59 Rambler 6 Super Wagon Re-upholstry Where to start? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:25 PM
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59 Rambler 6 Super Wagon Re-upholstry Where to start?

Fellow Rodders,

I have never attacked upholstry before, I am capable of sewing cutting welding etc, but have no clue where to start and what to buy etc. Not scared, just not experianced in upholstry. The car has two folding coil spring seats in front and a folding coil spring bench seat in the rear. My requirements are fabric not vinyl, too hot in summer, good cushion for my bad back, durability as it will be a daily driver. Online video suggestions would help too.
Ok so lemme have it....

P.S. I am a BIG GUY 6'2" 380LBS

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Old 09-23-2012, 09:05 PM
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Check out this thread: Truck Seat Upholstery Tutorial and also this thread: Re-padding an old car seat.. That should tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:02 AM
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read dan's posts

Dan has posted lots of excellent interior information here on HR. Go to the forums button then down to interiors, Dan did a seat spring repair tutorial .
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:47 AM
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Try this site: Seat Upholstery - EZ Boy Interiors Custom Seat Upholstery and Interior Products for automotive restoration and custom cars - Amesbury, MA
That is a retailer for Autocraft (autocraftinteriors.com) seat covers. J.C. Whitney used to sell them, but JCW has dumbed way down in recent years. Only mass market stuff.

I've used these seat covers several times. They can be used over the old upholstery or as total replacements. The instructions say to use something like 1/4" foam on the seats if you remove the old upholstery as they are made slightly oversize to snugly fit over the old. I've done it both ways. I like their tweed and vinyl (vinyl on back and around front and sides, tweed on seating surfaces). Looks "period" in the old 50s and early 60s cars.

If the springs aren't damaged in the Rambler seats you should be good to go. Those are some of the most comfortable bench seats you can find! Mine was way more comfortable than any newer car. If did eventually replace it with nice buckets, but sometimes I wish I hadn't. I do like the console though...
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:00 PM
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Its the right tool if it works
 

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So it begins. Now being on a poor family man's budget aka NONE... I am tackeling nessicity for cruisability... In other words looks are not an issue but comfort and function are. The bottom of the drivers seat is completely devoid of functional padding. So today I took out the driver bottom seat spring assembly, Belive it or not it just lifts off the base frame, apparently it clips on to the base frame. I have stripped the Crap off of it and have a nice skeleton to work with.

#1 should I paint the old frame first? Cheap black spraypaint?

#2 What should I use to cover the frame first that is cheap and accesable at any fabric store like Jo-Ann fabrics?

#3 is 3m spray glue ok to join foam peices?

#4 any tips on sewing tweed like material on a typical home sewing machine?

Again some day I will have it upholstered properly but I need function right now.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:19 PM
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1. Clean and rattle can the frame. No point in letting it get worse!

2. You can use any heavy fabric to cover the frame. Factory used burlap, IIRC. Check the ends and pieces upholstery section. Who cares if it's girly pink, it's not going to show!

3. For the bottom of the seat, don't cut an sew. Get enough that you can "gift wrap" the bottom. I'm serious! Lay the cloth out good side down, put the seat in the center, then wrap the sides up, trim material (leave enough to make about an inch fold), then hog ring to the springs like the original material. You need some hog ring pliers and of course rings. If the upholstery section of the cloth shop doesn't have any try a hardware store (not Lowe's/Home Depot). If no luck Eastwood has them (Seat Repair Tools - Interior Repair). Heck, looks like Lowe's may have what you need (Shop Chain-Link Hog Ring Pliers at Lowes.com).

Here's the cheap way out:
Amazon Amazon
. I've had those pliers come in a seat cover kit. Before I was done I had to find a small bolt to replace the rivet, but that was all. Hmmm... might still have them somewhere!

You will have a couple angled folds on the side (just like a wrapped box!) but it won't look bad as long as it's a neat, straight fold. I've done complete rear seats like this, bottom and back. You just can't do the backs of the front seats this way.

Well, you can, if you make a hard back to cover it. I've seen that done. The hard back was a piece of thick cardboard covered with the material. It was fastened on with wires through holes and then through big buttons. Didn't look bad, and worked! The buttons were four hole. The wire went through two opposite each other, was twisted a couple times, then the ends pushed back through the other two holes.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:51 PM
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You can't find anything to put on the seat frame over the springs at JoAnn fabrics, you need to get something from an upholstery shop or upholstery supply. Read this thread: Re-padding an old car seat..

The easiest thing to do to the frame before covering it is to wire brush it and spray Extend on it. That will turn the rust black and be good enough. It comes in aerosol cans. http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/s_t...izer-Spray.htm

3-M spray glue like 3-M 74 or 3-M 77 will not work, you need something better like 3-M 08090 super trim adhesive, but no aerosol is as good as spray grade adhesives.

You can sew tweed material on a home sewing machine, but you need to get the biggest needle the machine can handle and also use at least size 69 thread. You will not be able to sew with sew foam on a home machine, but a simple bench seat sewing two layers of fabric together won't be a problem.

Why do you want to do this twice if you're on a budget? Do it right the first time and you save money in the long run. I will send you what you need for free if you pay the shipping and don't try to do it half as sed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:51 AM
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Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and... do it twice. Often I've needed something right now, or short term, as I can't afford what I'd really like to do and can "see" that I won't be able to in the foreseeable future. Spending $50 on generic saddle blanket (or whatever) covers, or just tucking a towel around the seat, might be what I have to do until I can save enough over the next 6-24 months to "do it right". Many times we often forget that we were in that situation once! I've spent money on a used auto transmission that only lasted a year because I couldn't afford a proper rebuild at the time. Added about $300 (back then!) to the cost of my rebuild, but got me through a year while I saved the dough. Sure it would have saved some time and effort to just get the trans rebuilt, but I'd have had to borrow money to do it, and don't think I could at the time due to budget constraints (or maybe the wife balking...). Doubt I'd have paid $300 in interest if I could have borrowed the money, but I managed to get by and get that trans rebuilt later.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:45 PM
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So you're saying I gave him bad advice? You are free to do things however you want, but we're not talking about transmissions here, we're talking about basic seat covers. If he does it your way, what does he learn from it for the next time? It sounds to me likehe wants to do it right. He's got a home sewing machine and the fabric he wants to use already, and he is willing to buy the glue and the other things to do the job. He wants to do this as cheaply as possible, so I offered to give him what he needs to do the job, including instructions on how to do it, the deck pad, the foam, the hog rings, and a hog ring pliers (not a good one, but one that will do a couple of bench seat covers) if he'll pay the shipping. Is that not a money saving proposition for him, or am I missing something?

I guess people are right when they say that no good deed goes un-punished.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:59 PM
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Dan I guess I missed something. Are you offering to give me items just for the cost of shipping? I did not read that before. Farna has the right idea for what I was goin to atempt just ti get by. Ultimatly I do want to do it right but currently funds are super tight an I have a bare frame on the drivers side. Neither peice of advice was wrong in any way both are viable options dependant on budget and timing. I would like to learn to do it properly but I did not Belice my current budget or lack there of would get it done the professional way. So I'm open because I hope to register and drive the car next month.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:15 PM
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Dan, I didn't mean to insinuate that you gave "bad advice". I wouldn't say that at all, it's VERY GOOD advice! I was just pointing out that sometimes you have to do it twice when you just don't have the funding to do it "right" (in this case in a more permanent manner) the first time.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:32 PM
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Rewrite of my previous comment as the edit feature was unavailable

Dan I guess I missed something. Are you offering to give me items just for the cost of shipping? I did not read that before. (edit: Just re-read the last line I missed or did not understand before.

Farna has the right idea for what I was goin to atempt just ti get by.

Ultimatly I do want to do it right but currently funds are super tight an I have a bare frame on the drivers side.

Neither peice of advice was wrong in any way both are viable options dependant on budget and timing.

I would like to learn to do it properly, (renaissance learning is a good thing especially as some skills are dying off, and not being taught anymore) but I did not believe my current budget or lack there of, would get it done the professional way.

I am certianly open to any assistance I can get, because I hope to register and drive the car next month. belive it or not, this 59 rambler will get better gas mileage than my 1990 subaru legacy wagon with 250,000mi it only gets about 20mpg.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:29 AM
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Yes, I am offering to give you what you need to pad the seat frame and the hog rings and a pair of hog ring pliers for the cost to ship them to you. Even if what you do is only temporary, you will learn something for the next time.

This is not a big deal. I buy hog rings 10 pounds at a time, I got the pliers for free, and I always have deck pad and sheet foam in stock. My shop is right next to the post office, so shipping the stuff to you doesn't take me 5 minutes.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:21 PM
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Dan that is very generous of you Sir. I will message you my information and measure the seat frame. I really appreciate the assistance, it mean a LOT!
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:08 PM
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I found Dan's tutorials to be the best thing on the internet when it comes to upholstery.
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