Mazda RX-7 Install Guide

It is a good idea to lay out all the tools you will need at the beginning of any installation.  For the Mazda RX-7 seats, you will need the following:

  • Metric Socket Set
    • 14mm Socket
    • 12mm Socket
    • 10mm Socket
    • 8″ Extension
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Hog-Rings and Hog-Ring Pliers
  • Tin Snips/Metal Cutters

The Mazda RX-7 seats are secured by five (5) bolts. Four of these bolts are located at the ends of the seat rails while the fifth is located at the end of the seat belt rod. Move the seat all the way back to reveal the front two bolts. These bolts are covered by plastic trim pieces, which you need to remove using a flat head screwdriver. After the bolts are removed, move the seat all the way forward and you will see two more bolts, which need to be removed. The fifth bolt is covered by a flap of carpet that is attached with Velcro.  After all five (5) bolts are removed; unplug the battery from the vehicle then tip the seat backwards to check for electrical connections. Unplug the connectors and remove the seat from the vehicle. Make sure to save all bolts, screws, and other parts for reassembly.

Seat Disassembly

Before you can remove the factory covers, you will need to disassemble the seat. The first step is the remove the plastic trim pieces. They are located on the outside of each seat, and are held in by Phillips screws. Remove all of the screws, and then remove the plastic trim pieces.

The next step is to separate the backrest and the cushion. There are five (5) bolts in total to remove the backrest from the cushion. After these bolts are removed, the backrest and the cushion should be separated. Make sure to keep track of where each bolt came from. Also, one bolt has a washer/bushing with it; make a note of the order in which this is removed.

Cushion Installation

Flip the seat cushion upside down, so the bottom of the seat cushion is facing you. There are four (4) bolts that hold the seat rails the to the fiberglass seat pan. Remove those bolts and remove the seat rails from the cushion. There are hog-rings around the perimeter of the seat cushion pan that hold the edge of the factory cloth/leather to the seat cushion pan. There are also a few hog-rings and plastic push pins that hold the insert and the back of the cover to the fiberglass pan. Remove these, and fold the factory cloth/leather up towards the center of the seat, revealing the insert seam lines. Be sure not to break the push pins; they are reused on the new covers. The inserts use hog-rings to attach the covers to the foam core. Snip them and remove the cover.

The installation of the covers is the reverse of removal. The covers are side specific, so compare the cover to the factory cover and make sure that you install the correct cover on the correct seat.  The bolster sizes are different from side to side. Start with the cover inside-out and hog ring the inserts first. Then roll the cover over the edges, making sure that the seams on the cover line up with the seams on the foam core. After you have recovered the foam core and seat pan, set it aside and start on the backrest.

Backrest Installation

Start with the bottom the backrest facing you. You will see a line of hog-rings holding the front and back of the backrest covers together. After you snip these hog-rings, fold the insert (center section of the seat) up to reveal hog-rings holding the insert to the fiberglass frame. Remove these hog-rings, and continue to fold the insert up until you reach the top. At the top you will see plastic pushpins and hog-rings holding the top of the insert to the frame. Remove these, and remove the insert section from the seat. Pay special attention to how the top of the insert section is removed from the backrest.

On the back of the insert section you will see hog-rings holding the edges of the insert section to the foam. Remove these hog-rings and start folding the cover inside-out. On each of the seams, there will be hog-rings holding these seams to the foam. Remove these and remove the cover from the foam. The installation of the cover is the opposite of removal. Start with the insert cover inside out, and hog-ring to all of the factory locations. The insert covers are not side specific, but take extra care to make sure that the cover is centered on the foam. After you have recovered the insert section, set it aside and move on to the backrest.

You will see a series of flaps covering the center of the backrest. Remove the hog-rings from these flaps to reveal the hog-rings along the edges of the bolsters. Remove the hog-rings from the bolsters, and move on to the headrest section. Unzip the zipper that closes the cover around the headrest, and remove the cover. The installation of the cover is the reverse of removal. The backrest covers are side specific, so compare the covers and make sure that you install the correct cover on the correct seat. Start with the cover inside-out, and line-up the seams on the top of the cover with the top of the headrest. Roll the cover over the headrest and bolsters, and zip the zipper to close the headrest section. Massage the headrest section to remove most of the wrinkles before moving on to the bolsters. Roll the cover over the bolsters and then hog-ring the cover to the seat frame in the factory locations. While doing this, massage the covers repeatedly; make sure that the covers are as smooth as possible to prevent the cover from being installed to high on the seat. Reinstall the recovered insert section into the backrest, and then reassemble the seat pan to the backrest frame. Reattach your plastic hardware and your seat rails. You will need to cut holes for the Plastic trim pieces, as well as the bolts for the hinge assemblies. Cut small squares just big enough to reveal the holes with a razor blade.

Final Notes

The final step is to put everything back into the car. Make sure that you reattach all the wiring harnesses before you plug the battery back in! Be careful when removing/installing the seats from the car that you don’t scrape any plastic, metal, or the door panels with the bottom of the seat, as the seat rails are sharp and will damage any plastic, metal, or vinyl they come in contact with. After the seats are re-installed, it is a good idea to condition the leather and massage any wrinkles that are in the leather. After sitting in the sun for a few weeks, the leather will begin to shrink and will actually form itself to the foam even better, creating a wrinkle free install.