Seatbacks Don't Lock In The Upright Position

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I noticed that both seats (seatbacks) have have about 5 to 6 inches of play fore and aft regardless of lower seat position. I asked the dealer upon delivery but, this was their first T-bird and had no idea if this is normal or not. Does anybody know if this is normal and why? In a head-on the belt should hinder seatback motion, but, in a rearend collision you would first jerk backwards from impact and then " rebound " forward until either the seatbelt reacted to the reverse inertial force or you just run out of forward travel of the seatback.
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Blue/Blue Premium
Full Interior Accent
Production #3944 VIN#3847
" Gotta Love It "
 
WJR1007, not quite sure what you mean here but if the new bird is like my 95 was the seat backs lock up when you get hit from the front or the back. Don't know if this is what you meant about seat back travel. I did find in my 95 that if you hit the brakes real hard the seat backs and the belts would lock up.

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02 T-Bird 9293
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150 4x4
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
a dog a cat and a couple hundred fish in my pond

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WJR,
I've been having my Bird since 1/14/02 and noticed exactly what you are talking about on the drive home from the dealer. I really had not given it any more thought until you mentioned it. I'm curious to see what others have to say.
Tbone
white/white premium partial red
 
REDBRDDLX...

Your right on the safety aspect per pg101, but, I find it extremely unnerving when I grab the steering wheel with my left hand, look over my right shoulder to backup, and grab the passenger seat with my right hand for support, only to have the seat " flop " back and forth. I guess being an aircraft mechanic and terminally anal retentive (which ain't neccesarily a bad combo, or so I'm told by friends who fly alot) I always want to know why and I've never seen a late model car that didn't have seatbacks lock in one position or another.
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Blue/Blue Premium
Full Interior Accent
Production #3944 VIN#3847
" Gotta Love It "
 
Went out and checked the play in the seat backs. Both seats will lean all the way forward without releasing the little black handle on each seat.

My wife called Ford Motor Co. customer service and talked to two people about this. The first person said that the seat backs are suppose to lock, but that he wanted to connect her to someone else in another department. The second person also said that the seat backs were suppose to lock in a stationary position. It was recommended that we contact our dealer and schedule an appointment to have it fixed.

Do we have a problem? I don't know and I hate to holler wolf, but since this seems to be a safety concern for several of us, I think it needs to be looked into and addressed by Ford. I, for one, would like to hear more comments on this.
 
Like I sayed earlier, if they are like my earlier Birds they lock up automatically when the brakes are hit or when you are hit from the front or back. Don't know for sure but will put a call into my dealer on this one.

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02 T-Bird 9293
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150 4x4
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
a dog a cat and a couple hundred fish in my pond
 
Just went out and checked my car (driver side only) and there is not seat back release on the seat. BA, are you referring to the lever that adjusts the tilt?
 
I have had the same question since I picked up my Thunderbird. I asked my salesperson why the driver's seat [only one I tried] didn't lock in place, and he also said that it MIGHT lock when the seatbelt tensioners cut in ... during a crash. MIGHT doesn't do it for me, though. He suggested I ask you folks on this list!

So, are they supposed to lock? Not? Will they lock during a crash?
 
I believe the purpose of a locking seat in a normal 4 - 5 passenger car is to prevent the rear seat occupant/cargo from coming into the front passenger compartment during a fast stop or accident, therefore the seat back lock. This is obviously not a problem in the TBird.

If the seat back does come forward that is bad news because it means that your seat belt did not lock (front end collision)or the trunk is now a passenger (rear end collision).

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If you are hit from the back at over 5 mph, the seat back will go rearward, the slack will come out of the seat belt and the tensioner will lock the belt down. The belt around your body will prevent you from moving forward into the steering wheel or dash pad.

Movement of the seatback at rest is irrelevant to a crash situation. If you insist on testing it, drive 50 mph and hit the brakes to see how far you and the seatback go forward when the seatbelt locks up.

Now, imagine if this event was preceded by a slight rearward motion of the seat, allowing the tensioner to take up slack in the belt and lock down with you pressed back in the seat.

If the passenger seatback moves forward, then there is no automatic locking device in the seatback tilting mechanism. (Not that it would be needed, for the same reasons.)

Let us know what happened. I'd test it myself but I'm still waiting.
 
Most new 2 door cars don't have a seat lock any more. The seat has a latching mechanism as does the seat belt so there is virtually no chance that the seat will tilt forward in an accident. Stop worrying and enjoy the car!
 
i really like it the way it is, not locking. the last convertable i had, the seats did lock where i put them. When ever i parked to go shoping, and the top was down i like to tilt the seats forward, so they are not so hot when i return. when they locked in every position, i had to find the tilt where they locked to be comfortable. this never worked on the first try. i hope that made sense, mainly i like it better not locking then locking in place.

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Blue/Blue Prem. w/full accent
In my Garage as of 1/25 #6333 LIC: BLU TB
 
The 89-97 Thunderbirds had the same feature-took me a while to get used to my 93 doing the same thing. When I lost a lower ball joint going around a corner at 60mph, the seat and belt both locked in place, which saved me from injury.

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Hi! Birdman93, I tried to tell them that that is what the older Birds did, kids, they just won't listen.

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02 T-Bird 9293
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150 4x4
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
a dog a cat and a couple hundred fish in my pond
 
I agree with Birdman 93..My only problem with 02 seat backs is that they don't go bac k to original position when I fold forward to store behind seats. Very small complaint. I do have bad leak at top of driver side window w/hard top on. Dealer has new parts & will try to fix Tues.
 
The service manager at my dealer just called and said that they had been contacted by Ford Motor Co. in regard to the seats. We scheduled an appointment for Monday for them to take a look. It may turn out to be nothing to be concerned about. Need to take it in anyway since the driver's seat belt is on backwards. Might as well get my free oil change while I'm there (1600 miles). I'll let ya'll know the results of this visit.
 
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