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Working on seats
#1
  This topic is about my 1960 MG MGA 1600
Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
Finally had a chance to work on my seats.

Worked on the bases today.

Had already made the wooden portion some time back and refurbished the metal frames.

Leather set from Moss and a cloth set that I had made at a local upholstery shop.
I picked out the material at a cloth shop then dropped it off at the upholster along with the old stuff so that she could duplicate them.
Bought the foam (bulk) at the same cloth shop and cut out the seat foams for both sets.
Cloth, foam (for 2 sets) and labor to sew the covers was still cheaper than a set of vinyl covers - and I got the cloth that I wanted - grinning smiley

REALLY like the cloth set - they will be going in my "driver".

Yeah - I needed to get the lint brush out on the cloth set before I took the pics - eye rolling smiley

Guess I'll start on the hard part tomorrow - the backs.
Still haven't decided if I'll use the duct tape, ty-wrap or glue method for the back board.

Kudo's to Barney for the upholstery info on his site and all the guys in Illinois who shared in the fun.

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bobs77vet Avatar
bobs77vet bob K.
northern Va, VA, USA   USA
wow they look great...for the back my money is on wetting down the back board and holding in place with binder clips and then when dried using duct tape...

the duct tape is smooth and takes up no space. for me it was the only soloution

JRSCA Avatar
JRSCA Silver Member John Smith
Woodstock, ON, Canada   CAN
ET

Any pics of your home made seat foams prior to covering them? Are there different specs (density) on foam that should be considered?

John

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watsonrx13 Rob Watson
Plant City, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA
ET, well done. I second the request for information regarding the foam inserts. Also, any pics before, during and after shaping? Along with any suggestions/techniques used to shape them?

--- Rob

3066james Avatar
3066james Gold Member Jim Cheatham
Amelia, VA, USA   USA
ET,
Seat bottoms look good. It appears that your cloth seats have 8 seams rather than 7. Looks like you may have trouble lining up the seams in the seat backs with the seams in the seat bottoms. Like others have said, I’d like to see pictures when you’re done.

Jim

Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
Thanks Bob !

The duct tape method is high on my list but I'm wondering if during the summer it would heat up and come loose making a sticky mess in there.
Once the seat back cover is on though it should hold everything in place so probably won't matter.
I might use "real" duct tape (the foil kind).
Already pre bent the backs this summer - I was following this great thread about a coupe resto - bet that's where I got the idea

grinning smiley


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Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
John / Rob

Thought I had taken pics of my home-made seat foams but looks like I missed them.
The shop only had a few choices in 6 inch foam - I picked out the most firm/dense
With the 6 inch height I was able to cut out for the ramp in front and shave the top at an angle.
I used some Moss foams that my friend purchased as guides.
Had the original Dunlop pillows in it but they were too far gone to use as guides
Cut a smaller square and glued it to the bottom to fit in the metal square on the wood base.
Believe it or not I used an electric carving knife for shaping. eye rolling smiley
Worked great.

Here's a pic of the originals and some of the left-over new foam.


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Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
Jim

I'll have to admit I had not thought of aligning the seams - very glad you mentioned it.
(my first MGA seat resto - guess it shows)

The cloth set is a bit different than original.
It has 10 seams on top with a solid upper panel.
The backs are vinyl.
Hopefully I'll be able to fold the seats forward so that if it rains before I can get the top up the vinyl will shed water and keep the cloth form getting soaked.
At least that's my plan - probably will forget to lean the seats forward.

Here's the new seat back and a pic of the old covers I took off.
(you can see the old one in the background - was actually taking a pic of how the old seat backs were installed at the base)
The ones that were on there were black with gold piping eye rolling smiley.


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bobs77vet Avatar
bobs77vet bob K.
northern Va, VA, USA   USA
i dont know why or how the seat backs could loosen up.....it seems like they really are for providing some stiffening on the back side. and the seat back fabric when stretched down will be nice and tight, no reason not to glue it and duct tape the panel in place . i have seen people use zip ties successfully but the idea of adding another raised surface as compared to the smoothness of duct tape doesnt make sense to me. the duct tape creates a uniform and smooth transition to put batting over and then the seat fabric and creates no snags as you pull the fabric down.

Grubeguy Avatar
Grubeguy Gold Member Grube Guy
Washington, DC, USA   USA
That's a nice looking seat. Aside from taking mine out to disassemble my car, I know zilch about them. When installed, they move forward and back, right? Does the seat back tilt forward as well?

Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
Grube - that's all there is to it. Seat frame slides front and back and the seat back folds forward. No adjustment on the seat back tilt unless you add a bolt for adjustment as mentioned here on Barney page. The seat base is not attached to the frame - just lays in there. Has some wood tabs to keep it from sliding around in the frame. Guess that's so when you get to the soccer match you can bring the seat base along with you and not have to sit on the crummy stadium seats - just don't forget it !!!.

Speaking of the seat back folding - what have you folks used as a hinge bolt?
I was thinking of using a shoulder bolt if I can find one sturdy enough and the right dimensions.
Seems that would prevent pinching of the seat fabric.
Something like this...





Pic below was what was in there when I took it apart.

Making the wood tack strips for the seat back at the moment.
Looks like they were held on with approx #6 screws.
#6 screws are loose on these old frames so probably be going back with #8.

Yeesh ..... I'm still worrying about aligning those seams.......


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3066james Avatar
3066james Gold Member Jim Cheatham
Amelia, VA, USA   USA
If I remember correctly, the holes in the seat bottom frames that the seat backs attach to are threaded. I had to tap mine to the next bigger thread size because the threads were worn. I just used bolts with the correct size threads as the pivot for my seat backs.

Jim

Woodysrods Avatar
Woodysrods Silver Member Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
The "little things"???confused smiley
Brian



1954 MGTF 1800
1962 MGA MKII

bisslre Avatar
bisslre Ron Bissland
Kenosha, WI, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The Little Car"
1979 MG MGB
2014 Chevrolet Silverado
Just FYI, I used gorilla glue on the board to the metal frame and then held it all together with zip ties. Once glue was hard i cut the zip ties off.


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Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
Jim - looks like there are some remnants of threads in one of the seat base pivot tabs so that could be possible. Don't think I want to go with that process on mine for a couple of reasons. Mainly I have 2 types of bases - one has a nice thick pivot arm tab that would tap nicely but the other set has a thinner wrapped style. Was hoping to find one solution for both. Probably will just end up with a nut and bolt but we'll see what happens. (first pic below).

Brian - you're right - those little things really seem to add up (and take up a lot of time) thumbs up

Ron - those seats look great - hope mine turn out as well. Thanks for the tip on the Gorilla glue. Still waffling back and forth between glue and tape.

Slow progress.
Got the seat back tack strips fabricated and installed.
The bucket trick worked great on the back boards but they had relaxed some and needed re-shaping - plus - the bucket curves the back and it needs to be flat so strapped them to the frames and sprayed with a little water. Letting them dry the rest of the day while I re-read the back install procedure. I like a full lumbar pad and the material I bought is too soft so may cut that last piece of foam and use it. I don't have the "horse hair" for the back and had planned on using foam. May do a test run to see how it works.

Many thanks for all the info and tips everyone !!


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