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  • Rear Backrest Cover

    I hope somebody can help me out. I ordered a complete seat cover kit from Mac's for my '59 almost a year ago. I finally got the parts in July of last year. I took everything to an upholstery shop in August to have it installed. I was then told that the rear back rest cover didn't fit - it was approx. four inches too narrow. Everything else fit fine. I have been back and forth ever since with Mac's trying to get a replacement cover. They now want me to send the cover I received back to the supplier (at my expense) and if it was made incorrectly, they will refund the shipping charges. I would rather check things out first. So, if someone who has a squarebird would be kind enough to take some measurements of their rear backrest cover and send them to me, it would be most appreciated. I need to know the width of the cover at the top of the inserts and the width at the bottom as well as the depth from the top of the inserts to the seat level.

    Thanks
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Howard Prout; February 28th, 2018, 08:43 AM.
    sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

  • #2
    The two seating area pleated panels fit fine including the center hump ???

    There are many measurements that go into forming one of these covers. I was just trying to figure out from your description where the extra material is required.
    Austin

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    • #3
      From what I understand the inserts and hump areas fit fine. The problem is that there isn't enough material on the outside edges to reach the edge of the seat. However, it is conceivable that the additional width needs to be divided between the outside edges and the inserts.
      sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

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      • #4
        Howard, I'm working on the seats for my '60 Convert at present. I've saved the rear seat back for last as it seems the most difficult. I'm installing new foams and using vinyl backers instead of burlap. The only dimensions I feel comfortable with are your top to bottom, mine is 19 1/4" in the center of the insert. Across the inserts at the middle I have 5" to the center of the side seam on each side and 12 1/4" at the center (between the inserts at the center).
        I've sold a few foam sets and a few seat covers, and many a time I hear that the foam is too big or the cover is not big enough. I always explain that these covers do not just slip on like the Mustang covers, but take some stretching and adjusting, sometimes a little padding is required to make the wrinkles disappear.
        On my rear seat back I started with some temporary hog rings to get everything lined up. Take a few days break, come back and stretch again, repeat the process until satisfied. I now have a wrinkle in the list gutter and have to dismantle one section to resolve it. It is a long process, but it can be done.
        Carl

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        • #5
          Thanks for the info, Carl. I took a closer look and the distance between the panel and the side seam is 4 inches on the right and 3 1/2 in. on the left! Also, the distance between the center panels is slightly under 12 inches. The distance top to bottom of the panels is the same as yours.
          sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

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          • #6
            Surely wish I could be of more help. Without attaching the center panels,
            if there is no way to get it around the frame, it's more than likely not going to fit.

            I could suggest a bunch of photographs to Mac's showing this.

            And total lifetime experience doing any upholstery work was on our Squarebird front and back seats. The rear seat bottom was close to what you describe and took days to fit around the frame.
            Pre-installed super long tie wraps for the listing rods. Comparing old and new, the new had supersized bolsters around the bottoms and backs. The center hump in the rear was/is so pronounced on the new that it looked like a different car.
            Austin

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            • #7
              Howard,
              Keep in mind that my cover has been stretched which would make my numbers higher than a flat relaxed piece.
              Carl

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              • #8
                Thanks guys. So is it possible that the cover I have will in fact fit if stretched hard enough over a long enough period of time? How do you go about stretching it? Put it over the frame and just keep tightening it over time? Or is there another way?
                sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are going to try it yourself, I'd start with a space that could be closed up and heated to and kept about say 85 degrees farenheit. Put your upolstery and frames in the space and let them come up to temperature for a day or two.

                  Also. Dry fitting the upholstery, or a trial fit, around the bolsters and pleated panels will show you if you need to add foam or cut away some foam.

                  When I did ours, and this may be totally off the wall, muslin was glued onto the outside of the foam to let the upholstery slide around and make adjustments go smoother. And protecting the upholstery from sharp areas on the frame.

                  Take all advice with a grain of salt, a second or third opinion. This was the only upholstery experience I've had.
                  Austin

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                  • #10
                    Let's put things in perspective. 80-deg F is great to 'work things in' and let the vinyl stretch. Do you really think the guys on the assembly line worked in that kind of temp, especially in winter months? No, they used a fixture that compressed the seats as the covers were hog ringed in place. They used steam to 'iron out' wrinkles.

                    Howard, send that crap back! You had a professional trim shop reject the cover and by your own measurement, one side is 1/2" wider than the other. That's way too much in 4" and I can see it in your pictures. These vinyl (and leather) parts are supposed to be die-cut or water-jet cut for consistency because they don't make one or two, they make scores at a time to realize a profit. Then, the sewer simply aligns edges and bullet marks as he sews the perimeters. A lot can be revealed by looking at the back side of your covers because that is how they are sewn.

                    Trim people make minor adjustments to the foam as 'standard procedure'. If your trim shop rejected the covers, they're telling you straight. Send those expensive covers back to their QC dept., and ask for shipping charges. - 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

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                    • #11
                      Howard Prout, your close to Lockport as it can get, maybe an hour away. That may be a nice day trip to show them first hand your backrest frame and upholstery and get taken care of.
                      Austin

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                      • #12
                        For those of you who don't know, Mac's is now owned by Eckler's. The Lockport operation has been reduced to a shipping point - they don't have any stock there, everything is warehoused and shipped from Florida. I used to drop by Mac's in Lockport from time to time to pick up this or that. Not any more. What a shame.
                        sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

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                        • #13
                          Howard,
                          Please verify the Mac's Information. I knew the Cartouche operation and a shipping/receiving operation was there recently. Your seat covers were not made by them, but you might meet someone from Cartouche who can speak to your difficulty.
                          Carl

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                          • #14
                            From what I have been able to gather, everything ordered from Mac's is either shipped from Eckler's warehouse in Titusville, FL or from the wholesaler or manufacturer. The major label on the box says "Tapco" which I suspect is the manufacturer but there is another smaller label that includes "Thunderbird Headquarters"! Returned merchandise? It doesn't look like the box was previously opened and resealed.

                            Sorry Carl, what did you mean by the "Cartouche" operation?

                            Dave, I think you are right. I am going to pursue returning the cover and getting a replacement. I have attached a picture of the back side of the cover and all the seams look to be properly sewn.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Howard Prout; March 1st, 2018, 07:55 PM.
                            sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Howard,
                              CARTOUCHE™ brand upholstery, proudly offered to you by MAC's Antique Auto Parts, carries the world’s largest selection of interior fabrics and colors for Antique Fords and Classic Fords in both authentic materials and non-authentic materials for the budget-minded enthusiast. Precisely hand crafted in the USA, Classic Ford Upholstery by Cartouche offers antique & vintage automobile interior products for 1909 to 1927 Model T Ford, 1928 to 1931 Model A Ford, and 1932 to 1954 Early V8 Ford & Mercury vehicles.
                              This manufacturing operation is/was still in Lockport.
                              Carl

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