Fabricating a Rear Seat Delete Kit

In an effort to lighten up the interior I’d removed all sound deadening, as well as the rear seat. For what it’s worth, the 93 Cobra R was sold without a rear seat, which makes this a legal modification for autocrossing my car in Street Prepared. The 93 R had a simple piece of carpet covering the rear seat area, but I wanted something a little bit more sanitary looking. Off to eBay I went, and ordered a set of Betr Rear Seat Delete (RSD) plans from MyPonyHauls.

Buying a set of plans can be a little scary because you don’t know what the plans are going to be like, and the final product will be completely up to your own skill level in assembly. Quite a few of these sets have already been sold, and everyone seems happy with them. Aside from the benefit of working from plans being very budget-conscious, it allows you to tweak the final product to your specific needs. Not only do these plans have the templates to cut the large panels, it has a complete parts listing from Home Depot, which makes for a very handy shopping trip.

I gathered all of my materials, cut out the templates, traced the pattern onto the wood (I used cheap, light, 1/4″ OSB), and cut out the two large patterns. The patterns have large arcs on them, which fit the interior just fine. However, with the rigidness of the wood, any little imperfection in your cut can cause fitment issues. I cut just outside the lines, then trimmed the panels down to fit.

After test fitting the panels, I wrapped them in carpet, and screwed them together.

The plans have you letting the carpet wrap around the front of the top panel, but not the rear of the top panel, so that the carpet can run up the hump into the hatch area, under the factory rear carpet. My factory carpet was in horrid shape, so I chose to use a piece of the same carpet I was using for the kit to cover the hatch area, and I had it run from the hatch area down the hump and tuck under the top panel of the rear seat delete.

After a final test fit of the panels, the last thing to do is to fasten the panel down with a piece of metal strapping. If I were to make any complaint about the kit, the photo that shows where to attach this to the chassis isn’t very clear. But if you look at the floor pan of your car, it’s actually pretty obvious where it goes, so use your common sense here.

I first bolted the strapping to the chassis, then bent the front up at a slight angle, so that when the RSD is in place, the front of the strapping is making contact with the underside of the top panel. I lifted up the front of the RSD just enough to squeeze my arm through, and using a pen I traced an outline of the front edge of the strapping onto the top panel. I used this as a reference for where the strapping should be fastened to the underside of the RSD.

I was very happy to discover that once the strap was fastened to the bottom of the RSD, and the unit was slid back into place, the rear edge of the strap was able to slide down over the top of the stud so that I see no need to bolt the kit down. The strap keeps the RSD from moving front to back, while the whole thing is wedged in tight enough between the side panels that it cannot move side to side. And because of the way the RSD fits into the contours of the side panels, it is difficult to get the kit to lift up. However, it’s easy to stick your finger down behind the top panel to pull the strap up and remove the RSD.

As for weight savings, the entire piece weighs 11 pounds. I’d previously removed 86 pounds from the rear seat assembly, sound deadening and tar, so adding the RSD back into the car still results in a net loss of 75 pounds. The OSB I used is pretty flimsy, so I wouldn’t trust it to hold a whole lot of weight. But it’ll be perfect for my use.

Overall, with a shipped price of $20 (at the time of my purchase), I consider these plans a no-brainer. It all depends on what your time is worth, but even at minimum wage I doubt you could create the template and parts listing quick enough to make it worth your hassle. Go ahead and order up a set, you’ll be glad you did. I’m certainly satisfied.