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Upholstery installation cost

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grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
Hello everyone,
First post.
Owned my BJ8 since 1976. Lots of miles, lots of repairs, and still smiling! Have finally ordered new front seat upholstery and have had dreams of installing myself, but as reality has set in, I wonder about such a "cosmetic " repair. Has anyone here had some professional replace front seat foams, backrest and cushions, and install the new leather or vinyl? I am curious about the cost you may have paid for this professional service. Thanks! Mike

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RichBN6 Richard Wetjen
Federal Way, WA, USA   USA
Why don't you call Heritage? They have a shop in Vancouver. From what I've seen their work is excellent. I was going to do my own also but decided against it. I'm probably going to have them do my whole interior when the project gets to that point.

63mechanic Avatar
63mechanic Ted S
Langley, BC, Canada   CAN
Mike, Ted here and I'm in Langley, close to you... (near Langley hospital)
I am currently going down the same road and bought Leather seat kits and pondered the same...
I looked at other Healey owners which have installed their kits and quickly mocked up whats involved...
The way I see it, you don't have the extra foam or padding to make the seat kit look taught...
It's abit of skill involved to make it look good and align the seat with the back rest.. (not impossible thou)
I can recommend a upholstery guy in Langley , if you wish...
He just finished my passenger seat redo and now he is doing my drivers seat, your more than welcome to come over and have a look...
I've used him in previous jobs and he does nice work, and best of all he will do 'cash'..
Just email me and we can meet up...
Ted

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Mike,

When I redid the interior on my Healey I did it myself and turned out very nicely and that was original vinyl. However when I did the seats in my TR-7 I used leather kits with new foam, because of the expense of the leather I decided to have a pro do them and of course they turned out beautifully. As I recall it was about $200 for both.

In my opinion if you're going with vinyl and you want do it yourself I'd say go for, the Healey interior is fairly simple and should you screw something up you can replace it fairly inexpensively. If you're going with leather(my choice)because of the investment I think I'd lean toward professional installation.

grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
That's a great suggestion, had not thought about them. Thanks!

grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
Hey Ted, This sounds encouraging, thanks for the offer. I will be in touch. Nice photo BTW is that a BJ8 Hardtop? Mike

grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
Hey Kevin, yes I keep going back and forth on this DIY idea. May start taking the seat apart to have a closer look. Thanks! Mike

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RAC68 Avatar
RAC68 Raymond Carbone
NJ, Jersey Shore, USA   USA
Hi Mike,

I can appreciate your resistance to addressing the installation of new upholstery as a factor of unfamiliarity. However, I did my upholstery and even created new backing panels back in the 1980s for my BJ8 Phase 1 due to my lack of understanding and concerning communication with others (no one was around to present caution or provide the service). It took almost a year of searching to find an exact match for the black vinyl used on the door, side panels, dash, and kick panels. However, once securing the vinyl, I also had to learn how to use my wife's sewing machine and find needles to sew with 10 lb. black woven fishing line.

The face panels of my seats (front and back) along with the fold down back seat backs and back side panel waffle-patterned section were in good condition but many of the plain vinyl sections (back panels, door panels, kick panels, dash cover, etc.) had been damaged by water of sun or both and once doing one ... showed up the rest. I am bringing this up because although you may be addressing your seats now, you may be forced to address additional components just because of the contrast.

Here are pictures of my interior taken in 2008 after the creation of a replacement console to accommodate a real sound system. The original console is on the shelf and can easily be returned. Pictures taken close to the original completion of the upholstery can be found on page 94/95 of Sports Car Color History, Austin-History 100 & 3000 by John Heilig.

Although I would encourage you to strongly investigate doing the job, keep in mind that you will be investing more time than you anticipate and may be drawn into more of a project then you now anticipate (as I was). Additionally, I would also visit any nearby upholstery shop and ask to see some of the work they have done and question how they did it ..... as their service will not be inexpensive.

By the way, since back then I was unaware I could get new foam, I applied some dense foam on top of my original and contoured the additions to follow the contours of the old with a small disk sander. I also added additional foam to the lower seat back face to provide some non-present lumbar support.

I hope this helps your evaluation,
Ray(64BJ8P1) Original Owner



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-12 04:58 PM by RAC68.


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grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
Hey Ray,
Thanks for your take on this. All good points. I have taken on some upholstery repair before, but attacked door panels, kick panels and console up to now. They have held up well, and as my original back seat panel and rear quarter panels have cleaned up nicely, I just committed to the new front seat kit, plus new carpeting. From time to time I have seen a few too many wrinkles in front seats put together by someone doing this job for the first time, so that is where I have reservations. Your photos show an excellent job can be done at home, and I must admit, as time goes on, I feel I have more patience for these delicate jobs.

I appreciate all of the input this question has generated, and I hope to provide some before and after photos, with commentary, after the seats are completed. Mike

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Allan Loudfoot Avatar
Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia   AUS
Mike, you may wish to check out John Skinner (UK) I bought all the interior trim kit and wool carpets (which I Fitted) and Boot kit (which I also fitted) . Thought about original vinyl, but as I would only be doing this once ultimately decided to go for leather including dash top and got a local very experienced local classic car guy to purchase and fit .(see photos).

Allan


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grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
Hello Allan,
Funny you should mention Skinner, this is exactly from whom I ordered my kit. I appreciate your comments and especially your photos, very nice indeed! I also added wool carpet to the seat kit, and I can't wait to see the results. In the meantime there is all that deconstruction and the slippery slope of : "Hey while I have this off..." You know what I mean. I did find Jonathon's communication excellent and honest. A real pleasure to do business with. Mike

Allan Loudfoot Avatar
Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi Mike, yes I also found John a pleasure to do business with. You will certainly not be disappointed with the quality of the wool carpet which is excellent. The armacord boot kit is also very good quality , although a little problematic to fit. It took me about ten hours of work, which I must admit I rather enjoyed! It would no doubt be a lot easer the second time around, unfortunately or fortunately whichever way you want to look at these things most of us only do this once.
Allan

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
I'll also sing the praises of the Jonathon Skinner interior kits. He is a pleasure to communicate with and very helpful. I had vinyl for the panels and leather for the seats along with the Wilton wool carpet. The panels were a perfect fit. I installed them, the trunk Armacord and the carpet myself but had the seats done professionally as they were leather. Turned out great.
Pete


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grey1 Avatar
grey1 Mike H
Delta, BC, Canada   CAN
Hi Peter, You are right, your upholstery job turned out very well! And thanks for the confirmation regarding the Skinner materials, can't wait to get my set installed.

morgo46 Avatar
morgo46 Wayne Morgan
Cairns, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Hi There,
Wayne Morgan here from Australia.
I purchased from Moss USA complete set of interior for my BJ8 Phase 2 including Foam Kit front and rear.
Had our club friendly upholsterer install same after I had repaired all the seat steel work.
Fabulous job and considering the cost of freight etc. and time factor well worth the cost.No stuff ups and
I have the enjoyment without the agro.Horses for courses.

Morgo.

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