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Any Early Bird seat upholstery experts?

Posted By yblock57 Last Month
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yblock57
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Kicking around the idea of installing the pre-made seat cover on my '57 bird. I've done a few seats in 80's mustangs with decent results and have built up the courage to give this a shot.

Anyone on here done this on an early bird? Any tips/tricks? I have a decent set of hog-ring pliers and a heat gun.

Would likely buy everything from CASCO. The works — foam, backer, burlap and cover. Noticed they sell a seat recovering DVD. Anyone seen this? Think it's worth a try?

Thanks in advance.



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Kent — Round Rock, TX
'56 F-100  | '56 Crown Vic  |  '57 Fairlaine 500  |  '57 Thunderbird

55blacktie
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Someone recently posted on another forum, regarding his T-bird's seat height being considerably higher after being reupholstered; his head is now above the top of the windshield. In his case, I don't think the new foam was trimmed before installing the upholstery. Over the years, foam will compress and deteriorate, thereby reducing the seat height, so you may see a considerable before/after seat height difference. Considering the cost of materials, I would leave the job to a professional who has done T-birds. 
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I have the DVD, well worth the cost.

John - "The Hoosier Hurricane"
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DANIEL TINDER
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55blacktie (2/12/2021)
Someone recently posted on another forum, regarding his T-bird's seat height being considerably higher after being reupholstered; his head is now above the top of the windshield. In his case, I don't think the new foam was trimmed before installing the upholstery. Over the years, foam will compress and deteriorate, thereby reducing the seat height, so you may see a considerable before/after seat height difference. Considering the cost of materials, I would leave the job to a professional who has done T-birds. 


I bought a leather set for my ‘55 from Larry’s.  Pulled the seats myself and took them (new foam) to a local
/rural auto upholsterer.  Turned out ok, but he said it was the hardest job he ever tackled!



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yblock57
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55blacktie — Yeah, I had heard a few folks talking about foam height/thickness issues. Being 6'2" and needing all the room I can get between the wheel and the bottom cushion, I'll stick with my foam. It's intact and seems ok. Guess I'll find out when the cover comes off.

John — Thanks. I'll order that DVD. Appreciate the recommendation.

Daniel — what did you pay for the leather cover if you don't mind me asking?

Kent — Round Rock, TX
'56 F-100  | '56 Crown Vic  |  '57 Fairlaine 500  |  '57 Thunderbird

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 I would buy the video first, then decide on doing the job. A leather cover may make the job harder. Also 57's came with or without the emboss emblem on the back rest, depending on the manufacture date. The new dense foam "looks" great, but will raise the seating height. I have switched the drivers and passenger springs because the passenger side were used less. If you have a power seat look at the seat rails for excessive wear and good operation. Does anyone have any experience repairing the "waffer" part of the lower power seat motor of the Dial -o-matic seat on a 57 Bird?
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1/8cavman.  I'd highly recommend that you contact Felix NatoliFelix has worked on numerous '57 'Bird DialoMatic set-ups in the last two years and has a complete working unit mounted on a display board to guide him in working on others that he assembles or trouble shoots.  Speak-up if you call him on the phone.  He's no kid.  He bought his '55 'Bird in 1957 after getting out of the Army!  He's presently finishing-up on the restoration of his D code '57 'Bird that he's installed a complete 'Bird F code set-up in include the 'F' automatic transmission.  He's installed new seat covers and is presently working on installing the '57 'Bird's replacement convertible top fabric and weather stripping.

Feel free to tell him I gave you the info.  Felix is the older brother I never had!  He's located South of Rochester in New York state.    

Felix Natoli  -  (585) 237-2455 (home phone)
email - natolibird@aol.com

Hope this helps!  Smile


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yblock57
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1/8cavman (2/12/2021)
 I would buy the video first, then decide on doing the job. A leather cover may make the job harder. Also 57's came with or without the emboss emblem on the back rest, depending on the manufacture date. The new dense foam "looks" great, but will raise the seating height. I have switched the drivers and passenger springs because the passenger side were used less. If you have a power seat look at the seat rails for excessive wear and good operation. Does anyone have any experience repairing the "waffer" part of the lower power seat motor of the Dial -o-matic seat on a 57 Bird?


Yes sir, I'd planned on purchasing the DVD first. Hopefully it doesn't scare me from the job.

The car is a manual seat. I believe the original foam is serviceable. Guess I'll find out if/when I get into it. Nothing feels saggy or broken. Cover is just old and started splitting on the seams from use. Definitely don't want something that will make me sit higher and close the gap between the steering wheel and bottom cushion. I'm 6'2" so that's already pushing it — especially with the top on.

Car is a late production (July '57) but I want to keep the embossment that the current cover has. Not worried about it being 100% correct.



Kent — Round Rock, TX
'56 F-100  | '56 Crown Vic  |  '57 Fairlaine 500  |  '57 Thunderbird

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When I had my 55 done years ago, I used the leather seat cover from Larry's Thunderbird, along with a whole interior kit. The local upholstery guy did the seat bottom and back first, then went thru the rest of the interior, carpet, etc. I used new foam. He stretched the seat every morning (in a heated shop). He said if you had time to do that it was the best way to get a proper fit, and worth the money for him to do it 3 or 4 times. It still looks good for fit 18 years later so he must have done something right.

miker
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Kent, WA
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yblock57
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miker (2/12/2021)
When I had my 55 done years ago, I used the leather seat cover from Larry's Thunderbird, along with a whole interior kit. The local upholstery guy did the seat bottom and back first, then went thru the rest of the interior, carpet, etc. I used new foam. He stretched the seat every morning (in a heated shop). He said if you had time to do that it was the best way to get a proper fit, and worth the money for him to do it 3 or 4 times. It still looks good for fit 18 years later so he must have done something right.


Sounds like he really knew the tricks to a great job. Hard to beat fresh leather.

Kent — Round Rock, TX
'56 F-100  | '56 Crown Vic  |  '57 Fairlaine 500  |  '57 Thunderbird



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