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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Alfa lovers,
I decided this winter to take care of my seat pans. Perfect winter job for Canada and I have still 2 months to go before the salts on the road disapears..
I could feel rust falling down from the pan and once I remove the seat, one had a hole the size of a hand. Got used pan, did bit of welding, sand blasted the pans and the wire frame and a bit of welding to change the most damaged transverse portions of the wire frames. Priming and paiting this week-end.

Then just the idea of putting back the old pee-colored foams from 35 years of rusting made me acquired two new base foams, the idea being to just change the foams and not the original blue vinyl covers, because they are in relative good shape and because I cannot find for sale the blue vinyl bases alone: would have to change $$$ everything.

So, I received my seat foams yesterday and try to fit them in the pans: good. However fitting the older covers seems more complicated and the foams appears a bit too bulky. i am not even talking about the metal frame inside the covers that hold the springs: they are desintegrated for a long time and I do not plan to replace before them the day I change the whole covers.
My questions to you are:
-Is it normal that the original vinyl seat covers appear too small for the new foams?
-do you have a trick perhaps to install them by shriking the foam?
-Do you know any place who would sell a pair of new base seat blue vinyl cover alone?

If I cannot install them, that s fine , I ll put back my pee-colored foams, keep the foams until I can buy the whole blue ensemble....
in the meantime, your input is welcome!
Cheers
Francois, Canada

1675358

1675359
 

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Hello Alfa lovers,
I decided this winter to take care of my seat pans. Perfect winter job for Canada and I have still 2 months to go before the salts on the road disapears..
I could feel rust falling down from the pan and once I remove the seat, one had a hole the size of a hand. Got used pan, did bit of welding, sand blasted the pans and the wire frame and a bit of welding to change the most damaged transverse portions of the wire frames. Priming and paiting this week-end.

Then just the idea of putting back the old pea-colored foams from 35 of rusting made me acquired two new base foams, the idea being to just change the foams and not the origina blue vinyl covers, because they are in relative good shape and because I cannot find for sale the blue vinyl bases alone: would have to change $$$ everything.

So, I received my seat foams yesterday and try to fit them in the pans: good. However fitting the older covers seems more complicated and the foams appears a bit too bulky. i am not even talking about the metal frame inside the covers that hold the springs: they are desintegrated for a long time and I do not plan to replace before them the day I change the whole covers.
My questions to you are:
-Is it normal that the original vinyl seat covers appear too small for the new foams?
-do you have a trick perhaps to install them by shriking the foam?
-Do you know any place who would sell a pair of new base seat blue vinyl cover alone?

If I cannot install them, that s fine , I ll put back my pea-colored foams, keep the foams until I can buy the whole blue ensemble....
in the meantime, your input is welcome!
Cheers
Francois, Canada

View attachment 1675358
View attachment 1675359
I would suspect that your old covers have shrunk up over time. I redid seats a couple of years ago on a 1985 and replaced just one of the cushions. The one with the original cushion fits a lot better than the one with the new cushion. Never could get it to fit to my satisfaction but it is in use even with not such a good fit.
Not sure where you could source blue seat covers but an upholstery shop could probably make some for you.
 
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This is a nice winter project for sure. I had the same problem with shrunken covers on an old Porsche that I was working on. Here is what I did for a nice fit.

1. Turn the seat cover inside out and heat the underside of the fabric for a couple minutes using a heat gun or hair dryer. Leather and vinyl expands and stretches when exposed to heat. Turn the seat cover right side out and place the seat cover onto the seat. (Do not overheat and burn the seat!!!)

2. Put the seat cushion in a slippery plastic bag and slide the seat cover over it then pull the bag out. This will make it easy to wiggle it into place.

Be patient. It might not work perfect the first or second time but with a bit of patience you can get it to fit nicely.

Let us know how it works out. Put some pics up too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is a nice winter project for sure. I had the same problem with shrunken covers on an old Porsche that I was working on. Here is what I did for a nice fit.

1. Turn the seat cover inside out and heat the underside of the fabric for a couple minutes using a heat gun or hair dryer. Leather and vinyl expands and stretches when exposed to heat. Turn the seat cover right side out and place the seat cover onto the seat. (Do not overheat and burn the seat!!!)

2. Put the seat cushion in a slippery plastic bag and slide the seat cover over it then pull the bag out. This will make it easy to wiggle it into place.

Be patient. It might not work perfect the first or second time but with a bit of patience you can get it to fit nicely.

Let us know how it works out. Put some pics up too.
Thanks you for this tip. I ll Try and let you know. I m doing first the paint of the wireframe and pan
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Both seats base redone: Perfect winter job, but what a job!

1- Two seat pans completely stripped, primed and repainted. Got a used one to replace my driver one that was too damaged. Welding of rust holes, and change of the transverse bars on the wireframe. welded one new tab on the wireframe with 22 gauge steel. remove the metal inserts in the vinyl seats (the one that goes on the tabs at the back), removed rust and paint.
2- I placed an insert M8 to replace a dead welded bolt on the pan and an helicoil M8 on the car floor to repair a dead thread. Riveted the rubber on the edges of the pan
3- I changed the seats cushions. just the idea to put back the yellow and rusty ones made me sick. I keept my old blue vinyl covers. I used the trick given by AlfaFannj above. Put the new cushion in a trash bag so that they slide well in the vinyl cover. The older cover have presumably shrunk with time which make the job to recover them tedious. Then comes THE job to tighten and attach the cover to the wire frame using the older location on the original cover. Fabricated about 25 staples(see below) for each seat. Started by the sides, then the front, then the back. The back is the most difficult because it has to go over the seat pan in the back tabs. very tight. I use the baseboard heater of my basement to warm the vinyl and bring it to the tab. that was the most tedious part and I can still feel the pain in my hands. I kept the plastic bag on the cushion. It protect them and it would have been difficult to remove.
4-All railing cleaning, painted and use lithium grease so that they slide well. I even sand blasted and painted the little metallic plate that has a mysterious usage!
5-M8 20mm Hex nuts + new internal lock washers+antiseize everywhere as recommended by Bianchi2.
Everything look good. It was worth the effort. I have two older pan to work on that need extensive work and that I will repair and sell one day.
6- I also cleaned the blue original carpet the best I could
7-Only mistake was done when I removed seize bolt on the car floor: I went trought the floor and I will caulk this later with black silicon or equivalent.


Unbelievable that these seat ( I show below the less dammage one) are 37 years old and my royal *** is seating on decent cushions!

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Excellent job. Nothing feels better than a new seat cushion. Now you won't feel like you are sitting in a bucket anymore.
Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Excellent job. Nothing feels better than a new seat cushion. Now you won't feel like you are sitting in a bucket anymore.
Congrats!
Thanks! Always satisfying to do the job yourself! Regarding to the new seat covers, I wonder if they do have the inner wire frame in the cover so that springs that goes through the seat can be attach to the wireframe below. Mine were dead so I omitted the springs.
 
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