Seat Bottom Refurbishment

This procedure documents our experience with later-model (1974) seats. However, most of it is applicable to all Volkswagen seats.


Things you will need -

  • Ordinary tools (wrenches, screwdriver, hammer, etc.).
  • Hog ring tool and hog rings.
  • A large pair of sharp scissors.
  • Burlap.
  • 1" foam.
  • Seat buns (2).
  • Spray glue.
  • A good-sized table (protect the top with cardboard).

Note: Throughout this procedure, keep the work area and your hands CLEAN! Be sure to save all hardware.

  1. Remove the front seats -- pull the pin out of the center channel and push the seat out backwards.
  2. Carefully remove the two backrest return springs on either side and the smaller spring in the outside mechanism (if there is one).
  3. Disconnect back rest from the seat bottom by removing the two silver bolts at the bottom of the seat back frame on either side.
  4. Note: Be sure to save these two bolts, as they are a special design.

  5. Remove the covers and knobs from the seat adjusting mechanism on the sides of the seat (later-model seats only).
  6. Carefully remove the upholstery (if you plan to reuse it). Be careful not to rip the upholstery or split the seams.
    • Straighten all of the spikes on the frame that hold the upholstery. Be very careful not to break them off.
    • Remove the rod from the rear flap (not necessary if you're going to reuse the upholstery).

  7. Remove all of the old foam and horsehair and discard it.
  8. After the springs are stripped bare and cleaned, inspect them to make sure nothing is broken. If things are found to be broken, have them repaired (usually welding will be required).

    Note: An excellent source of used springs is Russ's Recycling. They deal exclusively in used VW parts and are very responsive. We purchased a good-quality set of driver's seat springs from Russ.

  9. Paint the springs (even though no one will see them, YOU will know, and smile! :-)
  10. Install a double layer of burlap over the springs, overlapping about 3" all the way around. Attach burlap to the springs all the way around with hog rings.
  11. Cut a piece of 1" foam about 1" smaller than the seat. Center on the seat and spray glue to the burlap.
  12. Note: You may want to use two layers of foam at this point (under the bun), but you don't want to raise the seat bottom up TOO high. A 6'3" driver (like me!) might be rubbing his head against the headliner!

  13. Spray glue inside the seat bun, all around the upper edges of the burlap, and on the 1" foam piece that you just installed.
  14. Install the bun on the top of the seat, rolling it around the seat frame to give a nice fit.
  15. Hook the upholstery over the front of the seat, then massage it toward the rear over the foam cushion.
  16. Turn the seat upside down. Reinstall the rod in its pocket on the rear flap (if the upholstery is new). Make sure the upholstery is centered on the seat frame.
  17. Draw the back piece (the piece with the rod) up over the frame and onto the spikes. When in place, tap the spikes over securely with a hammer.
  18. Turn the seat around to work at the front. Push down on the frame and pull the front piece over the spikes. Work around to the sides, pulling the upholstery up over the spikes. Don't tap the spikes down yet.
  19. Pushing down on the frame, tie the string running around the bottom of the upholstery to one side of the frame at the rear, then tie down the other side. Tie the loose ends together (double knot).
  20. Bend the spikes over all the way around.
  21. Refurbish the seat backs in accordance with our Seat Back Refurbishment Procedure.
  22. Reinstall the backrest onto the bottom cushion. Reinstall the springs.
  23. Install new plastic clips on the back feet of the seat, if necessary, to prevent the seat from rocking. Also install the plastic clip that comes in the kit on the adjustment point at the front of the seat.
  24. Reinstall the seat in the car, sliding the rear supports into the guides, back to front. Make sure the adjustment pin at the front is firmly in place, adjusting the seat position to the size of the driver.
  25. Do the other seat.


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