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Lseat replacement review

This is my personal review and care points following replacement of my driver’s seat foams with factory N.O.S. foams and both front seat covers sourced from Lseat.

Before starting the seat replacement I would recommend removing the front seat runner rear bolt covers and spraying all 4 seat runner bolts (including the runner rear bolts from underneath the car) with lubricant such as WD40 and leaving to penetrate before commencing as due to the rear bolts being exposed to the underside outdoor elements, they may be corroded/seized. If these are seized and you are unable to loosen, you could either use force and extract the broken stud if needed or remove the seat base from the runner using the 4x 10mm bolts and leave the runner in the car.

I found these two guides useful as they cover both the Bullitt seat cover and instructions for the driver’s seat which includes all the electrics and lumbar components.


Tools used;
15mm socket to remove the seat runner from the car,
10mm spanner to separate seat base from seat runner,
13mm socket to separate the seat back from the base,
T45 torx drive to separate the seat back from the base,
T27 torx drive to remove the seatbelt loop,
Cross head screw driver for driver’s seat main switch pack and plastic seat trims,
Various size flat blade screwdrivers for leverage purposes,
Side cutters and pin nose pliers for removing the old ‘hog rings’,
Hog ring pliers and hog rings (6 per seat base),
Ruler and pencil to mark the cut for the seat base backrest bracket,
Sharp knife and small sharp fabric scissors for making the necessary holes

An assistant was required to support the seat when splitting and refitting the seat base to the backrest, also with extracting the headrest and runner while releasing the internal catches. They can also assist with removing/refitting the covers and seats as required.

When removing the seat covers do not just pull at the covers as this could tear the Velcro from the seat foams, instead place your hand between the foam and covers to split apart the Velcro with your fingers.

If you are fitting new seat foams, the leather tolerances will be tight, keep stretching and working the leather and you will get there. If using an old foam, fitting is easier, but if too easy the leather could sag, if this is the case you may want to source new seat foams or a tip I read about when re-trimming is to apply a layer of foam over the old foam as this will take up the slack as you do not want gaps between the leather and foams.

When replacing the driver’s seat base cover, remember to extract the metal rod from the old cover and insert this into the new cover. It is this metal rod and the rope integral with the seat foam that you want to clamp together with the hog rings.

When reassembling the driver’s seat remember to keep the lumbar air hoses accessible and remember to re-connect.

Fully fit and secure the new covers before attempting to cut the holes in the leather as there are no pre-cut holes. Use a sharp knife to slice open the leather at the centre and cut outwards to the required size. The only exception is the seat backrest mounting bracket on the seat base. Here, measure the old factory cut location and make a slice in the same place. It appears when you are fitting the cover that the slice wants to be in a different position so ensure you measure and double check before cutting. When making a hole for the backrest tilt release, also cut a slit so that when the leaver is moved, it can slide freely in the cut leather but only cut as far as needed as the cover is shaped to cover just enough this slit.

I found the headrest the hardest cover to replace, so I placed the headrest on its side, pushed down on the foam while stretching and peeling back the old cover. I then found it easier to remove the foam from the metal inner support and place the foam inside the new headrest cover first as this allows you to work the cushion into the corners and then slide the metal insert into the assembled cover/foam, and then use a small leaver to work the foam back over the corners of the metal insert.

Review;

The new covers from Lseat do appear to have been copied from a factory template as all the sections, stitching, loops for Velcro, fabric tunnel for the metal rods and plastic retainers are all there.
The differences I noticed between factory and Lseat I found are as follows;
The front seat base front plastic C-shape retainer on the factory cover is a unique shape, this was not copied on the Lseat version so the front retainer does not fit as nicely (mainly not wide enough), this means it does not fit correctly so you may want to also use a strip of strong tape to help hold it in place,
The centre section with the perforated holes is different upon close inspection. While all the stitching is in the correct place, they have a flatter appearance on the Lseat version which leaves this section looking slightly too big as there is a small amount of excess at the sides near the backrest bolster, and there are less holes per square inch that in the factory originals,
The Lseat covers are all leather except the back rest back section and bottom trim, this makes the factory covers look cheaper in appearance and shows up just how much vinyl was used on the factory covers, and while the factory covers had a flatter finish, the Lseat covers have a tradition textured leather finish
The colouring is not exactly the same

I personally think Lseat need to introduce a quality control process and better customer service. The different sections of the covers still retained the white production markings on some areas, Lseat told me these can be removed and yes they did come off with leather cleaner, but then when finishing with leather conditioner I found this makes the colour look darker and shiny as they have a matt look from Lseat. On my covers the leather sections are a different colour from the stitching and vinyl rear sections. The leather has a dark brown colouring that changes colour depending upon the lighting conditions with a dark grey vinyl rear section and dark grey stitching. I ordered the covers and stitching all in charcoal grey. I sent Lseat the pictures showing different colours and they tell me [quote ‘it’s not error, the vinyl parts with leather parts has slight color difference’] but as you can see in the pictures, this is more than a slight colour difference and another member on IMBOC told me their covers are all one colour! Lseat did say that I could return at my cost which would leave me out of pocket and nothing to show for it, so it looks like I will need to get re-coloured locally. They never apologized for the inconvenience or signed the e-mails with their names or titles so I have no idea if I was talking to the person who makes the seats, just a sales person or manager. Another QC issue I noticed when fitting is the stitching on one of the covers was not finished properly and started to come undone, so this needed rectification before I could continue.

Overall these covers have enhanced the look and feel of the car, the leather pattern now matches everything else in the front compartment (door trims, fascia, console), but now makes the rear seat covers look cheap and different in comparison (both in colour and texture). If Lseat offered Bullitt rear seat covers this would be great as then all the seats would be the same. The materials used are good quality and if the QC issues listed above are addressed I could recommend them. These covers should be considered as a value leather seat cover replacement (the TMI leather cover is more expensive and requires their foams to be used) rather than an exact replica replacement for making the car look like new again.

New foams?
If you sit in your driver’s seat and then the passenger seat and instantly notice the difference, then it is a clear indicator your old seat foam is worn. Having replaced my seat foams I now sit on the seat, rather than in the seat as it does not sag and it offers so much more support, both comfort wise and cornering wise. The foams are sided due to cut outs for the drivers front switch pack, backrest tilting mechanism and seatbelt loop, but with care/additional foam the foams can be adapted to be used both sides, if you can only obtain one replacement side.

Pictures here
https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/2963yp
 

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Car Whisperer
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20,704 Posts
nice write up and pictures!!!! well done sir!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Premium Member
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2,662 Posts
Nice job, you are now an associate professor at Bullit University, seat upholstery department.
 

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386 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. I thought people would find this useful.

A few people at work commented about how the new seat covers look good.

For me the increased comfort from the new seat foams is worth it.

Getting paid for doing the job was a bonus as I found 2 quarters, 2 dimes and 1 British 1 pence :)
 

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Premium Member
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2,998 Posts
very cool article and thank you for the how to. i only ordered the drivers seat because the passengers hardly every gets an Ass on it. I need to order new foam cause it is wore out in drivers seat. i may just try to do the install myself after reading this post and watching Videos.
 
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