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  • #16
    Don,
    I tried re-using an old cover that had a badly rusted rear bottom frame. I switched the still soft foam to a clean frame and when I went to install the used cover I discovered the thread would not support any pulling or positioning to re-ring the cover. Most of the seams split rendering the job a failure.
    Carl

    Comment


    • #17
      Carl is right about the seams.
      I use my industrial sewing machine to sew boat covers, Bimini covers, sails, automotive seats, awnings, etc. Notice, these are all exposed to sunlight. Cars are the least affected but still see harmful UV rays that discolor and break down everything over time.

      I strictly prohibit nylon and cotton threads. Instead, polyester does a good job of resisting sunlight. (Boat cover material is also made of polyester.) The absolute grand-daddy of sunlight resistant threads are:
      Tenara is made from a unique fluoropolymer and Profilen is made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Both of these brands carry a lifetime guarantee. These threads are unaffected by exposure to UV rays, harsh cleaning agents, pollution, saltwater, rain, snow, cold, and rot.

      Unfortunately, these threads are too expensive for the automotive OEMs so they use nylon. I test all the thread I buy because UV protection is so important. I recently sent two cones back because I ordered polyester but they sent nylon. Some folks can't tell the difference but I can. - 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

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by del View Post
        ...Has anyone attempted this? Opinions?
        If I can get the worn spots to look half decent, I may give it a try. In a few more weeks it will be warm enough in the garage to do some work out there and the seats will be coming out so I can start on the new carpets.
        You are working with red leather upholstery. Is that correct ?
        Austin

        Comment


        • #19
          Yes Woobie, that is correct - red leather upholstery.
          Regards,
          Don Vincent
          Amherst NY
          1960 HT 352
          TBird Registry 34042

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by del View Post
            Yes Woobie, that is correct - red leather upholstery.
            Vinyl I've done. Not leather. The rear panel of backrest is held in with spring clips. Very easy to pull them through the pressboard when prying out. The rear of the backrest frame contains spikes machined into the metal frame. The material is stretched from the sides, top and bottom and locked into these spikes. The sides of the backrest are stuffed into a narrow space at the bottom of the backrest frame with another spike. I'll call them spikes, they are "V" shaped, cut from the solid metal frame and they'll get you good if not paying attention. If the same seat frames were used for the expensive leather option than this will give you an idea of what's under the upholstery.
            Austin

            Comment


            • #21
              Squarebird Back Rest Info....

              Somewhere, there was a question about seat covers, but I have not found it. This is what Austin just sent me..

              "Hi Ray. I found this picture of the Squarebird backrest in my archives. It may help others in the future. The photo shows the spikes that I was referring to in the thread

              "Seat cover recommendations ?". Vinyl upholstery though. Have no idea if the leather option is the same seat frame. If you could post the photo in the thread ?

              Happy St. Patrick's Day, Austin"
              Attached Files

              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


              • #22
                Thanks again Ray.

                The thread is over here:

                http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...t=21934&page=2
                Austin

                Comment


                • #23
                  Seat cover recommendations?

                  Thanks, Woobie, I merged my post into this one. Apparently, I did not look deep enough into this thread to find it.

                  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


                  • #24
                    Ray are you saying hat it is best to go directly to Tbird HQ or the Birds Nest? Buying items from the others we get a middle man price add in? I usually always buy from the Birds Nest anyway. It helps keep my receipts neat and organized and I know exactly where I got the parts from. However the reason I started reading this thread is because I need to change my seat buns especially the drivers side because the seat frame is working as a cheese grater. In doing so, I want to have all black with white striping like I have instead of the black and White that I see is for sale at the Birds Nest. Iíve been told of a guy that is getting his covers from Macs and they are black with white piping. Iím trying to get the best price I can to get the buns and covers bought and installed. I was shocked that when I saw the door panels were $500 for the pair. I donít think I spent near that when I bought new interior for my 68 Chevelle and I think that ran me about $4k in total. All of the panels I can replace myself but I donít know if I am up to doing covers and buns. At Good guys last year I saw an upholsterer that I asked him about getting my seats redone and I think he said around $1500 a seat. I asked him why and he said they like to rebuild the entire seat. I donít need the entire seat redone just the buns and covers. Anybody have any suggestions on this?



                    QUOTE=YellowRose;110863]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....[/QUOTE]
                    Rob
                    1959 Thunderbird J-Code
                    Tbird registry
                    #15794

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Seat cover recommendations?

                      What I am saying is that the Bird Nest and Tbird Hqs told me that they manufacture 80% of the Tbird parts available to us today. And that the other parts dealerships, who need those parts have to order them from either of those two companies, when they run out of their stock... To see which parts shop offers their parts at what prices, do some shop comparison to see who sells it cheaper. Keep in mind though, that IF the parts house you choose to order from is out of that part, they are probably going to have to order it from the Bird Nest or Tbird Hqs to complete your order. Which can further delay your order.....

                      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


                      • #26
                        I recently had a rear section of an upper bucket seat, sewn in to the original seat cover. They used fabric from another seat, that I bought just for that back section. I was stunned when the guy told me $65 to do all that (I gave him $85).

                        Point being, shop around. Try to find a shop where they don't spend huge amounts of money on overhead (in other words, a place that looks super nice, is going to charge accordingly to keep that place up).

                        Could also take the covers off yourself (not like you have to be nice to them if you are just throwing them out). See what everything really looks like in there. Then specify exactly what you want done.
                        59-430-HT

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Henry very good advice. I also found that if you call around to see if the shop has an " older / experienced " person on staff they have done these before Save $$$
                          Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
                          Thunderbird Registry
                          58HT #33317
                          60 HT (Sold )

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Iím going to have to try that after I get the money saved up. I would much rather go with leather than vinyl. I have read that vinyl made today is much better than the vinyl that came with many of these cars. Iím sure that either of them will look very nice in my car but there is just something I like about leather. If I was just redoing it to sell it I probably would go with vinyl.
                            Rob
                            1959 Thunderbird J-Code
                            Tbird registry
                            #15794

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I'm reading along and shaking my head at some of these posts because I sew.

                              Naturally, we all want to save money because 'a fool and his money soon part company.' Additionally, 'you get what you pay for.' Then there is the dreaded, 'Caveat emptor' or buyer beware. Be aware that there are many different grades of vinyl, leather and thread.

                              Once the materials are bought the work is the same, kinda. Like in any craft, some tradesmen are better than others. Good ones make fewer mistakes, they don't waste materials and they usually offer a warranty but they charge more money. These are people who use quality, UV-resistant marine grade vinyls and threads. They always start with a sound base. If the frame is weak, needs replacement springs or welding, they do it first. I already explained the difference in foams.

                              Our seats use 'pockets' that hold listing rods. These rods go through the foam and are hog ringed to the seat springs. That is how seat 'inserts' are held down as the bolsters puff up around them. How can an 'over-cover' or slip cover look anything like stock-quality? It simply can't.

                              My point is, there are loads of ways to save money but what are you actually buying? OEM leather is very good quality. OEM vinyl is better than average but 'marginal' in my book because there are far better-quality vinyls available. I already discussed the quality of threads.

                              Ever wonder why 'boat' or 'airplane' materials are so high? Boats are in the sun all the time. Airplane seats will not support fire. These are correct materials for the application. Automotive materials see sun and they meet the demand of constant daily traffic.

                              Someone mentioned re-using the same cover but it fell apart at the seams. That's typical of OEM nylon thread not polyester (yes I can tell the difference and have sent nylon back because it was sold as polyester). Cotton thread is useless in the sun.

                              Talk with your trimmer and ask lots of questions before hiring him. You should get exactly what you want because these seats are not that technical. BTW, sewers make their own piping and windlace in any color you want. - 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

                              From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                One of the reasons I want to go with leather is it is much more durable than vinyl, at least I think it is. Having it done properly I should never have to have it redone in my lifetime. Leather crack and develop lines but I think that if it is treated properly it wonít crack up. Vinyl wonít get those creases that leather does but in the end that and price are the two positives that vinyl has over leather.

                                In my eyes going for the cheapest route might be like you said, you get what you pay for. Iíd rather pay a couple extra dollars to get what I want instead of regretting it down the line. When I replaced my mirrors I could have gone with a cheaper pair but my car started out life with the most expensive mirrors out there ranging from $150-$200.

                                As for shops, I am afraid I will run into someone like Sue in Fast n loud and misfit garage. Already have enough people out there trying to sell junk for top dollar because the see Richard Rawlings do it.

                                One of the things I am seeing is two-tone seat covers. Even though my 55 Vicky had black & white interior because it was black and white, I donít want that look on my 59. It has black with white piping that will go with any color should I ever decide to have it painted a different color again.





                                Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                                I'm reading along and shaking my head at some of these posts because I sew.

                                Naturally, we all want to save money because 'a fool and his money soon part company.' Additionally, 'you get what you pay for.' Then there is the dreaded, 'Caveat emptor' or buyer beware. Be aware that there are many different grades of vinyl, leather and thread.

                                Once the materials are bought the work is the same, kinda. Like in any craft, some tradesmen are better than others. Good ones make fewer mistakes, they don't waste materials and they usually offer a warranty but they charge more money. These are people who use quality, UV-resistant marine grade vinyls and threads. They always start with a sound base. If the frame is weak, needs replacement springs or welding, they do it first. I already explained the difference in foams.

                                Our seats use 'pockets' that hold listing rods. These rods go through the foam and are hog ringed to the seat springs. That is how seat 'inserts' are held down as the bolsters puff up around them. How can an 'over-cover' or slip cover look anything like stock-quality? It simply can't.

                                My point is, there are loads of ways to save money but what are you actually buying? OEM leather is very good quality. OEM vinyl is better than average but 'marginal' in my book because there are far better-quality vinyls available. I already discussed the quality of threads.

                                Ever wonder why 'boat' or 'airplane' materials are so high? Boats are in the sun all the time. Airplane seats will not support fire. These are correct materials for the application. Automotive materials see sun and they meet the demand of constant daily traffic.

                                Someone mentioned re-using the same cover but it fell apart at the seams. That's typical of OEM nylon thread not polyester (yes I can tell the difference and have sent nylon back because it was sold as polyester). Cotton thread is useless in the sun.

                                Talk with your trimmer and ask lots of questions before hiring him. You should get exactly what you want because these seats are not that technical. BTW, sewers make their own piping and windlace in any color you want. - Dave
                                Rob
                                1959 Thunderbird J-Code
                                Tbird registry
                                #15794

                                Comment

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