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1953 Homer 08-13-2008 03:15 PM

Seat foam replacement
Hey guys,
My /53 Ford seats are toast. Mice lived in them for 30 or so years and only the frame/springs are reusable. I already have new vinyl seat upholstery, but where can I get foam and cotton batting to build up the new seat cushions? Can I go to a store like Hobby Lobby and buy it? I know that there are different densities of foam; what is advised for the seat? How about the seat back? One more thing....even though I cleaned and painted the springs, I still can smell the mouse pee on the metal. How can I deal with this? Thanks


ret_marine2003 08-13-2008 11:45 PM

If you can smell mouse pee on the bare and cleaned metal, clean the rest of your work area up and make sure you do not have any mouse pee debris laying around and move your metal into a different clean room or outside air if it is dry outside.

If you have to clean and paint again.

If you have the seat frame and springs in your truck it is likely that the smell is coming from the rest of the truck.

Strip that stuff out and clean it up.

If you still smell a strong odor, look at the wiring and material under the dash.

This may seem like a slightly OT example, but I saw a auto customizing program not long ago that featured an AMC full of rat turds.

The workers found the rat that was producing the feces way up under the dash board on top of the heater vents.

This was a big rat, not a mouse.

Reminded me of my junk yard adventures.

DanTwoLakes 08-14-2008 06:19 AM

Can't help with the mouse pee, but you need to go to an upholstery shop or upholstery supply place to get the foam you need. CHECK OUT THIS THREAD You should use a firm foam, at least 65 compression to re pad the seats. Foam has a 4 number designation, the first 2 numbers refer to the quality, and the 2nd 2 numbers refer to the density. The higher the first 2 numbers are the better the quality. The higher the 2nd 2 numbers are the firmer the foam. 2665 or 2680 would be good choices. You can use softer foam for the seat back, 25 to 40 compression would be fine. Be prepared for some sticker shock as far as the price goes, good foam is not inexpensive. You will also end up with a far better seat if you put a good deck pad over the top of the seat springs to protect the foam from being cut by the springs and edgewire that holds the springs in place. Check out this thread DECK PAD You can get a deck pad from an upholsterer or upholstery supply house also. Do not put cotton batting in your seats, the cotton makes for a perfect place for mice to make nests. There are lots of synthetic alternatives ( like Dacron Polyester fiberfill) to cotton as a filling and padding material. I did a '49 Packard, and mice had filled half of a headliner section with cotton they had scavenged from other places in the car.

Brian_B 08-14-2008 08:06 PM

off topic, but...

They had foam? :confused:

Mine (56 F-100) has the springs, burlap, and vinyl. No padding at all. :eek:

Believe seriously needs padding! :pain:

DanTwoLakes 08-15-2008 07:26 AM

Not off topic at all. If you don't have at least a layer of cotton in your seat, somebody took it out. I have a 53 Chevy in my shop right now, and the two original seat bottoms have burlap over the springs with a permalator embedded into the burlap. (A permalator is a fine wire grid that helps the burlap to keep the cotton from going through the springs.) Then there's a layer of cotton on top of that and then a layer of foam on top of the cotton next to the fabric cover. The foam is the latex type that gets hard and turns to powder with prolonged contact with the air. The seat backs only have cotton over the burlap. A deck pad will replace the burlap and do the same thing for the new foam.

The bad thing about cotton and burlap is that over time the burlap will disintegrate and the cotton will get musty. That's why I never use cotton or burlap in anything I re-do. There are synthetic substitutes for both products that will last a lifetime and won't absorb odors.

Brian_B 08-15-2008 11:42 AM

Yes...the burlap is leaving a fine powder behind the seat. It is slowly (over time) disintegrating.

I cannot see or feel any padding in it at all. You can actually see the shape of the springs in the vinyl (you know what I mean?).

The vinyl is fairly new. No rips, tears, or slits of any kind. It was replaced at some point by the PO (who never drove it).

I do not want to cloud up his thread with pics, but here are two links:

Any idea if padding can be added without destroying the vinyl? It has some sort of triangular loop things holding it all on.

DanTwoLakes 08-15-2008 11:53 AM

Then whoever put the new seat covers on removed the old padding. You should really put in a deck pad and some new padding on the seat bottom before the springs wear through your seat covers. It's not that critical on the seat back, but you should probably do that too. When I strip the seats in the '53 I'm working on next week, I'll post some pictures on how I do it.

Brian_B 08-15-2008 12:29 PM

That would be cool. Thanks. :thumbup:

DanTwoLakes 08-17-2008 10:37 AM

O.K. I have the rear seat out of the '53, and I am going to strip it down to the bare springs and re-pad it with modern materials. I am going to start a new thread entitled " re-padding an old car seat". Those of you who are interested take a look.

Brian_B 08-17-2008 02:35 PM

Thank you sir. I am subscribed to that thead. Looks great so far. :thumbup:

Someday (when I can actually aford it), I will try to follow along and do mine.

There is no visible evidence anywhere of cotton padding or any type of foam on/in mine. The dust is the burlap deteriorating.

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