Friday, October 7, 2022


I've been a busy beaver over the last couple of weeks...

Starting with seats!

I had stripped the seats a while ago, and the bare frames were staring at me.

I finally steeled myself and got to work.  I have read that seat foam and cover installations are a bear.  They were right.  I used a guide I found online from the Toronto MG Club (here) and it helped a lot.

First, I needed to clean up the seat frames.  A little sandpaper, a scuff pad and some paint did the trick.  Then I installed new diaphragms, which are a set of rubber straps on a frame with clips.  Let me tell you, this was not fun.  The first 50% is easy, the next 40% is hard, and the last 10% is horrible.  I ended up using a channel-lock piers to pull the frame toward the seat frame and get the little clips installed.  It did the trick.  They make a little noise when you sit on them as the clip scrapes the inside of the frame, but oh well. I am not taking them apart.

Then it was on to the foam.  The seat bottoms were easy - glue one burlap to the bottom (to protect the foam from the rubber) and line up the foam on the frame.  The seat backs were not easy to sort.  The back boards were not hard to fit, but it took a lot of fitting to get the foam flat enough to allow the cover to slide on properly.  I ended up cutting channels in the foam to allow the foam to sit better onto the frame.  It worked out well.  Tape held the foam in place while the contact cement set.

From then on, it was not horrible, just fiddly.  The seat bottom covers fit well.  They get glued in the center to the center of the foam, and I used 3M 90 for that.  The clips hold the cover in place.  Nothing exciting and pretty easy.  I did have to fiddle with the cover a bit to allow room for the bracket that joins the back and bottom of the seat.  I wasn't going to cut slits.  It turned out fine.

For the seat backs, the trick is to use cling wrap over the seat foam to allow the cover to slide on all the way.  The cling wrap needs to cover the entire top part of the foam except where the center of the foam is (so you can glue the cover to the foam).  The backs also have cardboard inserts that are used to hold the cover to the bottom of the frame, and I made new ones from the old seat back cardboard.  Then it's just a matter of a couple of hours of lining things up and then gluing the seat back into place (again, in the center - this is tricky to get glue into there but it can be done, since I did it).

Once covered, the seats are reassembled.

The result is pretty good.

The backs and bases don't line up quite right, but this is just how the covers are made.  I am very pleased with this.  I also do have the headrest covers ready to go, but will not install them until the seats are in the car.  The quality of the material is excellent.  The seats recline (a little noisily, but they do) and can be folded forward.

On to the next challenge!

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