Topic: Fuego seat repairs.
Fellow Frogger!

Member # 970

Posted 17 January 2003 12:27 AM

Finally got around to repairing the seat mount in daughters Fuego. Just like my sons 86,
this one had also cracked the whole chassis mount and destroyed itself. (drivers side front
mount adjacent to the door opening, seems to be a design weakness in the rail.)

On my sons I cut the offending strut and welded in a new piece right down to the floor
using oxy acetylene and plain black wire welding rods, which caused the underbody coating
to catch fire several times and lots of smoke.

I worked the carpet from under the side rails and exposed the broken area, easing some of
the "Christmas tree" standoffs out to make the job easier.

This time I bent up a piece of heavy galvanised steel, straightened up the broken bits and
traced the square opening onto the new plate after ensuring that the plate was able to
be pushed right up under the undamaged section and had plenty of coverage under the
front of the strut. The galvanised steel plate was about 6 inches long and three inches wide
with 10 centimetres right angle to the rear to give it strength, the side towards the door
has to be tapered back to get as much support from the undamaged rail.

I then protected the rolled back carpet with a brick and the rubber underlay with old tiles
and dampened things down and welded what remained of the rails back together, taking
care to not start a fire. Did the welds one after another with breaks to cool things down
and then refitted the plate to the underside of the rail, checked the marking out of the
section that holds the captive nut. Drilled and filed a square in the new plate, fitted the
captive nut, then resprayed the welded area with paint and the surface of the gal. plate.

Used a clamp to hold the plate in the correct position under the old rail and then pop riveted
it in position, after checking that the seat rail holes matched. This repair is very firm and
much stronger than the original. If you wished you could make the right angle section longer
and then make another bend to fix it to the floor using pop rivets.

I found this to be a much easier repair than when I did my sons car and a lot less drama
using the pop rivets which will never be seen as the seat and carpet covers them. Every
thing went back o.k.

It was so easy I was tempted to fix the broken wire cabling that enables the seat to be
put forward so that the rear passengers can get in and out easily.


I undid the lower wire clip, removed the right hand runner and then worked the covers
up until I could expose the lever mountings, removed the outer screws holding the
plastic surround, then the two inner screws to get the plate off (a bit of swearing and
they do come off eventually and in the process the lever knob popped off which saved
me working out how it came off! The wire had broken where it bends around the lower
rail and was fairly easy to getoff (not so easy to get on later). I then cut back the cable
outer sufficiently that it would clear any joiner. I drilled a long copper rivet in the lathe
and then put the wire back into the cable outer and pushed both ends into the copper
rivet (I had also turned the flat head off the rivet and tapered the ends so they would
not foul the seat rails) with both ends of the wire meeting inside the small copper barrel
I then silver soldered the wire to each end of the small tapered cylinder taking care that
the wire and cylinder didn't get TOO hot and melt..

I then spent a LOT of time trying to run the cable through the seat tube as it had been
originally fitted. It was just about impossible, so fitted the hooked lower end first, then
ran the cable back up inside the seat, used a clamp to get a much movement out of the
lower mechanism and JUST got the lever end of the cable to slip back into position.

Checked it, and it works fine, the copper barrel join rubs against the lower rail and tilts
the wire around it, so no problems. Put all the bits and pieces back together and re
clipped the cloth seat covers and wires. I also put some wadding into the arm rest area
where the rubber cushions had worn away.

It works o.k. but the proof will be in how long the repair lasts.

Touch wood my other car seats are o.k., but I have noticed that most Fuego seats at
Pick a Part have broken cables. Hope my rough description helps other owners.

Next job is the cambelt, just in case it hasn't been replaced recently...........