Will The Seats from the 71 XJ6 fit the 73 XJ6


Using the Official Series One Parts Handbook I have spent two hours attempting to determine, without success, if the front seats from the 71 XJ6 will fit a 73 XJ6. I cannot, however, be too hard on the author as I recall that interiors for cars destined for South Africa and Australia were shipped without an interior, which must make it hard.

So my question is has anyone performed a successful seat transplant?


No reason why seats for all the Series 1 XJ6s should not be interchangeable, front and rear. There are minor upholstery variations but these do not impact fitment. The biggest difference is on the rear seats; in the US, there is a cutout for a bulky plastic seatbelt assembly in the lower corners that may not be on other country variants.

Mine is a '72 South African car and I have temporarily fitted worn out UK spec seats (from a breaker so I don’t know what S1 year they are from) while they are away being retrimmed. They fit OK but you may need to unbolt the seat rail assembly and swop that over as I found one pair of the studs were in different centres and did not match holes in the chassis. It’s an easy swop.

Even if the mounting studs are different centres it would be easy to drill the chassis to fit new seats.

I measured the bolt configuration of the 1971 seats. There are four bolts on the seat. The are 17.5” O C from side to side and 17” from front to back.

The 1973 seat has the same side to side dimension but approximately 15” front to back. My plan at the moment is to install the two front bolts on each of the front seats using the current hardware. Then I will take a piece of heavy gauge steel maybe 3” long and drill two holes 2” apart. And bolt them to the seat on one end and the floor on the other end.



one look at the parts catalogue explains your issue:
This is what the “First type” of seats used in SI cars looks like:

And this is what later cars’ seats look like:

The rails are entirely different. Nevertheless, it should be possible to make up adapters as you suggest.

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

I wasn’t intending to hijack this thread, but with the above photos already posted I was curious if anyone with an early series 1 has replaced the foams of their headrests recently or in the past and ever ran into an issue of a seized headrest. My driver’s side headrest is stuck in an extended position and won’t budge. I’ve read that the headrests just pull out with a bit of - strong pulling. I’m thinking I will need to pull apart the seat back to investigate the failure first to avoid causing undue damage, and thought I’d ask the group if they have any advice for taking it apart, pulling the headrest, etc. Thanks.

Well that explains a lot. My 71 had headrests and I was pretty sure the seats were the same as in my 73. So maybe Lou’s 71 is early, and lacks headrests. I fitted my 73 with Series 3 seats at one time–and the spacing was the same as the 73 (and I believe 71).

I indeed had that problem when I replaced the headrests in my 71. But I can’t remember what I did. It’s possible that I removed the back panel in the seatbacks to get a better look.

Justin: I also removed the head rests and stuffed them with foam rubber to restore their shape. But I also had removed the seats to strip the color off and apply new color. I could be wrong but was there not a button to depress in order to pull the headrest out of the seat?


Unfortunately, there isn’t. Does anyone have any words of wisdom or advice on taking the back panel off the seats?

Not in my vocabulary. :slight_smile:

As usual, I have a vague recollection only. Some sort of clips, prising rearwards starting at the top? One problem is that I’ve dealt with S1, S3 and S4 (XJ40) seats (S3 and S4 in both base and VDP style) and get them all confused.

I’m confused now about the different seat mountings. Lou, do your 71 seats have headrests? They should, because Justin’s 70 has them. But if the seat mountings changed when headrests were added (drawings above), then Lou’s 71 with headrests but different mountings must be a third iteration of Series 1 seats??

The XJ6 Series 1 front seat back panel is held in place by four clips on the left and right side edges near the rectangular inset as well as by the lever tilt adjuster at the bottom of the seat (right or left). There is also a guide metal tab that fits into a hold so the seat back must be removed by sliding down and not pulling up. The back can only be removed with the seat out of the car (obviously!).

First remove the side tilt lever mechanism. The back can then be removed by carefully prying off the clips with a screwdriver or plastic wedge. To reinstall, press down on the clips until they “click” into position.


Thanks @KrissMotors! That’s incredibly helpful and exactly what I was looking for. Appreciate it.


I doubt whether it’ll help a lot pulling the seat apart.

If you have head rests they don’t have any mechanism to be kept in place. The head rest centre tube just slides up and down with the terminal limit of a spring poking out at the end of the head rest chrome tube and preventing the head rest to slide out of its liner.

IIRC, it’s all about a sharp impulse from underneath to overcome this tiny spring. If your head rest is frozen it’ll probably save a lot of work to just pour in some WD40 or similar to make the head rest move again. Once it does, try that sharp hit from underneath with both hands. Maybe have an assistant avoid the freed head rest hit that headliner …

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

The head rests, as noted above, move via a friction glide and can get stuck over time.

Removing the back cover can be helpful, however, because you may be able to tap out the headrest by hitting the bottom of the vertical glide with a hammer.

To put a finishing touch on the question “Can I install seats from a 71 XJ6 in a 73 XJ6”, I removed the front passenger seat from the 73 and installed the front passenger seat from a 1971 vehicle and it was a perfect match.

However, the seat of the 1973 car included a electric device under the seat. I don’t know what the electronics is for, but I can guess that it sounds a warning if you sit in the seat and don’t use your seat belt. US cars of that era probably required the import cars to include them. Happily, that equipment disappeared sometime later.

On a related issue, I was amazed how well the recolored seats, which were stripped and recolored black in about 1986, from the 71 XJ6 have held up. Not a crack or chip in the colorant. I removed the original black and repainted it with new black.


This is indeed part of the seat belt alarm that is triggered by an electrical connection in the seat belt extension arm on the tunnel side of the seat.