Got in the truck today. Leaned against the driver's seat back to position myself and the back gave way (not mine...the seat's). The seat back now reclines fully. I can move it to any position without lifting the handle (handle/spring mechanism SEEMS ok). The back will not stay in any position. Whatever the mechanism is that keeps the seat back locked in place after adjusting ...it's no longer working.
Otherwise, the seat's in very nice shape. I have always used seat covers, so seats look very good. I'd hate to replace the seat with something from a salvage yard, but my budget may force me to if replacement is the only feasible option.
As I said, the lever on the side looks fine, and seems to operate normally. I see no parts or anything out of place...nothing laying on the floor, etc.
Any ideas on what the problem is, and how best to fix it?
Mine do the same thing on both sides, but the seats are shot so I found used replacements. In looking at mine, there is a part that looks like a gear on the outside hinge area that the teeth have probably worn off, or whatever locks into those teeth has worn out. you should be able to take off the cover on the outer seat hinge area (where the seat back meets the base on the side closest to the door) and have a look around. I would think if you found a good hinge/latch assembly in a junkyard you should be able to just swap it over and not have to replace the whole seat.
Yeah, there must be some kind of gear-type deal that catches to hold the back in place. I removed the plastic cover from the side of the seat, to expose the lever and spring mechanism. I don't see anything there that looks out of whack. The seat back is pivoting back and forth from an area that is up underneath the seat cover, and when I move it back and forth, nothing in the lever mechanism moves, that I can see. I can't see up under the seat cover far enough to tell what's going on.
Looks like there was a recall notice in 1996 for the recliner seat bolt.
Auto Recall Date:
MAR 25, 1996
Vehicle Component: SEATS
Estimated Vehicles Affected: 2400
1995 Ford F-150 Defect Summary:
THE SEAT RECLINER TO SEAT FRAME ATTACHING BOLTS ON THESE VEHICLES COULD LOOSEN, FATIGUE AND FRACTURE, ALLOWING THE SEAT BACK TO SUDDENLY RECLINE.
IF THIS WERE TO OCCUR TO THE DRIVER'S SEAT, THIS COULD RESULT IN A SUDDEN LOSS OF VEHICLE CONTROL INCREASING THE RISK OF A VEHICLE ACCIDENT.
DEALERS WILL REMOVE ALL FOAM AND/OR FABRIC SANDWICHED BETWEEN THE RECLINER ASSEMBLY AND THE SEAT FRAME, INSTALL WASHERS BETWEEN THE SEAT RECLINER AND THE SEAT FRAME AT EACH ATTACHMENT POINT, AND INSTALL NEW ATTACHING BOLTS TORQUED TO A HIGHER SPECIFICATION. THESE CORRECTIONS WILL BE MADE TO BOTH THE DRIVER'S AND PASSENGER'S SEATS.
VEHICLE SAFETY SYSTEMS
Worth calling the dealer about, I think. Sounds like this is what happened with my seat today.
Mine did that on my '95, although they had the Lariat logo on them so I'm not sure what year they were really from. The PO had to ghetto-rig them a little so they would work in the Bronco (fold forward enough) and got that toothed pawl misaligned to the toothed section on the seat itself. It eventually wore the halfs that did mate up. I welded a shim in so it would ride on the unused half and that held until I got rid of it.