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  #11  
Old 09-11-2017, 05:01 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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My experience with the seats makes me totally agree with John and Ray. I bought the high dollar preformed foam and a complete set of covers from one of our vendors. After trying to put one of the old covers over the new foam, to make the car driveable during restoration, I realized I was NOT going to do the install of the new covers.
I found an upholstery shop that specializes in classics and roadsters and decided to let them do the install. They had to modify one of the seat covers and ended up reshaping all of the foam. I had negotiated a price for the initial install, but neglected to renegotiate for the modifications.
Bottom line is the install nearly doubled the price of what I had in the foam and new covers.
After that I would highly recommend finding a good upholstery shop and let them make the covers and foam, and then they are responsible for the entire job. My friend did that on his TBird and ended up paying a lot less than I did and got a really nice job.
Just thought I would share my experience.
Nyles
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:08 AM
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I quit buying stuff from Mac's after the crap covers and oversized cushions they sold me. I talked to them several times and they were to return a call from management. Never did, so I wrote them off my list.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2018, 10:31 AM
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Default more questions on seat covers and foams

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
John and Ray, good information - thanks!

I have a 2016 MACs catalogue which shows the seat cover set I need as $469. Then the 2017 Fall catalogue at $505. Now the online price of $585, a 25% increase over 2016!

So something is going on there and I need to look closer to the source, as Ray suggested.

I had not thought about the foam being done locally so that helps. The auto upholstery guy is only 2 miles down the road.
Hi John - Just wondering, did you ever do anything with your seat covers & foams? I have been looking into doing something with just the fronts as the shoulders are faded and rough and the foams are shot but have not found any leather sample that comes even close to the 60 red leather color. They all are too maroon. Even got some vinyl samples but they are too maroon as well. I found a place online called autoleatherdye.com that apparently can make a kit to custom color match anything, so I sent them a swatch from under the back seat. Awaiting on their return call.

Does anyone know if the two page "tip sheet" that Jed Zimmerman used to provide to folks that purchased his foams is available anywhere online?
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2018, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
...Remember Jed Zimmerman's foams? He glued different densities of foam together then cut the shape out with a knife and a sander. None of them were molded...
Read the rest of my post below. Meanwhile, here's a picture of a typical set of 'Jed Zimmerman foams':



Here is Jed's instructions for installation:

Squarebird rear foam and upholstery

The following guidelines are based upon my personal experience in fabricating foams and doing complete upholstery jobs;

Steps to follow when Hog Ringing the Upholstery over the Foams and onto the Frames

1. Pad the perimeter of the frames by cutting 3 or 4 inch wide lengths of poly batting material, enough to use as padding for the entire perimeter of the frame.
2. Spray one side of batting with aerosol adhesive and place the batting material over the edge perimeter wire of the frame. Pinch the batting together over the frame edge wire so the contact glue will hold the batting in place.
3. Center foam on frame.
4. Insert wire splines into foam slice cut (coat hangers make good spline material).
5. Hog ring the splines to frame thru back fabric of seat foam thus anchoring the foam to the frame.
6. Cut 3-4” wide strips or lengths of ” to 1” foam or batting material
7. Either use contact glue or hog ring the foam strips onto the frame perimeter to match up with the seat foams. You may also simply use aerosol spray contact adhesive to glue the foam strips at the perimeter base of the foams around the perimeter of the seat frame. These foam/batting strips will alleviate any undue pressure or chaffing of the upholstery material onto or across the metal frames when the upholstery is drawn down tight over the foam and frame assembly.
8. Insert wire splines into the pocket inserts of the upholstery
9. Place the upholstery over the foam and insert the upholstery attached spline sleeves into the foam slice cuts.
10. Hog ring the inserted upholstery spline onto the inserted foam slice cut spline, thus anchoring the upholstery to the foam and the frame.
11. Start at top and bottom centers working outwards from center to each side continuing around the foam/frame corners, first gently stretching the upholstery over the foam to gain the desired contour and hog ringing the upholstery onto the frame bottom.
12. Cautiously alternate hog ringing locations gently pulling upholstery to evenly contour foam and eliminate unnecessary folds in the fabric.
13. It will be necessary to occasionally use diagonal pliers (dikes) to cut hog rings off and relocate the fastening location of them in order to gain the correct stretching distance and foam contour.
14. Using an extra layer of batting material to increase the foams bulk should be used for any areas of the upholstery/foam desired to have greater bulk, contour or tension.

PRECAUTIONARY WARNING:

Upon installation of your upholstery fabric over your new foam seat cushion onto the seat frames; please do consider the application of using heat. Upholstery must be stretched and hog-ring fastened in temps in excess of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A hot summer's day or heat lamps are required for correct stretching and installation of the upholstery vinyl fabric over the seat foams and hog-ringing onto the seat frames. You have no other alternative, other than to be in a very warm temp environment or to use auxiliary heat when you hog-ring the upholstery over the foams onto the frames, less you may tear the upholstery or seams. Please contact me directly with any questions regarding the installation of such.

Best Birding,
Jed Zimmerman

Dave's note:
  • Jed's 'spline sleeves' are commonly called, 'pockets' in the seat covers.
  • Jed's 'splines' are commonly called, 'listing rods'. (They slide into the pockets and are hog ringed to the seat springs.)
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2018, 12:14 PM
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Default Thanks Dave

Hi Dave Thanks for posting this. I watched some youtube vids on seat cover / foam installs and was questioning whether reusing old covers was feasible. After some further searching here I found a post where Jed Z described re-installing existing seat covers over new foams. Of course it would depend on the condition of the covers, and no doubt the skill of the person doing the job.

Has anyone attempted this? Opinions?
If I can get the worn spots to look half decent, I may give it a try. In a few more weeks it will be warm enough in the garage to do some work out there and the seats will be coming out so I can start on the new carpets.
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2018, 01:42 PM
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Don,
I tried re-using an old cover that had a badly rusted rear bottom frame. I switched the still soft foam to a clean frame and when I went to install the used cover I discovered the thread would not support any pulling or positioning to re-ring the cover. Most of the seams split rendering the job a failure.
Carl
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2018, 05:41 PM
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Carl is right about the seams.
I use my industrial sewing machine to sew boat covers, Bimini covers, sails, automotive seats, awnings, etc. Notice, these are all exposed to sunlight. Cars are the least affected but still see harmful UV rays that discolor and break down everything over time.

I strictly prohibit nylon and cotton threads. Instead, polyester does a good job of resisting sunlight. (Boat cover material is also made of polyester.) The absolute grand-daddy of sunlight resistant threads are:
Tenara is made from a unique fluoropolymer and Profilen is made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Both of these brands carry a lifetime guarantee. These threads are unaffected by exposure to UV rays, harsh cleaning agents, pollution, saltwater, rain, snow, cold, and rot.

Unfortunately, these threads are too expensive for the automotive OEMs so they use nylon. I test all the thread I buy because UV protection is so important. I recently sent two cones back because I ordered polyester but they sent nylon. Some folks can't tell the difference but I can. - Dave
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2018, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by del View Post
...Has anyone attempted this? Opinions?
If I can get the worn spots to look half decent, I may give it a try. In a few more weeks it will be warm enough in the garage to do some work out there and the seats will be coming out so I can start on the new carpets.
You are working with red leather upholstery. Is that correct ?
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2018, 01:29 PM
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Yes Woobie, that is correct - red leather upholstery.
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by del View Post
Yes Woobie, that is correct - red leather upholstery.
Vinyl I've done. Not leather. The rear panel of backrest is held in with spring clips. Very easy to pull them through the pressboard when prying out. The rear of the backrest frame contains spikes machined into the metal frame. The material is stretched from the sides, top and bottom and locked into these spikes. The sides of the backrest are stuffed into a narrow space at the bottom of the backrest frame with another spike. I'll call them spikes, they are "V" shaped, cut from the solid metal frame and they'll get you good if not paying attention. If the same seat frames were used for the expensive leather option than this will give you an idea of what's under the upholstery.
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