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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-07-2010, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Driver's Seat Options

The driver's seat in my son's new 164s has a split seam in the bottom cushion. The leather isn't ripped, just stitching coming apart. Also the foam cushion on the side closest to the door is tired and flattened out.

1. I'd entertain buying a good condition 164S seat if someone has one.

2. I still have a 164S Tan interior from my wrecked car. I believe the cushions are the same on both sides, just the seat backs are different. I could take the black leather off, get it restitched and put it on the good cushion from the passenger side of the tan seat.

Red 1991 164S, Black 1991 164S, Red 1987 Milano, 1972 Berlina, 1973 Berlina rebuilding SPICA engine
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 04:35 AM
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It could be just the ripple of excitement I feel when someone mentions they have a spare set of tan leather seats, but I wonder whether you might be better off to leave the spare seat intact and get the upholsterer to repair the seat cushion foam when they re-stitch the covering. They can usually cut new foam into appropriate shapes (using something that looks like an electric carving knife). If they are really clever, they will make it out of several sections of foam with varying densities, which (knowing the 164's seats) they probably had in the first place. Soft in the centre, firmer at the edges, etc.

In my experience of other seats (not the 164's) the seat covering is usually attached to rods embedded in the foam, making it a surprisingly complex operation to remove and refit the covering (the little triangular 'hog rings' are difficult when you're working within a thin slot in the foam without the correct pliers). If there are wrinkles, you'll be forever annoyed, and (like you find when you try to repair a shoe), it's amazing what a hammering the seat base takes - something that looks nice to start off can quickly turn baggy and crooked.

Of course you can do it, but it's one job that I place in the same category as windscreen removal/refitting - something I'd rather leave to someone who has the correct tools and does this often.

I had the rear seat back of my old '89 164 repaired (the stitching had rotted in the sun, so the top of the backrest had two big splits) and I was amazed by the quality of the work I got for NZ$50 (about US$35) - they restitched most of the top of the seat, just as evenly than the original. I can't sew in curves like that (really, I can't sew to save myself) and I only wish I'd decided to have them use new un-faded material.

-Alex

'09 159 1.9JTDm, '02 Spider V6, '71 FIAT 850 Coupe
Sold but still in the family: '03 Stilo Abarth Selespeed
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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If I was down under and could get work like that done for $35, I'd probably do the same. I priced getting a set of Berlina seats recovered and it's more like $600.

Red 1991 164S, Black 1991 164S, Red 1987 Milano, 1972 Berlina, 1973 Berlina rebuilding SPICA engine
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 08:36 AM
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These seats are very complex and difficult to work on compared to the seat work I did on my 240 Volvo. The 164 seats are orders of magnitude more complex and frustrating, but that is why the are so nice to sit on. I would spend the time it takes to remove the seat covers myself (allot some time for this) and then take those in to an upholstery shop to sew them back up. That shouldn't be too costly, but you will spend a lot of time taking off and putting back on the seat covers. YOu might want to take pictures as you go, so you know where the hog rings go. You will want to buy some quality hog ring pliers for this.
Charles

-'91 164L 5 speed 222k miles and counting -'04 Volvo XC70 -'89 Volvo 244 "the Brick"
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