Sunday, January 19, 2014

Progress continues in the basement...

For the past few weeks, as time has allowed, I've been working in the basement on the 1979 seats to use in my 1983 240D. My decision to use the 1979 seats wasn't an immediate one. Originally, I was going to use the 1983 interior and simply do my best to patch up the driver's seat. Then, I came across the palomino leather interior, which was pretty inexpensive and in very nice condition. For a long time, I was planning to use the leather seats. Last summer, I picked up the 1979 parts car.

Initially, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall condition of the parts car's interior. The car had been sitting in a field for around 13 years, but the interior seemed to have held up pretty well. There were some tears in the driver's seat upholstery and the padding had flattened a bit. Overall, it was pretty nice. Plus, although I really like palomino upholstery, I took a shine to the older, slightly more rare bamboo colored interior from the '79. So, to help recover a bit of cash, I sold the leather interior and opted to use the '79 interior. A little later on, I even sold the decent passenger seat out of the '83. At that point, I was committed.

My initial reaction when I started working on the '79 seats was that I'd made a mistake. All the hardware was rusted, which made disassembly difficult. I worked at it bit by bit, and last weekend, I finally finished rebuilding the driver's seat from the '79. I repaired the seat springs, added some new springs for reinforcement, added a layer of canvas between the spring frame and the padding, and replaced the dried out, crumbling old horsehair padding with new memory foam. Considering how much I'd compromised on the materials (as opposed to using brand new Mercedes OEM parts), I think the end result is really nice, and feels very comfortable after a test-sit.

I still need to rebuild the passenger seat and the rear seat. Thankfully, all this work in the basement is keeping me from having to work outside in the cold. Of course, once the seats are done, I'll be back to doing bodywork on the '83 shell.

Here's a Youtube series I did showing what I did to rebuild the driver's seat:


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  2. Where did you get the new springs? I am having trouble finding the ones you used on the sides. They are pointed out in the Seat Repair Part 3 video ( at 1:17 on the timeline. I keep finding motorcycle springs and the S-curve springs like you used across the front.

    Thank you for the videos. It adds a lot of work to the work you are already doing.
    Jim B.

  3. Hi Jim,

    I got all the upholstery supplies from this place:

    No problem on the videos. I figured as long as I was doing the work, I may as well share the experience. Thanks for watching.