Sunday, January 17, 2016

Adjusting a Front Bench Seat's Seat Holding Latch on a Tri Five Chevy

Front Bench Seat Is Loosey Goosey
   -Alan Arnell

I have an annoying problem with the bench seat-passenger side of my 1957 Classic Chevy Model/150 2-door Sedan.  The bench seat will not lock in place.  It is fine unless someone is riding shotgun. With a passenger in place every time I stop the catch lets go and the seat goes forward then slides back like a bucking bronco.   Very embarrassing.  What is even worse, my normal passenger is my wife.  I am afraid this problem will curb her enthusiasm of going out in the old ‘57.  I have taken the seat out several times to fix the problem to no avail.  For a Jerry Rig+ I screwed a piece of wood to keep the seat from going forward during stops.  I can not abide with this fix, because I can not adjust the seat.

As with many problems with my car, I may have started the slipping seat when I was trying to adjust the seat position to make the holding bolt line up during a seat reinstall.  I only needed to move the seat back and forth a little bit to line up the bolt to get the threads started.  To help me with that
problem, I used a crowbar to help nudge the seat to line the bolt up.  When I lifted the seat with the bar I placed in in the middle of the rail.  Doing so must have bent something under the seat, because the seat came unhooked and would not hook again.

I lived with the problem for a short while, until I could not.  I took out the seat again to I try to bend the rail back and greased the latch mechanism and all was alright, for a while. Then it was not latching again.  I played this little dance three times.

The last time the seat latch would not functioning, I gave up. Due to a time restraint issue I just completed a Jerry Rig.+    I needed a quick fix to go to car show. Out of desperation and need of a fix, if not a good one or permanent one, I sheet metal screwed a piece of wood in place to hold the seat still on the rail.

What do I do next?  Here is my research for my next seat rail repair project.

Clean as well as lubricate the track and latch as best as I can. I have to ensure that the return arm works freely and does not stick.  

There is a long rod that runs from the drive side track to the passenger side track.  That rod may be
lengthened or shortened by putting more or less bend in the zig-zag that is about half way across.

I believe that the rod is too short and not allowing the passenger side lever to retract and engage the track to lock it into place.  Hopefully, with a complete cleaning of all the old grease and crud in the locking mechanism and correct rod length I will have a fully functioning seat.  To allow the latch to fully engage, I will slightly un-bend the rod at the zig-zag.  

Wish me luck.

+What is a Jerry Rig?  A Jerry Rig is a repair made in a quick or careless way: not built or designed well: organized or constructed in a crude or improvised manner.  Welcome to my world!

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