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    It was sad news to hear of the passing of Jed Zimmerman. This winter I will be having my interior re-done and was planning on purchasing new rear seat foam. I know he was a supplier to some of the Tbird vendors. My question is as far as suppliers go, which vendor seems to have quality foam? I was also thinking about having my trim shop make them, but this might be more costly then just purchasing them. I am not going with a stock pattern for my seats, front seats are out of a Grand Prix, so my back seat will have some changes made to them.

  • #2
    seat foam

    Hi Greg, I do not know which of the vendors has the better foam, if there is any difference. Perhaps some of the guys on here who have bought foam from our vendors will comment on this. You might be better off having your trim shop make them. My trim shop could have made mine but I got them from Jed, who also re-did my steering wheel. I do not know who is doing steering wheels now. If anyone knows, let us know.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Most of the foams that I have purchased from different vendors recently have come from Thunderbird Headquarters. They seem to be larger than the original foam to the point where the door arm rest digs into the side of the seat. I only purchased the fronts as my local upholstery shop said they could make the backs a lot cheaper than buying them.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #4
        I bought the complete set of foam from T.Headquarters for about $600. If you're not local there will be shipping charges also on top of that. I haven't had the complete install done yet, but I did use the foam on the drivers seat, with an old seat cover, to move the car around during reassembly. I have noticed that the preformed foam is very firm. If your looking for a cush ride, this stuff is pretty solid. A friend had his upholstery shop make the foam and I like the feel a lot better. It would be good to see how much a shop would want to custom make the foam, and then compare price.
        Nyles

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        • #5
          seat foam

          Thanks for the info, I think I will check with the trim shop I will be dealing with and relay the info about what is available from the vendors and see if he would just want to make new ones.

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          • #6
            Foam comes in many grades, mostly depending on the rubber content. Some foam lasts about five years before it starts falling apart. Good foam costs much more but it lasts far longer.

            Greg, if you want an education on different foams visit 'Foam-N-More' in Clawson, MI. They have it all and are helpful so they sell exactly what you need.

            I just completed two complete sets for my cousin's Amphicars, using different foams for seats, door panels, kick panels, etc. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

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            • #7
              seat foam

              Thanks Dave I'll check them out. I've been busy with car hope to hook up with you soon.

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              • #8
                Seat foam

                I bought front & back seat foam from TBird Headquarters for Ruby. The back seat would not go in correctly; seemed too big to fit properly. Plan to take it to a different upholsterer (better one) to get it fit right. Gremlins!! Hate those little suckers...

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                • #9
                  seat foam

                  kimmc this is another reason why I will let my trimmer do the foam. I can't see spending the money for the seat foam + the oversize shipping charge just to have to make modifications to it to make it right.

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                  • #10
                    Gentlemen, 'Mechanics' and 'Electrical' are exact sciences. Trim is a very in-exact art.

                    Seat foams are the foundation for seat covers. I already mentioned differences in foam densities and rubber content, two important factors in foam quality. Rarely are the covers exactly the same size or sewn exactly the same.

                    Trimmers commonly stuff more foam in places where the cover needs to 'fill-in'. Conversely, too much foam cushion can always be trimmed with an electric carving knife, which is how Jed Zimmerman contoured his foams.

                    There are differences in leather and vinyl. They stretch differently, colors change in both from batch to batch and they age differently. At the factory, we cut the holes in leather (for pivot bolts, head rests, etc.) right on the line, minutes before the seats are installed. Not so with vinyl or cloth. We do it that way because of wide variations in leather seat covers.

                    Unless YOU are the one hog ringing, finding the differences or errors is nearly impossible once the job is finished.

                    Trimmers are artists and with any artist some are better than others. It is important to see examples of their work before hiring one. More importantly, ask to see work done five or then years ago. - Dave
                    My latest project:
                    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                    --Lee Iacocca

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                    • #11
                      I just picked up my car from the upholstery shop and it ended up costing more than I expected. I had purchased the preformed foam from Thunderbird Headquarters a while back and the seat cover set from Larry's. The foam for the front seats was so oversized, the shop showed me where it wouldn't work, no matter how much they tried to stretch things. I had 2 options: 1. to try and return the foam and have the shop make new from scratch. 2. Contour the pre cast foam to make it fit.
                      My thoughts were that it was probably easier to contour the existing foam. The shop did this, however that cost me almost as much to reshape, as I paid for the foam in the first place.
                      From my experience, I would strongly recommend staying away from the very expensive foam from our TBird shops and have a good upholstery shop make your foam.
                      The rear seat foam wasn't nearly as bad as the front bucket seats.
                      This was just one more challenge to overcome.
                      Nyles
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        seat foam

                        Seat foams these days are being manufactured by Tbird Hqs, is my understanding and the other Tbird parts houses get theirs from them. Tbird Hqs and the Bird Nest make most of the parts that are being manufactured today, so I am told, by Don at the Bird Nest. So when you order seat foams or many other parts from, say, Concours, or Mac's, for example, if they do not have it in stock, they order it from the manufacturer, (Tbird Hqs or Bird Nest) who ships it to whoever you order from. Recently, there has been a problem with Flairbird door panels fitting properly that I addressed to Tbird Hqs. They said they were not aware of the problem, but they are now. The seat foam problems have been around for awhile I understand and yes, it might be better and cheaper if you have your interior guy make them for you instead of buying them and having them shipped to you, as Nyles said. Even I had problems with my seat foams when I had my interior done, and my guy was not happy with my seat foams. He had to trim and adjust them to make them fit properly. He told me that he could have made them cheaper and better himself. Just MHO...

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                        "It's Hip To Be Square"
                        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gregz View Post
                          It was sad news to hear of the passing of Jed Zimmerman. This winter I will be having my interior re-done and was planning on purchasing new rear seat foam. I know he was a supplier to some of the Tbird vendors. My question is as far as suppliers go, which vendor seems to have quality foam? I was also thinking about having my trim shop make them, but this might be more costly then just purchasing them. I am not going with a stock pattern for my seats, front seats are out of a Grand Prix, so my back seat will have some changes made to them.
                          Hey gregz. Do you have any pics of your front seats and what year Grand Prix are they from.

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                          • #14
                            seat foam

                            Thanks for the info Yellowrose. My car happens to be in the interior shop right now getting the complete interior re-done. I ended up having him just make new foam for the back seat. As far as the front seats I installed front buckets out of a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix. FredHowdy I don't have pics of the seats right now but as son as I get the car back I'll take some pics. I am going with a more modern pattern on the seats like the Grand Prix in leather. I am planning on installing a center console out of a 2014 Ford Fusion after I get the car back, hopefully.

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                            • #15
                              Ray:
                              Your statements totally reinforce what my upholstery guy told me. I was just amazed at how much it cost to reshape the already expensive foam. Hope others will take our advice and maybe the foam manufacturer will finally get it right when people quit buying it.
                              Nyles

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