Author Topic: Seats need new padding what should I use?  (Read 8682 times)

Alex T.

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Seats need new padding what should I use?
« on: 19 May 2011, 02:54 PM »
I have just acquired a 1980 Mercedes Benz 300SD Turbo Diesel. Overall shes is good condition especially the interior apart from slight cracks in the dash and some electronic issues the car is in excellent order for having close to half a million miles on her. Oh by the way the odometer stopped working at  278,000 miles about 7 years ago. Anyway the leather seats are in great condition however are lacking padding and when you sit down you are sitting on springs. My uncle from whom which I received the car says it was originally stuffed with horse hair. Is this true? What should I use as a substitute for padding. All the seats are a bit low in that area however the back seats especially. Any thoughts or suggestions would be awsome thanks!
1979 300SD Turbo Diesel (Chocolate Brown)

Stork

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #1 on: 19 May 2011, 02:59 PM »
I would like to know as well as I need to do my drivers seat...
Robert
1975 280S 76,000 miles, Brown
On the list to buy:
1972-75 280 SE
My ex mercedes Benz:
300 SD (first MB)
1972 280 SE 4.5 (owned 14 years)

jbrasile

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #2 on: 19 May 2011, 03:19 PM »
Hello Alex and Robert,

I think the original seat pads were made out of coconut fiber.

You can get replacements from GAHH and they will transform the way your seats feel, those are rubberized coconut fiber and look identical to the originals.

Front seats:

We can supply a set of 4 - 2 cushions and 2 backrests - $430.10 (506.00 list) or you can also get the individual pieces

Cushions - $98.60 (list 116.00)
Backrest - $116.45 (list 137.00)

Rear seat:

Cushion: $170.00 (200.00 list)
Backrest: $197.20 (232.00 list)

+ shipping

You should have a good upholstery shop do the replacement since it involves more than just swapping the pads, you need to re-stitch some  the seat cover and maybe re-pleat the entire seat.

The look and feel of the finished product is well worth the investment.

If either one of you is interested, pls send an e-mail to info@mbclassic.net or joe@mbklassik.net

Tks,

Joe




Type17

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #3 on: 20 May 2011, 05:15 AM »
My uncle from whom which I received the car says it was originally stuffed with horse hair. Is this true?

For the record, he probably is correct - here is the back of the rear seat backrest of my car, which I removed last week while fitting a new aerial (needed to get to the wiring behind the seat).

In the close up, you can see the horse hair (coconut fibres?) coated in the binding adhesive. The manufacturer detailed on the label still exists in the town of Kitszingen, Germany Link. The text on the left side translates as "Horsehair spinning, rubber and foam cushion hair factory". I doubt that they can still supply W116 parts though  ;)




Japes

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #4 on: 21 May 2011, 01:13 AM »
search 'pool noodle' - a very successful way to fix your fronts.
In my back seat (I always look for the cheap way first...) I pulled all hte old broken horse hair out and roughly cut some foam to fit, rounding edges as needed.  For the backrest (rear) i used much thinner foam glueing pieces where needed to bulk up - ie the side supports.

The fit is far from perfect, but they are comfortable and  peering in you'd be none the wiser.
1980 280SE

Gerard

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #5 on: 22 May 2011, 02:50 PM »
search 'pool noodle' - a very successful way to fix your fronts.
In my back seat (I always look for the cheap way first...) I pulled all hte old broken horse hair out and roughly cut some foam to fit, rounding edges as needed.  For the backrest (rear) i used much thinner foam glueing pieces where needed to bulk up - ie the side supports.

The fit is far from perfect, but they are comfortable and  peering in you'd be none the wiser.

i pulled my drivers seat today, managed to install a new "height lever" as the handle was missing from the old one, free up the height adjust track, and when I was there, stuffed a foam wedge under the centre off the seat.  The seat already had a variant of the pool noodle repair,  where strips of foam were rolled into a tight cylinder (Swiss roll), tied with twine, and placed on their ends around the edges as per the pool noodle.  I laways wondered why the seat was so firm at the outside, and sagged in the middle. :P

The height adjustment really has helped too.

Big_Richard

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #6 on: 22 May 2011, 03:38 PM »
My uncle from whom which I received the car says it was originally stuffed with horse hair. Is this true?

A common urban myth.

the padding material is made out of rubberized coconut fibers, it even says so on the MB website if you search long and hard enough.

jjb-w116-hu

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #7 on: 23 May 2011, 10:32 PM »
Joe , will new pads only make the difference or is there some way to firmen the springs up beneath as well?
thanks JJB

Casey

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #8 on: 24 May 2011, 05:59 AM »
i pulled my drivers seat today, managed to install a new "height lever" as the handle was missing from the old one, free up the height adjust track, and when I was there, stuffed a foam wedge under the centre off the seat.

I need to do this to both of my seats as both of my handles are broken so I have no idea how the height adjusts...did it require disassembling the whole seat in order to replace the metal part the handle connects to?

Gerard

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #9 on: 24 May 2011, 06:45 AM »
i pulled my drivers seat today, managed to install a new "height lever" as the handle was missing from the old one, free up the height adjust track, and when I was there, stuffed a foam wedge under the centre off the seat.

I need to do this to both of my seats as both of my handles are broken so I have no idea how the height adjusts...did it require disassembling the whole seat in order to replace the metal part the handle connects to?

Not dissassembling the seat, but certainly removing it.  Its straightforward, with one or two little challenges.
Expose the bolts at the rear of the seat.  I had to grip my height handle with a pliers and slide the seat forward, it was hard to move as it was gummed up.
Loosen the rear bolts (10mm socket) but dont remove fully.

Expose the front bolts, loosen but dont remove.

loosen the seat belt rail, again 10mm and remove bolt, pay attention to 2washers behind.

Wind seat back to vertical or near it.  Remove all the bolts carefully at this stage.

Get in the back of the car and gently lift the seat in stages towards the drivers door.  I got it balanced on the sidesill, then got out of the car and could grab it from outside.  Be very careful as you could easily break trim, scratch etc.

i put the seat upside down on some mats, and sprayed a bit of WD40 on the sliders to loosen.  Operate the height lever to allow the spring to pull the rail to its most relaxed end (mind your fingers, head!!!! etc), the spring can be removed with a pliers at its end.  Access to the height lever retaining screw (big philips) is not clear, but I managed it by taking my time.  When the screw is out, remove the old seat lever. 

I bent the end on the new height lever slightly to allow it to fit easily in the seat frame (compare the old and new to see).  Free up the roller mechanism with oil or whatever.  Have some cloths to prevent oil destroying the leather or pads etc.

Have a few bits of foam on hand for the seat base, and maybe some variants on the "pool noodle" repair.

Re-assy is the reverse, taking care when lifting (mind your back) and so as not to tear your trim and leather bits!


Gerard

jbrasile

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2011, 09:46 AM »
jjb, besides the pads, sometimes you will find one or more springs in the seat are broken and that will contribute significantly to the "loose" feel we sometimes experience in these cars.

A good upholstery shop will be able to repair the spring box saving you some money on a replacement.

With a good spring box and new pads the seats will feel as if the car just left the factory.

Oh, one tip on the height adjustment lever replacement: I have found that as long as your tracks are cleaned and lubed, you can leave the spring out and still adjust the seat without any problems. Did that when I re-assembled the 78 450SEL after its body resto. It will save you from getting hurt trying to reconnect the spring and allow the seat to fully slide down to its first track slot, which is almost impossible with the spring in place.

Tks,

Joe


jjb-w116-hu

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #11 on: 26 May 2011, 09:25 PM »
Joe my rear mbtex is only 'ok' - although a professional clean will probabely bring it up. how much is the rear seat and seat back cover replacement? i figure if im going to redo the internals' might as well redo the lovely tops also

jbrasile

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #12 on: 26 May 2011, 09:42 PM »
jjb, because MB-Tex is practically indestructible unless your rear seat is torn, you can clean it with soap, warm water and a soft brush and it will most likely look as good as new.

If you do wish to replace the covers for the rear the prices are:

$550.80 for the kit (648.00 list) - cushion, backrest and armrest cover

Tks,

Joe

jjb-w116-hu

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #13 on: 26 May 2011, 09:49 PM »
can the pleats in them be rejuvenated any ways or would this be a true new cover scenario?
i only ask as if i recover my fronts i wouldnt want them to look tooo different to the backs...

jbrasile

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Re: Seats need new padding what should I use?
« Reply #14 on: 26 May 2011, 10:05 PM »
Absolutely, a good upholstery shop will be able to re-stuff the pleats and do all the sewing necessary to make the seat look new.

Question: What color is your interior? I ask because if it's  bamboo it gets a little tricky. That color fades unevenly and you may have a color difference between front and back, black, blue and tobacco are a lot more forgiving
Tks,

Joe