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Discussion Starter #1
Finishing stages of this project, bodyman by trade.

Ordered interior kit ( both front and rear ) from NPD. deluxe interior, never installed any seat upholstery, believe its held on with hog rings and these are squished by hog ring pliers.

Id like to try and install these seat covers, not to just save a buck but mainly just to say I can do it.

I know that I can do it, I just lack the experience and knowledge.

Any votes of confidence, suggestions, resource video recommendations would be appreciated.

Not trying to make a career out of this but like everything else I do I want to do a nice job.
 

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1st- throw away the cheap-a$$ pliers that come with the hog rings- they're absolutely junk! Get a nice pair- I like the ones with a slightly angled head. I don't re-use the old listing wires as they're typically rusted/bent/etc. I use a galvanized roll of wire and cut to length, roll the ends over so as not to puncture the material. After leaving the covers in the sun for an hour +, start with the bottoms. Just copy where the rings were on the old covers, starting with the centers of the seat bottom. Then roll the material over to the bottom side and do the same. Be sure to use a CLEAN working surface, and be careful of dirt and rust that will fall out of the seat when flipping it- it'll scratch the new material in the most obvious spot possible! When holes are needed for seat track bolts, side pivot- I heat up an awl and push it through the cover where needed. That way the material doesn't have a cut that can tear and run later. You'll pick it up pretty easily and be proud of the end result!
 

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Over the years I've done my 67 twice and did the 68 a few years ago. Ditto on the good pliers. I used the standard hog rings. You may want to freshen up the frames before you recover. Consider getting new seat foam if needed. Definitely put the new covers in the sun to warm up. It's a very doable project. Even with good pliers, your fingers and wrists will rebel for a day or two.
 

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Your hands and arms will ache but it is very doable. You can also throw the covers into the clothes dryer for 15 to 20 min if you are doing this on a rainy day. +2 on the good plyers.
 

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I did my 67 seats this past spring. It was a bigger and more difficult project than I anticipated. I was very careful to make sure I recorded the way it was ringed originally during the tear down. There are some great blogs and resources online to give you guidance. I learned to start with the rear seat first, really the rear seat back cushion very first, because it is the easiest to do. Then the rear bottom which will warm you up on the hog ring technique. The fronts are more complicated and it takes time. I found that the cushions were just not resuable (and all mold and mildewed as well) I also couldn't resist cleaning up the frames and repainting them (I also found out I had to reweld one of them). Fresh burlap and the more expensive version of cushions were necessary to make the job easier and neater. I used the sunshine and a heat gun selectively to make the fit better. It was a challenging lesson for my first time. I messed up a pile of hog rings learning how to properly slit expensive cushions and getting the listings correct. I also found that the spacing should be no more than 2" on listings. It took twice as long (like everything else) to do than expected, but I wasn't in a rush, either. I am proud of my results and I think I saved some money, but moreover, learned to do something new along the way. I don't regret it, but I won't be volunteering to do it again soon !
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All fabulous responses. Thanks to everyone
 

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All fabulous responses. Thanks to everyone
First off, thank you for your business! Secondly, I'll make the general-statement that we (NPD) do not include cheap/worthless/insulting pliers and hog rings with our upholstery sets. I know exactly what the other posters are referring to, and trying to use those things is like trying to use the flat stamped wrench included to assemble a new hibachi ;) .

We have our own proprietary hog ring pliers, manufactured exclusively for us, that is a professional-grade forged tool, with the negative-tension spring and curve/bend. The hogrings are likewise professional-grade, not the flimsy little ones you get for free with some kits.

But, as it goes with quality stuff, they have to be purchased separately. https://www.npdlink.com/store/products/hog_ring_and_pliers_kit_upholstery_installation-105871-0.html

If you want any advice regarding installation, or to check if there are other desirable components you may have left-out in your purchase, call our Michigan store 1-800-521-6104 and ask for Jeff Fein. He's our store-manager by day, upholstery/trim professional nights and weekends. He'll be happy to give you some good pointers.


Rick
NPD
 

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Rick,

I can attest to your statement about the NPD pliers--they were durable and I really gave them a workout on my seats!

I will also take this opportunity to say something else in general--the guys that work in the Charlotte location are first class. I am there more often than I should admit these days and not only are they first class people, they make sure that things are always right, no matter what. I would consider those guys my friends, in fact. Moreover, they are honest about products and the differences in some of them. Like everyone else in this game, I can choose my parts supplier. There is a reason that I choose NPD.

Thanks, Rick and make sure you tell the Charlotte guys that they are appreciated!

Sean
 
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