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Restoring the Front Seats

Restoring the Front Seats

Jeff White

Just finished installing new leather and cushion for the front passenger seat. First mistake was spending time trying to remove the whole seat (al la most American cars). After fretting with a couple of impossible bolts I discovered a front and center phillips screws frees the cushion in just an instant. I guess this proves anyone can accomplish the remainder of this job.

Leather and seat cushion were both from Paul's Discount Jaguar Parts ($222/$65 + $12 shipping for a bunch of parts). Both items were identical to the factory parts. Color matched very well.

Installation involved a bunch of clips (easily manipulated with ordinary tools) and ungluing some factory glue -- cushion to metal frame and center section of seat cover to seat cushion. Going back I used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive (1" spray tip). Before gluing the new cushion to the frame, I'd recommend a dry fit to make sure the seat bottom seams are going to line up with the corresponding seams in the squab -- I learned this step after the fact and ended up just a bit off. Stretching the remainder of the cover over the frame involved a bit of learning curve, some cursing (under breath due to 3 & 4 year old helpers), and about an hour of time.

It started out looking like a disaster and ended up near perfect. Having the seamed sections in the middle lie down in the valley of the cushion and the edge seams lay outside the cushion edges is the key. The glue is a one shot exercise -- it seemed fairly easy to get this straight prior to making contact (which is permanent). The remainder of the attachment is noncommittal -- adjustments are easy (and in my case necessary). The very back of the cushion cover is partially glued and partially clipped. I used gel super glue for this part. BTW -- the original seat cushion is ruined when you pull the old cover off (due to the glue).

Next comes the driver's seat bottom (the passenger's was first due to a rip added by the PO). Then I'll likely redye the remainder. Where do I get the dye???

I was initially surprised at the $65 charge for the seat cushion. I'd seen advertised prices around $35 to $40. Seeing that Paul provided the factory original (DunlopCarpillow -- I think) seemed to justify the difference. The quality of the seat cover was excellent. It is obviously the same material/leather used by the factory (down to the embossing on the back of the vinyl sections).


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