Over Easter I plan to swap the front Left (passenger) seat from the donor car ( it is very good) to the front passenger position in my car, that seems straight forward. I also wish to take the Back off the removed (seat as it is quite good) and put it on the drivers seat. Are the seat squabs able to be swapped i.e. not handed? Will I be able to attach the drivers armrest are the fixings likely to be there? The instructions in the workshop manual seem very complicated. Once the seat is out on a bench is it quite obvious how it all works. Also how hard is it to remove the leather covers for minor stitching or is this best left to the professionals? Quite happy to hand sew small areas done a bit of hand sail stitching for the yacht time consuming but my labour is free. And once removed can they be refitted with out looking too amateurish
You will not be able to do this unless you are prepared to do away with the armrest. There is no provision on the passenger seat frame for it.......not on the seat frames I have got anyway. Best to swap the cover. As Phil said, I think it might be a slightly different shape, but it shouldn't be too difficult for a practical person.
I am very interested in the second part of Allans question about "how hard is it to remove the leather covers for minor stitching or if is this best left to the professionals". My seats are split in many of the stitches and my wife (though very hard on woman lib etc) has agree upon trying to repair them (I think we will be able to borrow an old prof. saddlemaker sewing machine). But she will only do it if I can deliver the covers on the table. Also is it advisable to try to remove all the old stitches so it will not crack another place when reinstalled ? Any experiences anyone ??
Since my original post I have been working on upholstery. The plan changed as donor car seat frames were rubish badly bent at hinge point. Swapped very tired driver’s seat from donor car into my car so it would remain drivable. Removed passenger seat from my car and disassembled back from base. Work shop manual is necessary here. Back was pretty good except for a split in top left seam. Peeled leather back un picked seam and (carefully about 4 hours) re-sewed by hand all three lines of stitching that make up one seam using original holes. I took my time and it looks very good. I then glued a thin scrap of leather bought from a craft shop on to the rear of repair to affect a mechanical repair to take loading off the stitching to ensure it doesn’t come apart again. Reglued in place while doing this I used a knitting needle to carefully stuff wadding into frame in soft areas down side where foam had crumbled and settled to give a tight cover and peeled back a small area on other side and did this also . Then peeled back, restitched and reglued an area near pivot point on left side this point appears to go on lots of cars. That gave me a good back. The base as expected was much worse. I removed the cover from the donor car base and took a lot of photos on how it all goes together. Not too hard to understand how it all works but a lot of care is need to carefully remove glued foam from leather with a sharp craft knife. Don’t tear it off. I then sat in front of the TV doing needle work for a week about 10 hours to repair 2 main seams and also some in the pleating that necessitated cutting the backing away stitching the leather and then resewing the backing back together. All done by hand using old holes. Then disassembled my base as donor frame was badly damaged around the brake slots and I wanted to use my good frame. Re-foamed with high density foam (it is very important to get advice on foam). Cutting and carving to shape and gluing to frame. The original high density foam had crumbled to a sticky powdery mess. I retained the top soft foam as this was moulded and repaired it with carefully cut bits of foam glued into areas that the sun had caused to dissolve by exposure through the splits, Then recovered with a thin layer of new foam ¼”using foam spray adhesive 3m. This whole assembly needs to be glued around the edges to the leather cover to hold seams in place on edge of foam before assembly. Then put cover on carefully. It is held in place by metal tabs in frame. Be careful to place the pull down tabs for centre panel as you found them. I reused the saved clips to hold these in place. Edges at rear around hinge points are glued in place. I then reassembled back to base. (Definitely need manual here) Obviously I used this time to check, adjust and regrease the mechanism. I had a engineer friend turn me up a couple of new bushes that go in the seat back at pivot point, held in by cir-clip as these had crumpled and cracked. I now had a good passenger seat. During this process I have been liberally applying leatherique rejuvenator oil to soften leather to the bits I am working on and rest of leather in car so it will be soft when I get to it. This stuff is a miracle. www.leatherique.com/ I am intending to use their whole process to recolourise my leather. I have done the same to driver’s seat base this required more stitching than passenger and more work on patching foam but it is now assembled and awaiting back I am working on at present. I am swapping drivers back cover from donor car to my drivers back at present. Note contrary to an earlier post the backs are not handed and drivers arm rest mounting points are on both sides of frames so backs can be swapped. I am swapping covers as donor frames are badly bent in area of brake slots and seats had been fixed in upright position but my frames are good. Will hopefully finish driver back this week. My rear bench seat requires only a small area of stitching to the drivers side back in the pleats. Might be worse when I take apart who knows. So after drivers seat reassembly it is on to the rear. Then recolourise. The leatherique has softened the back of the bench seat amazingly it now flexes and was cardboard hard as this area has had a lot of sun in the past.
Maybe on an early p5 but on my p5b with the mark III seats the back frame is not handed and mounting brackets for the arm rest are on both sides just the holes in the covering are missing same on my 71 car and donor 73 car. the hole in cover is not a problem as most people will want to swap a less worn passanger seat to the drivers position.
Just finished last bit of stitching on drivers seat 10 inches of seam took 1 hour 15 minutes including breaks for aching fingers. Will put back of drivers seat on frame tomorrow. That should give you a guide to how long it takes to hand sew as I am quite quick now. But it is time consuming to do a good job using old holes with nice tight even stitches
Have been taking to David Dallimore Will rewrite with pictures before and after full recolouring for a subsequent issue of Take 5 and can supply a copy then or take this for Roverdom (the Auckland Club Magazine) if you want it now
Allan, I am trying to free the covers from my frontseat (P5B, '70) but I can't see how to remove the back from the base. I did not realize that there is a torsion bar at the centerpoint of the back, before I remove 2 of the 3 screws at the round plate that holds the bar. Then the bar turned and I dared not remove the last screw as I could not see how to get the bar back in the correct tension. Just to turn the round plate 5 mm, to get the 2 screws back in again, was difficult. The manual for P5, MkIII does not seem to describe this task ?, or am I bad at reading English ?
Ooopps ! You are right Phil ! I looked in the wrong book. I have an early edition and a later one, and at some point during the operation got the books mixed up. Did not realize that the books had differences; I must hire a librarian !!
To disassemble I just followed the instructions in the workshop manual I have the manual with the supplement but it is in the main p5 body of the manual, You drive the bar out before undoing the screws, just remove the one with the locking device for the bar, and remove this clip then drive it out, it is also important to remove the pivot bush held in by a cir clip before trying to wiggle the back off, Both my bushes had cracks so a friendly engineer made me 2 new ones for when I reassemble the drivers seat (one spare) I used a good one from the donor for the passenger seat It is a bit of a mission to reassemble and would be hard to talk though, But I just followed the instructions in the workshop manual. I had never done one before. It seems daunting when you read it but if the seat is at hand it all works if you take your time, definitely have the seat out of the car. The torsion bar does have quite a load on it, and you will need someone to sit on the seat to give you something to push against when you retension it. I retensioned mine with a 9mm socket ( I think)on a long handled bar to give me leaverage, I think I might have put a bit of steel pipe over the bar to lengthen it as well. You tension it with it about 10mm proud then drive it home under tention with a hammer and drift. the manual shows a special tool but I didn't have that of course. Sorry I cant be more specific. I felt the instructions were OK as long as you followed them carefully