Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown) - Team Camaro Tech
Interiors Upholstery & soft trim

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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old May 15th, 16, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional upholsterer, This is how I did mine after looking at videos and reading info and trying things

To do both seats is a pretty involved process, at least 4 days for a superman (it took me a month, on and off in the evenings). So make sure you have everything before you start and can live without driving the car for a while

Tools you will need:

Small bolt cutter (for removing hog rings)
Bag of 3/4" hog rings (usually comes in bags of 250 rings)
Hog ring pliers
Awl
Philips screwdrivers (medium and large)
Socket set
Allen keys
Pipe clamp
Various pliers and pry tools
Dremel with cut off wheel
Electric knife

Supplies you will need:

New seat covers
New seat foam
Jute felt carpet under-layment (ask for remnants)
Spray and brush-on contact cement
Spray and brush white lithium grease
Rust reformer spray paint
1/2" high density foam sheets
Felt, a yard should do, any color you want
14" tie wraps
Black duct/fabric 2" adhesive tape
Black and Stainless steel spray paint
Chrome spray paint
Krylon Fusion satin spray paint (for plastic to match interior color) Or SEMS product

Broken springs: Catalogs have the lower side springs repair kits available, but if the larger springs are broken, you will have to make your own. The seat bottom springs are .130, Amazon has small rolls of springs available "Zig Zag Auto Upholstery spring" #10 is .135 (good for bottoms), #11 is .120 good for backs. Cut and bend as needed.

Step 1: Disassembly

Remove headrest, pull straight up until the catch stops it. Move catch tab aside and pull up until headrest comes clear. Only friction hold it in place.

Remove seat from car, 4 bolts hold it to floor (2 F & 2 R). You will need to move seat back and forth to gain access to all bolts. Place seat on a worktable with enough room to work.



Remove headrest bezel: two screws hold the plastic cover one, remove them and the bezel. Then 2 longer screws hold the catch arm metal plate to the seat, remove them and the plate.



Remove seat back: Tilt seat forward to gain access to hardware. Using a small pry bar, pull up on arm button clip (round thing above cable screw in pic) enough to get a needle nosed pliers to pinch it and remove.


Placeholder for button remove pics


Plastic arm can then be pulled down (a small tap helps) and out to remove. Remove both covers.




Note: the inside ridge of plastic can be damaged if cover was not installed properly. One of mine was, I was able to straighten it out with some heat and gentle pressure. But be careful 40+ old plastic is brittle.



Remove rest of hardware: remove latch knob with allen key, remove two seat cover philips screws, remove upper bumper (large philips), lower rubber bumper (medium philips) and latch bracket.



Remove Pass side cable: Use philips to remove both screws



Remove arm clips: The arm is held on by an outer C clip and a pressure washer, as well as a plastic washer between the arm and seat vinyl. Pry the C clip out, the pressure washer is a bit more tricky. I use an awl to loosen it (hammer the gaps!) enough to slide off.



Once both sides are free, you can just grasp the arms one side at a time to pull them over the pivots.



Set aside seat back for later and lets work on the base.
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Last edited by KevinW; Mar 6th, 17 at 12:09 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old May 15th, 16, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring yout Front bucket seats (69 shown)

Base disassembly of covers and foam:



Flip base over on it's back



Remove seat tracks from base (4 bolts). It is easier to slide the tracks out of the way by removing springs 1st. The original plastic track knob just pulls off. Use this pic to remember where the springs go!

Pry plastic edging up from base frame (use favorite pry tools). Putting base on the floor and apply foot pressure will help to loosen cover pressure.



Note, the seat frame has stamped week numbers, you can use these number to help verify original seats. Mine are stamped week 35-39, which matches nicely to the week 40 seatbelts I have and 10B trim tag.




Cut the hog rings on the back flap



Save the metal rod in the flap for use in your new cover



Pull up cover from base



Remove cotton batting panel from sides (just laying there)



Cut hog rings in rear (try to remember where the hog rings go, you need to put them all back in the same locations )



Cut the hog rings in the seams of the the seat cushion where listing fabric attaches to frame (must dig deep, or use awl to pry them open.

Sorry, I did not get a pic of this area

At this point the cover is off. Flip base over. Cut hog rings that are attaching cushion to frame.



This is where you are now



Next, take the edge felting off, Gently peel the felt off the corners and rear of the frame. You need to use this to make a pattern for a new felt piece.






Then remove 1st layer of burlap with blue padding. Cut hog rings with bolt cutter or dremel cutoff if you have trouble. There may be lots of hog rings around the rim plus some in the middle seams. Don't remove any hog rings that are just holding the springs to the frame.


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Last edited by KevinW; May 18th, 16 at 07:59 AM.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old May 15th, 16, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 shown)

Remove the the final layer of burlap by cutting the hog rings. If you plan on restoring seat foundation the same as the factory, you need to save the blue padding and metal re-enforcing wires to transfer to new burlap.



You should have a bare frame now.



Inspect the frame for any twisting (frame should sit flat on your bench). Remove any loose hog rings that do not attach a frame wire to something else. Inspect the spring carefully to make sure there are no broken ones. The side springs can be replaced using the available repair kit. The barrel looking clips are called Baker clips and can be gotten on ebay if yours are missing or rusted. Inspect the spring pockets and make sure springs are straight and tucked in the pockets correctly. You can bend the tabs slightly if any springs are loose in the pockets.

I had a spring out of the pocket (right). I just put it back in pocket and bent the tabs down like the left one.



Also check you arm pivot posts for any burrs or damage to the C-clip groove. File them as needed, cleaning these up now will help later on.


Kevin


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Last edited by KevinW; Jan 19th, 17 at 01:14 PM.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old May 15th, 16, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 shown)

Re-assemble base

Use a small wire brush and brush the entire frame prior to rust reformer spray paint. Remove any loose fabric/felt strands.

Sorry, no pic again But part of the frame shows in the following pics

Put 1st layer of jute on. Cut some jute with the electric knife, so that it fits between the seam wires and goes front to back. Hog ring the perimeter and 2 or 3 hog rings per spring in the center. The back end is left loose (provides seat "give" when you sit). This provides a solid base for the springs.



Lets remake the felt! If your felt is in good shape and not funky smelling, you can re-use it

Using what you saved as a pattern, cut new felt, you can use multiple pieces as you will be contact cementing them in place.




And cement it in place...







Remember to hog ring the loose flap



The felt protects the cover from the sharp edges of the frame.

Next, the second layer of jute is applied. Lay out a piece and trim it around 1-2" larger, so you can wrap it around the edges of the frame.



Trim it with your electric knife



Wrap the edge and hog ring it, the rear edge remains loose (lets the seat move!)




So, let me point out something. In some of the pics there is another piece of felt on the inside of the springs. This piece was in the drivers side, but not in the pass side. It might have been put there to reduce some spring noise. It is just a rectangular piece of felt hog ringed to the interior springs in the front of the seat. Also notice a piece of black duct tape. You will need to add that tape to the frame seam to protect the sharp edges cutting the cover.




Time to fit the cushion! (seat foam)


Kevin


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Last edited by KevinW; May 18th, 16 at 08:05 AM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old May 15th, 16, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 shown)

Now is the time for the most important step, measure the cushion dimensions and find the center line front to back. Find the center of the frame on the front and back. When you start to hog ring the cushion, the lines must line up! You will also use the lines for lining up the covers, so make sure they are as perfect as you can get. Crooked lines mean a crooked cover.




Once cushion is lined up, hog ring it to frame front, rear (in those 3 loops) and sides





Now, if you are recreating the factory look (flat seat), do not add the extra foam and skip to the cover section. But I like a little more bolster to the sides. So taking some 1/2" high density foam, I built up the sides and front edge. Cut it larger, contact cement it, and trim with the electric knife.




Lay the seat cover on the cushion, align notch (manufacturers center mark) to lines.




Test fit the listing seam of cover into the slot of the cushion. My covers from Legendary had a little extra on the ends, so I cut a small wedge to match the cushion contours.



Next you are going to mark for the tie wraps. With cover lined up with center lines and even side to side, mark the bottom of the cushion slot and the listing flap. About 1 1/2" between the marks. They need to line up perfectly, because when you tighten the tie straps, it will pull the cover down to those spots. If they are not lined up, the seam will pucker and not lay flat.



Take cover off cushion, tie wrap install is next. Using an awl, punch a hole through the cushion and outer layer of jute on the outside of the seam wire.



Then from the underside, push the tie wrap through the hole, making sure the tie wrap is aligned so the female end is to the outside of the seam wire, so the male end can go around the frame wire under the seam.



Do both sides



If you notice the extra blocks of foam on the front corners, I put them there because those corners puckered a little from the extra foam I put on.



Put the cover on loosely, take your awl and punch holes in the listing seam for each tie wrap (in the proper place, of course!) Note: some of these pics are from the pass seat, some are from the driver seat, seems I looped them differently, not an issue, just makes it harder to explain the pics


Kevin


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Last edited by 69-Pace; May 18th, 16 at 09:20 AM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old May 15th, 16, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 shown)

Next, punch another hole opposite the 1st tie wrap hole and make a loop.



As you loop each wrap, put it into the female end of wrap until it catches.



Make sure each loop goes around the wire wrapped seam wire. Once all the loops are in place...



I tightened down the tie wraps at this point, but that made it harder to pull the cover down over the cushion.



So don't do as I did, but roll down the cover over the sides, before tightening tie wraps. Tighten down wraps evenly and make sure cover is at center lines. The last bit of tightening I used pliers to get a better grip on the wrap.

Now you will need some heat to soften the cover. Putting it outside in the sun for 30 minutes is the preferred way. Since I was doing this when it was cold and not sunny, I created a hot box under my workbench with some towels and a bathroom ceramic heater. About 45min to an hour in the hot box, softened the covers up. Just be careful to not place the heater too close to the cover

Cut the loose ends of the tie wraps after it is all tightened down.
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Last edited by KevinW; May 18th, 16 at 11:19 AM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old May 17th, 16, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Time to pull the cover over the cushion if you have not already done this before tightening the tie wraps. Flip seat around as needed to get the cover on

The rear is very tight, so I pulled the front down first, leaving the bottom loose above the frame to provide some slack. Note the tape on the frame seam (better pic)



Then you pull it over the rear corners. Again this is very tight and does not slide on the felt, so you cannot pull it down directly. You have to get the top edge started and roll it down the corner, like a condom (sorry, best analogy I could think of)

Again, no pics, I think I was having difficulties and forgot to take a pic

Once the cover is all the way down, time to attach to bottom of frame. The bottom edge has a plastic strip sewn in. This plastic is what tucks under the metal seam of the frame. Make sure the metal frame channel is clear and does not have any dented sections or loose tape in them.



Put a towel down on the floor and apply pressure with your foot to get plastic edging in. You have to hold the edge so the inner plastic is at an angle to slip into the channel. Start in a corner (the hardest section), then work your way across the front to the other corner, then the sides. Tougher then it sounds, keep working it.




Once you have the plastic seam installed, take it back to the bench. Insert the listing rod you saved (and hopefully cleaned and painted ) into the rear flap of the cover (centered in pocket, pocket is longer than metal rod).



Pull the flap tight and hog ring to the springs in the same location as the felt flap.



At this point I like to use brush contact cement on the corners to keep it nice and tidy. I took the below pic to show the corner.



But then I had realized I had the side of the flap over top of the seat frame and hog ringed. In checking the before picture, the edge of the flaps go under the frame and not hog ringed. I fixed this later by cutting the hog rings and tucking the flap under the frame. Don't be shy in cutting hog rings you just put on. I did it quite a bit to get thing just right.



Then put the springs on



With the flap nice and tight and corners cemented, the back should look like this



And the front should look like this



If all went well in tightening the tie wraps, the seams should be straight with no puckering.

Note the front seam corner. It is this section which shows a little pucker, it is due to the extra foam I put on the sides (bolsters). I tried to fill it out with the corner blocks of foam best I could. If you do not add foam, this section should be better.

Now that the cover is on, you will notice the sides are bulging. This is due to the seat back pivot posts. We need to cut a hole to free the posts. Taking a sharp exacto knife, cut an X on top of the post bulge, then carefully trim away the vinyl in a circle slightly larger than the post. You want to take enough away so the cover is not sticking to the post, but not so much that it leaves a large gap. Do both sides



In this pic, the cover is a bit too tight. I trimmed more after taking this pic.

Kevin


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Last edited by KevinW; May 18th, 16 at 08:22 AM.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old May 17th, 16, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

OK, put the base aside and lets talk about hardware. After you have taken the hardware off the seat, you will need to refresh them.

You can use Dale's seat track post to fix your tracks. Mine were in good shape, just a little surface rust. So I put them in a tank of Evaporust type solution along with the track bolts, springs and any other steel with rust.



Took them out, washed and dried them



And painted them (underhood black and stainless steel)



Now is a good time to put the new metal repro track knob on, remember allen key goes to the inside, so it will not be seen when in car. Also lube with spray white grease and make sure they work well before mounting.

Just 4 bolts, slide track back and forth to get to bolts



Then put springs on, look at your reference pic.

For the rest of the hardware: Plastic side covers (and seat back) received Krylon Fusion Black Satin paint (SEMS is also good). Plated parts were wire brushed with small stainless brush, Back latch and headrest plate were Evaporusted, plastic headrest bezel was painted with chrome paint. Yellow spring was repainted, arm button clip top was painted Stainless steel.

Special note on the arm clips. Take the time to straighten them and paint them now. They tend to be bent prying them off. The pressure washer especially. You want that washer to be tight on the shaft to hold the arm in, I used a hammer to flatten the tabs in a little to restore the tightness before painting.


Kevin


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Last edited by KevinW; May 18th, 16 at 08:27 AM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Seat back disassembly

The seat back disassemble goes pretty much like the base, with just a couple differences. Remove plastic back cover by holding out a little and sliding up. The cover has clips on the seat frame and pockets in the plastic cover and pushing upward will slide the clips out of the pockets.

pic of cover pocket here



Cut the hog rings around the perimeter, paying close attention to where the hog rings are and how the flaps are oriented.









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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Starting at the bottom side, cut the hog rings in the inner seams and peel cover upwards.



Remove cotton batting and cover





Remove cushion from frame, It is glued on to back of frame.

Next remove the headrest slide by cutting the tape and removing tape and pulling slide out.




Another date stamp under tape



Remove blue padding layer same as base



Remove wire burlap layer same as base



Frame should be bare at this point



If latch is rusty, you can remove it by 2 bolts and one on the side. I pulled mine out and cleaned it.


Kevin


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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Assemble the seat back

Note: If your driver's side seat back is leaning back more than the pass side, now is the time to fix that. The increased lean is due to the decades of getting in the seat and applying pressure to the seat back as you enter (a normal way to do it!). This has caused the arms of the seat back to bow outwards. You can adjust this by hammering the arms on a vise or anvil. You need to hammer the arms flatter, but without changing the distance between the pivot points. With the inside part of the arm on the vise, hammer the outside center. This will decrease the bow and flatten the curve of the arm. I suggest trial fitting bare seat frame to the seat base (install the upper and lower bumpers and latch) to ensure you have taken the lean out and the frame is centered on the base. If the frame goes off-center, you will have to hammer the arms in or out accordingly and re test the alignment. I had already did this to my drivers seat in the past, so I have no pics.

Inspect the frame for any weld issues or broken springs or springs out of pocket (same as base inspection). Wire brush and spray rust reformer on frame. Also, paint the the arms Stainless steel (or Argent silver of your choice).



Install latch and headrest slide in frame (don't wait until after partially assembling seat like I did!). Make sure slide is angled properly (low side to rear of seat).




Apply the black duct/fabric tape to keep slide from moving



Measure, cut and install a layer of jute, it gets hog rings around the entire perimeter and on the springs in the center.







Mark the center lines of the frame and cushion





Unwrap the paper sides and place the seat cushion on the frame by your marks. The paper side of the cushion gets spray contact cemented to the frame. Make sure cushion is centered in the frame before adhering.




Gently pull the paper on the top first: adhere, then gently pull the sides to snug them up: adhere. Neatness counts! Trim any excess paper and trim around seat back clips and the 5 hog ring loops (there is one hiding in the center).


Kevin


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Last edited by KevinW; Dec 15th, 17 at 11:44 AM.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)



If you are increasing the bolster area, now is the time for that. I also added a bit more across the top because I did not like the look of the top angle. Use the same techniques you did on the base.





Cut the hole for the headrest. Don't go too crazy here, just find the hole and using a razor blade, trim away the foam slowly until you have the desired hole.



Lay the cover out on the foam (watching center lines), mark for your tie wraps just like the base.





Install the tie wraps using awl like base



Install tie wraps into cover like base



Fold down the top of the cover (panel where headrest goes, doing this now will help slip it over the top) and start making your loops with the tie wraps.



Make sure loops go around the paper wrapped wire same as base


Kevin


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Pull the tie wraps a little at a time evenly around the frame. When you are getting close to the end gently ease the top of the cover over the frame.



Cut the hole out for the latch (cut the whole circle out, this is covered by the plastic cover)




Attach the top of the cover listing seams to the 4 hog rings by the back cover clips (I think I did my side first and had to redo the side hog rings to get the cover to lay nice). Then hog ring the sides. Make sure as you hog ring, you smooth the cover out.





Alright, now here was the tricky part. When I pulled up on the bottom flap, the listing seam was nowhere near where it needed to be hog ringed. I had to trim the foam on the bottom edge to get it lined up properly.



After I trimmed that area, I could pull up the flap (without it seeming to rip) and get it close enough to hog ring. I still had to daisy chain some hog rings to secure the flap. Now is also the time to look at your reference pics to install hog rings in the corners. Those areas are tricky.



Cut the loose tie wraps now if you have not already.

Install the headrest plate, I used the awl to locate the holes. My plate had week 35 stamped into it, prior to the week 39 on most of my frame pieces.


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Your back should look close to this



I had a slight pucker in the upper right corner on both covers. I checked the listing seams to make sure they were completely flush with the cushion, but they still remain. Must be a manufacturing thing. I hope they will smooth out in the sun.

Now grab your base and and rest the back on it. Time to install some hardware. Using you finger and a needle, find the holes for the lower latch. Trim the vinyl to make the bolt hole, then install the latch base.



Using the same technique, find and install the upper and lower bumpers.




Next insert the pivot plastic washers on the pivots (I forgot this step and had to take it apart again )



Now install the arms into the base pivots. You put one side one (muscle power is fine), then pulling on the other arm, you should be able to slip the arm over the other pivot.

Install the pressure washer (use a small deep socket to push the washer on evenly) and the c-clip on one side.



Now go to the other side. Hey what gives, I cannot get the other washer and clip on!



Relax, you need to squeeze the arm together! I used a pipe clamp with some blocks of wood.



Now you can install the other washer and clip.

Make sure the seams in the base line up with the back. If they don't you will need to hammer the arms a bit more



For the pass side, install the cable and washers and screws




Install the arm covers. Place the cover on the arm about 1/2" lower than where it needs to be. Then slip the cover upwards and hooking the lower edge over the end of the arm (little tab you repaired earlier goes between the arm and the plastic washer) But at the same time the upper end needs to tuck in behind the seat cover. You might need to trim some foam if you have a lot sticking out.



Then push the arm button clip into place. It is important that you actually get the clip into the hole in the arm. It is possible to not have the cover all the way up and the clip just catches an edge of the lip. You think it is holding, but really it is not. Validate the hole in the cover is lined up with the hole in the arm by using a small flashlight before pushing clip into place.



Install the rear cover and latch knob.



Install plastic headrest bezel



And the re-cover job is almost complete



Install the seat in car first, then install the headrest (the headrest can get damaged if installed and you are trying to fit in door opening)
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Last edited by KevinW; Dec 3rd, 17 at 02:11 PM.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old May 18th, 16, 02:21 PM
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Re: Restoring your Front bucket seats (69 Standard shown)

Nice job. The sides almost look like my sport seat cushions from TMI. Almost.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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