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JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/4/20 9:26 a.m.

I checked how the seat bottom fit today by folding down the side material.  It's not good.  The vinyl will barely stretch to the bottom of the frame in the front, so there's no way to clip it in place.  At first I thought the material was just too short.  Nope, the new cover is 1/2" longer than the original.  Then I compared the new and old seat bottoms.

The new foam is over twice as thick.  Sure, the old foam is shrunken and looks like a McDonalds hamburger that got lost under the seat for a few years, but there's no way that new foam will fit under the cover.  Even if it would, sitting on that seat would feel like an exercise ball.  So the foam needs to go on a diet.  Here's the next step.

No, I'm not considering Hari Kari.  I'm going to cut the bolster piece off and trim it's underside, then shave some off the bottom of the flat pad.  Wish me luck.

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/4/20 9:29 a.m.

Is it a case where some extra hands would be able to pull that cover over the foam? 

I'd hate to see you cut off a bunch of foam and then have the cover be all loose.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/4/20 10:37 a.m.
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) said:

Is it a case where some extra hands would be able to pull that cover over the foam? 

I'd hate to see you cut off a bunch of foam and then have the cover be all loose.

No, there's just too much foam.  Extra hands would just tear a seam on the cover, and the clips would probably not hold.  The cover looks like it will fit pretty well on top of the foam, though.  I have plenty of extra matching vinyl, so I could have some material sewn around the bottom of the cover.  But I do not want to sit an extra 1.5 inches higher.  If things go bad, I'll give this to a local uphosltery shop.  Worst case, Corbeau seats.

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/4/20 12:10 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Sounds like a reasonable approach.  I've had good luck with an upholstery shop near me.  Those pros know their work!

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
11/4/20 3:02 p.m.

Foam cuts best with a finely serrated bread knife.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/4/20 3:34 p.m.
TurnerX19 said:

Foam cuts best with a finely serrated bread knife.

I tried that, but my carving knife is much sharper.  Once the cut started, sawing worked pretty well.

So with the bottom pad cut in half, I'm almost there.  The front corners won't quite pull around the bottom to clip.  Also, the center of the seat turns into a trampoline, probably because the bolsters are rotating over the sides.  I'm going to glue some fabric to the cut bottom side of the foam, and maybe glue would hold the foam/cloth to the rubber diaphragm.  This can sit and stretch for a few hours.  If it still won't stretch far enough. I'll remove 1/2" or so from the bottom of the bolster foam.  Sitting in it now, the middle bolster feels slightly too thick, though.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/4/20 8:23 p.m.

I finally hit good enough.  The bolster foam was cut loose and chopped down, then reinstalled.  The cushion is clipped in place for now, and will get finished tomorrow.  A little tweaking should get rid of the remaining wrinkles.

And I just remembered something that might work better for cutting the foam.  An electric carving knife only used a few times.

2Girlsracing
2Girlsracing New Reader
11/4/20 11:33 p.m.

I was just about to comment electric carving knife. That and i seem to recall seeing people freeze the foam before cutting it. 

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/6/20 4:59 p.m.

The electric carving knife works well for big cuts (like splitting that seat bottom in two) but not so great for shaving small bumps.  I may need to buy a knife like TurnerX19 suggested, because my only serrated knife is worn out.

The seat bottom is done, and I'm moving on to the back.  The bolsters on the early seats are built up from wire.  The original construction covered these in burlap and foam.  The new seat kits are all foam.  I've just started to experiment with how the bolster covers go on.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
11/6/20 7:17 p.m.

My bread knife is a super market cheapy. I have seen the same knife with several brand names. Mine is a Betty Crocker.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/10/20 5:44 p.m.

I've been working on the seat as time allows.  It's been a learning experience, and I'm hoping the passenger seat goes faster.  Also, you need Kung Fu grip and patience to pull this off.  The seat tilt release still needs finishing, and I haven't tried to put the back panel on yet, but here it is.

Getting the side bolsters to look just this good took a lot of work.  This was mostly shaping the foam, cutting it down, and adding more foam along the leading edge.  I'm not crazy about how the back panel looks, but it's squished hard between the bolsters even after shaving the inside edge of the bolsters down.  This is causing the back to appear a little slack, but there's no way to tighten it up.

I'm a little burned out right now.  This is the sort of job that causes projects to stall out and fail.  But I have a driver's seat, and the passenger seat can always go to a professional.  Or the passenger can sit on the floor.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
11/10/20 6:49 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

I vote for floor.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/12/20 8:42 a.m.

I'm getting ready to powder coat the remaining seat parts today.  The seat back recline lever didn't quite fit as I expected, so an adapter was made to lower and extend it forward.  This puts it in a much better position that won't scrape on the inside of the bolster reinforcement.  The seat should be in the car later today.

 

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/12/20 9:29 a.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Looks really good.  I like the wooden lever.

That'll look factory after the aluminum is powder-coated.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/12/20 11:44 a.m.

I was going to leave the aluminum unfinished, but black powder may be better.  The earlier TR6s blacked out a lot of stuff that was chromed on later cars.  The stock levers are chrome, but I'm going for what looks best here.  You can't really see these levers anyway.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
11/13/20 11:09 a.m.

It really DOES look great ! !  Nice work all around on a pretty damned tough job ! !  What "color" is that?

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/13/20 11:34 a.m.
notsafeforwork said:

It really DOES look great ! !  Nice work all around on a pretty damned tough job ! !  What "color" is that?

Thanks.  I'm recovering slowly, and need to get over my perfectionist tendencies.  smiley

That color is Moss Motors tan.  It would have been perfect with British Racing Green paint, or even Damson.  But I'm getting used to it with the blue.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
11/13/20 12:07 p.m.

Just the perfect color ! ! Very, VERY nice ! ! ! I used a biscuit vinyl spray from Victoria British for the seats in my dark blue TR6, Came out looking like new, really sweet and the color never rubbed/scraped/came off. Lasted years and look like they were just done when I sold the car. Biscuit interior, wood rimmed steering wheel and tan sisal mats. Lovely.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/13/20 12:45 p.m.

Yeah, I wanted Biscuit instead of Tan, but Moss doesn't list it now.  The mallard car that I'm selling has the stock Triumph Beige interior, and I really like that too.  It's very close to Biscuit.  But the Tan is growing on me.

The seat didn't go in until this morning, but it's in.  It's a tight fit, snug against the roll bar and tight against the driveshaft tunnel.  The felt under the tunnel carpet can be removed to free up some room.

One thing that strikes me is how much nicer vinyl used to be.  The original seat covers and 25 y.o. Roadster Factory covers have way better vinyl than the Moss set.  Good thing most of the material is leather.  A pro upholstery guy told me it's hard to find good vinyl nowadays, so that tilted me towards leather.  So you are probably better off keeping good older upholstery than getting new vinyl.  

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/14/20 3:09 p.m.

The mallard 1973 TR6 left for it's new home today.  It's been a great car, and I hope it continues to be so for my brother.  25 years and 30k miles since it's restoration has taken a slight toll, but it cleaned up well and drives better than ever.  Hopefully I won't miss it's more laid back nature compared to this project.

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/14/20 3:57 p.m.

Such a great car.  I hope your brother enjoys it.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
11/15/20 9:48 a.m.

Beautiful car ! perfect color/interior combination as well ! ! ! Lucky brother . . . 

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
11/16/20 8:16 a.m.

Really pretty. Love that color.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/17/20 5:08 p.m.

OK, back to work.  Something was bugging me while I should have been sleeping last night.  Something about two 65F days in a row starting today.  Oh yeah, I've been putting off painting the rear valance for years now.  It's about time.

While it's out, I also disassembled the trunk latch to figure out how hard the lock barrel is to replace.  Not very, it turns out.  I need to order a new lock barrel or figure out how to make this one work with a key that I own.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/18/20 11:38 a.m.

Before the rear valance was painted, I drilled holes (carefully) for the rear badges.  While I could have put the "overdrive" badge on, I think this one is more appropriate for this build.

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