TMI Products’ New Pro-Series Seats Vs. Sport Series Seats
Introducing the TMI Products’ Pro-Series VXR Seats.
There comes a time when you’ve reached the limit of a design, and have to start over to reach new levels. That might be reaching the limit on a stock frame, and having to start from scratch with a new one. Perhaps it’s maxing out your weight in the gym where only a new regiment will bring a new personal record. Whatever the case is, at some point you have to change things up to maintain forward momentum.
That was the case for TMI Products. While you might not think of an interior company as making anything performance, TMI does just that. Starting over 30 years ago making factory original interiors, TMI recognized the need for a product that offered an original look in a performance setting. That’s when they introduced their Sport Series seats, which looked 100% factory but had extra bolstering on the sides to keep you in place during hard cornering.
The entire Sport Series of seats worked basically the same way. The end user would strip their factory seat down to the frame and springs configuration, then install the TMI Sport foam, and the new Sport Seat covers on top of that. The process was quick, easy and provided a huge improvement over the stock seating. After coming out with the Sport Seat II which had increased bolsters and custom looking seat covers, Marketing Director Larry Ashley knew he reached the limits of the stock frame.
“Once I unveiled the Sport Seat II, I started to wonder what’s next. Where can I go from here? I started looking back and realized the only way to go forward was to start from scratch,” explained Ashley. Enter the Pro-Series line of seats. These seats are 100% new from the ground up. They make up where the stock seats fall short, such as being able to recline in them, adjust the seat height, and scoot them further back. TMI also makes them in a low-back, high-back, with or without head rests, and even a complete bench seat.
Pro-Series: From The Ground Up
We wanted to see exactly what was inside the new Pro-Series seats, so we stopped by the TMI Products facility in Corona, CA to find out. “We make everything here in house from the seat frames, foam, sewing and everything in-between,” Larry explained. We soon found out that these are indeed 100% made here in their Corona, CA facility.
The beginning of any version of the Pro-Series seats starts with the frame. Grabbing raw stock from the shelves, they cut, bend and weld the frame up using their own design. Right off the bat we could see how they are better since now the bolsters have a wire support running through them, where the original Sport Seats didn’t have such a feature. Once they are fully welded up in the jig, we headed over to see the foam.
“Creating the foam is a tricky process,” Larry explains. After their in-house mold maker creates the molds to Larry’s exact specifications, they take that mold and squirt in the liquid mixture. As easy as that sounds, it’s harder than that. You see, the foam is a two part mixture which has to be mixed to a precise measurement.
Then the amount of time the gun squirts that mixture into the mold can impact the density of the foam as well. “We take a lot of time to ensure the foam turns out perfect every time,” continued Larry. This is done by using automated systems, and lots of trial and error to make sure your butt is comfy in the seats.
Once the foam was created, we watched as they pulled material from their massive stock. The material was then cut with a computer controlled knife that is precise up to 1/64th of an inch. This means that there is never a wrong piece of material, it’s always extremely precise. Once the material is cut, it’s then sewn by hand by some of the best sewers in the business. These people sew all day every day, ensuring an extremely high quality product.
Building The Pro-Series VXR
Now that all the pieces of the puzzle were complete, it was time to assemble them into a Pro-Series VXR seat. Watching their installer assemble one of these seats, it’s clear that Larry spent a great deal of time simplifying the upholstery process. Normally this is something that people farm out to an upholster – not with the Pro Series. Even though they come fully assembled and ready to bolt-in, the average guy could assemble them with basic tools in less than an hour.
Taking the upper part of the frame, the hinges are installed with a few hex-head bolts. From here the foam is set onto the frame, with it’s pockets for the side bolsters. Then they take the cover and flip it inside out, setting the back part on the foam. Using a few hog rings, they secure the upholstery to foam with the built-in guide wires. This ensures the cover stays put and provides wrinkle free use for years to come. After that, they flip the cover right-side out over the foam while working the material to make it sit correctly on the foam. The last step is to zip up the back side. Their installer did the entire process in a few minutes, but we are sure we could do it almost as easily.
The process is repeated for the bottom of the seat, then the two are bolted together with the recline-able hinges. With the two halves joined together, TMI then installs plastic covers for the hinges and adjustment knob. Flipping the seat over, a set of adjustable seat tracks finishes off the seats. We also nabbed a set of the seat brackets that mate the sliders to the floor in our ’66 Chevelle.
Installing them into the Chevelle was cake – a few bolts to secure the floor bracket to the sliders, then reusing the factory floor bolts to get this mounted to the floorboard. Simple and easy.
For those who want to upgrade to the Pro-Series but want to retain a factory appearance, not a problem. TMI also makes upholstery in OEM materials and patterns to retain a factory look. While we were there, we spotted these Pro-Series seats done in a factory ’70 Chevelle green and pattern. All the improvements of a Pro-Series seat yet most people wouldn’t notice they aren’t the factory seats.
Sport Series vs. Pro Series: Editors Opinion
I had the Sport Series seats in my Chevelle for about four years now. I absolutely loved them – they provided extra support for going around turns yet still retained a stock element to the car. The Sport Series seats are a massive upgrade over a bone stock seat, but as mentioned above, TMI Products had reached the limitations of the stock seat frames.
For me, I’m a bigger guy, 6′-0″ tall and over 200-lbs. I’m not sure what size the average driver was back in ’66, but they must have been really short. I couldn’t ever get the stock seats to go back far enough to get my legs in a comfortable position. Plus they didn’t recline at all, which would be nice for those longer drives. On top of that, the stock seats just aren’t up to today’s standard of comfort.
I really could care less about originality, but the factory buckets I really loved in that car. I didn’t want to swap them out for late model seats since those always look extremely out of place to me, even if recovered in original material. The Pro-Series caught my eye and I had to check them out. After hearing all the upgrades I knew that I had to try out a pair with Hot Rod Power Tour coming up in less than a month.
Completed Pro-Series VXR seat, ready to bolt in!
In short after putting almost 5,000 miles in about eight days on the Power Tour, I can say that these seats were a night and day difference compared to the Sport Seats. Being able to slide the seat back to get my legs in a ergonomic position was amazing but then it got better – I was able to recline the seat back to a comfortable cruising position. When my co-pilot was driving, I was able to lay the passenger seat all the way back and attempt to a catch some sleep.
For the full Pro-Series line with all the options or any other question, hop on the TMI Products site or give them a call at (888) 460-0640.
Filed Under: feature article, forum feed, news feed, techTagged With: Pro Series, Seats, Sport R, tmi, tmi products, UpholsterySours: https://lateral-g.net/tmi-products-new-pro-series-seats-vs-sport-series-seats/
1967 Mustang Deluxe Sport II Pro Series Seats by TMI
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Ready for a cool new look? These bucket seats from TMI are designed to completely replace your factory seats! They include all new frames, foam and upholstery. These specific 47-7002 seats are a part of TMI's Pro-Series with a Sport II low back model design and come with upholstery that matches your original and rear seat. Made in the USA, TMI uses OE material and an OE style pattern to mix with a sleek, modern design for a fantastic seat for your classic Mustang's interior.
These front bucket seats are extremely comfortable with larger bolsters. They also sit back one inch farther than the original seat. They come with an easily adjustable recline function as well as pre-installed sliders so you can find your perfect seating position. These seats from TMI can actually slide back a full three inches further than their factory counterparts. Easily bolted into place, these TMI front bucket seats are a great way to improve & modernize the interior of your 1967 Mustang.
Choose your color from the drop-down menu. Please allow four-six weeks for fabrication and delivery.
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TMI Pro Series Low Back Bucket Seats for Charger
Pro Series seats, low profile bucket seats, TMI seats, Dodge seats
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Sport Complete Charger Bucket Seats Black Vinyl with Contrast Stitch in Your Choice of Colors. Low Profile with low profile brackets for many models of cars.
Does your Charger need some new seats? Want to go for a custom-look?
These Pro-series seats from TMI are just what you are looking for! Pro Series Seats all-metal frame allows you to tilt or slide your seat. Tilting frames allow you to completely recline
your seat, an option that was not always available in classic cars. Frames are wrapped with a heavy bolstered, high-density foam. No re-upholstering required, no hunting down old frames!
• Black Vinyl (Madrid, Sierra Grain or Matte Black)
• Choice of colored contrast stitching
• Higher bolsters for added style
Made in the USA!
Note: Note: these are custom-made for you. Please allow up to 8 weeks for fabrication and delivery, although it may be much sooner.
Pricing: Add to Cart to see Price
DIY: Installing TMI Products Upholstery Kit on our ’79 C-10 square-body project
Installing TMI Products Upholstery Kit
By now, I’m sure most of you have seen our ’79 C-10 square-body project. We have highlighted the complete build in Street Trucks Magazine, starting all the way back with getting the engine running and shining like new. We continued by walking you through suspension, steering, brakes, exterior additions, new glass and weather seals, new gauges, and even revamping the stock interior. Just when we thought we were done with the truck and ready to start cruising, we started thinking about adding a more custom interior. Sure, the refreshed stock interior is great and most people would have been completely happy with it; however, we like to do things a little more custom around here.
We’ve admired the TMI Products seats that were released for the truck market a few short years ago, and we’ve even used the company’s universal seats in a few previous projects. When we decided to change the interior of our C-10, we knew TMI would build us an awesome setup. The company has been around for more than 20 years, and it’s taken that experience and used it to expand its offerings in the truck market.
As TMI Products grows, it continually offers new products. In addition, TMI also has a plethora of different materials, stitch patterns and colors to choose from. We wanted an interior that would pop against the gray-and-black exterior. We decided to go bold with a red-colored bucket-seat package with perforated black inserts. Black rivets add a further custom touch to the seats. A center console is included as part of the seat package. We also picked up a set of TMI’s door panels wrapped in matching colors. Rounding out our new interior order was a new dash pad. TMI’s dash pad is radically different from the original version. It has a raised passenger’s side that gives the dash pad a unique look. Red accent stitching adorns all of the package components, but it really stands out on the black vinyl dash pad. Once all the products were delivered to the shop, we were ready to get started on the installation of our custom interior from TMI Products.
Here’s a look at the interior before we got started. Keep in mind that this truck sat in the Arizona heat, baking in the sun, for about five years.
For some reason the dash pad had already been removed. Maybe someone intended to replace it, but never got around to it.
Although it might not be the obvious starting point, we removed the steering wheel first. It gave us more room to remove the seat.
We unbolted the four seat-mounting bolts next and took out the seat.
We set aside the factory seat. With our new TMI interior, we wouldn’t reuse any part of it.
The seat belts, carpet and moldy carpet pad were removed next. Make sure to use some gloves when doing this, there’s a lot of grossness to be found under the carpet of a truck that’s been sitting this long.
As we noted in the intro, we tried out a factory-style interior first, so we’ll fast-forward a couple of steps. We installed sound-deadening material on the floor once the old carpet was out. Then we fit a new carpet kit and a new set of sill plates. It’s amazing how much newer a truck can look with nice carpet installed.
Here’s a look at the door panels that were in the truck when we got it. It was strange because the design of the driver and passenger’s door panels didn’t match, but they were color-matched. Oh well, we removed them both anyway.
We started the removal by unclipping the window cranks. There’s a special tool for this, but you can easily access the clip using a pick tool.
There are screws in a few areas in the door that must be removed to take off the entire door panel. We removed one from behind the door handle and two from the armrest. There are also several across the bottom of the door.
Once all of the screws were removed from the door, we lifted it off around the door handle and tossed it into the trashcan.
Now that we had everything out of the interior, it was time to start prepping parts for installation. We started with the TMI Products dash pad.
Here’s a detailed look at the red accent stitching on the dash pad. It really enriches the feel of the interior.
Before installing the new dash pad into the truck, we installed the factory dash piece that houses the AC vents.
To secure the piece to the dash, we reused the metal nuts and screwed them down over the plastic pegs.
We cleaned up the top of the dash area before laying the new dash pad in place. You can also see the new gauges and cluster that we’d installed previously.
The new dash pad simply slid onto the dash and was retained like the original—if we’d had an original.
Screws go along the bottom of the new dash pad into the factory plastic clips. These clips are known to crack and break, but replacement versions are easy to find.
Since we had an aftermarket gauge cluster and gauges, the installation around them was a little tricky. We got creative and used screw clips and longer screws to secure the new dash pad.
Here’s a look at the new dash pad fully installed. Although we didn’t have the factory one to compare it to, we’re pretty confident that this is an improvement over a stock cracked and weathered dash pad. The TMI version definitely looks better than what we had before.
Turning our attention to the new seat and center console, we laid them out to make sure we had everything we needed. TMI Products includes a seat base, seat sliders, seats and matching center console. We opted for the Sport-X-style seat, which comes with grommets.
The seats do not come ready to bolt in, so there was some work to do before we installed them in the truck. We began by installing one side of the seat sliders.
The instructions for this process are pretty easy to follow, but make sure you do, or else you might be removing the other track in order to get the rod from one to the other.
This is how each seat should look after both slider tracks have been installed. The positioning of the connecting rod is crucial for smooth operation.
Before installing the seats into the truck, the new seat base provided with the kit must be attached to the seats. Doing this outside of the truck makes getting the seats into the truck pretty darn easy.
Once everything was bolted up outside of the cab, the assembly dropped into place and was secured to the cab floor in the stock locations. Since the stock hardware was rusty and unattractive, we grabbed some new hardware and bolted the seat in for good.
The center console was up next. TMI builds the center console so that it fits tightly to the seat frame. A single hook-and-loop strap is used to hold the center console to the frame.
Once the hook-and-loop strap was pulled tight and secured, the cup holders were dropped into place and the seat package was complete.
Changing the seats sure made the interior look more customized. The added benefit of having bolsters in each bucket seat to keep the driver centered behind the steering wheel is a nice touch.
The last step in our interior transformation was installing the TMI door panels to match our new seats and dash pad.
A template is included with the door panels to help lay out where new holes must be drilled. These holes will mount the bottom end of the door panel. Rather than center punching the marks to transfer the holes, we used small self-tapping screws to hold the template in place as we moved along.
After we checked the alignment of the holes, we used a larger drill bit to increase the hole size to the diameter specified in TMI’s instructions.
Then we slid the new door panel on and begin fitting that to the door. The first step was slicing the vinyl to allow the window crank to come through. Then we pressed the crank on using a C-clip to hold it in place.
TMI also provided a door pull that drops into the pocket in the door panel. This piece secures the door panel to the door with the two screws that go down through the door pull.
The last screw goes in behind the door handle in the stock location, and the door is finished. We simply repeated these steps on the other side to complete the installation of the new TMI door panels.
A small finishing touch to our new interior is a billet steering wheel that TMI wrapped and stitched in matching materials. The adapter and horn button were included with the steering wheel, so it was a direct bolt-on item and only took a few minutes to do. Since we’d removed the stock steering wheel at the beginning of the job, it only made sense that this was the last step.
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