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INT: DIY- Katzkin leather seat installation

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    INT: DIY- Katzkin leather seat installation

    this thread is here to guide you on replacing the seat covers in your car with aftermarket leather or cloth seats, like the ones you get from tasauto.
    here is where you can get replacement seat covers in leather (got mine here)

    in cloth

    it's not really hard just time cunsuming. you basically copy the OEM set-up.

    you can get away with using basic hand tools like screw drivers, socket set, razor knife, pliers, staple gun, and glue.

    here's what the kit contains:

    - 2 head rests
    -2 arm rests, front and back
    -2 front seats
    - upper and lower rear seats
    - 2 rear side lumbar seat covers
    -2 front seat backs with pockets
    - 2 rolls of material for the door panels

    you can buy an installation kit that includes a video, hog rings, hog ring pliers, and some other tools. it costs $100. i didn't get the extra kit and i was fine reusing the old hog rings and my own tools.

    they sent me some leather samples to help me decide on the color. i went with sandstone.

    i started with the headrests. the fabric is heald on by black clips. i stuck a flathead screwdriver in the crease and pressed down whileturning a little. this popped the clips apart and i peeled off the old cover.

    when you put the leather headrest on, slide it all the way down and pull it tight. pull the black tabs together and fold the male end under itself and clip it into the female clip. you should hear it snap in.

    the next thing i did was the upper rear side cushions. here's where you get used to the hog rings. you also remove the plastic covers for the metal brackets.

    the hog rings can be removed by grabing and twisting them off the metal rod that they are attached to.

    i reused mine by bending them back out with pliers. like this.

    take notice of details like this, so that you can wrap it the same way when you put the leather back on it.

    when you reinstall the cover, cut a slit for the metal bracket that attaches the cushion the car. don't cut where i did, instead, cut in between the seems. attach this part on first, then slide the rest of the cover on.

    when attaching the hog rings to the leather, line it up and poke a hole where the old ring was.

    fold the leather over so that when you insert a hog ring it is going through the nylon piping. it's a reinforcement.

    when you get close to having all the hog rings in, cut a slit in the leather flap and wrap it around the metal bracket.

    that's all there is to that one.

    next, comes the upper rear seat. it's held on by clips that attach to metal tabs on the back of the seat.

    in the cushion of the seat, there are a few hog rings and few steel rods holding the rest on.

    Last edited by TypeG; 07-30-2008, 12:33 AM.
    Avoiding dirt at all costs

    you also have to remove the arm rest. to do this, remove the black clip from the rod in the arm rest. slide it over and lift it out.

    the perimeter fabric of the armrest is held in with the usual black clips and a plastic backing plate that snaps in.

    the armrest is held together with clips, just like the headrest. just remember to cut holes for the rods.

    when you put the cover back on the upper rear cushion, tuck the leather under the metal tabs and clip the plastic garnish back into the seat back.

    now, for the lower rear cusion. it has lots of hog rings in the perimeter. it also has some springs and rods in the middle of the cushion.

    when you recover, take the old rods out of the fabric and transer it to the lether and re-attach. also, cut a hole for the mounting tab.

    so far, it should start looking like this:

    on to the front seats.

    pull the seat recline lever off and remove the screws that hold the cover on.

    and remove the cover on the otherside (90-91)

    remove the 2 nuts that hold on the seat belts retractor. (90-91)

    and then the 2 bolts on both sides

    after you remove all four bolts, the cushion drops out.

    remove the lumbar adjuster.

    the lower seat cushion looks like this on the under side. take out the hog rings and clips. it only has springs in the middle.

    Last edited by TypeG; 05-19-2008, 08:30 PM.
    Avoiding dirt at all costs


      when i put the cover on, there was nothing for it to clip to, so i had to make up an aluminum bar for it to cip to. this was the only hicup in the whole kit.

      i made another for the other seat.

      i had to mod the black clip to make it fit in the slots.

      cut out the 4 bolt holes. don't worry, you can't see the cut holes

      now the upper cushion

      pull the bottom of the seat. you will break the plastic clips, but you can reuse them.

      after you have pulled out the clips on the bottom, pull down on the board and the seat back will drop down and off.

      cut the broken part of the clip off to reuse it

      to remove the fabric, unclip the clips from the metal tabs and unhook the springs. no hog rings.

      remove the headrest guides by pulling the button off and removing the screw.

      the other one doesn't have a screw. so yu have to pinch the bottom and pull it out.

      remove the platic clips with a pair of curved pliers.

      install new seat cover.

      don't forget to cut holes for the plastic clips of the seat back cover. i didn't connect any springs.

      Last edited by TypeG; 05-19-2008, 08:44 PM.
      Avoiding dirt at all costs


        stick a screwdriver through the headrest guide holes and cut out holes to re-install the guides.

        cut hole for lumbar knob.

        next, is the seat back.

        i took the pocket off and removed the elastic band and plastic strip. the plastic strip was to big to go into the new pocket.

        i taped the elastic band to a rod and passed it through to the other side.

        i left the fabric on the seat back. i did this because i wanted padding. just lay it down and line everything up.

        use a staple gun with with 6 mm staples. i stapled one half and glued the other. i did this because when you staple the pocket on, it makes a full circle of staples.

        when you get to the corners, copy the OEM pattern of cut in V's. it will help you aviod wrinkles.

        then take the pocket and line it up. staple the elastic band to the board first.

        then staple the pocket on. it should look like this.

        now you are ready to put the seat back together. both seats are alike. it should look like this.

        Last edited by TypeG; 05-19-2008, 08:59 PM.
        Avoiding dirt at all costs


          lastly, are the door panels. to me, this is the hardest part. it's hard to get the wrinkles out. i left the fabric on the door panel, but i'm not sure if this is the best way to go. the glue i'm using is 3M ''heavy'' adhesive.

          on the backside of the panel are a couple of clips and a few screws. take them out.

          and this is what it looks like.

          what i've been doing is glueing in the middle and working my way out.

          however you do it, it's a pain. good luck. if anyone would like to share any tips or better methods please do. i am no professional, but i proved an average person can install this kit. i might have left something out, but i'll check it later on. later.
          Last edited by TypeG; 01-27-2011, 11:47 AM.
          Avoiding dirt at all costs


            dude great write up. I am very impressed at how easy it really is to recover the seats in somthing nice and leather.

            when are u posting picks of the interior back together installed in the whip??


              Wow, Absolutely sick job, and write up
              I've wanted to retrim mine myself for a while now, and maybe I'll do it this winter now.

              Props TypeG, Props

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                wow, this write up is amazing, great job man

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                  great write up, Type-G. have you finished your door inserts? does the leather stretch enough that you dont have to slit the panel to get rid of wrinkles, or do you have to manage how well you can cut and hide a straight line in leather? when i did mine with ultrasuede, it gave me no "give" at all and i had to slice it once on every panel. some came out better than others.

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                    Saw it in person on May 4th. Looks great! Definitely something worth doing when you get some free time!

                    A pic I got from the 4th.
                    Smelled nice too!

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                      ive never read or seen a writeup so amazing with so many pictures and and and .. its just so beautiful

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                        You always impress me me all your diy, this another good one done by you.

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                          I was wondering had anyone use this, now i see. amazing job Type G beautiful
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                            good write up and pics............. your car is too clean

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                              thanks for the feed back guys.

                              Originally posted by steelbluesleepR
                              great write up, Type-G. have you finished your door inserts? does the leather stretch enough that you dont have to slit the panel to get rid of wrinkles, or do you have to manage how well you can cut and hide a straight line in leather? when i did mine with ultrasuede, it gave me no "give" at all and i had to slice it once on every panel. some came out better than others.
                              it gives a little but not much at all. i can't get all the wrinkles out of the panel, so i guess there's no other way but to make some cuts. do you have any pics of where you cut it? later.
                              Avoiding dirt at all costs