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DanTwoLakes 06-11-2007 09:43 AM

Bucket seat spring repair
2 Attachment(s)
There was a question a while back about replacing springs. I recently ran across a problem with a bucket seat from a '70 Olds Cutlass. The picture shows a broken spring assembly made from a permalator, or flexalator. This technology has been improved by the use of a seatalator, which is heavier, stronger , and covered with a coating. Same idea, a grid held in place in front and suspended on helical springs in the back, but stronger. Still not as good as a spring. When I found this mess, I decided to replace the flexalator assembly with 9 gauge sinuous wire springs.

DanTwoLakes 06-11-2007 09:51 AM

5 Attachment(s)
The built in clips in the front of the seat were fine to hold the springs, but I needed a way to hold the springs in the rear and connect them to the helical springs. After cutting the springs to the right length, and de-arcing them to flatten them out, I "D" ended them and attached all three springs to a piece of 8 gauge border wire with BW clips. The "D" ending keeps the spring from slipping out of the BW clips.

DanTwoLakes 06-11-2007 09:54 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I then attached the helical springs to the borderwire and pulled the springs forward hooking them to the built in clips in the seat frame. The one picture shows the No-Sag pliers used to close the BW clips, and the last picture shows the spring stretcher used to pull the springs forward.

DanTwoLakes 06-11-2007 09:58 AM

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The next step is to keep the springs from spreading apart when sat on, so the springs are connected with paper covered tie wire in two places with more BW clips.

DanTwoLakes 06-11-2007 10:04 AM

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You can see what the flexalator did to the seat foam, so to avoid this happening with the spring assembly, I put a deck pad over the whole assembly and held it in place with hog rings. The deck pad has a soft side that goes up, and a side covered with a heavy backing material that goes against the springs. Now the foam won't get cut by the springs and the deck pad makes a great platform for the seat foam. This makes a far better seat assembly than what came with the car.

DanTwoLakes 06-11-2007 07:13 PM

I de-arced the springs with my hands by bending them backward, no tools involved. If anything, this will raise the rear of the seat slightly, and will probably result in a more comfortable seat altogether.

DanTwoLakes 09-27-2008 09:35 AM

Seat Spring Repair
2 Attachment(s)
Every once in a while, the seat I'm working on needs seat spring repair. This particular seat had three different pieces that were broken. Here's how I repaired them.

The first picture shows all three broken pieces. The long spring is one of the main seat springs which had broken at the back end. The smallest piece is part of the border wire system, the 8 gauge wire around the perimeter of the seat springs that hold them all together. The other spring I call a "kicker" spring. It's a 10 gauge spring (lighter weight than the seat springs), and its job is to provide extra support to the springs at the edge of the seat. The second picture shows how that spring is supposed to look. With all 3 of these pieces broken, the rear and side of the driver's side bottomed out, making it unusable in that condition.

DanTwoLakes 09-27-2008 09:40 AM

3 Attachment(s)
The border wire repair is the simplest of the three. All I needed was a piece of 8 gauge wire, a vice, and assorted hand tools like vice grips and other pliers. Then I just bent the wire into the correct shape. The end with the single bend goes into a hole in the seat frame and through an area in the seat frame with a built in tab that gets bent down over the top of this wire to help hold it in place. Then this piece is clipped to the rest of the border wire using 3 pronged edgewire clips closed with a hand tool designed for the job.

DanTwoLakes 09-27-2008 10:03 AM

2 Attachment(s)
The next piece to replace is the "kicker" spring. This is not a hard job if you have the right tools. All I needed was a length of 10 gauge sinuous wire spring (it comes in big long rolls) and two hand held spring benders which come in sets of two. Then I simply bent the spring to the right shape. The end of the spring goes into a hole in a tab, and then another tab is bent down on top of the spring to hold it in place. It is then attached to the spring assembly with more 3 prong edgewire clips.

DanTwoLakes 09-27-2008 10:22 AM

2 Attachment(s)
The last repair is the hardest, only because the spring is 8 gauge making it a little harder to bend, and it's longer and has more bends. Once again, the hand held spring bending tools make this a lot easier. You can see that the loops on the new spring are smaller than the originals. This is not a problem because the spring can be stretched or compressed to the correct size. After duplicating the spring, it first gets put back into the seat frame in the back though a couple holes, and it's then attached to a loop in the frame in the front, and a tab gets bent over the top of the spring. The rest of the assembly is attached to the border wire with border wire clips. I added one last thing to the seat, a tie wire all across the center of the entire spring assembly and attached on the sides at the border wire, and at each spring with a 3 prong clip. What this does is tie the springs together and make all the springs act as a unit. It also prevents the springs from spreading apart when sat on.

This is not hard to do, but having the right springs, wire and tools designed for the job makes the whole process a lot simpler.

Shotrod64 10-02-2008 02:14 PM

Cording in seat springs
What is the cord that is used across the middle of the springs? I am attempting my first bucket seat covers for a '64 Galaxie and this same stuff is used around the sides, listing? to support the hog rings.

Also is there a good substitute for this? The covers I'm doing are just a practice run and super low budget. In fact I used weedeater string for the core on the welt and recycling a hidebed mattress for the foam on the seats.

TwoLakes, your how-tos have been a great help! I have been checking them out for a month now and forgot I had never registered here til just now. :rolleyes:

Thanks in advance!


DanTwoLakes 10-02-2008 07:34 PM

The cord that you're referring to is what I call "tie wire", because it ties the individual springs together. Its proper name is "stake wire". It is paper covered oil impregnated wire. Any upholstery shop should have it in stock. It can also be used for borderwire ( around the perimeter of a seat spring assembly) instead of 8 gauge steel wire. It also is used embedded in foam seat buns to hog ring listings and wires to define an insert section of a seat cover. The first Mustang front bucket seats ( '64 1/2 through '68) were done this way, and probably your Galaxie seats.

DanTwoLakes 03-14-2009 07:31 PM

The wires in the burlap are there to prevent the cotton from being pushed through the springs. That cord could also be regular spring twine. This is the stuff that coil springs in furniture are tied in with.

Elleka 06-08-2009 10:33 AM

Do 3-prong clips come in different sizes
Having a slight problem with 3-prong clips I purchased. They're larger (approx. 1 1/4 in.) compared to the current sized 7/8 inch clips. They do not fit as nicely as the old clips. I can't locate any in a smaller size. Are they strong enough for edgewire? Can I use BW clips for all the clip applications?

Thanks again for all your help. ;)

DanTwoLakes 06-08-2009 10:43 AM

That's the normal size for 3 prong edgewire clips, but you can use the BW clips for everything. There are smaller 3 prong clips available, but they are used in a pneumatic gun that closes them.

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