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Old 11-25-2013, 12:08 PM
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Best way to attack these bucket seats

I am planning on attacking my hot rod golf cart this winter. Ok, so it's not a real hot rod, but it does chase down and tow my son's junior dragster and gets me to the starting line quicker with the kids when my husband is racing his 1964 Fairlane...does that count? I think I can handle putting a bench seat in the back, but I'm sort of stumped at the best way to approach the front seats. I would rather not get rid of the buckets because they are really comfy. It looks like there is some black rubber stuff holding the vinyl to the metal back. If I pull this off, what are the chances I can reuse it? What is it called if I need to totally replace it? Would it be better to make slip covers that cover the entire front and back of the seats or replace the vinyl? Would I have a wrinkled mess if I tried to replace the vinyl? How would you pros attack this?

Front of seats:


Back of seats:

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:59 AM
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Your chances will be much better if you leave the old cover on the seat. The foam is bonded right to the vinyl. You'll need to do the seats in two parts with a seam in the middle where the back and seat bottom meet. If you use 1/4" sew foam under all the seat parts, it will cover up the bad spots on the old seats.
Take off the black trim which is called Jiffy Trim. If that is bad, you can buy new stuff to replace the old. you'll probably have to glue the new seat cover bottom down first, let that dry completely, and then glue the back part of the seat cover down. Once that is completely dry, pull the perimeter parts around to the back of the metal seat shell and glue them down. Once all that is completely dry, you can replace the Jiffy Trim. Trim off any excess fabric with a sharp utility knife right up to the edge of the Jiffy Trim. Clean off any excess glue with mineral spirits and you're done.

Just a little warning, this is not an easy project for a beginner.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:46 AM
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I was thinking that, if you are going to leave the vinyl that's on the seat there and put other vinyl over it, you might want to use a 4-way stretch vinyl like is used on a motorcycle seat. You might me less likely to have wrinkles then. I don't know, though, if that would work with the 1/4 inch sew foam.

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Old 12-02-2013, 12:24 PM
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Those seats can't be done with one piece of vinyl, whether it's 4 way stretch or not. Even if you could do them that way, the repaired areas would telegraph through without the 1/4" sew foam under the fabric.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:58 AM
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Do you think I would be better off replacing them with a bench seat and not even messing with trying to recover them? If it's doable, I'm brave enough to tackle the seats and anal enough to hopefully not screw them up too bad I figure if I do screw them up, I'll just replace them with a simple bench seat. Surely I can handle a bench seat, right? I figured they would need some sort of seam in the middle where the back and seat meet and that I would have to glue the material on top. I was afraid if I didn't, the process of separating the old vinyl from the foam would just mess the foam up underneath. How in the heck did they do that to begin with without a seam? It looks like the vinyl was molded on there!

I was actually looking at the Allsport Vinyl with the 4 way stretch. Does 4 way stretch matter if I'm using the sew foam underneath?

Thanks again for your help! You guys are awesome!!!
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:03 AM
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The original seats were vacuum formed, that's how they did it. 4 way stretch vinyl is not some magic thing that forms itself to any shape, so no, that won't help you. You will still need to cut it apart to make it fit.

If this was mine, I would put a bench seat in the golf cart. It will be 100 times easier than trying to cover the old ones, especially if you've never done them before.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:32 AM
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I would put a bench seat on there for now, and tackle the buckets as Dan laid out, at your convenience. This way, the cart is still serviceable, looks good and theres no reason to say "eh, it looks good enough" just to hurry up and get them on to get the chase vehicle back in operation sooner.

I think its awesome that you support your son and husband actively in their racing efforts!
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:29 PM
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Here is a quickly set I did that may help, it's one option on where to place the seam. These seats came off a side-by-side...I did peel the old vinyl off, it was cracked and lifting anyway, repaired the foam using a high density 1/2 layer and sanded smooth, then covered and new trim.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:33 PM
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Some of the small "dents" you see are because I used aircraft memory foam, and it hasn't recovered when I took the pic, thus the hand print.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:06 PM
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First off, I want to sincerely thank all of you for your help with my little project. It is great to know I can come here for help and you are all willing to help. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

I'm finally working on the bucket seats again after finishing the bench seat in the back. The jiffy trim was one with the old vinyl (almost like the jiffy trim was glued on or the vinyl had melted to it), so I am making a clean cut around the vinyl to get the jiffy trim off. I ran into this metal spike stuff under the trim on the top of the back and bottom of the seat portion (under where your knees would be). Does it have a name? If I am going to glue the new vinyl (with 1/4 foam sewn into it) on top of the old vinyl, is it necessary to replace it?

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:59 PM
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I'm guessing it's some sort of tack strip, but I can't seem to find any like it online. There are tabs between the spikes that fold around to hold the strip to the metal back portion of the chair. The closest I can find is this stuff, but it says that needs to be stapled down.

Pli-Grip Strip (Cross Brand), Chalk, Upholstery Accessories, Metal Tack Strips, Pancake Tack Strips from Rochford Supply - Your Online Textile and Upholstery Superstore!
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:01 PM
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That's not Pli-Grip. Those teeth were there to pull the vinyl over and push the points through the vinyl and then bend the points over. You don't need to replace it, just take the old piece off the best you can and glue the new seat covers on.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:38 PM
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Thanks Dan! I knew the Pli Grip wasn't the same stuff...I can't find the exact stuff anywhere, but if I don't really need it I'm not going to worry about it.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:26 PM
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Progress pics:



Obviously not completely sewn together yet, but getting close. The plan is to sew another boxing piece to the seat bottom, then sew the bottom to the top. I'll sew the bottom and back boxing pieces together last (where they come together in the crease. I'm not sure it that is the correct order, but I'm running with it. I really want to topstitch (flat-fell) the seam between the back face and boxing piece before I go on. Is there a trick to getting around the curves without it getting wonky? Any advice is appreciated

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:32 PM
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Another question: The chalk the upholstery place gave me is really hard to get off the vinyl. It doesn't wipe off with a damp cloth. What do you use? I've read 409, Magic Eraser....
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