Leatherseat Install

This Wiki page was created from a thread created by Prime user britlude which can be found here

The 19 year old seats in my car were looking a little tired, so I took the plunge and ordered a set of leatherseats.com replacement leather seat (obvious really) covers. After reading the feedback on Prime, getting basic custom trimmer quotes and seeing the ridiculous Honda/Acura prices it was a no-brainer really! So an order was placed!
Now to be awkward I wanted something a little different, subtle but different, so a custom colour combination was ordered, in the ecstacy leather range, and the transatlantic wait began, well the dual transatlantic wait began as the leather was sourced in Italy, sent to America to be sewn together, and then shipped back across the Atlantic to me in England! Pics of the colour combination were sent over before the process began, but was still a worry as to whether the colour reproduction on the screen was correct! Fortunately the colour was spot on so the fitting began!….
I ordered extra leather to do the door insert to match so it was off with the door trims, and replacement began…

the old leather was carefully pulled off, the new leather cut out. The leatherseats.com leather was supplied marked for each section, with a generous overlap, so no worries about not having enough material

so here’s the before

and after

looks a lot better, and updates the gathered look! Spoils the ‘what colour is it?’ surprise though! The car is charlotte green …..
next up was the seats….
As they are 19 years old, it was about time they had a treat, so it was out with the old…

and strip it down… leatherseat.com have a handy guide on their site, so I read this, then just worked my way through the seat, basically paying attention as I went!

soon I had a naked seat, and the new leather could go on…. First the main body

it’s the case of putting the cover on, hooking in the outside of the side bolsters and working back, working the leather so the seams are at the right place on the foam, AND that the seam is folded the right way inside the cover… if it changes from left to right on the inside the seam will get a bulge/bump and not sit right. Also I bought some ¼” upholstery foam just in case I needed to pad out any worn foam, and only used small pieces where the original foams had been compressed by years of being strapped up in tight leather!

A quick tip on the holes for the side switches… when you remove the side switch, and disconnect the wiring, replace the screws into the seat…. When you come to cut the holes in the new covers it’s far easier to find the screw heads, than find the screw holes that are buried beneath thick new leather and foam padding
Obviously this is what I did on the second seat, learning from the first!!!

easier to find the screws….

oh, while I think of it…. The headrests! Now I’ve read how these are a PITA to change, all manner of solutions from avoiding it, to using plastic bags and vacuum cleaners… well I was dreading this but when it came to the crunch it was a piece of cake. Basically what you have to do is quite simple… get the headrest with the 2 pins pointing down, place these two pins in a bench vice (or vise depending on which side of the Atlantic you are) and once securely and solidly held, the cover just hooks on one side (i.e. left), and simply pulls over to the right, a bit of shoving/massaging to get the seams right, and it’s done! No need to stress, it just slides on like a glove!
It went that easily that I didn’t even have time for pics!!
The inserts were a case of using a pair of circlip pliers to open the hog-rings, and removing the old leather, then once the leather was checked for fit, and the seams worked to sit right, the new covers were hog ringed back on, I even re-used the original rings. Again attention was concentrated on making sure the leather was tight and smooth, and nicely in the grooves.

and the base….

Now the eagle eyed among you would have noticed the ‘crease’ in the top panel… it looks like it was a fold in the original leather supplied, not leatherseats.com packing, but that will settle out as the leather shrinks in the sun (after all, the original animal didn’t have a nice straight crease like that!)……
Before and after….

Using the experience gained from the first ( about 2 ½ hrs) the second was fitted up (about 1 ½ hrs!)

all that was left to do was refit the seats and see how pretty it looks!!! What do you think…..

The colour stands out more under flash photography!

Just the effect I wanted, custom but subtle and updated, without being too much colour! Looking in, with the car in the shade with the windows up it’s a subtle tonal difference, classy!!!
Very pleased with the outcome, and the leatherseats quality, feel and fit are excellent

Follow-up questions:

  • how did you get the loose leather at the outer shoulders tight? mine are loose and you can squeeze the leather with your fingers? did you use a heat gun to shrink them? – not done any shrinking at all, I just worked them smooth after making sure they were well pulled down over the seat back. the only permanent fixings on the top and sides are 2 push pins at the top, the rest was smoothed and pulled tight with the velcro. If yours is too loose, i’d make sure it was pulled down as much as it could be, and if that didn’t fix it i would use some 1/4″ foam to pad it out.
  • does leatherseat.com sell perforated leather? – leatherseat.com do the perforated option, and I did consider it. But after seeing a late model interior last week I’m glad I didn’t, as it made my eyes go weird!!!
  • what’s the rough pricing? – Full kit in Premium Plus leather content was $999.00; Two-toning added $ 30.00; Leather for door inserts added $ 95.00
  • How did you like working with hog rings? I’ve read they can be a challenge. – as with most things if you have the right tool for the job, in this case an old pair of pliers suitably modified! the hogrings holding the original covers were removed using a pair of circlip pliers, pushed into the hogring loop, and opened up! fairly straight forward. had I planned ahead I would have got a cheap pair of proper hog-ring pliers for the crimping operation (about $10 on ebay.com)
  • are the seat foam glued to the metal frame of the seats? – the seat bottom cushion might have had a little glue on the very front edge (but that might have just been years of compression rather than glue) but there’s no glue on the foams anywhere else, there are 2 pushpins on the bottom and back centre cushions.
  • no foam padding or inserts were added to the seats to fill in the seats more? i keep on reading that unless more is added the leather will be all loose and wrinkley – basically, I fitted the seat covers, and identified where there was any loose areas. there were only a couple of small areas, but that was down to the seat foam being compressed after 19 years of being strapped up in leather! it didn’t take much to sort out, I bought 1m x 0.5m 6mm foam, and I used about 1/4 of it at most. I just took my time and trial fitted the covers, adjusted where necessary before final fitting.

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