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Light up the holidays with LED lights from JeepHutDon't forget the Jeep Forum discount, 10% off!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!

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Unread 07-24-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
Colt44
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Blue sport seats at last! Autointeriorkits (eBay seller) is good stuff!

Several months ago, I was asking about alternatives to spending a grand or so to have an upholstery shop re-do a pair of CJ Sport Seats.

I found this on eBay, but people urged caution about such an offering. I contacted them anyway, and began a dialog. Their auction was for vinyl, but I noticed that they would use your material for the same price. They said it would take about 5 yards, etc. I asked about sending them some blue Haartz material, and to my utter surprise they said they already had a source. For blue Haartz. That fact instantly upped their credibility in my view, and they would only charge another $100 for the blue Haartz. Well, Collins Bros. is selling it for $35/yard, so I figured "such a deal."

Long story short, I took the plunge and ordered a set. They had to order the material and then make the covers, but I don't think it took much more than a week, maybe 10 days, and a large box appeared on my doorstep.

I had never done this before, so I took it nice and slow, made plenty of notes and took lots of pictures. It took me two afternoons to get the work done, and I am very, very pleased with the results.

I still can't figure out how to upload pictures and place them in between text, so basically these pictures are of one of the original donor seats from a YJ as I strip it down and install the new cover.

The pictures pretty much speak for themselves, but a couple of things to note:

The kit came with plenty of hog rings and a pair of el-cheapo pliers. Notice how they have a little notch to engage the corner of the hog ring so proper force can be applied. These things need to be about an inch longer and dig into the palm of your hand pretty badly. I wore a pair of Mechanix gloves and stuffed some folded cardboard inside to reduce wear and tear on my hands.

The OEM seats have lots and lots of hog rings; I'm guessing some Union guy with a big honkin' air tool and plenty of time to kill. No danger of the original seat covers ever coming loose! I marked original locations by writing on the foam with a Sharpie.

Pull it tight, then pull a little more! You really have to get physical and stretch these things on. Note there is a little baggie kind of like a half of a dry cleaning bag over the top of the seat back. This is so the cover will slide on easier, and adds a little water protection, too. There was a flap about halfway down the seatback where the cover attached, but this was not incorporated into the replacement cover.

Procedure: Start with the seat bottom cover. Attach the rear flap which goes through the gap and around the back. It attaches along the bottom rear. Attach a couple of points, then stretch the cover over the bottom and get it into position. Then anchor the front and sides, then finish the back. Just use single rings at this point; you'll add more after you finish - and if you screw up, you won't waste rings.

Notice the way the piping serves as kind of a cinch-cord that allows the whole thing to be tightened, and it pulls most of the wrinkles out of the bolsters and sides. Anchor this very well; notice how the original was done and replicate.

Don't neglect the little flaps at the back that wrap around the uprights, because those will conceal the foam in the gap where the seat back cover stops.

After all that, the seat back cover is pretty easy. Just slide it into place and work it down like you were giving Rosanne Barr a back rub. IOW, use plenty of muscle and work it! Get it square and even, making sure to cover the gaps on the uprights at bottom. Don't worry if it's a close fit, though, because once you get it anchored it will be pulled down a bit more.

Push the front flap through the gap and around the back of the seat bottom. This is secured in the same location, and along the same wire, as the flap from the seat bottom cover. Don't pull this super-tight, as you will have to pull the back of the seat-back cover down and anchor it in the same place! That's right, you will have three different pieces of material anchored along that same wire, so space out your hog rings to leave space.

I did leave one thing out there; the piping for the seat-back extends down and ties to the seat, and it serves as a major source of tension for the material on the bolsters and sides just as with the seat bottom. You will want to notice how that was done on your original seat and anchor those in the original locations so they pull in the right direction and don't cause wrinkles.

Once you get everything like you want it, now is the time to go back and use up a bunch of those extra hog rings getting everything firmly locked down. Remember, these rings are the only thing holding the seat cover in place while your fat *** bounces up and down; do it right so nothing pulls loose later on.

One other thing: you'll notice the annoying tendency of the material to overlap the mounting holes where you'll be trying to bolt these seats into place. The mounting frame put a lot of pressure on the fabric wrapped around the bottom of the seat, so just take a very sharp knife and cut a neat little hole so the bolts can go through.

And I think that's about it. Here are the pictures:

dsc_0038.jpg   dsc_0041.jpg   dsc_0043.jpg   dsc_0044.jpg   dsc_0045.jpg  

dsc_0050.jpg   dsc_0052.jpg   dsc_0059.jpg   dsc_0061.jpg   dsc_0062.jpg  

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Unread 07-24-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
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ETA: The wrinkles look a lot worse in the pictures than in person.
I was able to flatten just about all of them out by working them by hand.
After sitting in them for a day or two of driving, the covers have conformed to the shape of the seat and look much better.

Here are the last two of the pictures:
dsc_0063.jpg   dsc_0068.jpg  
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Unread 07-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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Oh, yeah! Finished product!

Total cost not counting getting the YJ seats, was $240 for the kit plus another $100 for substituting the blue Haartz cloth - grand total of $340 and some elbow grease.
dsc_0074a.jpg  
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Unread 07-24-2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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Wow. Really nice. Good job!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 01:39 AM   #5
Coiz
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Very nice.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:46 AM   #6
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Here's an answer for you, smitty

Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty010203 View Post
http://www.ebay.com/itm/181172446733...S:1123&vxp=mtr

I need new seats, my originals are worn and torn pretty bad. Seeing as they are blue, its hard to find replacements but i love the look. Well now these guys on Ebay are offering these upholstery kits in the blue color at a premium.

I've searched and i have seen the recommended, but I haven't found any reviews from anyone on these seats yet. I contacted the seller and he was kind enough to send me a sample of the blue color/fabric. (dont have it yet)

Does anyone on the forum have any experience with this kit? Be nice to see some pictures or a write up about them.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Nice work, ice Jeep too. What you could do next time with the wrinkles is do the seats out in the hot sun, or use a heat gun. It allows you to stretch the material to get it tight enough where there are no wrinkles, then you hogring them. Or in the winter I've done them in front of the fireplace..nice and hot.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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That turned out really nice, great job!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
Colt44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7ROB View Post
Nice work, ice Jeep too. What you could do next time with the wrinkles is do the seats out in the hot sun, or use a heat gun. It allows you to stretch the material to get it tight enough where there are no wrinkles, then you hogring them. Or in the winter I've done them in front of the fireplace..nice and hot.
It was 95 degrees when I did those! Believe me, they were soft!

The one remaining wrinkle seemed to be due to the way the material attached to the backing.

One of these days after they've been in use a little while I may re-tighten them. Or not; I think they look pretty good as-is.

Thanks for all the positive comments, everybody!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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haha! a day later. just what I was looking for. My samples are still on the way. Guess i dont need to post them up anymore. That is a beautiful jeep you got there Colt. Those seats look amazing, color spot on. Where did you find the roll bar padding and bikini top in the blue? (cant remember seeing those on the market currently)
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:37 AM   #11
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and whats up with that carabiner that appears to be hooked to the bikini top and then yet another matching blue paracord?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty010203 View Post
haha! a day later. just what I was looking for. My samples are still on the way. Guess i dont need to post them up anymore. That is a beautiful jeep you got there Colt. Those seats look amazing, color spot on. Where did you find the roll bar padding and bikini top in the blue? (cant remember seeing those on the market currently)
The roll bar pad was quite the lucky find. My sister-in-law's family lives in Frisco, TX, which is about 25 miles away from Collins Bros. Jeeps over in Wylie. Collins Bros. website shows that they have rolls of Haartz cloth, so I stopped in there on the way back from a visit a few years ago to get some.
While there I noticed that they have a pretty big boneyard, so I asked if I could have a look around. While we were out there I asked the guy if they ever got any blue interior stuff. He said, no, hardly ever. I looked up and realized I was staring right at a dead CJ-7 with a blue roll bar pad still in place. I offered him $20 and he said go get it.

The bikini top is what I did with the blue Haartz cloth I bought that same day. I took an old tired gray one and the cloth to Memphis Tent & Awning and simply had them make me a new one using the old one as a pattern. I think I paid them about $40 for the labor.

You just have to be creative, keep your eyes open and refuse to give up.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #13
Colt44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty010203 View Post
and whats up with that carabiner that appears to be hooked to the bikini top and then yet another matching blue paracord?
There are actually two, attached not to the top but to the rollbar, one on the left and one on the right that you can't see in this picture.
The one on the right is for hanging things like a suit bag, dry cleaning, etc. and the one on the left with the cord is for attaching to my hat so it won't blow away!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 12:20 PM   #14
smitty010203
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That's awesome you got to find one in there yard. I couldn't imagine getting to walk through a junk yard full of cjs. I called about 20 places around my area the other day and most of them laughed at me when i asked about jeeps cj's, or even wranglers.

-also-

Are you serious? you really hook your hat up to that so it doesn't fly away?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 04:40 PM   #15
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Looks awesome. Great job......
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