1965 Ford Mustang Convertible – Restoring Seats – San Diego, California

I just finished restoring a set of seats out of a 1965 Mustang convertible. The customer wanted to start using his car as a daily driver by this summer. He is having a new convertible top installed, but wanted to take care of few interior items first. I’ve found that re-upholstering seats is often misunderstood. I’ve heard of people referring to upholstery as slip-on seat covers. Slip-on covers are what you buy at an auto parts store, and you slip them over your existing seats. That is not re-upholstering your seats. I’ve found new padding added on top of old padding to restore the shape of the seats. That is not restoring your seats. In the case of these seats, they were re-upholstered with factory style upholstery with extra padding to give them shape, but the original padding was rusted to the frames.
I recommended to the customer to buy new burlap, padding and seat foam along with new upholstery from National Parts Depot. When I removed the old upholstery, I found that some of burlap was replaced with old carpeting, and that the original padding was never replaced, and the framed were fairly rusted. Now, I could have just installed all the new material over the seat frames, but that would have not been a restoration. Before taking care of the rust, I checked the frames for cracked welds or broken springs. That would be a quick way to ruin some new seat upholstery. Most of the time, the frames can be saved be just welding them. If they are beyond repair, new ones are available. These frames were in solid shape, but had a lot of surface rust. After I clean all the rust off of the frames, I coated them with POR 15 rust treatment barrier paint. It chemically bonds to the rust, and seals out future moisture. I’ve sent frames out to have them sand blasted and powder coated, but they run you a few hundred dollars. The cheapest way would be to just paint them, but that wouldn’t protect them for long. Once the frames were checked and rust treated, I tapped out all the bolt holes. It’s common for the seats studs to get stripped, and break off. Then, I installed the new foam, padding, and new seat upholstery from Distinctive Industries. The upholstery requires a lot of careful stretching with the right amount of heat, and gets fastened to the seats with hog rings. If not done correctly, they can look flat and out of shape. They should have the contoured shape of bucket seats. The last thing I did was sand blast, and repaint the seat tracks before re-installing them. There is no sense in bolting on rusty seat tracks to newly upholstered seats.

If your seats need restoration and re-upholstery on your Classic Mustang, then give Classic Resto Garage a call at a 619-929-8506, or fill the contact form.

Happy Cruising!

posted by inlinesix in 65-66 Mustang and have No Comments