HOW TO; TMI seat covers

Paint codes; Interior trim colour combinations; Fitting Seat Covers
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BTJustice
Posts: 200
Joined: 5th March 2005 - 6:13pm

HOW TO; TMI seat covers

Post by BTJustice » 9th August 2008 - 10:19pm

I was going to add this process into the type 3 resto thread viewtopic.php?t=1796
but to save it getting lost and as it would be out of order I decided to make it its own thread.

I ordered a set of TMI seat covers from Karmann Konnection which after a lot of waiting contained the wrong back seat covers so I got them modified rather than waiting another 2 months for replacements.

The covers are great quality, sadly KK's service is not.

I started with a set of front seats I got from a mate so that if it all went horribly wrong I would still have seats for the car.

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Sadly I had to re-use the original back seat so KK's mess up really had a bad knock on effect.

First of all the fronts.

I started by removing the base cusion from the frame. This was held on by 4 metal tabs which needed a good size screw driver to lever over;

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With these bent back it was as simple as lifting the base off the frame;

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The cover on the base is held on by a series of spiked tabs on the underside. Bend these back with a screw driver;

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Be carefull, they are sharp and will easily cut your hands. You also dont want to bend them too far because they will break if over worked and you wont get the cover back on without welding on replacements;

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You can see above how with these tabs bent back the cover can be lifted back and then removed;

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To get the cover off of the back rest involves more of the sharp tabs located at the bottom of the cover where it meets the base and this time there are 2 hog rings, 1 at either side;

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Remove the horn rings with a good set of pliers or horn ring pliers if you have them (I used pliers).

IMPORTANT, before going as far as removing the cover, take note of how the cover fits here, if you get it wrong there is the chance of the spiked tabs being pulled up and damaging the seat base once re-assembled.
On these seats the back of the cover sat on top of the front;

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And was prized off with a screw driver;

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With everything un-done you can pull off the back rest cover exposing the padding;

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With the seats now dismantled you can check the condition of the padding;

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And then paint the bases if needed.

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The above picture shows as I was starting to re-attatch the padding. I chose to re-use the original horse hair stuffing as itwas pretty close to the right shape and just needed a little bit of extra padding on the base.

For the padding I used blue upholstering foam I sourced, ready cut to size from the Glasgow foam centre.

In the best tradition of the Haynes manuals the re-assembly is pretty much the reversal of the above procedure but for a few details.

If any of the tabs break (usually the last one to be folded) as you pierce them through the covers you will need to remove the cover and weld the broken tab or something similar back on as I had to;

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If there are any areas that need a bit more tension such as here at the top of the back rest;

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I found using this thin foam to fill out the void worked great;

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To re-fit the covers, pull them over the padding, you will find it a lot easier if you warm the covers on a radiator first and if you have difficulty sliding the backrest cover over the padding, try wrapping cling film over the foam to pull it in while you slide the cover over.

The last tip I have is to bend the tabs in a curve rather than just folding them over.

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This means the point of the tab grips the cover as well as the base giving a bit more grip.

This is the finished front sead back in the car to check its firm and supportive enough;
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The other front seat is done the exact same way so onto the back.

The base of the rear bench is held on the base in the same way as the front seat bases except instead of the pronged tabs there are a series of horn rings.

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Check the condition of these before you start to remove them as you may break them as they come off so best to have spares ready so that you are not held up. I managed to re-use all of mine and again I just used a few sets of pliers but if you have access to horn ring pliers you can use these.

The rear seat back rest is a pretty specific shape to a type 3. The top edge is held in by a plastic runner, there are a combination of horn rings and prongs and the seam of the seat is wired to add tension.

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(The top edge of the seat is on the bottom in this picture)

Again, it is a case of bending prongs and removing horn rings and taking notes as you go. I had a few problems at the back, mainly due to being supplied the wrong cover and having to get the cover modified to fit.

The other thing I founs was on the plastic strip along the top. As I was tensioning the cover this had a tendancy to pop out of its chanel so I used a few small self tapping screws to hold it in place. If you do this, make sure that the screws are not in a place where they can damage the cover or damage a passenger if they lean back to far.

So with about 12-16 hours work I had the interior re-trimmed and back in the car;

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Dave.
I will finish it some day!!

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