Bucket seat backs for XK140 OTS?

Hi all,

I’d like to replace just the backs of my (original) seats in my 1956 XK140 OTS with tilting bucket seats. Would anyone on the forum have experience with doing this? Perhaps recommend a supplier?

Thanks!
Chet

I know there was such a thing for 120s: someone will chine in, Im sure.

Chet,

There are several suppliers in the UK that supply these “hinging” backrests for the standard XK 120 seat. Try searching “Jaguar XK tilting bucket seats” on ebay.co.uk. You will also see well-known companies like Aldridge and Guy Broad that offer these solutions. Complete tilting steel frames (without cushions and trim) are also offered by Coventry Auto Components for a very attractive price.
So there are many possibilities…

Bob K.

I bought mine from Stefan Slavic at sk-jagspares.eu - they are a complete frame, well made and excellent value.
He is a regular at Stoney Stratford spares days and will bring a pair over for you. He makes a load of other parts, all of which seem to be good quality and considerably cheaper than others.

Thanks everyone. I’ll check out those suggestions.

Chet

stop in at your local hot rod shop upholstery…then can re do your existing seat backs with side bolsters, lumbar if you wish…all shaped exactly for you.

I’m looking closely at seats supplied by seller “Classic Quality” on eBay.co.uk. The seats are shown in item # 152147213783. Communication with the seller has been very good and the seats in the pictures look exactly like what I am seeking. Plus he ships to the US…
Just wanted to know if anyone on the forum has purchased seats from him or his company and could give me their review?

Thanks!
Chet

Those look like austin healey seats.

Chet,

All I can say is that there is doubt whether he actually manufactures these seats. That doesn’t mean that the seats are no good. But it would be interesting to find the company that made these bucket seats and to see what their price would be, but that is a typical remark of a Dutchman…

Bob K.

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Jim, I do see the similarity with Austin Healey seats (I happen to own one) especially in the frame. However these are much larger with a bigger wraparound to the bucket sides.

Bob, good point, I will inquire of the seller if he also manufactures them or not. He did say if I sent him a sample of my current leather interior that he would match it. The only other seats I’ve found on the Ebay site are offered by Aldridge (which you mentioned in your earlier post) however their listing stated they are not shipping to the US.

Still hoping someone on this forum has purchased these seats before so I can get a hands on review before parting with funds.

Thanks all!
Chet

Here’s what I am trying to accomplish…

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Reporting back that I went ahead and ordered the bucket seats from Classic Quality in the UK. They arrived in perfect shape about 6 weeks later. Very happy with the quality and customer service. The backs are a little too upright for my taste so I’m going to experiment with a spacer in the front or a pivot extension of some type. Only fabrication needed was matching and drilling the 4 holes to fit my existing sliders.

Here’s what they look like installed.

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Looks very very nice! Regarding the back rest angle: have you installed the wooden wedges under the seat (rails) to tilt the complete seat? This was done on many XKs.
Most important question for me is: did you obtain more arm and leg space (compared to the original seats)? I’m also looking for a similar bucket seat solution, mainly because the standard seat in the XK 120 is so close to the steering wheel.
Bob K.

Hi Bob,
I’ve tried putting a 1/2” spacer under the front of the frame but it was not sufficient to make a noticeable difference. I’d be interested in learning measurements and methods regarding wedges (or any other methods used).

As far as arm and leg space I had to move the seat forward quite a bit to properly reach the pedals so considering I had the original seats back against the hood that should mean more leg space (but remember that I have an XK140 which has more leg room to begin with vs. your XK120). Since the back of the bucket is thinner than the original seats I would think you would sit further away from the dash/pedals.

I have not noticed any additional arm room. It is a little harder to snake myself under the steering wheel (stock wheel) but I attribute that to the much larger bolsters on the side of the seat. Of course the lateral support that results is the main advantage of the bucket seats.

Chet

Chet,

These wedges are called “Packing assembly under seat runners” with Jaguar code BD.10912. The dimensions I have are 12½’’ long and 1’’ wide (320x25 mm), with a taper running from ⅛’’ to ½’ (3 to 12mm). So basically identical to the ½’ spacer you’ve tried.
My first XK was a 140 FHC where space is not an issue at all, but now restoring an 120 OTS and my 6 ft might cause some problems. Hence my interest in every Bucket solution available.
I had a 16" wooden Carlotti steering wheel in my 140 FHC that made getting in and out so much easier. But the steering is a bit heavier of course.

Bob K.

Having one of the very few genuine XK120/140 surviving sets of these factory bucket seats and having made several dozens sets it is always disappointing to see the poor replicas manufactured elsewhere and then trimmed incorrectly. Made correctly trimmed properly bolted to the floor or hinge and adjusters they need no tilt or otherwise! terry

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here’s what they looks like before being trimmed

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Hi Bob,
Thanks for that information! I found these wedges being offered by Coventry Auto Components and just ordered a set. It might be that having that entire wedge under the seat mounts will be sufficient. I’ll play around with them when they arrive and put them in and let you know.

Hi Terry,
Thanks for your detailed response! However I’m not quite sure what is so disappointing about the trim on the seats I chose? I was not striving for originality but simply wanted a bucket seat that provided more lateral support when driving my XK140 and I’m very happy with the quality and trim of the ones that I bought (keeping my original “bench” seats for reinstalling should I ever want to return my car back to “as built” condition). I certainly like the original look of those seats but got tired of the lack of lateral support when driving the car - hence the bucket seat purchase.

I tend to like a more severe recline to the back of a bucket seat than what was standard for the era because I have a lower back that does not like it very much when the seat back is too upright. It may be that someone else whose back is not so sensitive would be completely satisfied with the recline of the seats I installed.

In fact I wrestled with the upright nature of the (original) seat in my 1959 Austin Healey 100-6 until I found a shop that could weld in a higher pivot point that allowed the seat back to recline more and made it a LOT more comfortable for me when driving my Healey. In that regard I’m not quite sure if the recline of the backs of the original seats you reference here would be ok or not but I was more worried about having a seat that would not rotate forward for access to the hood (especially since I would be buying it sight unseen and figuring that I could make some changes if needed once I actually had the seats installed in my car). I assume that even though being bolted to the floor your seats do permit access to the hood?

At any rate, having originated this forum thread in a search for bucket seats for my XK140, I wanted to close it out by reporting back what I had decided and the pros (and cons) of the seats I selected so that others on the forum would have that info.

Thanks!
Chet

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“disappointing about the trim on the seats”
The style of trim the competition seats weren’t pleated at all, all 4 pics of trimmed seats shows correct style.
From what
I can see of your seats apart from backs looking to be almost vertical they seem to lack the hip supports pieces as per my photos?
terry

PS XK120’s didn’t have tapered wedges as per CAC add