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Mark's Corner: Seat Upholstery Clips

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 5:02 PM

Upholstery Clips in Your Seats


Sometimes when we make a new part it can be hard to see the usefulness of it until you are mid-restoration and need one. The seat upholstery clips are one of these parts.


If you have ever disassembled your seat you will notice that there are a bunch of single prong clips underneath the seat cushion.

These clips also run along the inner edges of the seat center section all the way up to the base of the headrest. These pointed clips are the basis of how the seat goes together and help the vinyl retain its shape.


There are 23 clips in total - 19 single prong clips along with 2 medium and 2 large double clips. These double clips do more than just secure the vinyl to the chair, they are actually mounting points that secure the seat rails to the seat bucket.


The Problem


Rust is one of the biggest problems that the 914 faces, and the seats are not immune to this. It is not uncommon for a bolt to break off while trying to remove the seat rails from the seat. This is a crucial step you must take in order to replace the seat back bolster vinyl, which is notorious for splitting from age and wear. If you want to avoid the headache of dealing with snapped bolts, look for the back side of the clip and soak it with parts blaster. This can be seen once you remove the inside edge of the vinyl and lift up the foam padding.


Also, if your clips have been reworked before they can easily fatigue which may lead to the prong snapping off. Prior to developing these I could not find these commercially available anywhere. I searched upholstery shops to see what they had to no avail. I did come across a few people that could MacGyver a clip out of carpet tack strip material but it was not the ideal solution.


Seat Disassembly


After removing the seat cushion/center section, if you stretch the inner edges of the vinyl down you can pull the bottom edge away from the clips. after freeing the inner surface, you will need to take the 2 screws on the back of the headrest out. This will allow the vinyl flap to come down and also reveal the 2 screws that hold the headrest to the fiberglass body of the seat.


Once the vinyl is off the seat you can get a better view of the clips. They attach to the seat using a pop rivet so removal and reattachment are pretty straight forward. Do note that sometimes the fiberglass attachment point may have some damage. Do not worry you find this on your seat, just use a small washer as a backer for the pop rivet so it has a stronger surface to attach the clips to.


The exact location of the clips is mostly relative to each seat with the exception of the double clips. You will want to use the seat rails as a guide to assure they all line up correctly.


About The Parts We Made


Currently, we are only selling these in kits per seat. We will be selling individual pieces in the future, so if you need just a single part they will be available soon. We have put the kits together with all the pop rivets you need to attach the kit. The kits will be significantly less expensive than buying individual parts, but if you just need one piece I get it. This option will become available in the next few weeks. We also have the new hardware kit with freshly plated bolts and washers that will be listed separately shortly, but is included in the kit too.

 

I have done a seat or two myself and they are not particularly difficult to complete, but do require time and patience as they are deceptively simple.


Our good friend Ian Karr has just done a video showing the disassembly side of it in part 1 of his seat reupholstery series. These will be an excellent primer for you if you choose to take this on. I would encourage all to check out his 914 repair adventures and allow him to be your Sherpa on the restoration journey.


I again want to thank everyone for their support during these troubling times as it allows us to continue making parts like these.

 

Sincerely,

Mark Whitesell

AKA Mikey914 on world

Customer Cars: Marty Stein's 1970 914-4

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 3:12 PM

We love seeing what exciting projects our customers are currently working on. Every month we would like to showcase a couple of cars in whatever state they are in - on the road or on the rack.

 
 
This months winner is Marty Stein! Marty is the original owner of this 1970 914-4. Originally ordered in April 1970, he had spec’d out a base model blue 914 with tan interior as he couldn’t afford the extra $200 for the Appearance Group option.



In early July of 1970 he got a call from the dealership saying 3 cars arrived on the lot and that his name was at the top of the wait list. “One of the cars is white,” the dealer told him over the phone. Previously he had been told by the dealership that they could not get a hold of any white cars.



Realizing that this vague comment may mean his dreams of owning a 914 were at stake, Marty asked if all the cars were white. The dealer replied again, “one of the cars is white.” When he got to the lot, his fears were confirmed. All 3 cars were white with the Appearance Group package.



Determined to get his car, Marty was able to borrow the difference from a colleague and picked up his 914 on July 9th, 1970. The car became his daily driver and followed him from Miami, to Vegas, and now California. It was repainted 3 times and daily driven by his son before it ended up sitting for 20 years.



In 2015, Marty started work on restoring the car with the help of some friends and a local upholsterer. What he initially thought would be a 3 month process turned into a 3.5 year project with double the starting budget. The car is once again a proud daily driver and brings its owner enough joy to forget about buying a 308 Ferrari as a stablemate for it. Thanks for the great story Marty!


Please submit your image and a brief 1-2 sentence summary to 914rubber@914rubber.com. If we select your photo for the newsletter you can win a 914Rubber gift card!

Customer Cars: Jim Legge's Pride & Joy

Monday, June 7, 2021 9:56 AM

We love seeing what exciting projects our customers are currently working on. Every month we would like to showcase a couple of cars in whatever state they are in - on the road or on the rack.

 

 
This months winner is Jim Legge. He started this project three years ago and has had lots of fun working on his pride and joy. All work has been done in house - including the drivetrain, body, and paintwork! 

 

 
Jim just started installing his new parts on the car and is excited to see it all come together. He expects the car to be complete by midsummer and we can't wait to see it when its all buttoned up. Thanks for the excellent submission Jim!

Please submit your image and a brief summary to 914rubber@914rubber.com. If we select your photo for the newsletter you can win a $15 914Rubber gift card!


Customer Cars: Dave Green's 2 Resto Projects

Saturday, June 5, 2021 12:02 PM

We love seeing what exciting projects our customers are currently working on. Every month we would like to showcase a couple of cars in whatever state they are in - on the road or on the rack.

This months winner is Dave Green. He has two restoration projects loaded with 914Rubber parts that he is currently working on. The first is a blue 914-6 conversion sporting a twin plug RS euro spec 2.7 L engine with the original Weber carbs.

    
 










The second car is a black outlaw 3.2 L 914-6 conversion. Dave picked up the 2.7 L car locally but flew out to Palm Springs to pick up the 3.2 L and drive it home on an epic 1600 mile road trip with his son!




You can follow the build thread for the blue car here and the black car here.Thanks for the submission Dave!


Please submit your image and a brief 1-2 sentence summary to 914rubber@914rubber.com. If we select your photo for the newsletter you can win a 914Rubber gift card!

Customer Cars: Dan Whitlock's 914 Restoration

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 4:21 PM



We love seeing what exciting projects our customers are currently working on. Every month we showcase a couple of cars in whatever state they are in - on the road or on the rack.


 

This months winner is Dan Whitlock. His fuel injected 1.7 L was originally purchased new in Van Nuys, CA. The car then moved to Washington in the late 70's where it changed hands 2 times before Dan bought it off Craigslist in 2006. Six layers of paint and primer were sanded off the chassis and revealed only a minor spot of rust under the battery box. The car is currently being primed at Rillos Restoration in Kent, WA and the original engine is being rebuilt by Chris Goodwin Motorsports in Seattle, WA. It is shaping up to be a great restoration and we hope to see more. Thanks for the submission Dan!


Please submit your image and a brief summary to 914rubber@914rubber.com. If we select your photo for the newsletter you can win a 914Rubber gift card!