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Thread: My 57 belvedere

  1. #101
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Ugh. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I think the best course of action is for me to pay an experienced upholsterer to install my covers.
    Fortunately there is a guy with an established shop who I talked with last year. He's pretty booked so I need to check back with him around the first of the year.

  2. #102
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 57belv View Post
    Ugh. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I think the best course of action is for me to pay an experienced upholsterer to install my covers.
    Fortunately there is a guy with an established shop who I talked with last year. He's pretty booked so I need to check back with him around the first of the year.
    Well Chris, re-upholstery can be challenging. It's not impossible to overcome if you have the right tools, supplies and a little help. (Unless you are severely handicapped) If you feel more comfortable with an established upholstery shop with a good reputation, then go for it.
    Go outside and enjoy life.

  3. #103
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial King View Post
    Well Chris, re-upholstery can be challenging. It's not impossible to overcome if you have the right tools, supplies and a little help. (Unless you are severely handicapped) If you feel more comfortable with an established upholstery shop with a good reputation, then go for it.
    Well, the biggest issue I have is I'm concerned part of the front backrest covers are sewn incorrectly. I have remnants of the originals to compare the new ones with, and they deviate significantly in certain areas.

    Since the covers need to slip over the top of the backrests, the bottom portion has to be open to allow this. That is how the original cover is designed, same as the seat from my donor car.
    The cover from SMS has part of the bottom sewn together, thus making it all but impossible to install without tearing something.





    At least if I give it to a good upholsterer, they can repair anything that might tear, or make any necessary modifications when installing them.

    Also, the cushions need to be replaced, and for some reason the outer side bolsters have a weird shape added to them which wasn't included in the original. The sides normally have a straight taper, but these have a bulge that was purposely made. I've never seen it on another '57-'58 Plymouth seat, and these are supposed to be patterned off originals.





    So at this point I may as well yield since I need someone who is adept at shaping the padding too.
    Last edited by 57belv; 11-12-2021 at 08:01 AM.

  4. #104
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    So, a little update. I did get the hood latch support from John earlier, and there's no question that my original was all messed up. Course the car is tucked away so I can't do anything about that until the spring.

    However, I did end up taking my seats and upholstery to another shop for installation. So for them to install my ready made covers from SMS, it would be another $1500 on top of the $1400 I already paid for the covers. This has already gone much farther than I had originally planned. It seems like every step forward with the upholstery gets more expensive.

    I mean, when I initially bought my car, I thought the seats were in good condition, needing no attention. Of course that turned out not to be the case.
    Then the plan was to repair the seats myself. I had debated getting seat covers made by one of the online companies available at the time that could've supplied them, but that was more expensive than I had wanted to go at the time, so I opted to clean up what I had and just rebuild the cushions myself.

    Well after a couple years of doing nothing with them, I gave them to Bozo the clown who ripped me off for $1000.
    Initially he wanted $1800 to do the whole job, which is what I was quoted by another local shop in the area (Whom I should have gone with originally)

    So after that debacle came the SMS incident which took another two years and three months of waiting to finally get the upholstery kit.

    Upon examination of the covers, I felt uneasy about installing them myself, so they ended up in the hands of this other shop.
    Well it turns out that the covers that I had waited so long for are unusable. Apparently the drivers backrest is 2-1/2 inches too narrow, along with the rear seat backrest. Also, the wrinkled corners on the inserts were confirmed as being unfixable with mere heating and stretching. They are simply made too poorly.

    Needless to say I was not happy with SMS again. The shop owner said I should get in touch with them and see what they would do to resolve the issue because clearly they had made garbage.
    I did get a hold of SMS and to their credit, they asked for the shop owner to mark all that was wrong with the covers and send them back so SMS could make proper replacements.
    As of now the covers are on their way back to SMS.
    Last edited by 57belv; 01-23-2022 at 05:52 AM.

  5. #105
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 57belv View Post
    So, a little update. I did get the hood latch support from John earlier, and there's no question that my original was all messed up. Course the car is tucked away so I can't do anything about that until the spring.

    However, I did end up taking my seats and upholstery to another shop for installation. So for them to install my ready made covers from SMS, it would be another $1500 on top of the $1400 I already paid for the covers. This has already gone much farther than I had originally planned. It seems like every step forward with the upholstery gets more expensive.

    I mean, when I initially bought my car, I thought the seats were in good condition, needing no attention. Of course that turned out not to be the case.
    Then the plan was to repair the seats myself. I had debated getting seat covers made by one of the online companies available at the time that could've supplied them, but that was more expensive than I had wanted to go at the time, so I opted to clean up what I had and just rebuild the cushions myself.

    Well after a couple years of doing nothing with them, I gave them to Bozo the clown who ripped me off for $1000.
    Initially he wanted $1800 to do the whole job, which is what I was quoted by another local shop in the area (Whom I should have gone with originally)

    So after that debacle came the SMS incident which took another two years and three months of waiting to finally get the upholstery kit.

    Upon examination of the covers, I felt uneasy about installing them myself, so they ended up in the hands of this other shop.
    Well it turns out that the covers that I had waited so long for are unusable. Apparently the drivers backrest is 2-1/2 inches too narrow, along with the rear seat backrest. Also, the wrinkled corners on the inserts were confirmed as being unfixable with mere heating and stretching. They are simply made too poorly.

    Needless to say I was not happy with SMS again. The shop owner said I should get in touch with them and see what they would do to resolve the issue because clearly they had made garbage.
    I did get a hold of SMS and to their credit, they asked for the shop owner to mark all that was wrong with the covers and send them back so SMS could make proper replacements.
    As of now the covers are on their way back to SMS.

    Chris, I am so happy that after all the bull dinky crap you've been through, you maybe soon getting satisfaction. At least, keep your fingers crossed.
    LOL
    Go outside and enjoy life.

  6. #106
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    As far as the price of having the seats installed, I know it's a lot of money, but you don't have a lot of choices. If this shop has a good following and no complaints from customers, let it go.
    Go outside and enjoy life.

  7. #107
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial King View Post
    As far as the price of having the seats installed, I know it's a lot of money, but you don't have a lot of choices. If this shop has a good following and no complaints from customers, let it go.
    That's not so easy when one is not in a good position financially to be spending this kind of money right now. In all reality I shouldn't even have a car like this because of my income situation, but it's something I wanted so badly that I was willing to sacrifice.

    Unfortunately this was supposed to be a very limited budget project, and every hit keeps increasing the guilt factor.
    I hate the fact that money has to be an issue. I hate how there has to be a moral struggle between being practical and wanting to finish my car.

    I mean, I have no love of money. it's sole purpose is to help me survive and obtain the things necessary to do so.

    On the other side, I love my car. I honestly wish I could afford to have everything restored properly, but I can't allow myself to go bankrupt because of it.

  8. #108
    ICC MEMBER ply57nz's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with something that should be so straight forward. Wish I was closer, I could have sorted that out for you. This is one of the seats I've been doing for a friends car here in New Zealand Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #109
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ply57nz View Post
    Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with something that should be so straight forward. Wish I was closer, I could have sorted that out for you. This is one of the seats I've been doing for a friends car here in New Zealand Click image for larger version. 

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    Wow! that looks terrific! You do some really great work. I certainly wish I could take you up on that as well. Thanks though.

    Funny thing is I had an uneasy feeling the moment I handed over my stuff to the first upholstery guy. I knew how hard it would be to replace anything if it was lost and that fear was almost realized. If I had waited another month to track down the guy, chances are everything would have been gone.

    And I agree that this should be a straight forward ordeal, and I think if it was any other vehicle, it would have been. It almost feels as if fate was waiting for me to be in a vulnerable position where I'd be at the mercy of others, and it's done everything it can to keep me there.

  10. #110
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Okay, so I did hear from SMS a couple weeks ago. They told me my seat covers were done and ready to be sent out. I talked with my upholstery guy and confirmed that they had indeed received the package from SMS, and he did a dry fit which seemed to be much better. He also stated that the insert corners on the backrests that had been a concern of mine are much nicer now. A night and day difference.

  11. #111
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 57belv View Post
    Okay, so I did hear from SMS a couple weeks ago. They told me my seat covers were done and ready to be sent out. I talked with my upholstery guy and confirmed that they had indeed received the package from SMS, and he did a dry fit which seemed to be much better. He also stated that the insert corners on the backrests that had been a concern of mine are much nicer now. A night and day difference.
    Thank goodness for that.
    And good for you for sticking up for yourself and demanding better Chris.
    Go outside and enjoy life.

  12. #112
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial King View Post
    Thank goodness for that.
    And good for you for sticking up for yourself and demanding better Chris.
    Thanks Ed, I can only imagine the madness I would have endured had i actually tried finishing the seats myself, knowing now that there's no way the covers would have worked.

  13. #113
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    Glad to hear they took care of the problems, Chris.

    ---John
    Big M Auto-

    "We buy junk, and sell antiques"
    ICC member since just after dirt, but before baseball.

  14. #114
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big m View Post
    Glad to hear they took care of the problems, Chris.

    ---John
    Thanks John, I just hope they turn out well after all this.

  15. #115
    ICC MEMBER ply57nz's Avatar
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    That's great news, you will be looking forward to progressing it now. Such a shame the stress you have had to go through to get to this point. Can't wait to see the pics of your new interior when it's fitted up.

  16. #116
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Well I went and picked up my stuff yesterday. The bill came to $1414 and change. I ended up giving $1600 for the extra hassle and all that, plus I was just happy that I finally had my seats back. Now I'm kinda kicking myself in the rear for doing so. I'm not entirely thrilled with the end result.

    Now I know the shop was limited with what they had to work with, so I can understand that, and for the most part everything looks decent enough.
    My biggest issues is the fact that the cushions, particularly the rear ones, seem to be way over stuffed. I mean to the point where they look like overstuffed leather chairs

    I had mentioned early on that the padding needed to be thin since that's how it was done originally and is needed for proper fitment.
    Looking at these I am almost certain it will be extremely difficult to install them given the already tight fit the seats were when they had little padding to begin with.

    I'm also annoyed that one of the seams on the front seat passenger side backrest started to split. Granted it's it's down at the bottom and on the backside where the central pivot is, but it's there nonetheless. Now I was told it was due to the covers being made really tight. Okay, perhaps, but perhaps it was also due to the fact there's too much foam.

    I dunno, I guess I won't know for certain how any of this will go until I actually try and fit everything, but right now I'm not exactly optimistic.

  17. #117
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    Alright Chris, now that you got that all out, let's see what the seats look like now.
    Go outside and enjoy life.

  18. #118
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial King View Post
    Alright Chris, now that you got that all out, let's see what the seats look like now.
    Yeah, I want to take some good pics, but in order to do so I need to clean up the family room where i have them stashed so that I can lay them out.

  19. #119
    ICC member 57belv's Avatar
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    Here's a few I took when I got home.













    So I had the patch of red vinyl added to the bottom of the armrests. I'm honestly not sure why they weren't just sewn all the way. I was told it's because the seat will hide that part, but why wouldn't one just go all the way? Now there's this flap that may or may not cause an issue when installing/removing the seat.





    I will take better pics once the room is straightened up. I kinda hate to unwrap them cause there's so many boxelder bugs that got into the house and they leave stains on everything down there.
    Last edited by 57belv; 04-05-2022 at 10:03 PM.

  20. #120
    ICC MEMBER ply57nz's Avatar
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    The point to which that red piece is stitched on the armrest is where the factory finished them as well. The part that isn't stitched is actually surplus and can probably be trimmed off straight down if the white vinyl is underneath it. They would have just cut a larger piece of red to make sure there was enough there when fitting. The upholsterer would have left it like that because he doesn't have the car to test fit things to see how they work together. Once you fit the stainless trim to that area it should be roughly where the seam is finished. Sorry to babble on but hope that helps.

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