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Old 07-18-2005, 12:45 PM
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Questions on Foaming a seat

I have some seat frames that I am using and I started putting new foam on them. I am using Poly-fill medium density foam. On the seat base I have 3" on the back I have 2". I need a little more foam do I just double up or change type of foam? Any suggestions.

Also Krist you need to have a sewing class at the Nats.

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Old 07-18-2005, 05:04 PM
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First off we need to know what kind of seats are you using, it makes a big difference on what you need. The foam is also important in its type. There are 3 typical grades of foam used. But many available. q-31 q-41 q-51 are used for inserts and q-61 for bolsters and the like. The higher the q rating or firmness the thinner the foam needs to be to support the occupant. I think I see you working on a roadster so lets assume you are.

I usually use firmer foam q-51 on the cushion (firmer) and q-41 on the back (midrange) This allows for the best overall comfort. If I am using a springed seat I do other things too but without knowing what you have I cant say what I would suggest.

You say you have frames and some foam so here is how to start. Put the seat frames into the body and mount them as you wish them to be.

Now without any foam sit on the frames and judge your view point I use the rear view mirror. Look into the mirror and set it to where your eyes are at the bottom edge of the mirror. Know look at the front of the hood. You typically want to see the front edge without moving you body up. This overall set up is known as the H-point and eye elipse.

Now if you are too low great you are on the right track (too high would mean your mounting and frames are wrong for the use of the frames you have).

Add 2" of foam under your butt and back (this is usually the minimum height for q-31 as it will give a very firm ride feel.

Look at the mirror and hood again. If you are still low add 2" to the cushion only. This will bring you up slightly. Depending on weight and knee angle the following will change. But a rule of thumb is for every 2" of q-31 foam you add you will raise approximately .75" after the initial 2" q-41 is 1" and Q-51 is 1.5 respectively.

Dont add to the back right away as it will shift you forward and add a whole bunch of other changes that will confuse your body right now.

You can add the same foam in layers this laminating of the foam will increase the firmness of the foam just like laminating wood. I suggest you try and get at least q-41 and q-51 foam. On thigh bolsters and side bolsters I use 61 to add the bucket feel and crispness to the finished lines.

When you get your self about an inch low, below where you want to be on the cushion foam, start adding to the back. In the back you should go in 1" increments. As your back loads the foam dramatically less than the cushion.

As you bring your back forward you will actually start going down into the seat again due to weight transfer. The best back angle is 18 degrees to 22 degrees. This prevents lower back strain any more and the shoulders will start to stress any less and the lumbar starts to strain. At about 150mm from the top of the cushion you should feel even contact down to the cushion.

When all is said and done the foam should support you about 1" from where you want to see. When you install the cover the system will act like a hammock and bring you the rest of the way.

I hope this helps.
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:23 AM
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Actually the seats are going in my '39. The seats are Volvo (80's style). With the stuff I have on there now it just feels like I'm sinking to deep into the seat. You post did help alot though.

Where do I buy the foam you are talking about? Any Wholesale contact?
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:52 AM
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There may be a foam supplier in your area. It depends on how many trim shops are around.

I get the foam here in detroit at a company called Ross Coated Fabrics. The foam is made by several companies. Foamex, Woodbridge, Recticell but They do not sell to the general public. I recommend getting automotive grade foam though. Dont use stuff from a material store as the stuff is typically low density low ILD (firmness rating). If you want to sculpt any contour the right foam is an absolute must. I will be working on a car starting tonight and will be posting a Foam pad development and skiving process here shortly.
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