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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

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