Installation of replacement leather

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Romer, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    My thread is a nuts and bolts approach to the install, you may also want to view this link by smcphc. It's a great write-up on this process


    I have been wanting to replace the leather for some time. It's not ripped, but it is cracked and certainly makes it look like an older vehicle.

    I have heard great things about AATLAS1X Leather install kits.

    I had a dilemma. He has two kits

    One that matches the look of the Lexus but also will work on Toyota

    and one that matches the Toyota with the band in it

    I decided on the Toyota one that comes with the band as it is better quality leather and comes with the door and console leather.

    Note that this is the perfect time to install Seat Heaters if you want to, so you should have all that ready when you start.

    The next step is to ensure you have all the tools you need

    Silicone spray
    Staple Gun
    Needle Nose
    Long thin regular screw driver
    Phillips screwdriver to take apart door
    Bent nose pliers and Hog rings. I ordered these

    [​IMG] - although mine broke before I was done.

    You get a big box from Shane with lots of stuff. I only ordered the 2 row set as I have removed and sold my 3rd row seats.

    Specail thanks to TomH for his thread that helped a lot and Uncle Ben and Shane for the help during the install
    Leather Instal arm and Headrest 002.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  2. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    I thought I would start small to get a feel for the leather and do the headrests and doors first

    First step is to remove the leather from the old headrest.

    Using a long thin pliers and needle nose I separated the leather at the bottom. The leather folds over and gets inserted into a clip, so once you get the seam out of the clip you can work the leather off.

    First pic Headrest next to new leather
    Leather Instal arm and Headrest 003.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 004.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 005.JPG
  3. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    You then work the new leather on. You can spray a little silicon to get it going and squish the foam and work it until the leather is in place.

    Then fold the leather seam over and insert it into the clip. Try and get the whole length started. I then used a thin regular screw driver to push the seam into the clip.
    Leather Instal arm and Headrest 006.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 008.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 009.JPG
  4. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    The next item I worked was the door arm rests,

    Slide a regular screwdriver under them and pop it straight up.

    Then remove the staples holding the old leather on. You can rip the leather off then go after the remaining staples
    Leather Instal arm and Headrest 011.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 012.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 014.JPG
  5. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Now lay the new leather on top and get the seam lined up

    Turn it over and place the peace of leather in the notch as shown. Make sure the seam is still lined up.

    Now use the staple gun to attach the new leather making sure it stays aligned and is going on tight.
    Leather Instal arm and Headrest 015.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 016.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 017.JPG
  6. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    With the arm peace off the door, remove the screws in that spot, the one in the door latch handle, and the one on the inside door handle.

    Remove the speaker

    Use a screw driver to pop the panel off the door.

    Disconnect the connectors and pull the door off

    Unscrew the screws on the backside of the door holding the arm rest assembly on
    Leather Instal arm and Headrest 019.JPG Leather Instal arm and Headrest 018.JPG
  7. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    The piece of plastic wood trim seems to be on the Lexus and not part of the Toyota's, at least Uncle Ben's collector series who I contacted about this.

    I thought there were rivets holding on the backside, but Kevin pointed out from my picture that they are spring fasteners. Remove them, but be careful not to break the posts, I did break them so I am looking for input on how to do it carefully.

    I decided to leave the old leather there and trim off the edges.

    Separate the lower leather and metal strip from the spot your replacing. Remove the plastic wood trim and the top piece that goes into the window rail by removing the screws.

    Lay out the new leather and staple down several points so it doesn't move.

    Then use a leather and cut holes and slits where they need to go. Use an awl to poke the screw holes from the backside.
    Leather door and console 007.JPG Leather door and console 008.JPG Leather door and console 009.JPG
  8. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Set the top peace back on and screw it into place from the backside.

    I then used GOOP adhesive to glue the metal trim back down on the new leather

    For the plastic wood trim, I damaged the post slightly getting the old ones off and wasn't able to find any at the Depot, Lowes or Checker. I will try again, but since I damaged the posts, I had to come up with another method. I ended up using GOOP. I used a couple of clamps to hold the wood trim in place firmly and then squirted GOOP in through the backside to glue the post in place. The correct method is to remove the fasteners carefully and replace them, mine is a workaround

    Then put it all back together. Remember, you always have the option of taking the door panels to a shop to have done.

    I noticed the bottom peace is a little "puchy" when all done, looks worse in the photo. I will try and touch that up later.
    Leather door and console 010.JPG Leather door and console 011.JPG Leather door and console 012.JPG
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008
  9. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    Next I moved on to the Center Console. This is really easy

    Unscrew the small screws from the backside of the lid

    Unscrew the latch and the hinge

    The top comes apart in two peaces, take the part with the leather off (lifts off)

    Remove the old leather.
    Leather door and console 001.JPG Leather door and console 002.JPG Leather door and console 003.JPG
  10. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    Lay the new leather on top, adjust, staple the backside making it taught.

    Put back on the cover and re-install all the screws.
    Leather door and console 004.JPG Leather door and console 005.JPG Leather door and console 006.JPG
  11. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Next comes the seats themselves

    Here is a great write-up from TomH on installing Seat heaters, this takes a lot of the same steps as replacing the leather as you have to remove the seats and remove the leather at least part way. If you want to install Seat Heaters read this thread.

    Now it's time to remove the front seat bottoms and I am going to qoute from TomH's thread as he does a great job describing the process

    The one in the second picture was still hard to see so I included an additional photo
    Leather seats 006.JPG
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008

  12. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    It wasn't obvious how best to take the bottom cover off.

    You start at one end peeling back what you can removing the hook rings. The needle nose worked fine for me.

    Then when you get to the front there are some metal looking peaces that took me a few minutes to figure out to pry them back
    Leather seats 007.JPG
  13. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    Now for the seat back. Keep peeling back removing hook rings like you did on the bottom


    Here is a picture showing the two side covers and the two bolts from the side rails. The 3 screws on the side covers are 1 on the back side and two in other places (different on both peices)
    Leather seats 003.JPG Leather seats 004.JPG
  14. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Now putting on the new leather is hard. Especially when you think B on the packing instructions means bottom and spend 30 minutes trying to figure out how it goes on. B = BACK.

    Use the silicon spray.

    On the seat bottoms, I placed the lip in the metal clips and pushed down on the clips and then next to that spot os a rail where you fold over the edge into the rail to hold it.

    Once you get that done, you just work peice by peice adding hook rings intil you get it done.

    On the seat bottom, cut the holes for the power seat controls and the two bracket screw holes after you get the leather on. Trim very neatly for the controls. I overshoot on one seat and used goop to seal the are with the gap.

    One the seat back, remember you need to put the seat back in the rails and tighten the two each per side bolts before using hook rings to close the back up

    Leather seats 008.JPG Leather seats 009.JPG
  15. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    So I just did the two front seats, front console and drivers door panel. The first seat took me about 7 hours to complete because of the learning curve. The second seat was about 3 hours. The leather that goes in fits, but it is different enough from the factory that you spend some time trying to figure things out.

    I won't be doing the rears for a month or so. I will be taking them out for the Rubithon so no need to get it done before then.

    The leather is awesome and very comfy.

    First picture compares old and new
    Leather seats 002.JPG Leather seats 010.JPG Leather seats 011.JPG
  16. Romer,

    Excellent write up and very thorough, including the part about confusing back for bottom. Maybe I missed it but did you also replace the foam bolsters or were they in decent shape? Mind if I check out the leather at CM? My drivers seat is pretty much toast at this point and when the truck gets home she'll be getting a nice long rest and some TLC. Seats are on the list.
    thanks,
    dmc
  17. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island SILVER Star

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    Looks good Ken, I'm jealous. A few things:
    A) I see you too have broken your driver's side back adjuster :doh:
    B) Is the leather a little loose around the lumbar/side support because your foam is deteriorated or because it is a pain to get the leather sufficiently tight?
    C) Did you encounter any points where the Lexus/Toyota leather parts didn't actually fit together correctly?

    Looks really good, now you gotta get some leatherique to keep it in tip-top shape :D
  18. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    very nice writeup. thanks for taking the time...
  19. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Location:
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    A - see pic. Should have mentioned this. There is a clip you can't see till you break the knob trying to get it off. Like a C clip

    B- Great product, crappy installer. I can't remember if I tightened that up after that. Shane PM'd me about that as well.

    C- The only issue was the wood trim on the door panel. Still not sure how you are suppose to get those things off.


    I did not use as many hook rings as your probably suppose to either. Those damn pliers I bought broke and I had to improvise. Not something I could wait for since I am now all loaded up with a trailer hooked up, heading to Moab in the AM.
    Leather seats 005.JPG
  20. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I replaced only the drivers bottom.

    You can see it at CM, and then you better sit a spell smoke a stoogie with me and tell me about your trip.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008

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