Bill Stoneberg

Has anyone recovered their own seats ?

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I am thinking of redoing my seats using covers from Clarks.  Has anyone done this themselves and is it very hard ? 

I am good with mechanical parts but have no idea of upholstery. Looks easy on TV but..

 

I would like some real world stories.  This is on my 64.

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I did the whole process, I even cut my own foam.  Get yourself a set of NEW diagonal cutters to remove the old hog rings with, trust me, a new pair will make it so much easier.   buy hog rings and a set of pliers for installing.

 

When removing the old material make sure to save the wires that are in the cover, cut only the rings to remove it.  The old wires need to get fed into the channels of the new covers.

 

Break the seat down to each pad, do one pad at a time and just clip them back the way you took them apart.

 

Are you reusing your current foam or replacing, and with what??

 

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Hi Bill.

 

I replaced the vinyl and buns on my driver's side seat on my '64 a two years ago as my winter project.  The original was brittle and cracked in all the usual places.  

 

I removed everything down to the frame.  I spent a lot of time with a dremmel tool and removed all surface rust from all surfaces including all sides of the coil springs.  I then applied a rust converter to anything remaining and then painted everything.  

 

This was a power seat, so while I had everything out I disassembled all power seat components to clean, lubricate, and paint.  

 

I used Clark's for all materials (i.e. vinyl, buns, side cutters, hog rings, and hog-ring pliers).  It was a lot of work and I had many, many, hours in the project.  I would re-use Clark's again for all of the components listed above.  I learned to put some vulgarities together in new combinations, but I also learned a lot about the process.  

 

I'm happy with the outcome but I will admit that there are a few flaws that a discerning eye can catch.  On balance, I would say that it was worth the savings for me to do it myself.  

 

Below is a photo of the final product.  

 

Good luck.  

Drivers.seat_copy.jpg

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3 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

I am thinking of redoing my seats using covers from Clarks.  Has anyone done this themselves and is it very hard ? 

I am good with mechanical parts but have no idea of upholstery. Looks easy on TV but..

 

I would like some real world stories.  This is on my 64.

If you are a mechanically inclined perfectioninst, have patience and very good set of vinyl and foam/padding I highly recommend it.

I was intimidated at first but found it a pleasurable experience. Saved thousands from one quote.

And it looked as good as factory. Heres a Camaro I did a couple years ago. Gotta have French seams :P

 

 

 

Camaro 15.JPG

Camaro 9.JPG

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Rather, this set is more like yours. A couple hundred hog rings. This vinyl is from OPGI. Perfect match to original.

Take many of photos of your disassembly. You can do it!

 

 

Riv Seats 1.JPG

Riv Seats 2.JPG

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If I were to do this, I would buy covers and seat buns from Clarks along with the buttons.

My drivers seat is torn and leaking rotting foam, this is the impetus for even considering this project.

I am mechanically inclined but have to force myself to be a perfectionist. as I say to my wife, I am better with 

a framing gun then a finish gun though I can do both.

 

 

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It's not hard. Of

you can replace a pillow case

you can recover a seat ;)  well almost.  

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Bill, my wife and I did a whole interior refresh - seat covers, foam replacement, carpet, and door pads, not on my 65 Riviera, but of the same vintage - it was on a 63 1/2 Ford Falcon Sprint.  The pieces and process is very similar.  When you strip the seat down, it is probably best to take pictures as you go, so you know how it was originally put together.  And like the other tips you received, keep the various wires that are used to do the various bolsters, you will be reusing them.  You may also need to get some burlap from a local fabric store, I did for my Sprint, as the original burlap was very ratty.  I also cleaned the frame and painted it since I had everything apart.  Additionally, I would suggest getting the best hog ring pliers that you can find/buy, the cheap ones are garbage.  Also if you think you are going to use 200 hog rings, at least get 50% more, I ended up doubling the order, and paid the extras I had forward to a friend of mine in the neighborhood who was doing a 65 Buick Gran Sport (A-Body).  You will end up making scrap of some hog rings while you are learning the process, don't waste your time trying to straighten the bad ones back into shape.

 

Incidentally, my wife and I did the seat part of the project together.  We uninstalled the seats, stripped all the seats bottoms and seat backs, took the pictures, and rehabbed the frames on Saturday (maybe 6 hours).  Put new foam, covers, etc.,  and had them back in the car for a Sunday afternoon.  We also are still VERY HAPPILY MARRIED, and enjoy sharing this story at car shows.  We haven't tried wallpapering together, but working on cars together is very pleasant.  

 

Rock On

 

gord

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Do you think that you'll have the same relationship if you try to teach her how to drive a stick shift?  ?

 

Ed

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Ed, Susan's car is a stick shift, (manual 5 speed).  When I met her she had a manual.  Incidentally, she has driven the Falcon, but it is manual steering, manual brakes and the clutch is a bit tough to get used to, but she can drive it.  Our relationship gets better the more car stuff she is involved with.  She got tie rod ends for Christmas last year, and is getting a coil spring compression tool this year.  She has some springs that she needs to change soon.

 

Rock On

 

gord

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On ‎12‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 11:00 AM, Bill Stoneberg said:

If I were to do this, I would buy covers and seat buns from Clarks along with the buttons.

My drivers seat is torn and leaking rotting foam, this is the impetus for even considering this project.

 

My story: I bought my covers and buttons from Clarks but not the buns as I have a custom interior. I used '64 covers on my '65 as they didn't have the '65 fabric that I wanted. I did all of the 'teardown' and picture taking, had all the frames sandblasted and I painted them. Took the remainder to a trimmer as it still seemed like a daunting task to me as I tend to be a perfectionist and insecure in areas I've not had experience with. When the job was finished and installed I found the comfort level to be a disappointment; way too stiff for my taste. When I brought this up to the trimmer he blamed it on the material that Clarks uses as he considered it heavier than necessary and difficult to work with. So I took it to another experienced trimmer who initially thought it might have been the type of foam used, as I did. He took it apart and found that the foam was appropriate and agreed that the vinyl was the culprit. So I'm just accepting the 'stiffness' and adjusting. If I had done them myself I would probably still be working on them, and not knowing the diff, would probably still be trying to make them a little 'softer'.

 

Steve

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Bill, I intended to do what you propose on my 63 quite a few years ago. Bought all the materials from Clarks and started with the drivers bucket. I bought a slightly upgraded pair of hogring pliers but not a really good pair and by the time I finished that seat I permanently damaged something in my hand. (Probably helped along by age and arthritis) The work is easy and the seat came out good but it messed me up. I took all the materials and seats to an old trim shop on the other side of the tracks and they finished the other seats for about $250 - looked great, simple and well worth it. No idea what it would cost today but you may want to get an estimate. If you do it yourself remember to buy professional quality tools

DSCF7163.JPG

DSCF7167.JPG

DSCF7168.JPG

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Bill...If you are unsure that you want to tackle the job or too busy, I know a lady in Bertram that does nice work and is quite reasonable...however she will not take the seat out of the car.

 

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If I had to ship out the work I have done to date , I couldnt afford to own my car. So I have decided to take on the upholstery as well, as long as it doesn`t require an industrial sewing machine. I am happy to see that so many have done the same with great results. keep up the good work !

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Quote

 

 

 

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On 12/19/2016 at 5:42 PM, msdminc said:

Ed, Susan's car is a stick shift, (manual 5 speed).  When I met her she had a manual.  Incidentally, she has driven the Falcon, but it is manual steering, manual brakes and the clutch is a bit tough to get used to, but she can drive it.  Our relationship gets better the more car stuff she is involved with.  She got tie rod ends for Christmas last year, and is getting a coil spring compression tool this year.  She has some springs that she needs to change soon.

 

Rock On

 

gord

Hilarious, LMAO, poor Susan!

  Tom

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Clark´s, do they have a website? searching high and low for upholstery to my -67 since OPGI don´t sell to bench seats anymore.

 

/Anders

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14 minutes ago, Bosand said:

Clark´s, do they have a website? searching high and low for upholstery to my -67 since OPGI don´t sell to bench seats anymore.

 

/Anders

Clark's Corvairs website: http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/pages.cgi?category=buick&dbkey=24&level=1

I don't think they have anything for a -67 but I might be wrong.

 

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I did my own. The front buckets are a little tricky on the top of the seat backs. If my memory is correct. I turned the seat back covers inside out. And worked a little at a time from the top down. I tried attaching the face of the seat cover and then tried to manipulate the back over the seat top the first time. And tore the seam by the chrome strip that runs up the side of the seat just a little. The back seat and bottoms are a piece of cake. I used a pneumatic hog ring tool borrowed from a friend. And ordered seat foam for a early 60's Impala from E-bay to save $. They worked out great. I measured my Riv seats and a friends Impala seat before i bought. And they measure the same. Good advise on a new set of side cutters from a previous post.   

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On 12/22/2016 at 7:15 AM, Imperial62 said:

Not sure why hog rings are so hard to install. 

 

I purchased a cheap $5 pair of hog ring pliers off ebay and didnt have a single problem installing them.....it was removing them I had problems with I went thru two pairs of diagonal cutters cutting all mine off.

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I used small bolt cutters and a cheap set of hog ring pliers. Both worked liked champs. ;)

Sure the quality of tools is random like all else.

 

Edited by PWB (see edit history)

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On ‎12‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 11:56 PM, TexRiv_63 said:

Bill, I intended to do what you propose on my 63 quite a few years ago. Bought all the materials from Clarks and started with the drivers bucket. I bought a slightly upgraded pair of hogring pliers but not a really good pair and by the time I finished that seat I permanently damaged something in my hand. (Probably helped along by age and arthritis) The work is easy and the seat came out good but it messed me up. I took all the materials and seats to an old trim shop on the other side of the tracks and they finished the other seats for about $250 - looked great, simple and well worth it. No idea what it would cost today but you may want to get an estimate. If you do it yourself remember to buy professional quality tools

 

 

 

Those seats are like a dream. You should be proud. Sorry you sacrificed your hand. The Buick gods should redeem.

Edited by PWB (see edit history)
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