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How To Change T/a Seat Leather Yourself; Is It Difficult?

This is a discussion on How To Change T/a Seat Leather Yourself; Is It Difficult? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello everyone... I have a 30th T/A and my dealer replaced my driver's leather with factory GM replacement since they ...

  1. #1
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    '99 30th Anniversary T/A

    Question How To Change T/a Seat Leather Yourself; Is It Difficult?

    Hello everyone...

    I have a 30th T/A and my dealer replaced my driver's leather with factory GM replacement since they damaged my original. The new GM leather replacement quality is not 1/20th of the original leather. The passenger's seat (original) is thick and feels substantial. You can't "grab" the leather. The new driver's leather is thin and very wrinkly. You can "pinch" the leather between your fingers. When you rub your fingers along the perforations, you "feel" the holes. Also, when you push down on the seat, it wrinkles like an old lady's nipple (no offense, that's the best way to describe it). The current supplier's leather is just in NO WAY the quality of the original. It's also slightly yellow.

    The new leather doesn't fit tight like on the passenger's seat; there are noticable wrinkles and indentations along the bolsters around your thighs at the forward-most part of the seat. The lumbar area seems "loose"; i.e., you can push this area of the cover "in" toward the seatback about 1/2". Is there possibly some padding the dealer forgot to install? I don't see how you could "tighten" the area between the lumbar area's leather surface and the seat structure behind it.

    Now, getting to my point. I'm wanting to replace this seat cover. But, I want to know how to do it RIGHT and also if it is possible for me to do this myself. I am pretty good at things like this, but have never upholstered a seat before.

    Has anyone else tackled this? How hard is it? What is involved?

    When you purchase a NEW seat cover, is there some sort of pad or cushion that goes BETWEEN the seat cover and the foam seat that possibly I don't have on my seat? The excessive wrinkling and loose fit bother me.

    When you "take apart" a seat, what all is there?

    This car spends most of it's life in storage and has very limited miles. I don't think the seat structure itself is deformed or has any damage. The other seats look new.


    Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge regarding what's involved to change the leather? Does anyone have any pictures? Does anyone have anything I can check or look for to see if something may be missing from my driver's seat (i.e., some sort of padding or substrate), and if so, where would I get what might be missing?


    Thanks everyone!



    Jeff

  2. #2
    with a LS1 2MuchFun's Avatar
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    you been feeling old ladies nipples???


    anyway yea id also like to replace mine, i wish i had the black ws6 interior....im seriously considering just buying nice leather seat covers and trying them....my leather is starting to show some wear and id like it to stop that from getting worse.

    i know putting a seat cover on a atv is a ROYAAAL PITA, not sure that a car would be better.......

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    JEB
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    How To Change T/a Seat Leather Yourself; Is It Difficult?

    Well, yes it is difficult, but not impossible. I have replaced the leather on several seats with the factory custom replacements and I'll tell you that the new covers do not just slid on. You have to work them on. But it is worth the work because when you have finished, you can feel proud in knowing that you did it yourself and that you did it right, and that you did it for a lot less than some one would have charged you to make you a set. And they look factory because they are factory replacement leathers.

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    Hi Jeb...do you have any specifics to the questions I asked? Is there any way to "tighten" the leather on my driver's seat? What would make it seem so loose and thin?

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    JEB
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    I think that the cover that they used is a cheap quality. Not the original factory quality. Of-course your older seat covers will harden up some over a period of time due to the sun and other things. You could use some leather care products on the older leather and soften it up some, but probably not to the someness of that newly installed one. I just think that they used a cheaper quality product.
    Last edited by JEB; 07-12-2007 at 04:18 PM.

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    JEB
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    There are several after market suppliers that carry the seat leathers. Pick out one and talk with them about the thickness and the quailty. Then pick the one that seem to be of the quailty that you want. You know that the higher the quailty the higher the price, so to speak. You only get what you pay for.

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    My car is kept in a garage; it's never in the sun when not driven. The rear and passenger's seats are exactly as they were when brand new. They have been conditioned since new and aren't hard or stiff...they are soft and supple, but feel "meaty" when you grab the leather. It's pretty thick.

    The dealer used factory GM leather replacements for my driver's seat that cost quite a bit of money. The quality is not like the original leather because they have changed suppliers several times at GM. It is cheap feeling and thin, but it IS the factory GM replacement.


    So, there is only ONE way to put these on? Meaning, there's no way to "tighten" the covers up?

    And, I suppose there ISN'T anything between the leather and the foam, right?

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    there is no way to tighten them up. also, there is only one cushion on the seatbottom and one on the backrest. they couldn't have forgotten anything. the replacement is problably just an inferior product, not that the original was that great. katzkin makes some leather that i think is pretty good.

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    Junior Member 94TA25thANNIVERSARY's Avatar
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    Anyone know a supplier for 25th anniversary seat covers? Drivers side is pretty bad in mine so I wouldn't mind replacing them all.

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    I've gotten some pictures of my poor quality GM replacement leather which shows the "looseness" and wrinkly nature of the leather. Sorry for the poor pics; all I had was a camera phone. I've included pics of the passenger's seat to show the difference in the apparent thickness of the leather (the passenger's seat is smooth and tight and doesn't wrinkle like an old nipple when you push your finger into it).

    This is factory GM replacement leather. Is everybody SURE that there is NO WAY to adjust this leather cover to make it fit better/tighter?



    New driver's replacement wrinkly loose lumbar area:



    Passenger's original tight lumbar area:



    New driver's replacement thin leather "nipple effect" when pushed with a finger:



    Passenger's original leather when pushed with a finger:



    New driver's replacement lumbar area loose wrinkles when pushed "in" (it can be pushed in almost 3/4"):



    Passenger's original tight wrinkle-free lumbar area when pushed "in":



    Poor, loose fit around base of seat back; bunches up around corners...also note the yellowing of the leather central seating area compared to white vinyl sides:



    Loose, bumpy areas closest to right knee at the front of the seat:

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    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    Doesn't really look that bad to me. Try inflating the electronic air bladder all the way maybe?

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