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Thread: Leather back seat repair

  1. #1
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    Leather back seat repair

    Asking for an opinion. I have the stitching on the typical small leather pieces between the middle seat and the two outer seat positions in the back coming apart. I am sure its because the leather is older and slightly brittle even though I use leather cleaner and conditioner three times a year.

    The opinion question is this - what do you all think about the idea of patching in new, slightly larger leather pieces with heavy stitching? It won't look factory but it won't be all ripped up. Have any of you done that?

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  2. #2
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    Mine was failing, but not as bad as yours. I had a local upholstery shop give me an estimate, which wasn't too bad, but before I got around to yanking it out, I found a nice condition blue donor bolster in a local yard. Mine was black so I dyed it. I figured I'd get the original bolster repaired and put it back in, but then I found another that was black, so in it went.

    I'm not sure heavier materials would make much of a difference - mainly it's how that area takes a beating over the years from the sun. I'd just have it repaired...looks like it just needs stitching? Or with fresh panels & quality thread, keep it greased and then tint the back window. Drape a bath towel over it during the summer, perhaps.

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 03-11-2017 at 05:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    I had one that had been replaced by vinyl instead...the match was nearly perfect and I'm sure it was cheaper to have done. Much of the leather interior is vinyl anyway.
    Matt Haub
    Shootouts: '09 SS 1st | '10 Mod1 2nd | '11 Bracket 3rd | '12 Bracket 1st | 2013 | '14 Bracket 3rd | 2015 | '16 Bracket 1st & Mod2 2nd | 2017 |
    Black '89 5spd - 281K miles, MPx, E85, Alky-Inj RWHP: ? RWTQ: ? Best 1/4mi:12.521, MPH:107.23mph
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrFishbone View Post
    Much of the leather interior is vinyl anyway.
    Didn't Duffy used to tell us that some of the leather was vinyl 'coated' and that's why saddle soap was a waste of time?

  5. #5
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    Only the parts of the seat that you touch when you sit are leather. The sides and back are vinyl.

  6. #6
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    I prefer cloth, since it is so much less work. My Gold XR7 had leather and I treated it with conditioner every three months. Still it developed cracks (with factory 2 year old replacements). I have been treating my 2016 SS the same and it looks like new after 2 years. I believe Chevrolet puts leather on top of Vinyl which allows them to last loner. Still, I prefer black cloth like I have in my Red 90 XR7. Vacuuming every now is all it needs.
    Last edited by J dot Miller; 03-14-2017 at 02:25 PM.
    J.Miller
    1990 XR7 and 1955 F250!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by J dot Miller View Post
    I prefer cloth
    Wonder which brings more $ on resale...

    My Anny lets me sit on pig skin and isn't my DD now, which falls to my 2002 Windstar w/cloth - I don't mind either.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    Didn't Duffy used to tell us that some of the leather was vinyl 'coated' and that's why saddle soap was a waste of time?
    I'm not sure what is meant by that. Vinyl fabricate is "vinyl coated" if you think about it.

    There are several places (include the seat backs, as was mentioned) where factory "leather seats" are really vinyl fabric.

    IIRC.....the "sides" of the front seat bottoms, the headrest, the seat backs were all vinyl. The entire seating surface for the rear seats is originally all leather, I think.
    Matt Haub
    Shootouts: '09 SS 1st | '10 Mod1 2nd | '11 Bracket 3rd | '12 Bracket 1st | 2013 | '14 Bracket 3rd | 2015 | '16 Bracket 1st & Mod2 2nd | 2017 |
    Black '89 5spd - 281K miles, MPx, E85, Alky-Inj RWHP: ? RWTQ: ? Best 1/4mi:12.521, MPH:107.23mph
    35th Anniversary Auto 46k miles | Red '93 Auto 186k miles
    My Garage

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrFishbone View Post
    The entire seating surface for the rear seats is originally all leather, I think.
    Right (except on the Anny where the seat middles are pig suede), and much of the bolster, of course, as well as the front seat side bolsters & headrests, and steering wheel wrap. Door pulls?

    I think alacantra would be good re-do for a rear bolster, vs. vinyl, as an example.

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 03-15-2017 at 01:03 PM.

  10. #10
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    So if I pull this out and take it apart can I re-stitch it? I feel like it will just fall apart if I do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by potshotscott View Post
    So if I pull this out and take it apart can I re-stitch it? I feel like it will just fall apart if I do.
    No way...you need new material for sure.
    Matt Haub
    Shootouts: '09 SS 1st | '10 Mod1 2nd | '11 Bracket 3rd | '12 Bracket 1st | 2013 | '14 Bracket 3rd | 2015 | '16 Bracket 1st & Mod2 2nd | 2017 |
    Black '89 5spd - 281K miles, MPx, E85, Alky-Inj RWHP: ? RWTQ: ? Best 1/4mi:12.521, MPH:107.23mph
    35th Anniversary Auto 46k miles | Red '93 Auto 186k miles
    My Garage

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by potshotscott View Post
    So if I pull this out and take it apart can I re-stitch it? I feel like it will just fall apart if I do.
    You might be able to re-stitch the one side that's only just pulled w/o taking it apart, but the side that's blown out would need to be taken apart and started over, and at that point, might as well use new fresh panels.

    I tried doing mine by hand and gave up...the shop I showed it to insisted on fresh panels.
    Last edited by KMT; 03-15-2017 at 03:05 PM.

  13. #13
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    I would pull it apart and re-stitch it, but get some new leather back behind the stitches to act as a backer to prevent it from pulling through again.

  14. #14
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    KMT - where did you have it done and how much did it cost you? I'm only an hour away from you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by potshotscott View Post
    KMT - where did you have it done and how much did it cost you? I'm only an hour away from you.
    That was at least 3 yrs. ago - try 'Auto Upholstery & Convertible Tops' (Richard?) 3530B SW Multnomah Blvd. in SW Portland/Multnomah Village - I'm not sure it's there now. He wanted $65 back then, if I pulled the bolster, walked it in and worked w/his schedule.

    Yellow store front, left of MVP Volvo Repair

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 03-15-2017 at 08:12 PM.

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