm planning a seat swap and interior color change. I've just installed new speakers and am about to install an aftermarket headunit and amp. I'm looking to repaint and do some cosmetic up grades in the next year or two. I'm planning to stash away an AWD 5.0L Explorer for the next time it needs major engine or transmission work. To top it all off its a 4x4 and I'm going to be lowering it (as much as a 4x4 can) and putting smaller street tires on it. Speaking of tires, I've got a couple of years worth of driving left in the ones on it so I don't need to save money for that, but fortunately they are already sized pretty close to what I need for the amount I'm going to lower.
Several years ago I put in my signature that I needed to sell the truck. It never happened, realistically I probably never really wanted to get rid of it. I don't sell vehicles, I've still got all that I've owned except for three. In 22 years of vehicles ownership I've donated one to a tech school and totaled one (actually still have it), and scrapped a parts truck. I've since decided I'm going to keep it and build it instead of failing again on a nice first gen, I just haven't changed my signature.
Resale value is not a consideration. Even if I am forced into selling something I don't expect to make any profit off of any modifications I make and understand that they may decrease value if not to the right buyer. As for setting it back stock to sell, everything I'm doing on the interior is "bolt in". I'm gutting a parts truck interior to dye then swap in. Stock interior will probably go in the loft of the storage shed and can be reinstalled at any time.
Oh and there is no such thing as an un-solvable problem on a vehicle, just solutions that you may not like.