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Old 08-12-2010, 02:24 PM
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60's Mustang Seat Upholstery

I just got a set of '65 Mustang seats to redo with seat covers made by Distinctive Industries in California, and new seat foam by NXT Step Performance in Colorado. There are a lot of places to get vintage Mustang seat covers and seat foam, some good, some bad. These two companies make really good products. The seat foam is very firm, which is how I like it. Some of you might think it is too firm, but the original seats were kind of poor, and this is a great upgrade in my opinion.

Here's the process to redo a seat bottom. I'll post more on the rest of the seat covers as I do them and get time to post.

You start by removing the plastic trim on one side of the seat, and the "chrome" trim on the other side. The plastic trim only has one screw holding it, but the chrome trim has three screws. There are supposed to be small round plastic washers that go under the chrome behind the top two screw holes, but a lot of seats don't have these any more. These are there to prevent crushing the chrome from over-tightening the screws, as is the plastic piece that goes under the chrome on the bottom screw hole. That piece is generally still there on most seats. The owner wanted the chrome trim and the washers and screws replaced. These are readily available from a lot of sources as are most things for vintage Mustangs.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:04 PM
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The next step is to remove the two hair pin clips that hold the seat back on. These just pull out from the stud mounted to the lower seat. After the clips are out you can pry off one side with a claw hammer. After the seat back is separated from the seat bottom, the next step is to remove the slide adjuster from the bottom of the seat bottom. There are four bolts with Phillips screw ends that hold it on. You need to remove two from one end and then push the slides to uncover the other two bolts. Don't lose the long spring that attaches to the seat frame and to the adjuster mechanism. After that is off, you're ready to take the seat cover off.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:16 PM
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The seat bottom is just hog ringed to the under side of the seat frame. Remove all the hog rings and peel up the seat cover to expose the listing around the seat cover insert. This listing has a wire in it, and is hog ringed to the seat springs which have a formed piece of paper covered tie wire attached to them under the seat foam to hog ring the listing to. This is the perfect time to get rid of the old burlap over the springs and the old padding over the spring's edge wire. This stuff is always in some state of disrepair, usually to the point of being worthless. I'm going to replace the original stuff with some Flex Pad, and replace the old tie wire with a new one.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:23 PM
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Remove the hog rings from the listing, and the seat cover and the seat foam will come right off. Take the wire out of the listing and set it aside to put in the new seat cover. Yes, you can use the old seat foam if it's in good condition, but for the price of new foam, which is very reasonable, it's worth it to replace the old foam. This foam is not in very good shape, so it's a no brainer to replace it. The seat springs have really cut into the foam underneath.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:29 PM
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I kind of got ahead of myself......now you can see the old burlap with wires woven into it that was used as the seat deck, the padding around the edge wire, and the tie wire attached to the springs that the listing is attached to. This stuff is all attached with hog rings, so remove the hog rings and get rid of all that old crap that the mice love to make nests out of. Save the formed tie wire to duplicate.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:36 PM
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Now that we have a bare frame, it's time to look for bad springs, bad clips, and bad edge wire and do any repairs that need to be done. This seat frame only had one bad clip, so I replaced it with a new paper lined BW clip. Tie wire is also called stake wire, and every upholstery shop should have it. It's cheap, and has lots of uses. If the wire in the listing was broken, for example, I could have replaced it with stake wire, either leaving the paper on it or removing the paper and just using the wire. This stuff bends very easily with your hands. The only time you need tools is to bend sharp corners, which can be done with a pliers, and to cut it off, which I do with a small bolt cutter. Here you can see I bent two pieces of wire to replace the one I removed from the seat.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 08-12-2010 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:52 PM
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Now it's time to put in the new deck pad. The springs do not have a tie wire to let the springs act as a unit instead of individually, so I'm adding one now. It is attached with more BW clips, one on each spring. Then I cut a piece of flex pad 24" square, and drew in black lines where the new stake wire goes. I'll trim off any excess when I finish hog ringing it to the edge wire. The old wire was 13 1/2" wide and 15" from the rear of the seat frame. I drew in lines accordingly, cut little slots with a utility knife in the Flex pad for the hog rings to go through, and hog ringed the whole thing to the seat springs, just like the old one was. Now we have a one piece unit that will act as a deck pad over the springs, and also a pad for the edge wire under the new seat foam.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 08-12-2010 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:00 PM
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The new seat foam has no openings in it to let the hog rings from the listing go through to attach to the stake wire on top of the seat deck, so I'm putting some in with an arch punch that cuts a 1/2" hole. The original seat foam was thin enough that the hog rings could be clinched right through the foam to the stake wire, but the new foam is thicker and that wouldn't be possible without the holes in the foam. The holes also enable you to see the stake wire through the foam. Otherwise, with no holes, you'd just be guessing.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:09 PM
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Now we put the old listing wire back into the new listing in the new seat cover. Just push it through from one end until it's in place correctly. Now it's time to turn the seat cover inside out and attach the listing through the foam to the stake wire attached to the springs under the foam. This is not an easy job with the extra thickness of the foam. The hog ring pliers has to be pushed down through the seat foam with a lot of force to engage the hog rings to the stake wire.

Once the listing is firmly attached, roll the seat cover over the seat foam and attach the seat cover to the bottom of the seat frame. You can see that this whole procedure makes a beautiful seat.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 08-16-2010 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:20 PM
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Why didn't you use the laminated deck skin on this project?
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:55 PM
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I didn't use the laminated deck skin for a couple reasons. The object is to provide a better platform for the foam so it won't be cut by the springs. The new replacement foam is very, very firm, so the laminated deck skin would have been overkill. The other reason is that the laminated deck skin doesn't compress at all, and it would have been a lot more difficult to attach the stake wire and also a lot harder to attach the listing to the stake wire.
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