Seat Restuffing

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cuisses
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Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Tue 13 Mar, 2012 11:41 pm

On the recent ACT trip to Parkes SWMBO complained a lot about the front seats on the W108, to such an extent that it became a running joke along the lines of "Those Pogodas have much betters seats, why don't we buy one for $70K just for that."

Are there instructions for replacing the pads? Is it hard? Does it involve sewing? What do I replace them with? - should I just get a trimmer to do it?

The procedure apparently involves a heavy person sitting on them to remove the cover. The only site I found that looked remotely useful was this one showing how to remove the seats from the car:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH4X3IBAu-Q

I had the heel pad replaced about a year ago, and the trimmer at that time said the the seats were in good shape and should not be touched. However, he (apparently) does not have a rear end as sensitive as SWMBO.
David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by ANF » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 8:15 am

How much is silence worth? At least $70k.... :laughing6:

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by ANF » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 8:22 am

i would try the seat trimmer, unless someone else has re=done their seats.....

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Dweezil » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 11:42 am

Yeah, Gustav the 108 is breaking my back at the moment. Pity of it is that his MB-Tex is in pretty good shape so I don't want to go fiddling unduly. Any trimmer recommendations in Sydney?

Thanks

Dweezil

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Mercmad
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Mercmad » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 1:15 pm

It's easy.There are no hog rings to confuse matters. Remove the seats completely. You need a lot of space . Remove the backrest by removing the side adjusters.
there are two large screws to undo ,beneath the chromeplastic covers.
Start with the base first, tip it over and you can see how the cover is held in place .it's cardboard strip stiched into the cover and it's pushed into a metal strip on the seat frame . Gently pry the strip open and squash the cover so you can release the cardboard piece. it's held on all four corners .
Simply lift the cover off once the sides are released. Now you should have a spring box. Check all the springs are OK. Any brokens ones means (to me at least) another base has to be procured.
One broken spring means the rest are shot.
Now,on top of the spring is a hair mattress ( just like the pope has) .Chances are it has gone flat and no longer has any resilience . They are available new from mercedes (ka-ching $$$$)
In the USA they sell Gel pads to fit in seats to make them softer and this is what you could replace your mattress with. The MBtex should have cotton pad stiched underneath,check that this is OK too.
There is little chance the back rest will need work unless the side bolsters have collapsed . Removing is a bit more involved because the rear panel comes off first ,then the head rest plugs have to come out. Remove the side adjustors and release the cardboard retainer strip. Pull the cover up off the frame and again check for busted springs . I have had back rest springs break but the cars had done way over 500,000 miles. The side bolstrers can be replaced .
Refittingf is simply a reversal of the Above. Easy ...right? .
I have done seats in under 30 minutes sop it's not difficult.

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Marc
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Marc » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 4:32 pm

Dweezil wrote:Yeah, Gustav the 108 is breaking my back at the moment. Pity of it is that his MB-Tex is in pretty good shape so I don't want to go fiddling unduly. Any trimmer recommendations in Sydney?
Dweezil, I have used ProStitch before for some smaller jobs on Sofia and have been happy with the results. They do complete interiors as well. Would be worth giving them a call to discuss what you're after. On the other hand, you can do it yourself following Mercmad's detailed description. :book:
280SE 3.5 - 1972 (Sofia)
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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 6:38 pm

Thanks for the instructions Ron, although I suspect 30 minutes for you is going to be about 3 days for me. I'll have a go at the passenger side first.

Do you know where to get the gel inserts? - I have so far failed to find them.

worlduph.com sell the original style pads, although perhaps the forum sponsor can find me something.
David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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markb
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by markb » Wed 14 Mar, 2012 8:04 pm

Guy who did my 108 seats, years ago, removed the metal pan below the seat and 'inserted' cylindrical foam into the seat.

I did my 123 myself, as the guy above no longer exists, by going to Spotlight (removing the driver's seat) and inserting stuffing between the seat springs and existing cushion...works a treat, in fact I had to remove some as I sat too high..easy $13.50 job ever.. :dance:
Current Fleet
1985 C123 280CE Midnight Blue with blue MB Tex (249k klms...Daily Driver 2010- )
Past Benzes:
1972 W108 280SE 3.5 White (2002-2003 project sold to fellow OzBenzer)
1971 W108 280SE 3.5 White (1999-2006 Unmolested original & sadly missed)
1987 S124 230TE Diamond Blue (2002-2007 Family cruiser)
1983 W126 280SE Champagne 106k Klms (Custodian in 2013)
1969 W113 280SL Champagne (Custodian in 2000)
1988 W124 300E Diamond Blue (2016 project sold to fellow OzBenzer)

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Fri 16 Mar, 2012 9:14 pm

Just finished one seat (just the base) by following the instructions from the MCS (Mercmad Correspondence School).Took the seat out (4 bolts + one at the side) - a damned heavy thing. Followed the instructions and removed the "tracks" to make things a bit easier. Then came the tricky bit. There is a channel all the way around the metal base and the MBTex folds over into this. Once you have done it, it is easy, but before this it is a bit tricky trying to figure out what is happening.

Removed cover (but not all the way) and saw that the padding and springs were in perfect condition - could have left the factory yesterday. Following advice from a trimmer, purchased a big sheet of 12 mm green foam from ACT Foam and Rubber ($30 for enough to do more than 1 car), and some spray glue. Cut a bit out and stuck it to top of pad, so it lies between pad and the cotton sheet. Then reversed the process. Had to get SWMBO to stand on the seat in order to get the MBTex into the channel (those extra kilos she put on once a ring was on her finger do have some use :naughty: ). It seems to have worked, in that it looks fine - we shall see if SWMBO finds it satisfactory. Now I need to do the driver's seat.

Seat was out of the car for less than 24 hours.

The only point of difference between my experience and Mercmad's instructions was that the pad was actually attached to the cotton material by 4 rings or staples - so I just ripped the material.

Seat partially undone and padding exposed:

beforeseat.jpg

The channel:
channel.jpg

The foam is added on top of the padding:
withfoam.jpg


The finished base:

after.jpg




Finally:
finished.jpg
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David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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markb
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by markb » Fri 16 Mar, 2012 9:18 pm

Good job and well done !
Current Fleet
1985 C123 280CE Midnight Blue with blue MB Tex (249k klms...Daily Driver 2010- )
Past Benzes:
1972 W108 280SE 3.5 White (2002-2003 project sold to fellow OzBenzer)
1971 W108 280SE 3.5 White (1999-2006 Unmolested original & sadly missed)
1987 S124 230TE Diamond Blue (2002-2007 Family cruiser)
1983 W126 280SE Champagne 106k Klms (Custodian in 2013)
1969 W113 280SL Champagne (Custodian in 2000)
1988 W124 300E Diamond Blue (2016 project sold to fellow OzBenzer)

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by John Green » Fri 16 Mar, 2012 10:13 pm

cuisses wrote:Had to get SWMBO to stand on the seat in order to get the MBTex into the channel (those extra kilos she put on once a ring was on her finger do have some use :naughty: ).
Have printed this off to bring up when we have dinner next.... :think: :think:
M.B Spares & Service 14-16 Lyell St, Fyshwick ACT. Ph 02 6239 1099

http://mbspares.com.au - Supporting Australia's Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts.

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Astrid W108 280SE » Fri 16 Mar, 2012 11:14 pm

oh that looks tempting.... and reasonably easy-ish - thanks for the pics!

Astrid's front seats are a little worn and the first tear has appeared due to me enjoying her more out on the road than in the garage.

may have to hunt around and get some replacements covers.....ebay here we come. :dance:
1970 W108 280SE - Astrid
1968 Type 1 VW Beetle - Helga aka Hiccup aka the H-bomb
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Astrid W108 280SE » Fri 16 Mar, 2012 11:18 pm

That said, the seats in the H-bomb are held together with duct tape so they might just get first priority - especially as the wee beetle is SWMBO's new runabout. :whistle:
1970 W108 280SE - Astrid
1968 Type 1 VW Beetle - Helga aka Hiccup aka the H-bomb
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Mercmad » Sat 17 Mar, 2012 2:47 pm

That pad does look good, also in future try adjusting the back rest to the best position for long trips . It helps to prevent sore backs etc .You could also keep an eye open for the height adjustors as found on W109's ,these allow a lot of adjustment.

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Sat 17 Mar, 2012 9:14 pm

OK, just did the base on the driver's side, with a few more photos, now I know what is going on.

The first trick is to get to the 4 bolts, as in the youtube video, by putting the up/down forward/backward adjusters at their extreme positions. At first I had trouble getting to the front bolts as the seat-belt roller was in the way.

There is no side-bolt for the driver's side.

Here is what it should look like:
backdriver.jpg
The second trick is not to bother removing the complicated adjustment mechanism at the base - I tried and failed, and you don't need to.

Levering the MBTex out:
levering.jpg
The pad in this case was much more compressed and more soiled than the passenger side. It had been exposed to god knows how many arse-miles.:
soiled.jpg


I put two pieces of foam in. One to fill in the buttocks depression and the other for comfort:
firstinsert.jpg
secondinsert.jpg



The finished base looks like the other one. I will add it to another post (I have reached the 5 figure limit).
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Last edited by cuisses on Sat 17 Mar, 2012 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Sat 17 Mar, 2012 9:21 pm

Here is the finished driver-side base and chair:
finshedd.jpg
finallyd.jpg

I still need to do the backs to get that "stuffed" look. Without Mercmad's instructions I would not have attempted this - wouldn't know how to get the MBtex off for a start. I would not say this is an easy job to do - there is an awful lot of sweating and grunting to get the thing back together again, but it is possible, and it is something everyone can try at home, unless they have a supermodel-thin spouse, in which case they will have to borrow a larger example.
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W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Mercmad » Sun 18 Mar, 2012 10:19 am

soiled... that would be an understatement. :laughing6:

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Sun 18 Mar, 2012 4:18 pm

Mercmad wrote:soiled... that would be an understatement. :laughing6:
The soiling didn't bother me, but there was a noticeable compression of the pad in the buttocks area, which you cannot see in the photos. This one clearly had not left the factory yesterday.

Despite my triumphant re-stuffing I am still left with one embarrassing problem - getting the seat bolted down to the car. For the passenger side this was very easy. However, on the driver's side there is the extra up-down adjustment which is spring loaded and is causing me endless grief trying to get the bolt-holes uncovered. It is easy to get the chair out, but not in. If I keep failing I will have to take it to MB Spares for some expert help.
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W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by John Green » Sun 18 Mar, 2012 8:30 pm

cuisses wrote:. It is easy to get the chair out, but not in. If I keep failing I will have to take it to MB Spares for some expert help.
Try phone a friend.
M.B Spares & Service 14-16 Lyell St, Fyshwick ACT. Ph 02 6239 1099

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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Mercmad » Mon 19 Mar, 2012 9:26 am

I use a silicone lube spray on those before I fit the seats, then it will slide easily . Move the seat right forward and secure the rear bolts,then move it back with the fore/aft adjuster . You can then do the fronts.

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Mon 19 Mar, 2012 3:34 pm

Drivers seat is now in the car and attached thanks to a visit to MB Spares. I drove there with it loose - which meant that when I turned the steering wheel the seat turned, rather than the car. JG managed to get the seat bolted in, although it was not an easy job. In the end we had the seat out of the car and knocked it with a hammer until the rear bolt-holes were exposed. Then bolted them to the car and bolted the front right. We then unhooked the spring from the front, using a spring extender I had got with my daughter's Aldi trampoline - no Mercedes tool number on that, but it worked. Bolted the front left in, and then came the job of putting back the spring. For this we used something that Rob Nicholson suggested (who just happened to be visiting from Kyogle), and hooked the spring with a piece of electrical wire. I pulled the wire and JG pushed the spring over the hook with a screwdriver. Job done, but it helps a lot to have 2 people. At least I know what I'm in for if I do the backs of the seats - although maybe I can get them off without taking the bases out.
David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Fri 30 Mar, 2012 8:50 pm

I am sorry to bore everyone with my tales of seat "improvement" - by rights I should really be dropping a V8 into the W108 - but I can't as the previous owner already did that (may the Lord have mercy on his soul) .

I started on the seat backs, first with the passenger one last night. You can remove the back without removing the base. This has two advantages. (1) The back is relatively light and easy to move - unlike the whole seat, which weighs a ton and which is very awkward.
(2) Getting the whole seat back in can be a bit of a drama - as I found with the driver's side.

I also found you can restuff the back of the seat without removing the MB Tex.

The procedure I followed is as follows.

1. Remove the cover board at the back using the single screw at the bottom.
2. Remove the headrests - my headrests are certainly after-market for this car, so other cars might look a bit different.
3. Remove the bar supporting the headrests (the black thing in the photos below). I did this while it was still in the car.
4. Remove the upper and lower plastichrome covers on the door side.
5. Undo the top 2 bolts which connect the giant hinge to the seat back.
6. Undo the top 2 bolts which connect the giant hinge on the other side (the middle of the car). You can get to these, even though it looks like the armrest is in the way - just push it out of the way with your screwdriver.
7. Now loosen (but do not remove) the bolts which connect the hinge to the seat base on the door side.
8. You can now get the seat out. There is a skewer (or axel) which runs from the middle of the car at the base of the back all the way through to the door side i.e. it connects the two large black plastic knobs and allows the seat back to pivot. You need to unskewer the seat back off this, and loosening the lower bolts allows you to do this.
9. With seat back out you will see it has a springy metal frame and in front of this is the "horsehair". You could take the MB tex off, but I just decided to stuff some foam between the metal frame and the horsehair.
10. I first stuffed a folded over piece of 1/2-inch foam (i.e. 1 inch).
11. Then a layer of cardboard to make it slippery, and then another 1/2 -inch layer, plus a couple of strips down the sides.
12. The metal strips then press against the foam and this in turn presses against the horsehair.
13. Reassembly is the reverse of this process.

There is no need to glue, and the whole thing is reversible if you stuff too much foam in there (which I might have done - we will see what SWMBO says).


The seat back off:
seatback1.jpg
Note the pink slip showing the date of manufacture of the seats:
seatback2.jpg
The bar into which my headrests are put - probably not original:

seatback3.jpg
First layer of foam stuffed in there:
seatback4.jpg
Second layer of foam being applied on top of some slippery cardboard:
seatback5.jpg
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David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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cuisses
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by cuisses » Fri 30 Mar, 2012 8:54 pm

The final layer of foam:
seatback6.jpg

The seat back in the car. Note the obvious difference between the passenger and driver seat backs.
seatback7.jpg
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Dweezil
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by Dweezil » Fri 30 Mar, 2012 8:56 pm

David, your seats and I have something in common. Born in the same week and well stuffed.

Dweezil

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markb
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Re: Seat Restuffing

Post by markb » Fri 30 Mar, 2012 8:58 pm

You are right indeed about the (horizontal) bar for the headrests, not one I've seen on an MB before, as they usually run vertically...anyone else ??
Current Fleet
1985 C123 280CE Midnight Blue with blue MB Tex (249k klms...Daily Driver 2010- )
Past Benzes:
1972 W108 280SE 3.5 White (2002-2003 project sold to fellow OzBenzer)
1971 W108 280SE 3.5 White (1999-2006 Unmolested original & sadly missed)
1987 S124 230TE Diamond Blue (2002-2007 Family cruiser)
1983 W126 280SE Champagne 106k Klms (Custodian in 2013)
1969 W113 280SL Champagne (Custodian in 2000)
1988 W124 300E Diamond Blue (2016 project sold to fellow OzBenzer)

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