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Converting an old bench to 6 way power


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I plan on driving my '37 a lot when I am done. I want to keep the original bench because it's so cool looking but am looking for more adjustment then back and forth.  I was hoping to use an early Buick switch and try and modify a frame/transmission from Wise Guys or Glide. What was the first year the 6 way option was available in a Buick? 

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One main consideration is seat width, at the seat tracks AND where the tracks mount to the seat structure.  Once that is known on your seat, then you can begin the hunt for a GM car with nothing wider than your seat is wide.  A seat wider than your seat is fine, but narrower is NOT.

 

Why?  The seats' actuators are run by cables from a central electric motor bundle.  Thsoe cables don't stretch!

 

Past that, you;ll need 12V power.  Run a 10ga wire from "power" to a relay to run the seat.  Direct wiring is ok, rather than "through teh ign switch", as many OEM power seats are run "direct".  Mount a companion 6-way switch in easy reach of the driver's left hand.

 

NOT impossible, but might take soem doing in order to find a seat with the right-width of seat tracks. 

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467  

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1956 in Buick.  Caddi maybe earlier.  But the switch is quirky, hard to find, expensive and with a fragile plug behind it that you will need also.  You should avoid this idea if you can, and go with the one your aftermarket company sells.  Maybe you could make a nice bezel to look period, and mount to the side of your original seat.  Or perhaps play off the gage bezels or other detail on the dash...

Edited by Fr. Buick
better clarity (see edit history)
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The big reason to avoid is width, becuz they are not operated by any cables in 1956 GM 6way pwr seats. They are operated by the selection of one of three solenoids(electo-magnets for the tech challenged like me). The electric motor then turns a shaft with spiral "threads" to operate the desired selection. '56 has three rotatable shafts of different diameter one inside the other to operate the different selections. Cutting and shortening those shafts would be a challenge IMHO. Good luck with what U decide to do. Oh yeah 57&58 have 3 seperate shafts, but I dont see them being any easier to shorten.

Edited by 2carb40 (see edit history)
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I did a little more research and I think the GM Strato bench seat units from 1966 - 1972 are the ticket. The advice to use the cables was spot on. I looked at a couple of YouTube videos and I feel I will have a few inches of wiggle room. The 1966 Wildcat or Electra seat control/bezel have a nice vintage look. My plan is too use the 1937 frame but upgrade to high density foam from burlap and cotton, cover it leather and make it 6 way power adjustable. 

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Thanks for the updates!  I believe the burlap was used as the base "build" over the seat springs.  From there, the foam and such was added.  Some of the GM buckets, possibly including the Strato Bucket and Strato Bench items might have been their then-new "molded foam" that was a part of the seat structure and covered from there.  Your upholstery shop would know the difference.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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