SE6a seat rebuild

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SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:51 pm

On request, here is an idea of how to rebuild the interior of an SE6a. I must point out clearly that I am very much a happy amateur, with no formal training. My techniques and knowledge have been gleaned from books and just playing at it. Enormous help has been had from the American Upholstery Discussion Forum http://get-up-and-go.com/upholstery-for ... ?board=1.0 site I am by no means an expert and a pro upholsterer would probably fall about laughing at what follows.....

This is the starting point on a good condition unit for comparison. The seat has had its rails removed, otherwise it as factory.
DSCN3419.jpg

This is the one I am stripping. It has got a split in the support membrane that had been "mended" with some rubber strips and cable ties. Those have not been removed for the photo...
DSCN3426.jpg
First thing to do is to remove all the little clips around the periphery. I used a blunt screwdriver and a small hammer. Once the clips are removed, the cover vinyl can be pulled back away from the frame...
DSCN3428.jpg
More will follow as time allows.
Last edited by AJL Electronics on Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:12 pm

The foam seat squab is glued all around the lower front edge and to part of the support membrane. Cut the strings that are tied to the button retaining wire square and pull them loose. The glued area needs to be seperated until the whole seat base with cover still attached, comes away.
DSCN3429.jpg
Once clear, turn the foam over and release the glued Calico tensioners that are fitted around the centre of the seat. Now the cover can be released completely. This one was partially rotted already.
DSCN3430.jpg
Now comes the rear section.... Fold down the flap at the back and you will notice a curtain wire and hooks that hold it down. Unhook it from one end and put aside. Then you can see the tensioners and button strings. Tap away the clips holding the tensioning straps and either cut or untie the strings for the buttons.
DSCN3427.jpg


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by scimjim » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:05 pm

ajlelectronics wrote:
DSCN3426.jpg
DSCN3426.jpg (35.76 KiB) Viewed 2756 times
I've done that on a 6a :oops: :oops:


Jim King

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), Sabre/MX5 auto (The Flying Broomstick),
1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by dcw7095 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:36 am

Are you planning on recovering anything? Looks like Brown replacement covers are available from Aldridge though haven't seen any blue ones to date. I have two complete blue seat sets (early 6a and later 6a) and need to decide whether to take to professional trimmer or have a go myself at trying to make the best of one set...also need to tackle the rears due to previous sunroof leak. Keep up the good work...intrigued to see what happens next.


Dave Watson
'79 SE6a Auto


"To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster." Stirling Moss

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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by Taggers » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:09 pm

<Makes notes>

Cheers AJL


1979 SE6A

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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:36 pm

Moving on to remove the seat back cover...

Remove the clips holding the material to the rail. This is an extension to the front panel of the seat cover and is holding it in tension.
DSCN3433.jpg
Now you can see the Calico tensioning strips that form the buttoned panel in the middle of the seat back. Tap away the clips to release them.
DSCN3434.jpg
Untie the button strings, or just cut them off.
DSCN3435.jpg


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:47 pm

A couple more steps before the cover can be removed. Firstly, the control knob and bezel needs to be removed from the side of the seat back. This knob will come off with a sideways pull, which releases the spring clip holding it. The bezel is just two screws.
DSCN3437.jpg
Next job may be easy or difficult depending on how good the covers are! The lower sides are held in place by metal clips which hold around the seat metalwork. You will need to push down and stretch the material, to release the clips.
DSCN3440.jpg
The cover can now be pulled off vertically once the material has been pulled out from the lower front. Leave the plastic bag where it is, it is part of the structure and helps to ease the cover down over the foam.
DSCN3436.jpg
Last edited by AJL Electronics on Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:31 pm

Now you will be left with just this:
DSCN3438.jpg
If you need to refurb the frame, the rubber straps will need to be unhooked and the foam removed.
DSCN3439.jpg

Now the covers can be replaced with commercial ones, or better still, make your own from your choice of material. Here is my prototype:

DSCN3425s.JPG
This is Midnight Blue Dralon and black vinyl. I got the material supplier to make the buttons for me from an offcut of the fabric. I made my own piping from black vinyl.


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by zeb » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:51 pm

Ive done that job too many times, shuffling and mixing to ake good seats out of a few crappy ones. I have to say that the recover job is stonkingly good, top workmanship Sir!



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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by dcw7095 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:49 pm

ajlelectronics wrote:Now the covers can be replaced with commercial ones, or better still, make your own from your choice of material. Here is my prototype:

[attachment]DSCN3425s.JPG[/attachment]


This is Midnight Blue Dralon and black vinyl. I got the material supplier to make the buttons for me from an offcut of the fabric. I made my own piping from black vinyl.
You've obviously done this before?? Either that or you have made it look easy. It is the piping on the front seats of mine that have had it and I wouldn't know where to begin to repair that...have you used any reference texts or did you just deconstruct the originals and work from there? Excellent work either way :mrgreen:


Dave Watson
'79 SE6a Auto


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:07 pm

No haven't done it before. Changing the piping should be a doddle. You will need a device called a "Stitch Ripper".
DSCN3479.jpg
When you have the cover off, use it to cut the stitching around the piping. Then get your new material and cut it into strips 1 5/8" wide. Wrap around some 3mm plastic cord and stitch or glue together. Then is is a straightforward job to restitch the cover with the new piping in place. You can use a stapler to hold everything in place if you need extra hands. You WILL need a piping foot on the sewing machine. A domestic machine may just handle the material, but the needle needs to be able to handle Bonded 40 thread, otherwise all your good work will fall apart next time you sit on it! I will do a guide to this when I have the opportunity.
Last edited by AJL Electronics on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:03 pm

Making the new piping....

Cut your material into strips to suit the piping you have. Ideally it should be 1/2" selvage, so 1/8" plastic piping cord and 1 1/2" strips works out about right.
DSCN3441.jpg
The piping needs to be folded over and held in that form. Some people glue it, I like to stitch it, however, I stitch is in the selvage so that the final stitch is not weakened by lots of needle passes in the same place. You can see here how I position the material to achieve this. The material is held in place and guided under the foot as it sews. It's not important what colour or type of thread you use here, it is only tacking.
DSCN3442.jpg

The end result is like this....
DSCN3444.jpg
Ready to sew into the material. The cording tends to slip down as it is being sewn, but it is of little importance as it is only being used as a guide. Before final fixing, the cord will need to be pushed back into the material of course.
Last edited by AJL Electronics on Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:18 pm

Demonstration of inserting piping into materials...

These are a few scraps I had lying around.
DSCN3448.jpg
All components could be stitched in one pass and that is the way a professional will do it. I have shown it in stages like this because the headrests and other parts will need the piping stitched to one part first. Once again I have run a rough tacking stitch to keep the material and piping in alignment with their edges.
DSCN3449.jpg
Now make a sandwich (inside out) of all three parts. If stitching in one pass, you could staple the selvage to hold it in alignment.
DSCN3450.jpg


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by AJL Electronics » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:20 pm

Now sew them together, this time, aligning the cord with the groove in the foot. This will allow the needle to sew tight against the cord and produce a good looking and strong joint.
DSCN3451.jpg
Turn the material over and you should have achieved this....
DSCN3452.jpg
Corners are a little more interesting... (later!)


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Re: SE6a seat rebuild

Post by dcw7095 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:58 pm

This is great! Well impressed. Could be tempted to give this a go myself. Thanks for the post, and please keep the pictures coming...


Dave Watson
'79 SE6a Auto


"To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster." Stirling Moss

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