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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What was triumph thinking when they made that seat latch system for the thunderbird??
I have a hell of a time getting them little pins back in on my 2002 Thunderbird.Im sure it would be easier to do without the backrest on in the way.I had a 98 TBS and the seat just popped up and off with the key very easy.
I wonder if anyone here has ever converted a regular TBS seat system to the Thunderbird?Thats what im thinking about doing any comments would be appreciated!!
Thanks
 

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You're lucky you have a seat latch. I have to deal with the 2 screws. It'd be nice if we had a local custom seat manufacturer. If you find a good solution, be sure to post cuz I'd be interested what you find.
 

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You're lucky you have a seat latch. I have to deal with the 2 screws. It'd be nice if we had a local custom seat manufacturer. If you find a good solution, be sure to post cuz I'd be interested what you find.
I replaced that system as follows:

The two tabs with captive nuts on the rear of the frame: cut off.
One hole drilled in each piece of tubing at the rear of the frame, approximately 1" from the (now open) end.
A stainless steel shaft collar with appropriate outside dimensions (I want to say 3/4", but can't recall for sure; could've been 5/8") taped onto a pencil inserted into tubing; appropriate length socket head screw goes through hole in tubing, into set-screw hole (sans set-screw) in shaft collar, locking it in place.
Screws which used to mate with the captive nuts, thrown away.
Two pushbutton locking pins used in their place, mating into the shaft collars, with the ball-bearing 'locks' on the other side of the shaft collars.

Result:
To remove seat: press in both buttons on locking pins, pull off seat.
To attach seat: with seat close to position, with ends of locking pins against the shaft collars, push in both buttons and push seat into place.

It takes me about 1 second to remove my seat, and maybe five to replace it (since it can be a bit fiddly with the tab in front etc). Major expense, the stainless locking pins, which are around 20$ apiece via mcmaster-carr or similar.

Measure everything first, since the shaft length of the locking pins has to be fairly precisely matched to the distance the shaft collars are mounted; and of course, the locking pin shaft diameter needs to be a match to the inside diameter of the shaft collar.

I plan on doing this to the airbox covers as well (well; airbox cover, and battery cover. Whatever...)
 

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Sarge - Are you talking about a latch, as in a key release latch, or the two bolt system Mado refers to?

Lots of people on here with post '99 T'Birds, including me, have switched to a key latch as per the TBS and earlier T'Birds. Many have switched to TBS solo seats. There are pics in my Album of the conversion I did (following the lead of others) using the stock K&Q seat (link below), but do a search for different approaches. The parts for the latch and key lock are still available and just bolt on - the challenge can be to find and fit a suitable seat pin, but some members have fabricated their own.
 

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shoggot, that sounds really cool. I was envisioning something like latch pins securing the hood on drag racers/old musclecars.

/off to check TonyD's album
 

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Photos available?

I replaced that system as follows:

The two tabs with captive nuts on the rear of the frame: cut off.
One hole drilled in each piece of tubing at the rear of the frame, approximately 1" from the (now open) end.
A stainless steel shaft collar with appropriate outside dimensions (I want to say 3/4", but can't recall for sure; could've been 5/8") taped onto a pencil inserted into tubing; appropriate length socket head screw goes through hole in tubing, into set-screw hole (sans set-screw) in shaft collar, locking it in place.
Screws which used to mate with the captive nuts, thrown away.
Two pushbutton locking pins used in their place, mating into the shaft collars, with the ball-bearing 'locks' on the other side of the shaft collars.

Result:
To remove seat: press in both buttons on locking pins, pull off seat.
To attach seat: with seat close to position, with ends of locking pins against the shaft collars, push in both buttons and push seat into place.

It takes me about 1 second to remove my seat, and maybe five to replace it (since it can be a bit fiddly with the tab in front etc). Major expense, the stainless locking pins, which are around 20$ apiece via mcmaster-carr or similar.

Measure everything first, since the shaft length of the locking pins has to be fairly precisely matched to the distance the shaft collars are mounted; and of course, the locking pin shaft diameter needs to be a match to the inside diameter of the shaft collar.

I plan on doing this to the airbox covers as well (well; airbox cover, and battery cover. Whatever...)
Any photos available? This sound like a great solution.
 

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Perfect!

I was planning to do something with that bad pice och enginering :)
 

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If you can get hold of a lock and cable used for cheap, you don't even need the key unless you are anal about securing your seat. On mine, the ignition lock has been replaced and the original keys are missing. So I took out the lock, separated it, removed the two (I think) guillotines that matches up to the key (meaning it's already low security) and put everything back together. A 5 minute job. Now any key - or flat blade screwdriver - can open the seat lock, but for me the good thing is that I don't have to carry any extra keys and the seat is easily removed when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sarge - Are you talking about a latch, as in a key release latch, or the two bolt system Mado refers to?

Lots of people on here with post '99 T'Birds, including me, have switched to a key latch as per the TBS and earlier T'Birds. Many have switched to TBS solo seats. There are pics in my Album of the conversion I did (following the lead of others) using the stock K&Q seat (link below), but do a search for different approaches. The parts for the latch and key lock are still available and just bolt on - the challenge can be to find and fit a suitable seat pin, but some members have fabricated their own.
Tony,I was talking about the two screw heads with the holes in them for a cotter key type pin in the back of the seat.I just got this 2002 TBird. I had a 98 TBS before and it unlocked with the key No problems there but this new one is a pain. now I see from other post that it is posible to put the same type on this one So i will do that or rig up another way myself i guess
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I replaced that system as follows:

The two tabs with captive nuts on the rear of the frame: cut off.
One hole drilled in each piece of tubing at the rear of the frame, approximately 1" from the (now open) end.
A stainless steel shaft collar with appropriate outside dimensions (I want to say 3/4", but can't recall for sure; could've been 5/8") taped onto a pencil inserted into tubing; appropriate length socket head screw goes through hole in tubing, into set-screw hole (sans set-screw) in shaft collar, locking it in place.
Screws which used to mate with the captive nuts, thrown away.
Two pushbutton locking pins used in their place, mating into the shaft collars, with the ball-bearing 'locks' on the other side of the shaft collars.

Result:
To remove seat: press in both buttons on locking pins, pull off seat.
To attach seat: with seat close to position, with ends of locking pins against the shaft collars, push in both buttons and push seat into place.

It takes me about 1 second to remove my seat, and maybe five to replace it (since it can be a bit fiddly with the tab in front etc). Major expense, the stainless locking pins, which are around 20$ apiece via mcmaster-carr or similar.

Measure everything first, since the shaft length of the locking pins has to be fairly precisely matched to the distance the shaft collars are mounted; and of course, the locking pin shaft diameter needs to be a match to the inside diameter of the shaft collar.

I plan on doing this to the airbox covers as well (well; airbox cover, and battery cover. Whatever...)
Shoggot,Some pics of that would be great if its not too much trouble

Thank you Sarge
 

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Can anyone give me the address of the #%&! who designed that idiotic cost-cutting seat locking system? I'd like to send him an email! I love my 2002 T-bird but those two &$#*! screws that I can never line up drive me stupid. Water and battery maintenance is a nightmare. Glad to see someone here has suggested a solution. As others have said, hoping to see some photos. What a joke compared to most bikes with their click open seats complete with tool kits and easy access. 20 minutes plus for me to remove and replace the t-bird seat!
 

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So from Shaggot's description, the solution is basically a push-in locking pins http://www.mcmaster.com/#push-button-quick-release-pins/=cwdtmy that engages hollow sleeves installed inside the frame rails.

The short coming, atleast in my case, is that my seat always seems to need to be drawn in by the original screws, and it takes a bit of effort getting the seat tight to the frame rails. I am not convinced that merely pushing on pins in those close concealed quarters is going to draw the seat in.
 

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:) I got so peed off trying to put those 2 screws back, on my wife's 03 Tbird. So, I took the seat, and turned the 2 holes into 2 slots. Still a bit fiddly to reach the screws, but you don't need to remove them, or, more importantly, have to put them back! Giving them a good nip up seems to hold the seat in place perfectly well. Whilst the seat was off, I also fitted a battery tender pigtail so the seat doesn't need to come off very often. Got to be the most poorly designed part on the whole bike. PS, 2 penny washers on the bolts, is a good idea.
 
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