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Old 05-19-2009, 12:25 AM   #1
BlackPlastic
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Default Leather is EXPENSIVE!

I am trying to fix up my '96 Classic that I got recently. Unfortunately the sides of both the front seats have become worn through from traffic, but even worse it a huge rip in the driver's bottom cushion cover.

Today I took the cover off and went shopping around. The first guy I talked to wasn't extremely helpful, and just said restoring my bottom cushion cover I was looking at $300-400.

The next guy was pretty nice and was very reputable (very well known for custom hotrods etc), we matched up the color and he called in to see if it was in stock. He said he also had a machine to perforate the leather. He told me $230.

I went to one more guy, a bit of a smaller shop, again we matched up the leather and he called in to order and said it'd be about $80. I said it was a deal .

It is about a 12" x 12" section of leather, but this gray perforated leather is solely used on the Classic AFAIK. Hopefully it turns out well :fingers crossed: Eventually I will get the sides fixed up too, as well as some loose stitching on the rear seats. But I just wanted to get this major repair done before I drive across the country. Here is a picture:
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

If I were you I would go to your local junk yard and remove the seats out of the savalvage/junked vehicle. The junk yard should charge about $20 a seat. I personally go to my local junk yard and get parts for my saturn from time to time. The owner has thousand of cars. You remove the part(s) yourself and when you are leaving you pay for what you got. This junk yard that I go to, has about 20 saturns all in one section. Half of the vehicles have leather interior and the condition is really good. Call around some places in your area!
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Ha, trust me there is no gray leather around here, but even if there was I'd have to get it perforated and the stuff is just always so dry and the backside foam is beat.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticBeach View Post
If I were you I would go to your local junk yard and remove the seats out of the savalvage/junked vehicle. The junk yard should charge about $20 a seat. I personally go to my local junk yard and get parts for my saturn from time to time. The owner has thousand of cars. You remove the part(s) yourself and when you are leaving you pay for what you got. This junk yard that I go to, has about 20 saturns all in one section. Half of the vehicles have leather interior and the condition is really good. Call around some places in your area!
Are there any 1994 Homecoming Edition Sedans that are in this yard that you speak of? If you get some time, can you check and see? I have a 94 Homecoming that I am trying to restore and need some body panels; there is also another member here (PSDFan) who has a 94 Homecoming Edition as well.

Let me know....
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Someone in VT with cloth SL2 seats want leather? Mine are kinda stained 'cause bottles leak (rear only) and the driver side outer edge is worn a lot, but I hate 'em (even with belts from a '95 I slide all over). It'd take maybe 30 minutes to swap...
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticBeach View Post
This junk yard that I go to, has about 20 saturns all in one section.
Must be nice. My local junkyard has 3, scattered about in the back... and all of them have tan cloth interiors!
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

I wish that I could find a tan leather seat for my wife's 95 Sw. The bolster on the left side is starting to split as well.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

I got a call today and the total price is $127.50 and should be done on Thursday. I will upload a picture once I get it back.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Got the cover back today, was $65 for material and $65 for labor. It turned out pretty nice. The leather still needs a lot of work, it is so dried, cracked and stretched. Such a shame. At least I got the major issue out of the way for now.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPlastic View Post
The leather still needs a lot of work, it is so dried, cracked and stretched.
BP, have you tried Lexol products? Their cleaner & conditioner has worked well for me on old leather. Tack shops are a good source.

I need some upholstery work done too.. out of curiosity what part of the country are you in?
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

I haven't even gotten a chance to use any products on it yet, but am certainly looking to. Lexol - will look into that, thanks.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

I'm using Leatherique oil for the seats in my SC2 and it seems to be helping to soften them up. For cleaning their system beats anything I've ever used before for floating the layer of grime off the surface of the leather.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by macbox View Post
I'm using Leatherique oil for the seats in my SC2 and it seems to be helping to soften them up. For cleaning their system beats anything I've ever used before for floating the layer of grime off the surface of the leather.
+1 on the Leatherique oil, Im happy with the results.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Is that something you have to order?
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:44 AM   #15
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Happy Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPlastic View Post
Is that something you have to order?
Most likely.

http://www.amazon.com/Leatherique-Re.../dp/B0002SPCAI
...
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

I got mine from autogeek.com, amazon has it for about the same price also, you won't find it at AZ or Tandy Leather. The leatherique website has instructions for the product. In keeping with the title of this thread, its also the most expensive thing I've found, but the oil has no silicone or other junk that wouldn't be in new leather in the first place, and the two step process also took worn in grime off that Lexol would not remove.

If you have perforated leather like the 96 Classic, you are going to want to change methods to avoid soaking oil and cleaning solutions through the perforations and into the seat pad.

Apply the oil, use the hair dryer on it to give it some heat, after the first application has soaked in, put another coat of oil on, 3-6 coats, with 5 minutes between coats, or soak in the sun. You can keep applying it as long as its soaking in.

The driest, hardest leather in these cars is the top of the rear seatbacks, which can end up looking like a shrunken head, and in my 95 is probably a lost cause no matter what you throw on it. Remember we are dealing with something that is basically dead skin and if it hasn't been taken care of in the previous 14 years time and heat has already done its damage. I might try out removing the leather from the seatback and applying to the inside of the leather but that's a project for another time.

If you want to you can remove the seats, this will let you apply oil horizontally to the normally vertical surfaces, and you can rip the carpet out and pressure wash it at the car wash while you have the seats out.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Leather is EXPENSIVE!

Mine has grey leather in it, the passanger seat and back seats are in great shape. Drivers seat has the most ware. I don't really like leather, but it's not too terrible in this car.
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