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How To Upholster Sport Seat (S4)

4306 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  alfarobert
I've benefited from many posts on this site and hope my contribution helps someone out there.

This thread will attempt to document the steps that I used to reupholster by S4 sport seats. The seats had the original covers, which in my case was leather with suede like insert and vinyl on the sides and back, I believe this was standard for the Veloce optioned Spider.

Material Required:
1. new seat foam - ordered from IAP.
2. Seat cover kit from - the color option that I ordered was 'Doeskin'. The kit was a mix of leather and vinyl, leather in seating area with vinyl on sides and back.
3. Hog rings and pliers were also purchased from
4. New springs (Qty 4) purchased from local store, in my case Ottawa Fasteners.

I won't describe how to remove the seats from the car or how to seperate the old seats from the seat pan, it is fairly straight forward, drill out 4 rivots. I'll start with covering the new seat foam with the new cover.

Just so you know I will add pictures as I continue to add to this topic. It will probably take a week or so to complete, the actual job took about 15 hours for the first seat, learning curve and the 2nd took about 5 hours.

More to follow........
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good luck.

look forward to seeing it!
Reupholstry continued

Forgot a couple of items from the material section:
-item 5. about 6 feet of velcro. I purchased both sides of the velcro, the backing on the velcro has adhesive. This velcro is not meant to be sewn into place.
- item 6. piece of wire with hook at one end.

Before I started I took separated the old seat cover from the foam. This gave me a good feel for what went where and how it was done. In my particular case the varius anchor points had let go over the years and the seat had lost some of its definition. Basically seams that were achored to the metal frame embedded in the foam had let go.


Step 1. - Prepare the seat cover for installation by flipping it upside down to expose the underside of the seat cover.


Step 2. - Attached 2 of the four springs (item 4) to the fibrous material which is used for anchoring. This is done by hooking one end of the spring though the fibrous material. Note: In the old seat there would have been a wire that was sewn into this part of the seat cover that the spring would have been hooked to, in the new seat cover there is a small rope. The springs are about 6 inches apart, for exact distance measure the distance of the holes in the foam, center to center. The first picture shows where I attached the springs.

Step 3. - Attach 8 hog rings (item 3), 4 per side, to the fibrous material along each side of the seat. The first one, the one positioned near the front of the seat is approx 2" from the end and after that they are spaced 4" apart.
When attaching these, do the same as the springs, pierce the fibrous material with the hog ring on the seat side of the re-enforcing rope which is a part of the fibrous material. Note: When installing the hog rings ensure the open side of the ring once attached to the fibrous material is inwards. The second and third picture show this.

The fourth picture shows you what it should look like once the above 3 steps are done.

More To Follow.......


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Upholstry Continued..

Step 4. – Take the velcro, both the ‘Loop’ and ‘Pile’ sides and cut 4(qty) 7” strips. Join the Velcro pairs together and remove the backing to expose the adhesive from one of the strip pairs. In my case I chose to expose the adhesive on the ‘Loop’ side of the Velcro. Attach the Velcro to the underside of the seat cover starting from the front most part of the seat cover. Repeat for the remaining 3 velcro pairs. Use first picture as a reference.

The original seat only had the ‘Loop’ side of the velcro installed along with a tacky glue around its edges. This combination was glued to the foam part of the seat and the material of the seat cover naturally stuck to the velcro/tacky glue. In the case of the new seat cover, the velcro ‘Loop’ side does not stick to it very well so for this installation both sides of the Velcro are used.

At this point in time do not expose the adhesive on the ‘Pile’ side of the Velcro, this will occur later.

Step 5. – Starting from the front of the seat, place the seat cover over the front most part of the seat. With the seat flipped so the underside is facing up, attach the cover to the wire frame that is embedded in the foam using the hog rings and hog ring pliers, start from the middle and work your way from the center outwards. Always use the fibrous material in conjunction with the hog rings, never use the hog rings directly with the leather/vinyl. At this point you should only install enough hog rings to attach the front of the seat. (see picture 2 arrow 1.)

Step 6. – Flip the seat over so you can see between the foam and the seat cover. Take the wire hook, picture 2 arrow 3, and poke it through the hole, picture 2 arrow 2. To make this easier I used an exacto knife and cut a slit in the foam at the other end of the hole. Hook the wire hook to the spring and pull it through the foam to the bottom side. Repeat for the second spring. Now turn the foam upside down and attach the springs to the embedded frame. In the picture 2 the frame is physically located on the same side as the wire hook. You will probably have to probe with your fingers to find the fire frame, in my case it was probably ¼” down and ¼” in. Pictures 3, 4, and 5 help to visualize this.

More To Follow….


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Upholstry Continued...

Important note: I forgot to mention that when attaching the seat cover to the wire frame via the hog rings, always pull the cover so the material is as tight, even stretching the material at times, as possible. At this point in the installation is where I started to sweat.

Step 7. – From the bottom of the seat, using something like an exacto knife, cut a hole in the foam for the first (front hog ring) that was attached in step 3. Now using the wire hook hook the first hog ring and pull it until you can hook it to the wire frame You can see this in the following picture. Repeat this on the other side. Do not try and close the hog ring at this point, leave it for the end.

Step 8. – Now attach the fibrous material to the wire frame continuing around the front on both sides. Remember to always pull the material so it actually stretches a bit. The pulling should be towards the bottom of the foam and at the same time towards the rear of the seat. If you don’t pull towards the rear you will probably find you will not have enough material. Install hog rings every couple of inches until you are equal with the hog ring you pulled through in step 7.

Step 9. – In step 3 you installed the hog rings 4” apart, repeat step 7 but actually cut through the foam at about 4.5” from the previous hole. This will allow you to not only pull the seat cover down but to also pull it backwards a bit.

Repeat steps 8 and 9 until the rear of the seat is reached. During the above process you periodically turn the seat over and look at how things are turning out.

Step 10. – Attaching the seat cover to the rear part of the wire frame is the same as the front, pull and attach hog ring.

Step 11. – Now it is time to go back to the interior hog rings and close them in place.

Step 12. – Prime the hog ring pliers with a new hog ring.

Step 13. – Starting from the front hog ring, using the wire hook, hook the hog ring that is holding the cover in place and pull it towards you with one hand , this is pretty hard and you may need assistance if you haven’t been to the gym lately. With it still being pulled towards you, insert the hog ring that is in the pliers so the new hog ring will replace the one you are pulling on and clamp it. Once it is clamped you can remove the hog ring that you had hooked. I did it this way because no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t clamp the existing hog ring, this was far easier.

I've read on the WEB that the wrinkles can be reduced if not eliminated by laying a very hot wet towel on the leather and letting it soak. When the leather dries it should stretch, pull, itself into shape. I'll be trying it this week-end.


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Looking good! Looks like nice leather. This'll be of use to a lot of us. Thanks for the good work.
You can do a great job of removing those little wrinkles by using a very damp cloth, applying it over a wrinkled area for a minute or so, then heating the area with a heat gun or hair dryer.
Seat upholstery

Now the seat is ready to be attached to the seat pan.

The seat foam that I received from IAP has the seat to pan attaching tabs at 90 degrees to the original seat.

Step 14. Cut a piece of strapping and rivet it to the tab on the seat. Note: some of the tabs are covered by the seat foam and foam needs to be cut away to access the tabs.

Step 15. Now bend the strapping so it is 90 to the seat tabs.

Step 16. Run the strapping through the seat pan holes and rivet the seat bottom to the seat pan.

Thats it for the seat, next will be the seat back.


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