Seat upholstery question - Chevelle Tech
Interiors Upholstery and soft trim

  • 1 Post By ZZ69chevelle
  • 1 Post By RAMBO
  • 3 Post By augy
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Seat upholstery question

I'm in the process of fixing my frames and recovering my front bucket seats, and I haven't read anything or seen it mentioned about what to do with the spring wires that are woven through the piece of burlap from the factory. It sits directly on the springs under the buns and is on the bottom and back of both the front buckets and the back seat. Every video I have seen, along with all the tutorials I've looked at never gives a mention to this, and go on to recover the seat without it. I don't want to reuse it since some of the wires are broken, and the burlap was soaked in rodent mung. I have to believe it was there to distribute the load on the springs though, and GM wouldn't just waste money on a part that did nothing. Won't the seats be too spongy and more likely to tear up the new buns or break springs more quickly without them? What do you folks do to work around these? Whoever had the car before me recovered the seats right over the old crap. I'm installing the Legendary rallye bucket seat covers if that matters. Legendary has a few videos too, again without mention of these. Thanks, Steve.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 4:08 PM
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Re: Seat upholstery question

AFAIK you would replace the worn out burlap with springs with regular burlap. When I redid my seats several years ago I didn't even use burlap but instead used some white (cotton I think) material that I got at Walmart the upholstery section. The purpose of the burlap is to prevent the springs from eroding the foam buns. He may even be selling burlap and fiber kits in correct quantities for a set of buckets.
Take a look at some of Rambo threads he has pics of how he sets the seats up before he secures the buns. He uses a fiber padding over the burlap and leaves a gap for the bolsters.
Hey I for one would be interested in a pics process of those Rally seat installs. Also would like to hear your opinion of how they feel afterwards. The few I have heard say they are a little too high and a little to firm. The suggested fix has been to alter the seat tracks. Rambo did suggest in one thread to use the ass portion of an ACI seat bun which I thought was a great idea but don't know of anyone who has done it.
I'm sure Rambo will be along here shortly.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 5:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Seat upholstery question

Thanks for the reply. When I did my back seat, I used a layer of thin automotive carpet on top of the burlap, the cheap stuff you cover speaker boxes with, and it turned out pretty nice. The legendary upholstery is impressive.

Legendary does the entire assembly (minus headrests) in three videos and it's all pretty straight forward. I just never saw any reference to the burlap with springs.

Here's their assembly videos.

These seats come with all the installation materials I should need, minus replacement springs and clips, and the covers look very nice. Much nicer than what I had. I did a lot of reading, and Ben's walk through is pretty thorough. I bookmarked several posts from others here too. My weight goes up and down, right now I'm a trim 250# so I'll try the seats the way they are first and decide if they need lowering. The seats in my RAV4 Limited are pretty firm, and I think they are just about perfect, I'm hoping for something similar with these. I've worn craters into plenty of sofas in my day and I suspect these will settle in over time too. If not, I can always lower them.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 5:29 PM
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Re: Seat upholstery question

You are correct, that the music wires woven through the burlap sections was/is a way to spread the load over the springs a little bit.
How well it works is a bit subjective.
There are companies that reproduce those panels (Al Knoch is one) but the price is such that most people don't bother.

Personally I've had those music wires snap and shove their way up through the bun and through the cover multiple times, so that I NEVER reuse them, no matter what condition they are in.

I use burlap over the springs for looks(to look original), and then a piece of dense recycled jute material that is made specifically for this purpose over the top of that to replicate the padding layer that GM used to protect the bun from the springs.

"Most" seat buns available today (including legendaries rallye buns) have a mesh type material added to the backside of them that is supposed to help protect the bun from the movement of the springs.

Personally I still like to use the padding layer, because thats how GM (and the others) did it.
I think that it also serves to stiffen things up a bit. as well (imagine a balsa wood model airplane wing before covering it vs after covering it... the padding hogringed on adds a lot of stiffness to the overall assembly).

Anyway, just my thoughts on it.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 6:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Seat upholstery question

Maybe I'll do the same since I have a bunch of that thin carpet left and use a piece of that between the burlap and bun like I did in the back. It's thinner than the edge felt stuff but still pretty durable. Thanks for the replies.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 11:18 PM
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Re: Seat upholstery question

I have threaded MIG wire through new burlap. RAMBO is the resident expert on this stuff so if he has ways around you'll be fine with his advice.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 19, 8:37 AM
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Re: Seat upholstery question

In our upholstery shop, we use NEW burlap and then thread NEW piano wire through it to replicate the original GM spring covering. The piano wire is in there to help distribute the weight evenly over the springs. As Ben mentioned, do not use the original 50-year-old wire again, since it could break and poke through the new upholstery. As added insurance, we also install a thin automotive carpet or similar fiber material between the burlap and the seat foam. You'll never see it, and when looking at the seat from the bottom, all you see is nice clean springs and new burlap. Make sure the piano wire runs from side-to-side over the seat springs, not front-to-rear.

These happen to be '70 Chevelle buckets, and the customer wanted everything underneath painted Satin black.....
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