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How To: Replace fabric seat covers

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delhusband
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How To: Replace fabric seat covers

Postby delhusband » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:31 pm

My seat fabric is extremely grubby, and I've had poor results when trying to clean the seats using some valeting foam. So, I decided to see if it was possible to remove the seat fabric and wash them. Here's how I set about it.

Disclaimer
I am not a professional.
This was my first attempt at removing the seat covers, and I did it without reference to any instructions.
The method shown may not be the recommended or most appropriate way.
I've not yet figured out how to put the seat covers back on :D
This thread is purely intended to show the locations and types of the various fasteners used to fix the fabric seat covers to the seat frame, and how I personally went about removing them.
Neither I nor the club can accept responsibility for damage or injury caused by following the steps shown in this thread.

Time Taken
3 Hrs for a first attempt

Personal Protective Equipment
Fabric gloves to protect against sharp edges on seat frames
Safety glasses when removing clips to prevent flying metal hitting you in the eye

Tools
Ratchet
14mm socket
12mm socket
Pliers
4mmx100mm flat blade screwdriver
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Step 1 - Undo seat bolts
With the 14mm socket, undo the 4 bolts which fix the seat to the floor (2 at front, 2 at back)

Step 2 - Disconnect seat belt/seat pad sensor cable
Before removing the seat, you'll need to disconnect the cable that runs between the car and the seat, which connects the seatbelt fastener and the pressure sensor on the seat base.
Very carefully, lift the side of the seat closest to the door and lift slowly tilting towards the centre of the car, exposing the bottom of a seat.
Using the narrow flat blade screwdriver (or a McDonalds coffee stir stick :) ) press down gently on the tab of the white connector whilst pulling the white connector and the blue socket apart.
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Step 3 - find a workspace
Remove the seat and find a nice large, clean and dry space to work. I chose the bathroom floor.

Step 4 - Remove the seat slider chassis
Using the 12mm socket, undo the 4 bolts (2 front, 2 back) which fix the seat slider chassis to the seat metal frame. Gently remove the seat slider chassis, taking care not to strain the cable connected to the seat belt holder. gently turn over the slider frame. Find the hole entry on the frame where other side of the blue cable connector pushes through. Using the pliers, gently squeeze the locking tabs of the blue cable connector and push it back through the entry hole.
Remove the sliding frame away from the seat base.
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Step 5 - Fold back metal retaining tabs on the metal seat frame
Gently prise back the 6 x metal tabs (2 front, 2 each side of front)
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Step 6 - Release the bonded plastic retaining strip on the seat fabric from the metal seat frame
Put the tips of your fingers along the underside of the plastic strip that runs around the front and sides along the inside of the metal frame. gently prise outwards and upwards to release the plastic strip
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Step 7 - Remove the metal fasteners holding the fabric seat cover to the metal seat frame
The seat fabric is fastened to the metal frame at 4 points with circular metal fasteners
In order to release them, I used the screwdriver to open and release the fasteners. I inserted the 4mmx 100mm flat blade screwdriver between the fastener and the metal seat frame, and then carefully rotated the screwdriver through 180 degrees to prise the fastener apart
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Step 8 - Remove the seat fabric from the metal seat frame
There is one final plastic strip that clips the seat fabric to the metal seat frame at the rear of the seat. to make it easier to unclip, lift/rotate the front of the seat foam pad 180 degrees (hinging at the back) up from the metal seat frame, to release the plastic clip.
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Step 9 - Remove the metal fasteners holding the fabric covers to the foam seat pad
The seat foam pad and the seat fabric have thin metal bars bonded within them. The seat fabric and the seat pad are fastened together by small circular metal clips which are fastened closed around the metal bars of both the seat pad and the seat fabric
There are 12 fasteners in total. 3 along each side, and 2 in the centre of the seat.
To open and release the fasteners, insert the screwdriver between the fastener and the metal bars of the seat fabric and the seat pad in the direction of the metal bars (perpendicular to the bars). Taking care not to rip the fabric or the seat pad foam, carefully rotate the screwdriver through 180 degrees to prise the fastener apart.
CAUTION - Take care when working on the 2 fasteners at the centre not to damage the seat pressure sensor
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Step 10 - Unzip the backrest fabric
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Step 11 - Remove the metal fasteners holding the fabric backrest together around the backrest foam
The backrest fabric is fastened around the backrest foam with 3 fasteners at the rear/base of the backrest. As per previous steps, undo the fasteners by using the screwdriver and gently rotating through 180 degrees to prise the fasteners apart
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Step 12 - Push the unzipped section through the hole in the backrest
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Step 13 - Remove the metal fasteners holding the green plastic support rib to the metal backrest frame
There is a green flexible plastic support rib which is attached to the inner side of the backrest fabric at the front. This green plastic rib runs down either side of the inner section of the backrest fabric, runs through the gap between the backrest and the seat at either side, and then attaches to the backrest metal frame. It is secured with 4 metal fasteners. To open and release the fasteners, insert the screwdriver between the fastener and the metal bars of the seat fabric and the seat pad in the direction of the metal bars (perpendicular to the bars). Taking care not to rip the fabric or the seat pad foam, carefully rotate the screwdriver through 180 degrees to prise the fastener apart.
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Step 14 - Remove the metal fasteners holding the backrest fabric to the backrest foam pad
There are 4 fasters in total, 2 at each "ridge" on the backrest. Again, insert the screwdriver and rotate carefully, taking care not to rip the foam or the fabric.
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Step 15 - Fabric is now off - go get a nice cuppa, and think about what you're going to use in place of all the clips you've just destroyed when it comes to putting it all back together :D (tie wraps maybe?)
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Last edited by delhusband on Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06

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shnazzle
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby shnazzle » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:54 pm

Damn! Well done and very good pics. When it's done I'll have to nab these and stick them in a How To guide with your permission
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby Call the midlife! » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:57 pm

Looking forward to the rebuild pics! Aren’t the floor mount screws 14mm though??


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delhusband
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby delhusband » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:01 pm

shnazzle wrote:Damn! Well done and very good pics. When it's done I'll have to nab these and stick them in a How To guide with your permission

Thanks Patrick :D And yes of course, no probs.
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'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06

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delhusband
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby delhusband » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:07 pm

Call the midlife! wrote:Looking forward to the rebuild pics! Aren’t the floor mount screws 14mm though??

No, mines deffo 15 - PFL/FL thing?
Yikes, not sure the rebuild is going to be a success, I have a lot of mangled metal fasteners - think I'll try tie-wraps first and see how I go.
Should see the crud that came out of the fabric when I washed them in the bath tub - Lesa doesn't fancy a bath tonight :lol:
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'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06

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shnazzle
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby shnazzle » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:18 pm

Floor mounting screws are 100% deffo 14mm :)
I've had them out more times than I can count.

Not sure why yours are 15mm. There are damn few odd numbered bolts on the car.
2005 Sable MR2 ...neutiquam erro. Honorary wearer of Pants of Shame 2015, for TWOCing
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby Call the midlife! » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:20 pm

shnazzle wrote:Floor mounting screws are 100% deffo 14mm :)
I've had them out more times than I can count.

Not sure why yours are 15mm. There are damn few odd numbered bolts on the car.

Thought I was going loopy for a minute, I only put my passenger seat back yesterday and knew I’d used a 14mm impact!


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Re: My Silver '06

Postby Call the midlife! » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:23 pm

delhusband wrote:
Call the midlife! wrote:Looking forward to the rebuild pics! Aren’t the floor mount screws 14mm though??

No, mines deffo 15 - PFL/FL thing?
Yikes, not sure the rebuild is going to be a success, I have a lot of mangled metal fasteners - think I'll try tie-wraps first and see how I go.
Should see the crud that came out of the fabric when I washed them in the bath tub - Lesa doesn't fancy a bath tonight :lol:
Image

At least you didn’t chuck them in on top of her! I’m sure others have stuck them in the washing machine with no ill effects. Credit to your efforts though, I’m not sure mine would survive the procedure.
I went to the scrappers today with hopes of picking up some Celica seats but it had already been raped and pillaged


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delhusband
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby delhusband » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:56 pm

Ah. Bolts are (of course) 14mm. I did use a 15mm socket. Didn't notice the slack tbh (hence my assertion "deffo 15), it's a wonder I haven't completely rounded the heads. Apologies, I am a buffoon.
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'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06

Call the midlife!
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby Call the midlife! » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:02 pm

delhusband wrote:Ah. Bolts are (of course) 14mm. I did use a 15mm socket. Didn't notice the slack tbh (hence my assertion "deffo 15), it's a wonder I haven't completely rounded the heads. Apologies, I am a buffoon.

Hahahaa! At least you’ve got the stones to admit it!


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Carolyn
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby Carolyn » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:34 am

You might find something like this helpful for reassembly:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Trident-T6615 ... SwofxUdFa-
Ignorance is somebody else not knowing that which I learned yesterday viewtopic.php?f=88&t=63866

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delhusband
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby delhusband » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:35 am

Carolyn wrote:You might find something like this helpful for reassembly:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Trident-T6615 ... SwofxUdFa-

That looks just like the ticket :D keenly priced too. Cheers
Image
'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06

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delhusband
Posts: 831
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby delhusband » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:40 pm

delhusband wrote:
Carolyn wrote:You might find something like this helpful for reassembly:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Trident-T6615 ... SwofxUdFa-

That looks just like the ticket :D keenly priced too. Cheers

I've used tie wraps today Carolyn just to get the seat back together as a short term solution, but hog rings are the way to go given the stretching and the loads on the seat fabric in daily use.
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'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06

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delhusband
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Re: My Silver '06

Postby delhusband » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:49 pm

Step 16 - Wash and dry the fabrics
For this, I filled a bath with lukewarm water and washing powder/liquid, chucked the fabric in and gave it a good mix around for 5 minutes. Let it sit for about an hour, and then rinsed thoroughly. After rinsing, I put them in the washing machine for a spin only at 400rpm. Once out, I hung them along a warm radiator to dry.

Step 17 - Re-attach back rest fabric to back rest pad
The remaining steps are pretty much steps 1-14 in reverse. Today, for speed, I used tie-wraps of 2 different sizes to reattach the fabric to the foam pad. I used 2mm x x100mm tie wraps for fastening the fabric metal rods and the foam pad metal rods between the ridges in the foam padding. I used larger 5mm x 370mm tie wraps where I thought there might be a larger load, and where there was easier access. In my opinion, the smaller 2mm x 100mm may not be strong enough, so their use here is temporary in the absence of the proper tools (as Carolyn suggests, Hog Rings & Hog Ring pliers).
First, take a note of where the fastening points are on the backrest, and then pull the fabric over the top of the seat back
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Step 18 - Pull the black back section through the hole in the head rest area
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Step 19 - fasten the fabric back to the backrest
Fasten the fabric back to the backrest at the 2 fixing points within each of the 2 ridges in the back rest. After tightening the tie wraps, I tucked the locking tab into the ridge, to ensure it wouldn't be felt when resting your back against the back rest
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Step 20 - Tighten and re-attach the green plastic rib
Pull the green plastic ribs through to the rear at the base, pull the rib to apply tension, and secure using the larger 5mm tie wraps behind the larger diameter section of the rib to keep it from slipping loose. Ensure that the locking tab of the tie wrap is oriented such that it descends into the void on the metalwork, to prevent it protruding out and potentially ripping the black leather effect section of the back rest. Tie the loose ends of the green rib to the centre of the metal frame, overlapping each other.
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Step 21 - Fasten the fabric around the back rest at the rear/base of the back rest
Fasten the 2 metal rods together using 3 of the larger 5mm tie wraps, snip the ends. It's not really possible to rotate the locking tabs out of the way of the fabric, so unfortunately these will protrude a little, but there is a flap of leather effect material that covers this
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Step 22 - Zip the back rest fabric back up
Locate the zip, and work it all the way back together around the back rest. The zipper handle is on the inside of the fabric so it's tricky to reach and zip. To make this easier, I attached a smaller 2mm tie wrap through the hole in the zipper handle, and used the tie-wrap as an elongated "puller" to draw the zip round
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Step 23 - Cuppie break
Step back and admire your work so far. Stretch and tease the fabric to get rid of any sagging/looseness in the fabric, where it's not sitting right on the foam pad.
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Step 24 - Re-attach the seat fabric to the seat foam pad at the central ridge
Place the seat fabric back over the top of the foam seat pad, and attach the seat fabric metal rods to the seat foam metal rods at the 2 fastening points, using the smaller tie wraps. Again, rotate the locking tab of the tie wrap so that it is oriented into the ridge of the seat pad, to prevent it being felt when sat on.
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Step 24 - Re-attach the seat fabric to the seat foam pad at the sides
Attach the seat fabric metal rods to the seat foam metal rods at the 3 fastening points along each side of the seat foam pad, using the smaller tie wraps. Again, rotate the locking tab of the tie wrap
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Step 25 - Pull the seat fabric all the way over the seat foam pad
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Step 26 - attach the seat foam pad to the seat metal frame - Rear edge
Align the back of the metal seat frame to the back of the foam seat pad (place the metal frame right way up, and the foam seat pad upside down, and align the back of the metal frame with the back of the foam pad as shown below). Then attach the plastic clip at the rear of the seat fabric to the rear of the metal frame
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Step 27 - attach the seat foam pad to the seat metal frame - front edge
Fold the seat fabric over the front and side edges of the metal frame, and rotate and push in the plastic strip on the fabric into the edges of the metal frame. The plastic channel will give a click when it is pushed and locked into place on the metal edge. Pushing down on the frame whilst pulling up and rotating the fabric/plastic strip helps here
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Step 28 - fold the 6 metal tabs back into place
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Step 29 - Secure the fabric flaps over the bolt holes with 4 tie wraps
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Step 30 - Re-attach the cables for the seat pad pressure sensor and seat belt clip
connect the seat belt clip cable plug and socket, and secure the seat pad pressure sensor back to the metalwork make sure you orient the blue socket so that when the seat is fitted the connector will face the car door)
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Step 31 - Bolt the metal seat frame and seat foam pad back to the sliding seat frame
Secure the seat frame to the overall seat sliding assembly using the four bolts, tighten to 21Nm (grateful if someone could confirm that please! I thought I'd better check, so I went on toyota-tech, found BO-48 in repair manuals)
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Step 32 - Cuppie break
Pat yourself on the back - seat back together!

Step 33 - Bolt seat back into place in car
4 bolts, 2 front 2 back, tighten to 37Nm (again, grateful if someone could confirm that please)
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'06 Silver FL - Vanilla, skinny half sugar. (modless stock 1ZZ, -precats, +blitz lm panel filter). Readers ride: My Silver' 06


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