One the methods Ford used for reducing weight in the new GT350R was to remove the rear seat. There’s more than a few pounds to be lost by ditching the kid-sized seats. However, the GT350R, with all its high-tech features is also several thousand dollars out of grasp of many enthusiasts. For those looking to save a few more pounds on their standard GT350, or even a new Mustang, Ford Performance is offering up the GT350R’s rear seat delete.
Our buddy Hi-Po Joe Charles purchased a new GT350 a few months back. Charles is best known for his exploits in NMRA’s Coyote stock class in recent years, but he secretly also loves to turn corners in some of the other Mustangs he currently and previously owned. Looking to personalize his GT350 Charles ordered up Ford Performance PN FR3Z-6360508-A. He also tells us he needed to grab a few bolts, PN W701125-S424. There is a “cover” listed in the dealer parts listing, however Charles was able to determine that these were unnecessary to complete the job.
Why Pull The Rear Seat?
If you’re not going to use it for anything other than a place to set your helmet, or the occasional package then this delete might be worth considering. If you plan to race your Mustang whether it’s on the road course, or the drag strip, this may also be a mod you’ll want, especially if the class you race allows you to remove the rear seat as long as you upholster the area.
There’s also the weight savings. The rear seat assembly and it’s associated hardware is not light. While the seat bottom seems deceptively easy to lift, the seat backs are rather chunky since they also have the folding brackets, latches, and hardware attached. All told, this is weight savings of at least 50 pounds even after installing the rear seat delete kit. Ford shows a shipping weight of 78 pounds on the GT350R rear seat kit. Unfortunately Charles did not have a scale handy at the shop at the time of this install.
The Ford Performance rear seat delete kit, is molded and upholstered. It fits the depressions in the floor structure to match the flow of the interior. According to Charles it’s also sturdy enough to place your gear bag, helmet, or small packages on for trips to the track, although you probably wouldn’t want to use it as temporary seat to ride your buddies in. He says the car may be slightly louder than stock with the loss of the seat bottom and back material serving double-duty as additional sound deadening. To Charles that’s a plus, and it may be to many other enthusiasts as well, it’s definitely a fair trade for the weight savings.
Charles photographed the install, and says even with stopping to take a few photos the whole project took around two hours to complete.
The installation requires removal of the rear interior trim panels, seat belts, and some of the side moldings as well. One of the things that is necessary is to drill the rear package tray for retaining the panel. This allows the bolts to pass through the panel as it’s not drilled on non GT350R models.
The rear seat delete is retained by three bolts. Two of the three will go into factory threaded holes. The third is not threaded by the factory from Ford on non-R models. You have two choices: either find a tap and tap this third hole for the bolt, or do what Charles did and use a large trim clip, often referred to as a “Christmas Tree clip” to retain this portion of the delete kit.
The biggest downside to this install is caused by the removal of the rear seat belts. If you want to reuse the OEM seatbelt trim to keep the interior looking tidy where the rear seatbelt pass through the rear trim panels, you’ll have to cut the belts. Ford does not offer this as a separate service part, and the only way it will separate it from the seat belt is to cut it or the seat belt. Charles is trying to get his hands on this part, and Ford could eventually make it available if demand calls for it.
There are also a handful of holes in the rear floor that the rear seat utilizes that the delete kit will not. Since Charles did not have an R model to compare with, he chose to fill these holes with RTV silicone and then add Gorilla tape to cover them. This will prevent water and debris from entering the car, and if he wants to return it to stock some day, the RTV is easily removed with a knife and scraping tool.
So there you have it, if you’re looking to remove the rear seat from your 2015-16 Mustang to lose some weight and add more race-inspired performance, it’s as easy as this.