View Full Version : Seat cover recommendations?
09-11-2017, 12:09 AM
I have a red and white interior (XG). I am at a point of wanting to replace the seat covers as the drivers is cracking on the rear and the colors were never quite correct. Also my rear foam is at the graham cracker stage of life.
I was looking at MACs Fall 2017 catalogue and found a complete set of covers (f & r) for $505. Rear seat foam for $409. So I am looking at $914 plus shipping plus installation.
Last week I got motivated when MACs sent out an email saying they were having a sale and 15% off for orders $300 and over.
I emailed them to confirm and was told it was good until midnight tonight (9/10). Great!
Got online and found the prices had changed. Now $585 and $423. Hmmmmm
Put them in the basket and applied the coupon code. My total dropped to . . . $938.
In other words they seem to have increased the price since the Fall catalogue (but it ain't even Fall yet! ) and then offered a sale that simply got things back where they were.
Maybe this is as good as I can do.
Anyone got any better experiences??
(I don't need front foam . . . did that about 8 years ago)
09-11-2017, 12:39 AM
I get those coupon code deals weekly by email. Basically, every time I buy something. I just got mine, so I'm buying a lot of parts.
I would just call them and ask about the "deal" and ask about the price increase.
09-11-2017, 12:46 AM
John, take a look at the Bird Nest prices. Vinyl red & white front and rear seat upholstery sells for $499.95 there. Part #SCS-589-RED/WHT. The rear bottom and back seat foam sells for $350. Part #STFMR580-REAR. You might also want to check with Tbird Hqs and other parts houses to see if they can beat those prices. Also, you might want to check with a local shop that specializes in doing classic car interiors. They might be able to beat those prices.
09-11-2017, 05:48 AM
Do Squarebird members get a discount from any vendors?
09-11-2017, 07:44 AM
Depending on the amount of the order some of our vendors do give a discount. You will have to ask them. Rock Auto is the main one who gives us a discount of 5% on any online order, but I do not think they stock foams and seat covers for these old Tbirds of ours. Their discount code is found in the Advertisements Forum and it changes every few months.
09-11-2017, 10:46 AM
As Ray mentioned I would ask your local upholstery shop about the rear foam. They can probably make it for less than $350.
09-11-2017, 11:02 AM
Keep in mind that, for the most part, which ever Tbird parts house you place your order with that most of the Tbird parts available today are manufactured by just TWO companies... I was told by both Tbird Hqs and the Bird Nest that they manufacture and supply to the others 80% of the parts. So if you order from Mac's for example, or anyone else, and they are out of that part, they have to turn around and order it from either Tbird Hqs, or the Bird Nest... Whichever one manufacturers that part....
09-11-2017, 11:30 AM
John and Ray, good information - thanks!
I have a 2016 MACs catalogue which shows the seat cover set I need as $469. Then the 2017 Fall catalogue at $505. Now the online price of $585, a 25% increase over 2016!
So something is going on there and I need to look closer to the source, as Ray suggested.
I had not thought about the foam being done locally so that helps. The auto upholstery guy is only 2 miles down the road.
09-11-2017, 12:35 PM
John, and others reading this... When it came time to replace my crumbling foam cushions under the front and back seats, I ordered them from one of the suppliers. After receiving them and taking them to my guy who did my interior (a fantastic interior guy who does a lot of classic cars) he asked me how much I paid for them... I told him and he told me that I should have asked him how much he would have charged me to make them, which he does all the time... What he said he would have charged me was a lot less then what I paid for them... On top of that, he had to re-work the rear seat foam because it was not fitting correctly as it was manufactured. That cost him time and effort, but in the end, I think I have fantastic looking seats in Rose... I have since heard others on here say, either in print or privately, that they also had problems installing these seat foams and had to mold them to make them fit correctly..... So John, now you know what it is going to cost you for new foams from one of our parts houses... Ask the guy down the road how much he would charge you. You might get a nice surprise.....
09-11-2017, 02:58 PM
...On top of that, he had to re-work the rear seat foam because it was not fitting correctly as it was manufactured. That cost him time and effort, but in the end, I think I have fantastic looking seats in Rose... I have since heard others on here say, either in print or privately, that they also had problems installing these seat foams and had to mold them to make them fit correctly...Here's how it goes... Trim work is always 'custom fit' because seat covers are not exactly consistent from one to the next. It's 'sewing', and none of this can be done in a jig so it's all done free-hand.
Remember Jed Zimmerman's foams? He glued different densities of foam together then cut the shape out with a knife and a sander. None of them were molded.
Putting this all together... The installer MUST make the seat look pleasing to the eye by either paring the foam down if it is too big for the cover OR adding 'fill foam' in areas where the seat cover is baggy. Trim shops know this as standard fare and the installation cost includes this.
Foam comes in many grades, different densities and different costs depending on the amount of rubber content. Seat bottoms need a higher density than the seat backs. THAT is what made Jed's foams better than the molded offerings because molding can only be of one type of foam. Bottom line here is cost vs quality. More rubber in foam lasts MUCH longer than low-cost foam.
I did two Amphicar interiors in marine vinyl and constructed my foams with Jed's guidance before he passed. I stripped the seats to the frames, repaired worn and broken metal, etc., then sewed the pleated and piped covers. Believe me, the result is stunning, far better than stock and will last much longer BUT the foam cost more. The feel when sitting on the new seats makes all the difference. That's where the quality shines through.
I would certainly go to a local trim shop and sit down with the guy. Let him know you want high quality foam, then let him make it. Gluing and cutting foam is not hard work but it does take an extra hour. Covering the foam should cost the same. - Dave
09-11-2017, 05:01 PM
My experience with the seats makes me totally agree with John and Ray. I bought the high dollar preformed foam and a complete set of covers from one of our vendors. After trying to put one of the old covers over the new foam, to make the car driveable during restoration, I realized I was NOT going to do the install of the new covers.
I found an upholstery shop that specializes in classics and roadsters and decided to let them do the install. They had to modify one of the seat covers and ended up reshaping all of the foam. I had negotiated a price for the initial install, but neglected to renegotiate for the modifications.
Bottom line is the install nearly doubled the price of what I had in the foam and new covers.
After that I would highly recommend finding a good upholstery shop and let them make the covers and foam, and then they are responsible for the entire job. My friend did that on his TBird and ended up paying a lot less than I did and got a really nice job.
Just thought I would share my experience.
09-13-2017, 12:08 AM
I quit buying stuff from Mac's after the crap covers and oversized cushions they sold me. I talked to them several times and they were to return a call from management. Never did, so I wrote them off my list.
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