Installation of replacement leather

Romer

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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

- 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
 
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Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 
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Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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
 

Romer

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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

Remove the four fasteners that hold the seat in place (14mm). Disconnect connector and remove seat.
Remove three screws from each plastic side cover and lift up on the cover to remove.
Remove two screws on seat back cover panel and pull (down IIRC) to remove. There are two clips that hold the cover in place at the top.
Remove headrest. Remove two headrest guides. From the back of the seat, use a long screwdriver and one hand to compress and push the guides up and out.
Remove the hog rings from the back of the seat back. Use needle nose vise grips (or similar tool) for hog ring removal. Clamp down, twist and pull. This will allow access to the two fasteners on each side of the seat back. (Remember this step – you will not want to reattach these hog rings until after the seat back has been re-installed)
Disconnect the connector on the driver seat.
Remove the two fasteners (12mm) on each side of seat back and remove seat back.
Remove the two plastic pins that hold the leather cover thing on the lower portion of the seat. (This is not necessarily required).
Remove the four fasteners (12mm) that hold the seat bottom to the seat frame assembly and remove the seat bottom.







The one in the second picture was still hard to see so I included an additional photo
Leather seats 006.JPG
 
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Romer

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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
 

Romer

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


  1. The seat back has two vertical rails and two horizontal rails where the cover attaches with hog rings. The hog rings can be a real pain to grab. No easy method. Just keep working forward.
  2. Assuming all hog rings have been removed from the back of the seat back, lay the seat back on its back and start peeling the leather up and over the cushion. Remove hog rings as you go. If they are hard to access, push the foam cushion down and out of the way. Clamp down with the vise grips, twist and pull.
  3. I bent the metal rails on the seat cover up and out of the way as I moved up the seat back. I straightened them out as best I could prior to reassembly.
  4. When all the hog rings have been removed, slide the seat cover over the top of the seat back and off.


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
 

Romer

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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

Slide the seat bottom back into the frame and install the four fasteners. The holes on the side did not want to line up real well so I used my old friend brute force.
Attach the leather cover thingy – if you removed it. Connect the Velcro first and then attach the plastic pins.
Slide the seat back into place and install the four fasteners.
Route the two connectors. For me, the connectors met at the outside corner of the seat. Connect the small piece of harness to the heater connectors and tie wrap to the seat springs.
Connect the connector for the electric seat on the drivers side seat.
Attach the four hog rings to complete the seat back seat cover installation.
Attach seat back cover panels with two screws.
Attach two plastic covers with three screws each.
Seats are now finished.
Leather seats 008.JPG
Leather seats 009.JPG
 

Romer

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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
 

dmc

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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
 

NaterGator

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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
 

e9999

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

Romer

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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
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
 

Romer

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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
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.
 
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