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Leather softener...


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One of my most recent acquisitions is a Black/Tan '89 that I plan to restore.

It has 16-ways that are in pretty good condition (no rips or tears), but they're a little sun-baked and hard.

Any suggestions on how to soften it up?

Thanks!

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I have seats in one that are sun baked. Soaked them in the leathertique, wrapped them in a black garbage bag, and left in the summer sun. Did it twice to no avail. Had a small tear in one and went to Dr Vinyl. The guy said he would first soften it up for $75 then repair it.....not.

I hope your's are not shot like mine. I would suggest you first go by an automotive upholstery shop and ask for an estimate, they would let you know if they were ok and you could proceed with ideas from other posters instead of money spent for a lost cause.

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Because I too have tried several products to try and soften dry leather and because they didnt work, I am skeptical that anything will soften dry leather. My last project was to use Mink oil and lef it sit in the sun for two days with the windows rolled up. It didnt work. I have tried cremes and conditioners to no avail. Anyone know of something that really works?

Thanks, Kit

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So it looks like there's not much I can do..

I really want a leather package, but at the moment I can't shell out that kind of money.

My goal is to have the car finished by the Charlotte BCA National next June. So I'll probably get it done before then.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Try Neatsfoot Oil. I use to do some leather tanning back in the day and this is what was used to condition and soften leather hides. You'll have to work at it, but I think it may do the trick. I think you'll find it in a good hardware store or a farm store. Good luck

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First you must understand what you are dealing with...... leather used on U.S. cars is made like plywood. Your seats are not like the old baseball glove you had, there is a thin layer of leather on top, backed with fabrics that give it body and strength.

Also it is not dyed, it is painted (sprayed on color). If you have a crack, look at the edge and it will be tan (the color of the cow) and not burgundy or blue.

The leather seats on U.S. cars are difficult to revive because of the above. The leather treatments does not soak thru the paint well and you are fighting not only the leather but the underlay when they start to crack.

At some point you must realise that it will require a replacement panel or the entire skin will need to be replaced.

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For what it's worth, and this is fairly inexpensive to try.

I used Lexol Conditioning and cleaner (may be wrong as I don't still have a bottle in the garage, followed by Lexol Restorative. In Chicago, which you aren't, but you may store your car for a period of time, I would do both at the beginning of storage, and then follow up with restorative every couple of weeks while it was in storage. Maybe a coat of restorative in season, followed by the same procedure in winter again. I also went to a "cobler" and picked up a matching color for the seats of polish. After the pre-winter cleaning, I'd apply the shoe polish, and they build up restorative.

Can't say my seats were terrible to begin with, but the effect was very nice. Just make sure to rub in the polish well, and then cover, or your pants will match the interior. I did that once. Of course test in an inconspicuous place.

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Just make sure to rub in the polish well, and then cover, or your pants will match the interior.

Yeow! :eek: :D

The top of the back seat of my Buick station wagon was hardened when I got the vehicle. I used Mothers and a couple of other things but it never really got much better. Have to agree with Barney, this USA leather is just so-so quality and when it gets tough, well its just Tough! ;)

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