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Old 05-16-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
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Reupholstered seating...questions

So Iíve been looking into redoing the seats in my van. Cosmetically they look great but the foam and support on an 01 SMB is in serious need.
Wondering what others have done and pricing..
I can buy them below for the front but itís still OEM leather ( which should be fine) but is very basic for that price. Then install...
Going the custom seat route and replacing all foam front and back 50 setup adds up to a hefty price.
Iíve had quotes between 2500 and 5k...

Give me some options if you have any...
Thanks

https://www.theseatshop.com/2001-for...atPositionId=9
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:37 AM   #2
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Having wrestled with seats over a few different E-Series the guys in your link are simple GREAT! Their approach is sound, their cost for the foam cushions are very much in line with what the dealer offers. I recently had an '05 drivers stock bottom seat repaired as the outer fabric was trashed as they point out, a bit of foam added between the beat up original factory foam and new upholstery---cost me $110. Had I known about these guys I'd have used their products.

The video found in the link is great as well---as with all things E-Series seats remove them first. They don't say it takes a T-55 Torx PLUS bit and an 18mm wrench or socket to remove the seat base from the body. After that point what they share is quite generous IMHO---they demystify how the upholstery is removed and reinstalled.

I myself LOVE leather or at least the idea of its sensual feel and smell however the reality of that material falls short of it being long lived and not really well suited for any sort of SMB or adventure van---IMHO mind you. I'd opt for new bottom foam, a new cover if the exiting piece is really in need of replacing then top that off with a nice Cordura form-fitting seat cover. I've purchased and would highly recommend a LA outfit called Auto Decor--I think several other members here have also purchased from them.

I'd also add their Durofoam cushions seem to be a big improvement in the factory pieces. If they're half as durable as claimed they'll be well worth the cost they ask.

Overall I'd buy from The Seat Shop because I like their approach. Again their costs seem fair considering they have a wonderful understanding of the E-Series seats.

Please let us know what you eventually decide on doing.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:47 AM   #3
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I've removed and reinstalled seat covers a few times on my van....here are a few things....

The covers are attached to the seat with hog rings, they can be a PITA to remove and will give your hands a workout. I used two pairs of pliers to pull open or "twist" open each ring. The first time or two I reapplied the hog rings by squeezing them back together with pliers. The last time I reinstalled the covers I chucked the hog rings and used zip ties....really easy to cut off and replace moving forward.


The reason I've had the covers off and on was twofold; I changed the seats in my van twice and both times moved my self installed seat heaters that I purchased from Amazon, and one set of seats were the wrong color.


The seat heaters were about $70 total for both front seats.....and pulling the covers is a great time to install them.


The prices from the seat shop appear to be very close to the dealer price for leather covers fom what I recall looking at them a few years ago. I can't remember the price for the foam though.


You may find it cheaper and easier just to find newer seats with less "ass-time" somewhere. The style of the seats changed in 2009 but they will bolt right up including the seat belt pyro retractor. I put the newer style seats in my 2008 and I prefer them over the older style.


One other cover related note.....some of the seat covers have plastic stiffeners sewn in......I threw these covers in the washing machine without issue...and some have cardboard stiffeners; this requires precision hand scrubbing to keep the cardboard dry if you want to give them a good cleaning. All of the covers I've dealt with were cloth.


In my experience the pre-2009 older style covers have the sheet plastic, and the newer seat covers both had cardboard. This may not be completely accurate but it's what I've seen over three sets of seats.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:00 AM   #4
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Alright, another thread that makes me want to spend some money. JWA's Cordura Seat Covers and boywonder's Amazon Seat Heaters together come to $308.00.

Damn you guys., Now I'm going to obsess about these until I finally buy them.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetreevanman View Post
Alright, another thread that makes me want to spend some money. JWA's Cordura Seat Covers and boywonder's Amazon Seat Heaters together come to $308.00.

It's only money....you can get more of it.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:35 AM   #6
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Wow.. I appreciate the responses guys.. so much good information.
Now I have to look more into what I should do.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
It's only money....you can get more of it.
As I look at the heaters, the Rostra has better reviews, and is a name I recognize. They're just few more dollars than the Watercarbon brand I first looked at.

But as I look at the Rostra, I see they also have adjustable lumbar support inserts available. Now that's a product that I can get behind me. Since I'll have the upholstery off anyway... Now my price for both front seats with covers just went up to $540.

Still cheaper than paying an upholstery guy to recover them.

I wonder if I could get a matching Cordura Cover for my Sofa Bed?

It's a slippery slope I rest my dreams on.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:17 AM   #8
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The ones I bought are pretty much the same as these...I have no idea about the brand......but I picked them because they have a little spin-wheel to dial in the heat.


https://www.amazon.com/Besond-univer...ateway&sr=8-16



They've been working fine for about 4 years or so. Occasional use. The wiring connectors are a little cheesy....I replaced one with a molex.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:32 AM   #9
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Those are perfect. The others have only 2 levels.. I wouldn't use mine much either.

Thanks.

EDIT: Ordered the Heaters and Lumbar Support for both front seats. Now I just need to talk to Auto Decor about a custom cover for my sofa/bed.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:59 AM   #10
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Or... https://expovans.com/parts/
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