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  • Seat cover recommendations?

    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)

    John
    1958 Hardtop
    #8452 TBird Registry
    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


    photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
    history:
    http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

  • #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Seat cover recommendations?

      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.

      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


      • #4
        Thanks!

        Do Squarebird members get a discount from any vendors?
        1958 Hardtop
        #8452 TBird Registry
        http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


        photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
        history:
        http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          Seat cover recommendations?

          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.

          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


          • #6
            As Ray mentioned I would ask your local upholstery shop about the rear foam. They can probably make it for less than $350.

            John
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Seat cover recommendations?

              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....

              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


              • #8
                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.
                1958 Hardtop
                #8452 TBird Registry
                http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                history:
                http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Seat cover recommendations?

                  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.....

                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                    ...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
                    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


                    • #11
                      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.
                      Nyles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.
                        1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          more questions on seat covers and foams

                          Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                          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.
                          Hi John - Just wondering, did you ever do anything with your seat covers & foams? I have been looking into doing something with just the fronts as the shoulders are faded and rough and the foams are shot but have not found any leather sample that comes even close to the 60 red leather color. They all are too maroon. Even got some vinyl samples but they are too maroon as well. I found a place online called autoleatherdye.com that apparently can make a kit to custom color match anything, so I sent them a swatch from under the back seat. Awaiting on their return call.

                          Does anyone know if the two page "tip sheet" that Jed Zimmerman used to provide to folks that purchased his foams is available anywhere online?
                          Regards,
                          Don Vincent
                          Amherst NY
                          1960 HT 352
                          TBird Registry 34042

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                            ...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...
                            Read the rest of my post below. Meanwhile, here's a picture of a typical set of 'Jed Zimmerman foams':



                            Here is Jed's instructions for installation:

                            Squarebird rear foam and upholstery

                            The following guidelines are based upon my personal experience in fabricating foams and doing complete upholstery jobs;

                            Steps to follow when Hog Ringing the Upholstery over the Foams and onto the Frames

                            1. Pad the perimeter of the frames by cutting 3 or 4 inch wide lengths of poly batting material, enough to use as padding for the entire perimeter of the frame.
                            2. Spray one side of batting with aerosol adhesive and place the batting material over the edge perimeter wire of the frame. Pinch the batting together over the frame edge wire so the contact glue will hold the batting in place.
                            3. Center foam on frame.
                            4. Insert wire splines into foam slice cut (coat hangers make good spline material).
                            5. Hog ring the splines to frame thru back fabric of seat foam thus anchoring the foam to the frame.
                            6. Cut 3-4” wide strips or lengths of ” to 1” foam or batting material
                            7. Either use contact glue or hog ring the foam strips onto the frame perimeter to match up with the seat foams. You may also simply use aerosol spray contact adhesive to glue the foam strips at the perimeter base of the foams around the perimeter of the seat frame. These foam/batting strips will alleviate any undue pressure or chaffing of the upholstery material onto or across the metal frames when the upholstery is drawn down tight over the foam and frame assembly.
                            8. Insert wire splines into the pocket inserts of the upholstery
                            9. Place the upholstery over the foam and insert the upholstery attached spline sleeves into the foam slice cuts.
                            10. Hog ring the inserted upholstery spline onto the inserted foam slice cut spline, thus anchoring the upholstery to the foam and the frame.
                            11. Start at top and bottom centers working outwards from center to each side continuing around the foam/frame corners, first gently stretching the upholstery over the foam to gain the desired contour and hog ringing the upholstery onto the frame bottom.
                            12. Cautiously alternate hog ringing locations gently pulling upholstery to evenly contour foam and eliminate unnecessary folds in the fabric.
                            13. It will be necessary to occasionally use diagonal pliers (dikes) to cut hog rings off and relocate the fastening location of them in order to gain the correct stretching distance and foam contour.
                            14. Using an extra layer of batting material to increase the foams bulk should be used for any areas of the upholstery/foam desired to have greater bulk, contour or tension.

                            PRECAUTIONARY WARNING:

                            Upon installation of your upholstery fabric over your new foam seat cushion onto the seat frames; please do consider the application of using heat. Upholstery must be stretched and hog-ring fastened in temps in excess of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A hot summer's day or heat lamps are required for correct stretching and installation of the upholstery vinyl fabric over the seat foams and hog-ringing onto the seat frames. You have no other alternative, other than to be in a very warm temp environment or to use auxiliary heat when you hog-ring the upholstery over the foams onto the frames, less you may tear the upholstery or seams. Please contact me directly with any questions regarding the installation of such.

                            Best Birding,
                            Jed Zimmerman

                            Dave's note:
                            • Jed's 'spline sleeves' are commonly called, 'pockets' in the seat covers.
                            • Jed's 'splines' are commonly called, 'listing rods'. (They slide into the pockets and are hog ringed to the seat springs.)
                            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


                            • #15
                              Thanks Dave

                              Hi Dave Thanks for posting this. I watched some youtube vids on seat cover / foam installs and was questioning whether reusing old covers was feasible. After some further searching here I found a post where Jed Z described re-installing existing seat covers over new foams. Of course it would depend on the condition of the covers, and no doubt the skill of the person doing the job.

                              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.
                              Regards,
                              Don Vincent
                              Amherst NY
                              1960 HT 352
                              TBird Registry 34042

                              Comment

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