Ok, so I found a neighbor that was able to get the welding done for me.
You’ll see why later, but in retrospect I would have mounted the brackets about another 1/4″ higher than I did. Turns out the seat cover puckers in a bit more than I’d like and in turn made it harder to get the top clips to stay connected to the main post mount.
Now its time to trim the foam. I left about 1 3/4″ at the top and cut away a good portion of the already hollowed out section. I did some googling and discovered that the best way to cut this foam is to use an electric carving knife. Good advice, as it cut through this stuff like butter.
I took all the pieces I cut away and used them to fill the gaps left by the now-absent lever connector bar. I ran out of duct tape or I would have used more to secure the pieces in a better way.
Now here’s the part that kinda sucks. You’ll need to zip the cover back into place so that you can determine exactly where you need to cut holes in the fabric for the posts. Feel around for the plastic post mount centers and mark the center of the opening on the fabric. Take the cover back off, because you’ll need to do some work to remove some of the inside padding of the cover to allow the post mount tops to snap in.
Once you’ve gapped all four holes, you’ll want to loosely fit the cover again and snap in the tops of the plastic post mounts. Here is where you see the problem with how I mounted my brackets a little too low. I’m not entirely happy with the amount of puckering on the cover, but c’est la vie, I’ll have to live with it… no big deal as the headrests sit on top and mostly hide the problem. Regardless of fit and form, the functionally is still perfect.
Once you’ve zipped everything up and hidden the zipper ends back under the cover, you’re ready to reinstall the seatback. Here are a couple pictures of the final result and I really could not be happier with the match. Other then the fact they are not the original blue leather, they still match well with the fuzzy fabric on the seat back. Most importantly my son now has whiplash protection in the case of a rear-end collision and we can finally ditch the old booster seat!