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Old 05-22-2022, 01:23 AM #1
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Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair

So as you know, I have been looking for a factory seat cover to replace my current one. They don't make the two tone Sport Edition dark grey covers anymore and no one in the aftermarket seems to bother with anything besides leather seat covers, so I just got a rather nice example out of a wrecked 4th gen in a Las Vegas junk yard.

Plan is to strip off the covers, wash them, and then decide what to do with the seat foam cushions (either restore them or replace them). I'm not sure yet if I'll just transfer all the "good" bits to my current driver's seat or just rebuild this junkyard unit and swap the whole seat out, I'll have to figure that out while I'm doing this. Additionally I will also show you guys how to better "reinforce" the lumber mechanism as that seems to easily bend and become jammed up making you think that a $500 lumbar actuator is the culprit (more on that later).

So let's start with our seat and the head rest, you'll notice that the cover is held on by interlocking two plastic clips; keep this in mind as this is how the rest of the seat is held to the steel frame. Just push the plastic ends together until you feel them come free and peel the fabric carefully off the headrest foam.

Next step is to flip the seat over and you'll see two, probably stretched out elastic bands that loop over some plastic clips to hold the seat back flap on. Just get those out of the way and you'll see the 5 hog rings that hold the seat back plastic plate and fabric to the seat frame. Cut those off and while you're at it, disconnect the clip for the lumbar motor harness from the plastic plate. Then carefully unzip the two zippers for the seat back fabric, reach in the seat frame and unclip the headrest post guides (squeeze the clip tabs inwards and push the plastic upwards). Now you'll pull the fabric over the seat foam and start cutting off hog rings as you go (there's 13 total that secure the seat back to the seat foam, I highly recommend you cut them and do not yank hard, if you do you might accidentally rip the support rod out of the foam!). Once the seat back cover is removed you can set it aside and start on the seat bottom.

The feline refusing to use the very nice and fancy fire rated pet door I installed for him (he knows that I know that he knows how to use it, but he refuses to do so when I am watching, little bastard!), but clearly letting me know he is not happy with me being in the garage without him.
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Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-seat-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-headrest_seam-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-headrest-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-seat_bottom-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-seatback_zipper-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-headrest_clips-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-seatback-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-cat-jpg 
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Old 05-22-2022, 01:23 AM #2
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So onto the seat bottom, this one is a little trickier than the seat back because you have to deal with the hinge covers. The hinge covers themselves have a clip for an inner and outer plastic half, I have found that these clips can be a ***** to get loose without breaking the cover. In the case of the 4th gen seat, it seems there is only 1 of these clips and you can actually remove both halves of the inboard hinge cover intact if you're careful. So remove the 2 Philips Screws (or if you're fancy grab your JIS2 screwdriver) and unclip the hinge cover from the seat frame, then carefully wiggle the cover off the seat frame (it will feel weird, just try not to bend the plastic too much). If you're successful the cover should come off in one piece, then you can use a pick or pocket screw driver to unclip the inner portion from the outer portion (it will make reassembly later much easier).

The outboard seat cover is much easier, remove the two Philips Screws from the inside of the cover, and then pop the plastic cover on the vertical height adjustment lever and remove those two Philips head screws. For the front leg bolster adjustment, it's similar to an old manual window clip; so either use a rag to shimmy the clip off or grab the top of it with a pick and pull it off. Once you have those off you can carefully pull the outboard seat frame cover outward (there's 1 clip in the middle of the plastic cover, it's a yellow so if yo can push it out as you pull on the cover it will reduce the likely hood of breaking it) until the cover is unclipped; then slide it forward to unhook the front end from the seat frame. After you disconnect the lumbar switch, you should have easy access to start unclipping the plastic edge of the seat fabric. Then cut the 13 hog rings off the seat foam and when you're done it should look something like the attached picture.

Now you can just pull off the seat foam and do whatever you want with it, if you look in my picture you can see the wear on the left bolsters on the seat bottom and seat back. I am debating if I want to try shaving that down and gluing new foam or trying to find aftermarket seat foam cushions... we'll have to see...

As for the seat frame, nothing super special about it, but I will show you a close up of the lumbar "fingers," they're just welded curved metal bits that push on some tensioned fabric pads to give you support in the lumbar region. It'd be a clever design if not for the fact that the "fingers" have no real support to them and can bend if you're a heavy guy or drop off a rock hard enough. Not to mention the stamped steel gear that the lumbar motor actuates tends to jam up from impacts (like going over a good sized bump or dropping a tire off a rock). I'm going to make some supports to weld to the fingers to prevent them from easily bending and think of some ideas to help the stamped sheet steel gear resist jamming up.

Stay tuned.
Attached Images
Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-inboard_hinge-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-hinge_cover-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-outboard_hinge-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-outboard_cover-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-stripped_seat-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-seat_frame-jpg  Removing/Replacing Factory Seat Cover & Lumbar Repair-lumbar_mechanism-jpg 

Last edited by BlackWorksInc; 05-22-2022 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 05-22-2022, 03:06 PM #3
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I plan on replacing my seat cushion with a leather one, they go on ebay for like $40 or so, and your write up should help me get an idea for removal and replacement
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