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" Auric " the odyssey ........

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olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:36 pm

Haven't posted for a while on this because , well , because I haven't had to do anything to it since fitting the RC090's . :D

However ....ever since my first drive in the car it was impossible not to notice how utterly uncomfortable the " comfort " seats were.
I tried a couple of times to rectify this but after close inspection it was apparent that the design of these seats makes it impossible to modify to introduce some contoured foam between the top covers and the coil spring matt below and retain the smooth profile of the leather facings on the squab.
Such a shame really as the seats in my car are in superb condition .
I put up with this but each time I drove it ... :x
So I embarked on looking for a solution . I searched on and off for a pair of E24 Recaros or sports seat but couldn't find anything that was within reasonable distance to courier , in decent or salvageable condition ,and most importantly Parchment or Pearl Beige in colour.
E36 / 46 seats were considered but after consulting with those that had fitted and mod'd the seat frames they were considered to be too high for my 6'4" frame to fit without scrubbing the roof .
I even considered early pre facelift Jaguar XJS sports seats which were remarkably similer in shape , dimension and colour for my requirements . Unfortunatly all that I found were in a very poor condition with severe cracking on the leather surfaces suggesting that the leather was of a poorer quality to the BMW equivelant.
Until... \:D/
Looking through some old photos I came across a photo of a beautiful M6 that had been purchased by an enthusiast over here in Ireland . In the background was a sports seat exactly as I was looking for . A few calls revealed that he had sold them but would pass on my details to the new owner of the parts car that were in . I wasn't optimistic but three days later the new owner called , photos exchanged and a deal was done ... :D
Two hour drive and I collected them .
They are exactly as described and as I expected . Grubby from storage but with no tears or holes, the leather is in sound condition with some surface cracking , some quite severe , but all eminently restorable . All fittings ,except one fore/aft pull handle intact and in place .
Faults are broken and split beading on the two side bolsters of the RH drivers seat due to normal use over their 35 year life . The worst of the cracks on the leather are also on these sections ofthe seats .
So my plans are to restore these seats over the winter period copying the work that has been done by several posters on here already .
This will entail partial dismantling of the seats to replace the broken piping and recover the worst of the bolster leathers , thorough cleaning ,feeding ,crack /surface repairs , removal of the seat faces to allow 100% dying from PB to Parchment and full overhall and re paint of the runners and frames.
I'll photo and document each stage ( hopefully ) to help anyone contemplating the same work listing materials and suppliers used .
Looking at what others on here have achieved I'm quietly confident that these can be brought back to a good useable condition.
The original comfort seats will be safely stored to kept along with all the other items I have changed from stock on the car for any future owner to decide what they prefer .
So , as bought in their dirty ,dirty state ....
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First step will be a thorough deep clean and inspection.
1981 635 series 1

rhanley 635csi89
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by rhanley 635csi89 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:48 am

Congrats Don, the effort we all use to find "just the right item is enormous" if you need anything from the states let me know. Roger
89 635CSiA (11/88 build)
AlpineWeiss II (218)/Natur(0200)
87 L6 635CSI Sold
87 MB 560SL

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zinnocoupe
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by zinnocoupe » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:37 pm

Don, Great find on the e24 seats . Its a good story on how you eagled eyed the seats in someones pic and tracked them down. Thats a new an innovative way to source parts :D I was in a similar situation with my car. The uncomfort seats were in great shape but I got a sore back every time I drove. I tried to put extra padding in the drivers seat but it didnt help. I was lucky enough to find a Pearlbeige set of e30 sport seats, so right color but seams going the wrong way. Lots of cleaning and bolster replacement. I also replaced the shocks, so the seats function properly. They are the most comfortable supportive seat , it feels like driving a completely different car. I've had a few sets of sportseats completely apart a few times and they really are made to come apart and be worked on, so well designed. Good luck with the rebuild
Image
1979 Euro 635ci no longer a basketcase, just a running rust bucket!
1977 530i New addition ( nonrunner)
1987 635csi 60K KM Garage Queen

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:35 pm

Thanks for the encouragement lads ..
Spent several hours thoroughly cleaning them, and they were dirty !
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No nasty unexpected surprises, leather is dry but will condition up OK. Tried all sorts of home receipe deep cleaners using vinegar ,olive oil or washing liquid but found I had to resort to a strong 5 to 1 mix of APC ( all purpose cleaner ) used with a selection of soft to fairly aggressive brushes to get into all the grain. Drivers seat is worst, down to to lack of cleaning and never being conditioned.Plastic components came up like new after a vigerous application of oven cleaner paste . This pleased me as I thought they would require plastic painting.
The drivers seat bolsters will be replaced with new leather and I have already found a trimmer locally known for quality motorcycle work who is willing
to do them for me . Passenger seat (LH) has a few shallow cracks but easily filled .
I'll be sourcing the materials from these guys https://bespokeleathering.com/ and after speaking to the owner ,John , he has advised me the way to do it all. he supplied all the materials used to dye the comfort seats and they have stood the test of time well.
Having sat in them now they do seem to be very comfortable . :D
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Next stage will be to fully dismantle the seats to component form and if you are considering the same job you will find this video invaluable .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrdwCoTy1i0
Parts that have to be sourced so far are gas struts and one fore / aft adjust handle .
Last edited by olympia57 on Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1981 635 series 1

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zinnocoupe
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by zinnocoupe » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:39 pm

Seats are looking great. After reading your last post it reminded me that I found a great product that I have no idea if its available in Ireland or UK. Its actually a bathtub cleaner called Vim. Its an abrasive that did fantastic job cleaning my dirty junkyard e30 seats. Maybe theres a similar product where you are. It rally works well to get the dirt out of the textured surface of the leather. I bought the bolster covers from zomzoomzooming on ebay. They are in California . Sorry for the thread Hijack i just thought this would help and show what can be done with some really dirty beat up old seats.

Heres one of my seats with the outer bolster replaced but before being cleaned with VIM
ImageUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27a2 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr]
Back panel partway cleaned
ImageUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27a0 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr

Three new bolsters and all cleaned ready to go back
ImageUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2867 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr
Image
1979 Euro 635ci no longer a basketcase, just a running rust bucket!
1977 530i New addition ( nonrunner)
1987 635csi 60K KM Garage Queen

olympia57
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Location: Ireland

Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:52 pm

Well, no going back now.
Dismantled the drivers seat removing the three sections that I am going to recover . I have to say that the process was much simpler than I anticipated and that the method of disassembly was exactly as shown in the video I attached earlier.
All the remaining leather that was tucked down in between the sections was thoroughly cleaned and all exposed foam is in remarkably good condition for being 35 years old .
I took Dave's advice ( good tip Sir =D> ) and did a second clean on them using the Irish equivelent of his Vim ,a product called Cif . This removed much more deeper ingrained dirt and left the leather feeling much cleaner . I used a sponge and fairly stiff brush to get into the grain .
I had watched many videos on how to clean leather but after feeling the thickness of the leather when removed it was apparent that harsher cleaning would do no harm to it and as it was being redyed any dye that came off made no difference anyway.
One thing I would say is that when looking at cracks on the surface of the remaining leather although they look quite bad the depth of even the deepest did not come anywhere near penetrating the thicknness of the leather , it really is quite thick. The filler I propose to use https://bespokeleathering.com/product/d ... ss-filler/
is specifically for areas that have heavier flexing so applied properly should do the job. Like most passenger seats the cracks are minimal on it though .
The remaining sections of leather ,base , back ,squab and headrest were degreased and then given their first coat of conditioner .
https://bespokeleathering.com/product/b ... nditioner/
Smells like an old wet cow in a byre over winter ........but it has already soaked in and seems to be softening the leather . This will be redone several times .
The seat runners have been derusted and are currently in primer . A replacement new handle for the fore / aft adjustment has been sought and bought .
The bolsters to be remade are to be given to the trimmer tomorrow .
I'll remove the other seat base and backrest to allow cleaning and conditioning next .
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1981 635 series 1

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:16 pm

New side window scraper seals arrived from Australia , Thanks Ric .
That's the next job over winter .
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1981 635 series 1

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:24 pm

The bolsters were given to the trimmer who tried to get some suitable leather from his supplier in London over Xmas. Unfortunately the said supplier no longer sold ,or had, smaller sections and only supplied full hides. I decided against buying a full hide due to cost , waste and more importantly after speaking with Bespoke Leathering , the supplier of all material used.
I did get the trimmer to split the bolsters and insert new leather piping to replace the damaged and broken originals.
John, from Bespoke Leathering , explained that the method he used to remove the cracks and damaged leather surface was to machine sand using a detail sander .
Now I have to admit that this needed a giant leap of faith to adopt the same approach to the seats but after he sent me several photos of the before, during and after of the process and more importantly the results , I was prepared to at least try it .
From the start of this project I was very unsure of the robustness of the filler used , sometines extensively , on the worn and damaged sections of seats being refurbished or restored hence my preferance in replacing the leather on the drivers bolsters , with the machine sanding it seemed to remove the need for such large amounts of filler .
I decided to try it as if it failed the leather sections could be replaced . John from BL said he used 80 grit but I'm afraid that my acute fear factor would not allow me to go that rough .... :shock:
Gentle and limited use of 120 pads seen the rough damage removed but still not completely through into the sub fibre of the leather . Further, careful , machine sanding using 240 and then 800 by hand removed the vast majority of the damage with only a few very shallow cracks requiring final attention. I was very pleased with the results .
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When ordering the materials I elected to get the most expensive filler listed which was a Dutch Liquid stress filler . This is as described , a liquid , and has to be applied using a tooth pick which was quite difficult.
It dries to a supple finish but is the very devil to sand smooth . Maybe it was me being too heavy with it's application but it took some time to " invisibilise " :-k it on the surface of the leather. On the plus side though I do believe that it will be the right filler for these stress areas of repair.
The gauge of leather on these seats is surprisingly thick so I had little fear of actually abrading it to a point where it would be too thin.
So this is the only filler used on the seat bolsters , and to be honest not all used was really required .
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The actual seat and rear pads plus headrests are in very good condition so no filler will be required on them .
Next will be the prep and spray dying of the seats .
1981 635 series 1

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