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Restoration Journal
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Restoration Journal

March 14, 2003

Tore the bench seat bottom down to the springs. Same thing with the driver's seat back; removed all burlap, foam and bunting. I left the passenger seat back intact so that I could refer to it when re-assembling the driver's seat back.

Took the seat bottom frame apart (removed the rails that the seat slides on from the frame). Took a wire brush to rusty areas and degreased the rollers. In other words, got everything ready for a coat of POR.

 

March 15, 2003

Painted the parts mentioned above. I only painted the rusty areas, to seal them in. I don't have a spray gun; the only way to paint these pieces completely (springs and all) would be with a gun. I was able to reach just about all the rust with a brush.

 

March 23, 2003

A nice spring day in southern WI; if I had a driver's seat in the car, I would've gone for a drive! Damn!

Started the reupholstery process. Other than the metal frames, the only stuff that's not getting replaced is these sections of burlap with (listing?) wires running through them. They go between the springs and the bunting. I took these pieces for the seat bottom and driver's seat back outside and gave them a good scrubbing. I don't want any hint of the mouse smell when the seat goes back in the car. Since I can't describe this piece of "wired burlap", I took a pic:

I choose to do the seat bottom first, so I cut the replacement high density foam, using the old piece as a template. Then I cut out pieces of bunting and burlap to replace the old stuff, again using the old pieces as templates. Here's a pic of the replacement foam:

The rest of the afternoon was spent hand-sewing the bunting to the burlap. It was a pain, but the old pieces were sewn together, so I thought it would be prudent. An industrial-type sewing machine (like an upholstery shop would have) would've made short work of this task. The old bun is on the left, and the new one is on the right:

March 24, 2003

Time to put the seat bottom back together. Got the hog rings and hog ring pliers and worked my way up from the springs. First was the piece of burlap with wires running through it (I don't know what to call this piece), then the new cotton bun was next. I simply attached these pieces to the frame as the originals were.

Next came the foam, and finally the vinyl. The vinyl wasn't hard, but I did ask Dawn to help. First, we turned it inside-out. Then she held the frame while I attached the rear listing wire to the rear of the frame. Then we pulled the vinyl over the frame while turning it rightside-out. As the instructions told me, and as I had read, it's a snug fit.

There was a fair amount of tugging and pulling to get the vinyl where it needed to be, but it wasn't bad. We used a hair dryer to warm up the vinyl to make it more pliable. We got it mostly in place before I ran out of hog rings, and I couldn't find the other bags I had bought. So, that ended our night.

Forgot to mention - before installing the vinyl, I moved the 2 listing wires from the old vinyl to the new.

March 25, 2003

Found another bag of hog rings, so Dawn and I were able to finish the seat bottom. We just had to compress the springs a bit and stretch the vinyl so it reached the attaching points in the front. A few more rings to tuck the rear part of the vinyl under the seat and we were done! I'm happy with the results, and it wasn't difficult at all. Much better than paying $300 to have a shop do it.

March 26, 2003

Started working on the driver's seat back. Cut out chunks of burlap and cotton bunting to match the originals. Gave the burlap to Dawn so she could sew over a flap at one end where a listing wire needs to go. While she did that, I attached the wired burlap to the seat back frame.

The rest of the night was spent hand sewing the bunting to the burlap; it takes a lot of time...

March 27, 2003

Finished sewing the bunting to the burlap. Then I fastend the new bun to the frame.

Time to put the vinyl on...I turned the vinyl inside out, except for a few inches at the top. I slid those few inches over the top of the frame, and then pulled the rest of the vinyl down over the frame, while turning it right-side out. Kind of the opposite of peeling a banana. Dawn helped me with this.

Only thing left to do, after transferring the listing wires from the old vinyl to the new, was to hog ring the seam together at the bottom of the seat back. It looks pretty good, but not great. There are some wrinkles (on the sides, which will be hard to see anyway), and it seems I may not have enough bunting on the top of the frame, but I'm fairly happy with it.





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