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Posted by: Grandpacorvair ()
Date: November 20, 2017 03:17PM

Working on a 65 Corsa coupe replacing the seat covers (white) using Clark's covers and new Clark's padding..

It's a lot like trying to stuff 10 pounds of horse manure into a 5 pound bag.

Any tips/suggestions on how to get this done and have a decent looking job with as few wrinkles as possible would be appreciated. The new padding seems to be awfully...big!


Kerry Borgne
Birmingham, Michigan

1963 Spyder Convertible

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: November 20, 2017 03:49PM

Cheap garment steamer makes for easier work!

Eric P
DeWitt, IA

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: November 20, 2017 04:11PM


Also, the Cal Clark Video in the FAQs


65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo


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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: November 20, 2017 06:12PM

The early GM buckets used through 66 on the Corvair are some of the most difficult I've ever done.

If you are not skilled with upholstery and working the padding for a good fit, you might want to find a good upholsterer to install the foam and covers.

The original seat makers used a powered hog ring tool to attach the list (pulls done the seat cover between middle and outer boosters). Using a hand tool (hog ring pliers) is difficult and results may be less than desirable. An experienced upholster will use wire to pull down, and adjust, the list for a smooth line.

Expect to have add some filler pads (light weight polyester batting, not cotton) at the boosters to get rid of wrinkles, especially on the upper seat at the outer corners.

The seats had a burlap under layment with wires in it to provide support for the foam so the springs did not cut into it. If that is not reusable then put down a layer of strong sail cloth between the springs and foam.

If the springs are weak or broken then the foam and cover will stretch too far when you sit on it. A good upholster can anchor cross wires to the springs for a firmer support.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2017 06:14PM by 66vairman.

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: Huntsville ()
Date: November 20, 2017 06:22PM

This video on Youtube is long at 45 minutes and only does the bucket seat back.

It is for a 65 GTO, but the seats are the same.

Installing seat back upholstery

It is worth watching, as he shares several techniques that make the seat backs much easier to cover.

Danny Robertson
Huntsville, Al
'64 Spyder (Daily Driver)
'63 Rampside (Rotisseried and in Progress!)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2017 06:23PM by Huntsville.

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: November 20, 2017 06:47PM

That a good video and illustrates how NO two covers are made exactly the same so you have to measure and find a balanced reference. I will say the Clark's covers I've used are very well done with minimal differences. (I've also seen variations in the seat frames of 1/2" from side to side!!

The zip ties are a new one on me, but a brilliant solution to collapsing the springs to get the cover on. As you can see getting the inside out cover up over the top is like wrestling an alligator. If you force it you'll tear the upholstery.

Many use a HEAVY duty plastic trash bag (I do) to aid in sliding the upholstery over the foam. You slide the bag out, but don't get the cover on too far before pulling out the trash bag or it will tear off.

He is correct that the different division had minor differences in the foam and seat covers and now the foam is one size fits all, so you have to adjust and use some filling were needed for a good shape.

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: croderique ()
Date: November 24, 2017 07:40PM

Cal Clark re-upholstered a seat bottom at the Kalamazoo convention. There is a link to it in the FAQ's. Here is the link

Buckeye, AZ.
1966 Monza convertible 110 hp 4 speed Aztec Bronze with Bronze interior

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: Dan ()
Date: November 25, 2017 01:00PM

My good buddy was an upholsterer for years and he would spray silicon spray on the pads to help the covers slide on. Don't use WD-40. Then he would use a steamer to finish the installation. Good luck.

Chandler, AZ
1966 Corsa Turbo Convertible

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Re: Upholstery...
Posted by: 1bad67 ()
Date: November 26, 2017 01:30PM

Simple trick that usually works. Put a plastic garbage bag over the foam. Then slide the cover right over it.

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