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Old 03-29-2009, 11:30 AM
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Corvette Seat Cover Replacement

For those of you who have a 1968 to 1982 Corvette, this is how to replace the seat covers. The first thing to do is to take the seats out of the car and separate the back from the seat bottom. Turn the seat upside down and remove the mounting brackets that hold the seat to the car. One side comes off easily by removing two bolts. There is nothing keeping this bracket from moving, so this is very easy. The other bracket has the adjuster mechanism attached to it, and is trickier. It too has two bolts that hold it to the seat frame, but the lever sticks out the front through an opening in a bracket welded to the frame. The chrome knob simply unscrews off of the end of the handle. Because the handle turns upward at the end, the bracket must be rotated upside down to slide the handle out. After the mounting brackets are out of the way, you will see two nuts, one on either side of the seat frame. Remove them at this time. Turn the seat upright and remove the fiberglass seat back cover. There are two screws , one at each bottom corner hat must be removed, and then the seat back cover slides straight up and off. Next, tilt the seat forward to get to the connection on the seat bottom that is part of the tilt mechanism. There are two bolts that hold this bracket to the seat bottom, and once these are removed, the seat back can be separated from the seat bottom by taking a large Phillips screw driver and unscrewing the chrome headed shoulder bolts on both sides of the seat. Pay attention to the order the parts come off in. There is a plastic insert, a washer, and the shoulder bolt, and also the nuts that you removed earlier.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:54 AM
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The next thing to do is to take the seat bottom cover off. There are two bolts at the back of the seat that need to come off first. These are the seat bottom adjust screws, and will come right out with a large Phillips screwdriver. The seat cover is held in place by a series of spring steel "S" clips that slide onto the bottom of the seat frame. Simply take a screwdriver, pry the clips open, and remove the edge of the seat cover from the clips. The edge of the cover has a strip of cardboard sewed to it to help hold it in place.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-29-2009 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:03 PM
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Now the entire bottom seat cover will be loose from the frame, and will come right off along with the seat foam. Once the frame is out of the way, the seat cover can be released from the seat foam. To remove the cover, you need to remove the three pieces of wavy wire that are connected to the wires in the seat cover's listings with three different length connecting links.
The wavy bottom wires can be slid out easily, and this will let the seat cover free from the seat foam. Do not remove the connecting links from the seat cover, or the three wires that are in the three listings sewed to the seat cover. Your best bet is to simply buy a new seat cover installation kit which will include all the wires, connecting links, and "S" shaped seat clips. The whole kit for both seat bottoms and seat backs is only $35.00 and is well worth it.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-29-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:22 PM
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Now that the seat bottom cover is off, take the back cover off. This comes off easier than the bottom cover. Take off the trim piece that covers the seat back release button at the top of the seat back, which is held on with two screws. The cover is hog ringed in place, so remove all the hog rings. There are also hog rings holding the wavy wires to the seat back springs. Remove those also. Now the seat back cover and foam will come completely off the the frame. Take the wavy wires out just like you did for the seat bottom, and the seat cover will come off from the foam. The seat back is different in that there are no "S" clips and all the connectors are the same length, but there are more of them.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:33 PM
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O.K. Now that the covers are off we can put the new seat covers on. The foam in these seats was in very good condition, but if yours isn't, buy new foam. Like all things Corvette, the foam is readily available and reasonably priced, under $200 for both seat bottoms and seat backs. I know from past experience that the new covers will not be filled out by the old foam, so I added a layer of 1/2" sew foam, foam side up, along with some dacron polyester wrap to the edges. I glued the foam and dacron on with foam to foam glue, but you can use contact adhesive if you want to. I let this set up overnight. The seat back did not need any extra in the center insert area, but the seat bottom did. The black marks on the back foam are there to show me where the connecting links go through the foam.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:51 PM
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The seat covers are both put on the same way. Put the new listing wires in the listings, attach the appropriate connecting links to the listings and wires in the seat cover, pull the connecting links through the openings in the foam, and attach the other end of the connecting links to the wavy wires on the back side of the foam. Because you didn't remove the old connecting links form the old seat covers, you can refer to the old seat covers to see where the different length links go. Only put the wire in the horizontal listing to start with, this goes for both the seat back and seat bottom. If you put in all three wires, the two vertical wires will only be in the way. Get the horizontal wire installed first, and then put in the other two wires. To pull the connecting links through, I made myself a tool out of an old listing wire. The connecting links for the seat bottom are longer, and are much easier to attach to the listings. I poke a hole with an upholsterer's regulator through the listing and just under the listing wire to make it easier to attach the connecting links. The angled part of the link attaches to the listing, and the squared off part gets attached to the wavy wires. Even though new bottom wires are in the seat installation kit, they are not wavy. I like the wavy wires, so I cleaned them up on my bench mounted wire wheel and re-used them.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-29-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:59 PM
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The seat back connecting links are a lot shorter and trickier to install. To start with, it is next to impossible to attach them to the listing wires without bending them open at the top of the link. Once the angled end is through the listing, you need to pull them tight and twist them straight with a pliers, and pinch them back shut. Once again, only put the horizontal wire in the listing and once that is in place, put in the other two wires and complete attaching the connecting links to the wavy wires on the back of the foam.
I start pulling through the vertical connecting links at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical wavy wires.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-29-2009 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:19 PM
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Well, that's the hard part. Now you can attach the cover and foam assemblies to their respective frames. The bottom of the seat bottom cover is attached to the frame with the "S" clips. The narrow side is attached to the seat frame, and the wide side holds the seat cover. Once they are attached, cut any openings in the covers for the seat bottom and seat back bumpers, the shoulder bolts, the seat back release button, the connector bracket between the seat back and the seat bottom, and the two screws that hold the fiberglass seat back cover in place. The last thing you need to do on the seat back is cut openings for the "L" brackets that hold the top of the seat back cover in place. This should be cut at the bottom of the bracket and forced over the top of the bracket. Then just re-assemble the seat back to the seat bottom, install the mounting brackets, and put the seats back in the car.

These seats take a lot longer than normal seat covers. I spent over 3 hours on each seat, and a normal seat only takes me maybe an hour to do. This is what the finished seats look like. Good luck with your seats.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-29-2009 at 01:31 PM.
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