re-spring a split bench and rear seat - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:35 PM
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re-spring a split bench and rear seat

I have a 64 tempest custom convertible that is in dire need of new bench seat covers. The seats are not original and are in terrible shape. They look better in the picture below then they really are. I sink down pretty good and my lower back rests agains the bottom of the seat back. I'm also a big guy 6'4" 230lbs so that doesn't help.

I'm currently working with PUI to see if they would be willing to make Tempest custom 2 tone seat covers. They currently make covers for the base model tempest but not the custom. SMS is the only other route if I want to stay original but its a bit more then double the cost. I already have the molded seat cusions purchased for the front.

Anyway, I have read through a massive amount of the archives that Dan has posted up and saved several links to places that sell no sag springs and other tools and supplies. Replacing springs looks easy enough with the right tools and parts.

I was considering replacing all the springs in the bottom seats both front and back. I have not measured them yet but I would guess they are 11 Ga? I want a nice firm and comfy seat and wanted some advice so I don't over due it. Should I replace all the current springs with 9 Ga? Maybe alternate every other spring with a 9 Ga Sino wire? I read the springs can loose their tension over time. Maybe just new stock Ga spings would do?

Thoughts?


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Old 05-22-2013, 01:16 PM
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Most seat springs are 8 gauge, but no less than 9 gauge. I really need to see the bare seat with the springs attached to be able to answer your question. Back springs are 10 to 12 gauge usually. You also need to be able to repair any broken kicker springs and border wires, and get some stake wire to tie the whole assembly together.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:54 PM
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Dan,

Thanks for the reply.

I had the back seat out recently. I looked at the bottom springs they pulled down pretty easy. I sat my but in the back and they go almost to the floor. Maybe this normal, I have nothing to compare it too. I saw that all the white cords were broke and the small wires in the burlap were also snaped. The back seat springs were a long Z shaped spring. Not the same at all as the bottom. Didn't see any broken springs.

I have not yet looked at the bottom of the front seat yet. I would be more daring to tare it all apart if I had the covers lined up and ready to go, but I want to keep it drivable for now. I know the cable between the seat tracks is broke and I think the springs are also gone. Makes for a lot of fun for the passengers when I make a quick stop and they slid back and forth. Any tips on repairing them?

I will get some pics and measurements soon. I do plan to use stake wire on the springs. Do they add stiffness or do they just help with the spring. Is the stake wire a strait spring wire?

I hope to provide more data and pics soon.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:50 PM
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The back springs both on the front and rear seat should need little repair if any. The same goes for the rear bottom seat springs. It would be unusual for any of those springs to be that bad. What will probably be bad is the front seat bottom on the driver's side. I can almost guarantee you'll need to repair that area.

Stake wire is paper covered over the thin oil impregnated wire inside. It comes in long rolls, and is not expensive at all. Any upholstery shop should have it in stock at all times. All it does is tie all the springs together so they act as one unit. This spreads out the wear to more than half the seat area instead of just where you are sitting. It does not stiffen the springs.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:10 AM
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So Dan how do you stiffen up the seats?

I pulled the back seat out this morning a snaped a few pics.

Can you tell me what guage this spring is?


Its very interesing how they did things 50 years ago compared to now.
I see this cord with the metal attached running through the bulap. All of the thin metal wires were broke. Not sure where or if the cord attaches too. I assume the stake wire you mentioned above takes the place of all this.



I can pull down the spring pretty easy. I wouldn't know a good spring from a bad spring. I'm sure I could spot a broken spring



I didn't find any broken springs.


This seat is not original to the Tempest but must have come from a GTO/Le Mans.



More to come.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:27 PM
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An eight gauge spring is 1/8" in diameter, which is what those look like. The burlap with the wires embedded in it is there to prevent the foam rubber from being pushed through the springs and damaged. There are better ways to do that now days. The stake wire only holds all the springs together, it doesn't do anything else.

The only way to stiffen the springs is to replace them all with new springs or to double up the springs. What you have there should be fine if you use the right deck pad and use good high density foam. Tempest, GTO, and LeMans would all us the same seat springs and padding. The only difference would be in the seat covers themselves. Read this tutorial: Re-padding an old car seat. Also read this tutorial: Seat Spring Repair
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:58 AM
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This spreads out the usage to more than half the seat range as a substitute for simply where you are sitting. Any upholstery shop may as well have it in stock constantly. Everything it does is tie all the springs together so they fill in as one unit.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:19 AM
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Jexcon, I think you are a troll who is just posting to get enough posts to spam the site. It's been nice knowing you.............
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:39 PM
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Well the seat recovering is on hold. Hopefully only until next spring. I worked with another guy on the Performace Years forum and we convinced PUI to make the correct seat covers for the Tempest Custome. So I hope PUI comes through. Legendary didn't want anything to do with it. And the SMS rought would have cost almost $2K.

I did pull the front bench seat out for the first time since I bought my car (64 tempest Conv). The cable that ties the sliders wasn't working and only the driver side slider locked. It made hitting the breaks a lot of fun for the passenger.

Anyway I was pleased to see there were no broken springs under the bench. Still way to spongy but that will be addressed how Dan Suggested above.

So I used a little Gibbs and then some spray white lithium grease on the sliders. The lock mechanism was missing a spring on the passenger side so a trip to Ace hardware fixed that.



While I was at Ace, I also picked up some 1/8 aircraft cable and some crimps for the cable between the two.



That worked really slick. I can't believe I waited this long to fix such an annouying problem.



So I before the summer is over I will be painting my dash since the seats won't be recovered this year.

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