New Seat Covers
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Seat cover fitting instructions
Tools you will need to remove the seats from the car, remove the covers from the seats and recover the seats.
To remove the seats from the car you will need:
1) T50 Torx bit
2) Flexible Handle or Ratchet
3) Extension bars
I used the flexible handle and both 3 inch and 6 inch extension bars.
To remove and replace the seat covers you will need:
1) 1 Large flat head screwdriver
2) 2 Electrical screwdrivers (I will explain later)
3) Two pairs of pliers
4) 1 hole bodging instrument (Again I will explain later. Shown below is an upholstery cushion/buttoning needle but a pointed pair of scissors will suffice)
Disconnect the Battery
Before you start you will need to disconnect the battery and leave the car for at least 10 minutes. I left my battery disconnected for 20 minutes just to be sure. This is so that the SRS/Airbags don’t deploy when you disconnect the SRS connector under each seat.
I had it under advisement that you could just pull the SRS fuse instead, but looking at the TF manual it does not recommend this, so I decided to disconnect the battery instead.
Removing the Seat from the Car
As for the headrests, I thought I’d start with a picture of one of the seats before it was removed and recovered.
Using the T50 Torx bit set there are 5 Torx bolts you need to undo in order to remove the seat.
Two bolts at the front seat base:
Two bolts at the back (one is pointing into the tunnel not the floor and is the trickiest to get out):
Here’s a picture of the seat removed so that you can see where all the bolts were removed from:
Finally unclip the SRS connector under the seat:
The cable on mine was also held in place by a small cable tie which I managed to prise apart using a small flat head electrical screwdriver.
Separate the Seat Cushion from the Squab
Now that you have removed the seat from the car, you need to separate the seat squab (seat back) from the seat cushion.
There are 4 T50 Torx bolts holding the squab to the cushion, 2 each side of the seat. On one side the bolts will be hidden by the recliner knob.
The recliner knob can be prised off using 2 flat blade screwdrivers (small screwdriver to start with followed by a larger one for more leverage). Be careful when you do this as it is quite easy to damage the plastic.
The recliner knob comes in three parts. The outer cover, the dial (looks like a sprocket) and the cover hiding the torx bolt.
Once you remove the recliner knob you will see the other torx bolt.
On the other side of the seat the two bolts can be seen either side of another torx bolt that holds the seat belt fastener.
I recommend you loosen off the seat belt fastener bolt a little in order to remove the seat from the squab. When you come to put the seat and squab back together you may need to remove the seat belt fastener so that the other two bolt holes can be aligned correctly.
Saving the existing Hog Rings
When removing the covers, you can cut through all the existing Hog rings with some tin snips if you want, but I decided to save and recycle them. Mainly because I thought, if I snipped all the existing Hog Rings and messed up with the new ones, I’d be short of some and be a little stuck. As it happened I managed to save all the existing Hog Rings just by being careful.
You can save the existing hog rings by using a small electrical screwdriver, the kind that has a plastic sleeve on the screwdriver shaft. Insert the screwdriver into the enclosed hog ring and push the screw driver inwards. This will open up the hog ring enough to be removed from the fabric and be reused later. Most of the time this will work completely, but sometimes a little intervention with two pair of pliers is required to completely open up the hog ring.
Seat Cover Removal
The seat cover is removed by
1) Undoing the J clips that fix the edges of the cover to the seat surround
2) Removing the Hog Rings
Start by undoing the J clips from the sides of the seat first, as these are the easiest to get off, followed by the front and then the rear of the seat.
Using your hands and fingers, ease the material up towards the edge of the J clip and push if off the edge of the seat.
The front and rear of the seats are the hardest to get off and it may help if you insert a long shank screw driver into the end of the J clip to gain a bit of leverage.
Here’s a closeup of the rings left in place once removed from the cover.
After you have removed all 10 Hog Rings from the sides, there are two rows of 3 Hog Rings left to remove, running from side to side.
As you cannot see where all the Hog Rings are when the cover is on, here’s a picture of the seat with the cover fully removed showing where they all are.
Fitting the New Seat Cover
With the seat cover inside out align the front of the cover with the front of the seat, making sure that there is the same amount of material on each side of the seat cushion i.e. centred in the middle of the cushion. Working from front to back and starting with the centre hog rings first, offer up the yellow plastic strip to the first set of hog rings.
Remove the Hog Ring from the metal rod and use two pairs of pliers to straighten and open up the ring. Then attach it to the hole you’ve just made in the yellow plastic strip.
Do this for all the Hog Rings along the same metal rod before attempting to attach the rings to the rod. (This is just my way of working which I found easiest, but you may find another method of working)
To attach the Hog Rings to the metal rod push the ring, still attached to the yellow plastic strip, around the metal rod. Next use a pair of pliers to squeeze and close the ring. (This next picture was taken out of sequence and is actually from the seat squab, but you get the idea)
Here’s a picture of all the Hog Rings fitted along a metal rod.
Now you know how to attach the Hog Rings, do the same for the second central row and the two sides.
Finally pull the material over the seat, manipulating it so that it becomes crease free and attach the J clips underneath the seat. Do the side J clips first then the front followed lastly by the rear.
There, you’ve done it, one seat cover done. Take a break and give your fingers a rest, you’ve earned it.
Squab Cover Removal
Turn the squab upside down and undo the plastic J clip apart.
Next, pull the cover as far over as you can. The things that stop you removing the whole cover are the Hob Rings and two bungee cords that run between the bolster and the back from the centre of the seat to the bottom, on each side of the seat.
Pull the bungee cords out of the material and undo all the Hob Rings as you did when removing the seat cover and you will be left with a squab without a cover.
Fitting the New Squab Cover
Lay the stripped foam/frame on its back (so the bit where the alcantara/seat front will be is facing you). With the cover inside out lay it in place with the alcantara/seat front lying directly on the squab, making sure that the headrest holes are pointing towards the top of the squab.
As before with the seat, attach the centre line hog rings first, followed by the side seam rings.
Feed the bungee cords through the calico.
Roll the whole cover backwards, finding the headrest holes as you go and then down over two thirds of the squab. Attach bungee cords to holes in bottom of frame and pull the cover of the rest of the squab.
Finally manipulate the cover until it is crease free and click the J clip together at the bottom of the squab.
Finally refit the seat back in the car in the exact reverse order you took it out:
1) Attach the SRS connector and secure it with the cable tie
2) Attach the seat belt Torx bolt
3) Bolt in the remaining 4 Torx bolts starting with the back ones.
Now you’ve done one seat, the second seat should be easy.
This is what you should expect...
posted by Alan and Maxine @ 10:00 am,
- At 4/12/2013 11:29 am, dokan sam said...
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- At 12/09/2015 5:38 am, Scott Waschlerner said...
Hi! Could you help me, please! I need an advice. I want to replace the car seat to a new one. My friend advises me to use plastic fasteners http://hardware.nl/kleinhuis. However, I hesitate to do it! i have never used it and think that it is fragile and short-lived! What can you say about it?