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View Full Version : Can I re-foam the seats?



Steve1970
09-01-2009, 01:18 PM
There hasn't been too much I haven't been able to do on the six, and the credit goes entirely to this forum.

I've got a vinyl seat cover kit from vb (no foam). My intention was to farm out the refoaming and seat cover installation to an upholstery place, but the tr6 fund is now depleted until march '10 (when our work bonuses finally get paid out).

So instead of just waiting, I'm thinking of tackling the business myself over the long cold winter, so I could just take my time with it.

Do we have any other amateur tr6 upholsters out there? How'd it go, were you pleased with the results?

Thanks! -Steve

DrEntropy
09-01-2009, 01:23 PM
Look for dense foam rubber "blocks" at craft stores or upholstery shops.

Invest in an "electric steak knife" and sculpt the blocks with it.

Really.

The rest is just patience fitting all of it together.

Mark Jones
09-01-2009, 01:30 PM
Reupholstrying seats is easy as long as you take your time and only do once seat at a time.

tdskip
09-01-2009, 01:39 PM
Just check the resilience of the foam, since you need pretty strong/firm stuff. Glad she is running well Steve!

charlie74
09-01-2009, 01:40 PM
i did my drivers seat last winter with a foam kit and a new diaphram last winter. not too hard but the clips on the diaphram required a fair amount of effort.
i'll probably do the pax seat this winter.
c74

kodanja
09-01-2009, 01:46 PM
I did mine & they came out pretty good, I used the old foam as templates.
I got my foam from a local upholster. He recomended a foam that did not hold moisture.

Its kinda a pain but if ya take yer time they come out good, & its alot less expensive than getting a kit!

https://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/KODANJA7/aaa4-1.jpg

tdskip
09-01-2009, 02:53 PM
i did my drivers seat last winter with a foam kit and a new diaphragm last winter. not too hard but the clips on the diaphragm required a fair amount of effort.


No kidding eh? First time I did one I thought I was going to break something, either the diaphragm or me....

charlie74
09-01-2009, 03:00 PM
"fair amount of effort". i am king of the understatement!

DrEntropy
09-01-2009, 03:01 PM
:lol:

Those clips can be a challenge.

KSIS
09-01-2009, 03:13 PM
I'm going to do mine over the winter, I was thinking of putting a layer of the memory foam in there also.

Brosky
09-01-2009, 07:16 PM
I went to a local shop here in Pawtucket, RI that does a lot of custom street rod work. He did mine for less than a kit costs. All I had to do was unbolt them and carry them in. A few days later they were done and they look great.

mallard
09-01-2009, 08:00 PM
I would also replace the diaphragm, and all the straps.

pjsmetana
09-02-2009, 04:08 AM
Look for dense foam rubber "blocks" at craft stores or upholstery shops.

Invest in an "electric steak knife" and sculpt the blocks with it.

Really.

The rest is just patience fitting all of it together.

I did this exact same thing on a Beetle I used to have, after failing to locate foam replacements (instead of the nasty horse hair). And just as Doc says, get a block of foam and an electric carving knife. I got one for Free ($10 price, with $10 mail in rebate) from Tru-value Hardware.

I also recommend a marker of some sort. I used a black permanent.

I had no original item left to replicate, so I used the new seat covers. I set the cover over the foam, marked it, and shaved it till it fit snugly inside the cover. Then I looked for the high/low areas, made a mental note, took the cover off, then shaved some more. Took about 2 good solid days of work. Totally worth it!

I then got so good with the foam and knife than I started making custom door panels with foam layers, spray glue, and tweed! If I find a pic of my finished work I'll post it up. Might be a few months till I get home to look though...

BobbyD
09-02-2009, 07:23 AM
I can't help you with the foam as I bought the complete kit from VB but when it comes time to re-upholster, I've got the complete VB Guide to Re-doing Your Interior (https://tr6.danielsonfamily.org/Restoration_VB_Guide.htm) posted on my site. It's step by step instructions covering the seats, panels and carpet. It's not a difficult project to do. Mine were trash (https://tr6.danielsonfamily.org/Restoration_November_1.htm) and came out pretty good and still look good 11 years later. I am however putting Miata leather covered seats now. :driving:

rooster
09-02-2009, 09:48 AM
Miata cloth seats here. Cost me 150 bucks total.

tomgt6
09-02-2009, 01:04 PM
The biggest thing to remember is to buy a good foam. Most foams are not right for seats. Even the memory foam you sleep on isn't going to do the trick. To really be happy with it, get a good foam that is made for car seats and start with a good base plate, weave or diaphragm.

I haven't done this for a car but have looked into it for a motorcycle seat and this is always what every site I have read tells is the most important part.

Steve1970
09-04-2009, 03:01 PM
Yeah I gotta sneaky suspicion that the prev owner used a non-car-seat type foam. It's been squashed down to the point where it feels completely solid, like sitting on a pile of folded laundry.

I think the diaphragms looked ok, seemed relatively new, so I may be good there.

I do like the sounds of the foam and electric carving knife method (though I guess I'll still have to have a shop do the headrest). I like the idea of iteratively resizing the foam until it fits right, much better than those "get it right the first time or do all over again" type of jobs.

Many thanks, and I hope you all get a chance to do some serious cruising this long weekend.

-Steve

Royal_58
09-05-2009, 02:14 PM
I did my TR3 seats. I found an upholstery supplier in the phone book and bought a block of the firmist foam they had. Carved it up with an electric knife and used a spray adhesive to attach a thin layer of softer foam on the top. marked the foam to the basic shape and then a bunch of test fitting to get it nice and tight. I used "hog nose" rings to clamp the covers to the wire frame under the seat (also from the supplier).

They look good and are very comfortable to sit on for long periods.

Good Luck!

BobbyD
09-05-2009, 03:00 PM
Miata cloth seats here. Cost me 150 bucks total.

In the process of converting to Miata seats now. Only I'm having them recovered in leather from LeatherSeats.com. BTW...they have an eBay no reserve auction every week for leather seat covers for early Miata seats.........same covers as the $500 ones on their site. You can win the auction for a lot less.......a lot lot less!

TR3driver
09-05-2009, 03:40 PM
BTW...they have an eBay no reserve auction every week This one?
https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390088369400&viewitem=

John_Mc
09-05-2009, 04:12 PM
That one appears to have a reserve that's not met yet.

BobbyD
09-05-2009, 07:24 PM
BTW...they have an eBay no reserve auction every week This one?
https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390088369400&viewitem=

Nope.... Here's his No Reserve with free shipping auction. (https://tinyurl.com/kl2l25)

And here's his Buy It Now for the same covers. (https://tinyurl.com/n5wrc4) I asked him if they were the same and he assures me that they are. I saw them on a car in June and they're excellent quality. I hope to have them installed within the next two weeks and will post pictures then.

TR3driver
09-05-2009, 08:17 PM
Thanks, Bob!