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JJ269J 05-24-2013 04:27 PM

68 Camaro rear seat rebuild questions
Hi guys,

I'm starting work on rebuilding/recovering the seats in a 68 Camaro. I started on the rear back seat because I mini tubbed the can and had to modify the frame anyway and as expected several springs are broken and the boarder wire is severely rusted and broken in several spots. It has sinusoidal springs on the outside and straight wire across the rest. I found a source for the sinusoidal (zig-zag) springs here, but can not find straight spring wire, unless this is what I should use. But this wire is covered in paper so I think it is for tying together the zig zag springs. Can I use this wire as the border wire too?

You can see in the first pic the broken straight wire (top right of pic) and broken border wire (top left):

Anybody know where to find replacements or wire I can bend into shape?

After the springs are repaired, I was thinking about using burlap and batting like the factory did, but I know there is a better way. I've seen in Dan's posts that he uses some type of deck padding that I can't seem to find. Anybody ever thought about 1/8" or 1/4" closed cell foam instead of the burlap? Too hard? Not real sure how the spring would react. Any thoughts?

DanTwoLakes 05-25-2013 07:30 AM

The straight wire you referred to is called stake wire and is mainly used to connect the springs together to make a unit. It can be used for border wire, but you really should find some 9 gauge edge wire to replace your border wire. If you find 9 gauge edge wire, you can use that to bend into shape to replace the straight wire springs. I have a supplier that sells it in 12 foot lengths, so if you can't find it locally, let me know via PM. Check out this tutorial:

JJ269J 05-25-2013 06:28 PM

Thanks Dan. Your a wealth of knowledge. So the border wire is just standard wire and the edge wire is tempered spring wire, is the right? I will check locally for edge wire, there are a couple upholstery shops around I can try.

What do you recommend for alternates to the burlap? The original burlap has several wires horizontally the keep the batting from pushing through the springs. I know there are better ways these days. Do you think 1/4" closed cell is too much?

DanTwoLakes 05-26-2013 02:16 AM

The edgewire is basically 1/8" diameter cold rolled steel which is pliable enough to be bent to whatever shape you want. It will also replace a spring , but not all the springs.

As far as the decking goes, you want to get rid of any burlap because it is a Smorgasbord for mice. Check out this tutorial, it has a few different choices for deck padding. All the decking does is prevent the seat padding from being pushed through the springs.

JJ269J 05-26-2013 09:35 AM

I do already have some 1/8" cold rolled rod I got from the home improvement store I could probably use for the edge wire. I just wasn't sure if it needed to be tempered like a spring. The straight springs are thinner and the reason I was asking whether it needed to be a tempered is they also provide the springiness at the top and bottom, you can see the broken ones right next to the sinusoidal springs.



They make up the back springs across the majority of the back. There are three sinusoidal spring on each side and the rest are the straight springs. They run vertically and bend back under themselves and attach to the frame. I figured they had a temper so the don't permanently deform when someone sits on them.

DanTwoLakes 05-26-2013 09:53 AM

1 Attachment(s)
You are right, the straight springs would be bent out of cold rolled steel and then tempered. But, like I said, you can replace one or two of them with duplicates made of edge wire as long as you tie them together with the springs next to them with stake wire. That is especially true of back springs like you have pictured. You can't replace a whole group of them together, or on the seat bottom like that. In that case you could replace the whole middle group with regular sinuous wire springs like those on the ends. You could also find an old seat back to obtain some replacement springs. That seat back spring looks just like the one in the 71 Chevelle I just did.

JJ269J 05-26-2013 02:37 PM

I bet it is similar to the Chevelle. Thanks again for the help. I think I'll try replacing just the broken ones with the edge wire and see how it feels. If I don't like it I may go with replacing them with the sinusoidal springs.

JJ269J 06-02-2013 06:08 PM

Made a bit of progress on the back seats. I picked up some edge wire to repair the rotted out sections, repaired a few springs in the center back and painted it rust encapsulator.

Here is the lower section bent into shape before I removed the original (sorry cell phone pic):

Close up of rotted edge wire and a couple broken springs:

Overall of back section, you can see the new edge wire on the bottom. It's difficult to see the springs I replaced, but they are four of the straight wire springs in the center. I made them out of the edge wire:

Here's a shot of the bottom section modified to clear the mini tubs. There was no other spring damage, surprisingly.....

Here's a pic of both pieces after I sprayed them with rust encapsulator:

Next, I plan on tying the springs together with some stake wire I got with the edge wire. Then I plan to follow a similar procedure as Dan laid out in his spring repair and seat recovering tutorial. Thanks for the help Dan! :thumbup:

DanTwoLakes 06-03-2013 07:07 AM

Good job! Boy, it's really unusual for the back springs to be bad and the seat springs to be O.K. I'll bet the seats were out of the car and sat in storage some place with the seat back on the bottom.

JJ269J 06-04-2013 07:53 PM

Had a little bit of time to work on the rear seats. The rust encapsulator is nice dry so I went ahead and added stake wire in two places across the seat back, it really does make a difference in the feel of the spring when you distribute the load to multiple springs:

Then I laid out the deck pad I bought to use instead of the burlap. I held it in place with some plastic clamps and marked the underside a couple inches from the frame with a marker and cut it out. The deck pad is 1/2" synthetic pad. Then I hog ringed it in place (forgot to take a pic of that):

So my questions for today is what to use to replace what looks to be listing material on the bottom of the cover that wrap under the bottom and is secured with listing wire. See the pic below. I have a roll of listing tape, but it's only a couple of inches wide and this fabric is 5 or 6 inches. Any suggestions?

Thanks guys!

DanTwoLakes 06-05-2013 07:09 AM

Just use a separate piece of whatever fabric the seat covers are going to be done with. The original stuff is just muslin, but that's not very strong. There are other man made fabrics like Versare or Typar that would be modern replacements for the old listing, but then you'd have to buy a whole roll of one of those.

JJ269J 06-05-2013 07:59 PM

Thanks Dan. I definitely don't want to have to buy a whole roll! The seat will be done in combination of vinyl and tweed fabric. Do you think tweed will hold up? Or should I use the vinyl? I also saw some denim material here, do you think that would be a better option? This my first attempt at reupholstering auto interior so your help is greatly appreciated.

DanTwoLakes 06-06-2013 07:09 AM

They only used the muslin or denim because it was cheaper. I'd use the fabric, but it doesn't really matter what you use if there is a wire in the listing.

JJ269J 06-06-2013 07:35 AM

Sounds good Dan. I'll use the fabric. I'm in the process of creating patterns now. I plan on using fabric in the sections where the original had the pleated look and vinyl elsewhere. It is taking a bit of time because the original was one piece of material and I am using two different materials. I must say though, your tutorials have been instrumental in learning the process.

Here is the original:

JJ269J 06-09-2013 10:36 AM

I made some more progress. I went a couple steps forward and a step back and I need some advice. I cut out the sew foam blanks, glued the vinyl to the sew foam, transferred my pattern and began sewing around the boarder. However, it seems that no matter how I feed the material, I'm getting creases in the vinyl. Everything looks nice and smooth before I sew. I tried compressing the foam as I feed it, I tried not compressing it, and I am trying to be very conscience to try not to stretch anything as it feeds. See pic below. Any advice??

After the first boarder stitch:

After the inside stitch (gets worse) :

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