MK 2 seat issues

To repair or not to repair?..I am completely re-doing the interior of my 1962 Mark 2, 3.8 in leather and have a dilemma with the seats. I can’t decide if I should replace them or try to restore them as original. Mark 2 seats are not the car’s best feature, to say the least. Mine are uncomfortable, soft, have no bolsters and the springs are shot. The car is not a totally original car as it has an old manual sunroof (which I don’t think is original) and I upgraded to a Tremec 500 5 speed and Zeus brakes. Has anyone sorted through a similar seat dilemma? Can we make the old seats more comfortable or is it smarter to just fit newer jaguar seats which recline and have a headrest?

Tom, I fitted XJ 40 seats in my MK2 which are often offered on sale on eBay. I was lucky and picked them up for hundred dollars at a British car day. They seem to be more pricy on the auction site.

it is not a straight swap, however, and there was a lot of cutting and reinforcing the floor. You will also lose some leg room in the back seat.

Fitting the electrics was not a problem, however, you need some type of central console or just set the seats for the desired leg room and forget the electrics.

I’ve been rear-ended once, hard enough to dislodge the rear window, but the headrests came through.
cincinnati ohio

PS after being rear ended, I converted the center back up light on the trunk to a bright red stop light. Apparently nobody looks above the rear bumper at those small taillights. They expect to see that center stoplight in the rear window

Has anyone tried fitting XK8 early pleated seats into a Mk2 Jag? I have original leather seats but am looking for more support for spirited driving, the XK8 pleated if recoloured to match the rears look at first glance to be a possibility, I would need to re make the mounts to the body but not a big problem, I have a BMW E36 sports seat in my Mk6 Transit for the last 10 years…

I have XJS seats in mine,quite happy with them.

I’m in the middle of fitting seats from a 2005 S-type in my Daimler V8-250.

The seats in the Daimler are not the same as the ones in the Mk II but I don’t find them uncomfortable or to lack support - but I don’t drive (very) fast! The original ones need new covers & foams but The Boss wants more modern seats with height adjustment and heat!

The biggest problem is the channel that runs across the floor of the car - this raises the height of the seats as they must fit on top of them rather than flat on the floor and that means that a lot of modern car seats are too tall. I suppose it is possible to cut and somehow reinforce the beam but when I mentioned it to my MOT tester he was dubious about being able to pass the car if I did that, and said he would want to see some positive documentation from ‘a Government agency’ before he could pass it.

The wiring is very easy and I have them working on the floor by the car so now I have to start making brackets, which I think will be fairly easy as I have fitted Mercedes seats to a Ford 100E before. However I am told that some seats talk to the car’s computer so seats from a very new car (especially one with touchscreen control) won’t do.

Then I will get the correct colour wires, relays & fuses and a switch. Even though I have an alternator and the seats don’t use much power to heat up I will have them on a timer so they can’t be left on for long periods of time and of course only live with the ignition on.


I fitted my 1965 S Type with XJ 40 seats with drop tables. They are comfortable for long distances. I used low profile seat slides to replace the original fore and aft seat adjusters, that resulted in the seat height matching the original seat height and slope. Although the seats have head rests, they are not adjustable.

Beware of the seat width and position what ever seats you use, or the driver’s door pockets will leave little room to operate the handbrake. The seats need fitting as close to the transmission tunnel as possible with heavy cable fused to supply the seat motors, switched through specific switches that change polarity to operate the seat back tilting. I would not advise coupling up any seat heating arrangement in the seat base. Electric window switches which switch polarity are ideal and that arrangement can be used with a negative or positive earth car.

There is no need to cut out any cross beam, low height seat slides fit directly onto the original cross member and the seat finishes up at the correct height and angle.

Best Regards


Thanks Norman. I know the channel Is an issue. Where would I find low profile sliders? That’s a great solution. Also do the xj40 seats reduce clearance between the steering wheel and one’s legs? I’ve heard that can be an issue as well but can be solved by switching to a wood sport steering wheel.

Thanks Robert, are the s type seats wider or higher than the original seats?

Hi Tom

The S-type seats are 53cm wide at the widest point and 80cm high to the top of the back on the lowest setting, while in a position suitable for driving (slightly tilted back) which makes them much higher than the original seats. They’re not in the car yet and I have a feeling that I won’t be able to fit the head restraints or they’ll be too high when The Boss uses them as she will want to raise them - she sits on a cushion at the moment !!

I only have my measurements to go by so far but I am fairly certain that the clearance between the top of the seats and the steering wheel will be almost exactly the same with the seats on the lowest setting. How The Boss will get on (because she will want to raise the driver’s seat while she’s driving) is yet to be argued about but she manages fine now sitting on her cushion so I don’t think it will be a problem.

A slight correction to my earlier statement about the wiring - the wiring for the adjustments is very simple and done but I have yet to figure out the wiring for the heating. I have diagrams but they don’t seem to agree with what’s actually on the seats. I also have the help of the local independent Jaguar garage and I’m confident that between us we can get them to work, although I expect to have to create my own controls and bypass the ones fitted under the seats. I have a feeling that although we thought they didn’t, they talk to the computer so direct wiring through my own controls looks like the way to go. If all fails I can buy generic heated pads and replace the original ones.

A number of low-profile runners are available on the web, to give you some idea look up “demontweeks” web site.

View their “Race safety accessories seat runner kit” as an example. I cannot remember who supplied my runners but they are all much the same, mostly Italian made.

The depth of my runners is 29 mm. You may need to purchase some good quality 5/6th cap screws to attach the runners to the seat and mounting points, some of these kits are supplied with a small number of cap screws.

I would say the XJ 40 seats may reduce leg clearance a little, although don’t take that as certain. I cannot be precise as I bought the seats loose with the car and had them recovered in leather before driving it far. I can tell you that I measured up the original seats and then set out to replicate the squab height and angle. They do reduce rear seat room and I fitted thick steel places attached to the seats in the rear footwell. The plates were fitted to make the rear passengers “step on” them instead of having their toes underneath the existing seat rear crossmember.


Progress report:

Both seats are now fitted and the adjustments work.

I have given up on getting the heating to work as although I have connected the wires as advised by the local Jaguar expert and current does flow, no detectable heating happens.

So, as I’m using a professional trimmer to colour the seats for me anyway, I’m going to get a generic set of heating pads from Amazon or Ebay (very cheap) and get him to pull out the old ones and fit the new ones while he has the seats. The new pads come with all the wires, fuses, switches etc. so that makes life easier for me.

Robert, I’m curious how the leather seat dying turned out. Did you get the colour you wanted? Any issues with the dye job?

Has anyone heard of using 1995 XJ6 seats in an MK2? I’ve found some in good condition-just need to be dyed.

Hi Tom

All in all I’m happy with the result. The colour match is good and the finish is good.

The only niggle is the marks where I slide in & out of the car and I think this is because it’s a tight fit. The Boss had an SLK which developed the same problem although not as quickly. I think the blame, if there is blame, is with the guy who did the colouring either not using enough dye or not using enough sealer.

Great! Which model car are those seats from? Notice you kept the original rest seats.

Those are from a 2006 S-Type and all electric. Nightmare sorting out the wiring as it was totally different to the official wiring diagram but with help from the local Jaguar specialist (who I got the seats from) it worked in the end.
I couldn’t get the heaters to work though so they are wired direct through a fuse, and a timer as they are on full all the time so time out after 2 minutes. Although people say they don’t take much power, they do so I wouldn’t bother with the backrest heaters as the bum ones are enough.
Everything in the seats goes through a relay wired to the ignition as well so they are dead without the ignition turned on.
All ok so far :slightly_smiling_face: and the old seats are available for the next owner if wanted.