Toyota Supra Install Guide

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

  • Upholstery Glue
  • Razor Blade
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Hog-Rings and Hog-Ring Pliers
  • Tin Snips/Metal Cutters

The Toyota Supra front seats are secured by four (4) bolts. These bolts are located at the ends of the seat rails. Move the seat all the way back to reveal the front two bolts. They are covered by plastic trim pieces. Remove them using the Flat head screwdriver or door panel removal tool. After the bolts are removed, move the seat all the way forward. You will see two more bolts covered plastic trim pieces. After all four (4) 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.

The back seat requires that you remove the cushion (bottom section) first. There are two (2) clips that hold the front of the cushion to the floor. You can feel these along the front edge of the cushion where the seat cushion meets the carpet on the floor. Simply pull the seat up, and the cushion will pop up then slide it forward from under the seat back. Once the cushion is removed, the bolts for removing the seat back are visible. There are four (4) bolts that hold the bottom of the seat back to the floor of the vehicle. You will have to flip the seat back forward to access the back bolt on either side. After all the bolts are removed, remove the seat back from the car. Make sure to save all bolts, screws, and other parts for reassembly.

Front Cushion Installation

The first step is to remove all of the plastic hardware from the outside of the front seats. The Supra has Phillips screws that hold the plastic trim pieces to the seat . Make sure you remember which screws go where. To remove the power seat switches, gently pry them up and they will pop off. The seat height knob comes off similar to a manual window crank. Just look behind it and you will see a c-clip holding it on.

After all the trim pieces are removed, there are four (4) bolts that hold the seat cushion pan to the seat frame. Two of them are on each side of the seat. Remove those bolts and remove the seat cushion pan from the seat. There are hog-rings that hold the edge of the factory leather to the seat cushion pan . Remove these, and fold the factory cloth/leather up towards the center of the seat, revealing the insert seam lines . 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. Start with the inserts, and then move to the edges. After you have recovered the foam core and seat pan, set it aside and start on the backrest.

Front Backrest Installation

The backrest is the only difference between the 1993-1996 Supra seats and the 1997-1998 Supra seats.  The older 93-96 seats are low back buckets with separate headrests whereas the 97-98 seats are high back buckets with the headrest integrated into the backrest so there is no separate headrest.  If you have the late model, 97-98 Supra seats then you will not need to worry about removing any headrests.  For the 93-96 Supra, we first need to remove the headrests and set them aside. The headrests can be tricky to remove on the Supra. There are regular headrest release buttons on the seat, but they are hidden beneath the leather and foam. Push on the side of the release buttons and the headrests will be free to pull up out of the backrests. You can do one side at a time if you don’t have a friend to help.

Next, the Supra has zipper back seats so start by unhooking the J-clip at the bottom of the backrest where it meets the cushion, then unzip the zippers. Once the back is opened, you can start to roll the cover up over the seat and remove the hog-rings as you go.  The installation of the covers is the reverse of removal. Start with the cover inside out, and align the seams with the edges of the foam. Start to roll the cover down, and attach the hog-rings as you come to them. After you reach the bottom, close the zipper and tuck the ends of the zipper inside the seat.

Reinstall the recovered seat cushion and pan assembly (from above) and reattach your plastic hardware.  If you have the 97-98 Supra seats, you are finished with the front seats.  However, if you have the early model 93-96 seats then you will need to finish the headrests and install them before you are finished with the front seats.

Front Headrest Installation

The headrests are easy to understand, but can be a little tricky and might require a helping hand from a friend. The bottoms of the headrests are connected with zippers and plastic clips. First, take the plastic clips off. You don’t have to re-use the plastic clips, so you can break them off. They are typically impossible to remove with breaking them. Unzip the zipper and roll the headrest cover back to reveal the foam. To install the leather, start with it inside out, and line up the seams to the edges of the foam. Then roll the cover down, and zip the zipper. Make sure you tuck the zippers inside the covers. If you have difficulty rolling the covers over the foam, you can wrap the foam in a plastic bag, and using a “shop vac” compress the foam to make it easier to cover the headrest. Slide the headrest into the re-upholstered seat, and you’re finished with the front seat! The last step for the front seats requires you to cut some holes for the headrest posts to slide back down into the foam.  It is very important that you make sure you are happy with the fitment of the whole seat and that everything meets your expectations before cutting.  Up to this point, everything you have done has been reversible, but cutting holes are an irreversible step and if done improperly can ruin in the interior.  However, as grave as this sounds, the cutting of these holes is not very difficult because you should be able to feel exactly where you need to cut.

To cut the holes, you simply need to press down with your fingers to find the hard headrest release buttons beneath the covers.  Once you find those, you need to use a razor blade to cut a small hole so that the headrest posts can slide down into the buttons and lock into place.  The hole shape or overall look is not too important as the Supra headrests will slide down and lock into place and completely cover the holes.  Just remember though, the smaller the hole the better since you can always cut a little wider if needed, but you cannot make a large hole smaller.  So cut small and then increase the hole diameter until you have the right hole size.  These holes should be just big enough that the headrests can be re-installed.

Rear Cushion Install

The cushion is the more difficult of the two sections of the backseat because of the deep contours of the seat.  It can be tricky to get the leather to lay smooth because of these contours so be very patient. Start with the cushion upside down, and work your way around the perimeter of the cushion snipping off all the hog-rings. After you have removed all the hog-ring attachments around the perimeter of the cushion, turn the seat over and roll the old upholstery up over the foam to reveal the inserts. Snip the hog-rings for the inserts, and remove the cover. Be patient, as there is a ridiculous amount of hog-rings in the seat cushion. Installation is the reverse of removal. It is best to start with the cover inside-out and hog-ring the inserts first. When you get to the edges, fold the cover over the foam. Then, hog-ring the perimeter of the cushion where the factory attachment points are and you’re finished!

Rear Backrest Installation

Removing the cover on the backrest is very easy. First, pop the plastic clips that hold the carpeted back to the seat. Then, slide the carpeted back out by pulling down on the panel. Remove the pull handle that folds the seat down by twisting it counter-clockwise. Around the perimeter of the backside of the seat, there are hog-rings that attach the factory cover to the foam. Also, there are two plastic clips that need to be re-used at the bottom of the backrest near the brackets that bolt the backrest to the car. Snip the hog-rings and then roll the cover off the foam to reveal the insert hog-rings. Snip these hog-rings and the cover should fall off of the foam. Installation is the reverse of removal. Start with the cover inside-out, and hog-ring the inserts first. Then roll the cover over the corners and hog-ring the perimeter in the factory locations. The hole for the knob that you use to fold the seat back will have to be cut.  You should be able to see the rod which the knob screws onto sticking up from the cover. Make a small “X” on the top of the metal rod so that the rod can be accessed.  Make sure you cut it no bigger then it has to be. Re-install the hard back and you’re finished!

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.