seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Here's some good repair guides for your Tercel :) Look here for help first!
User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6334
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby dlb » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:26 pm

i bought a really gross T4 last week and the interior reeked of dog, smoke, sweat, sickness...it really was the most foul and god awful odor. so i'm in the process of ripping the seats, door panels, carpet, and headliner out so i can thoroughly clean them all. here are the pics and most of the steps involved in the seat/upholstery removal. it's super easy but really time consuming. it took me about four hours to remove all the seats and their covers. i wouldn't do this unless your car really stinks or you're getting serious about detailing.

remove the four 14 mm bolts holding each front seat. the bolts at the front are easily seen, the rear ones are beneath plastic covers. pry the covers off with a flat head screwdriver. remove the seat to somewhere you can work comfortably and settle in.

Image

release the lock and pull out the headrest. this is the tough part: undo the velcro and pull off the cover. ok, you made it.

Image

on to the bottom cushion. remove the screws holding the trim in place.

Image

if it's an SR5 driver's seat there is a knob. it's tight but you have to use a screwdriver to push the little metal clip off of it. it's similar to the style of clip window cranks are fastened with but the rag trick doesn't work.

Image

once the trim is removed, remove the two bolts on each side that secure the bottom cushion pan to the seat frame. my fat finger and the screwdriver point to the bolts.

Image

here's the bottom cushion and pan removed.

Image

flip the pan upside down. here's your introduction to the damn rings. these are used to secure the material to the frames and pans and they're a real *%&*# to deal with. pry them off with needle nosed pliers, and keep a big container for all of them because there are a lot. remove them from the material on the bottom of the seat pan.

Image

pry the edge of the seat cover off of the lip of the pan. it's pretty tight.

Image

if the pan has gotten wet you'll need to pry the cushion off of the rusted pan.

Image

now that the cushion is free from the pan, pull the cover back and expose the rings that secure the center parts of the cover.

Image

pull the thin metal ribs out of the sleeves. if the rib has gotten wet you'll have to mess around to separate it from the sleeve before you can slide it out.

Image

that's the front seat bottom cushion. on to the front seat back cushion. to remove the handles, pry off the cover and expose the two screws. remove the screws and pull the handles off, duh.

Image

this is neat. each of the handle covers were hand-punched "L" and "R". i love knowing that someone had to take the time to do such personal work on a vehicle. weird though, since the handles themselves are machine-marked.

Image

flip the seat back over so you're working on the bottom now. expose the rings, remove them.

Image

this is a real pain: on either side there is a length of rubber wrapped around a hook and fastened with the blasted rings. wrestle with the rings, swear a bunch, remove them, untie the rubber.

Image

pull the cover up the rear of the seat and expose more rings (they're difficult to see but they're at the orange holes in the foam, not the green things). remove them.

Image

there are some odd hooks at the top end of the length of rubber. unhook them from the frame.

Image

pull the cover back more. expose more rings. remove them. by now it's tedious.

Image

now you must remove the head rest retainers. from the back of the seat back, reach up in to the space between the foam.

Image

squeeze the ends of the retainers and push them out.

Image

now you can freely pull of the seat back cover. pull out all the ribs from their sleeves now so that they don't get rustier when you wash the covers. one down, three to go! the driver and passenger side seats are virtually the same, minus the adjusting knob on the SR5 driver's seat. the back seats are less complicated but have more of the stupid rings. i didn't document the rear seats as thoroughly since the principles are the same--remove seat, remove rings, pull back cover, remove ribs--but here are a few things.

the rear bench comes out super easy, just pull the two tabs and lift. voila! look at all the crap underneath. what a mess down there.

Image

the rear bench has so many rings and ribs that you'll hate yourself for starting this job. make sure you get them all.

my cat loved the stink and was right in there with me the whole time.

Image

oops, i forgot my camera died at this point. doesn't matter, here's the main points: 3 bolts attach each seat back to the frame. remove them, take out the seat backs. remove the rings, pull the cover back, expose more rings. unscrew the pull knobs that are used to lay the seats down. to remove the trim piece the pull knob sits in, undo the two bolts and remove the pull knob mechanism from the side of the seat. now you have room to reach up, squeeze, and push the trim piece out, just like the head rest retainers.

i washed all my seat covers last night. i separated them into two medium-sized loads and washed each load twice. there was a TON of muck after the first washing, and if this car wasn't quite so ugly i would even wash them a third time but screw it, this will get the smell out and this car will never look 'nice' so i'm moving on to sewing the hole in the driver's seat wing and moving on with the rest of the cleaning. your turn now!
Last edited by dlb on Sat May 07, 2011 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 9266
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby Petros » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:48 pm

I found moldy dog food under the rear seat on the one I sold list member Cyuse. The seats were trashed anyway, so I just replaced them, and the carpet with some nice clean ones from the wrecking yard. I stripped inside down to bare metal and washed with soap and water, and than spray with disinfectant. it finally smelled clean after that.

Be sure you soak all the foam in Lysol or something similar. Ron B. actually washed all the foam in his, but it took two weeks in the sun to dry them out. No recommended for the PNW, looks like spring (and summer) may not come this year.

I would sure like a set of seat covers like the ones you have there. Do you have any extras?
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 5960
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby ARCHINSTL » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:52 pm

dlb - this is now a sticky!
XLNT ! ! !
I take it that it would be wise to disassemble the front seats one at a time, using the untouched seat as a guide for reassembly?
Are you going to get new foam or add to the existing pads?
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6334
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby dlb » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:39 am

ARCHINSTL wrote:dlb - this is now a sticky!
XLNT ! ! !
I take it that it would be wise to disassemble the front seats one at a time, using the untouched seat as a guide for reassembly?
Are you going to get new foam or add to the existing pads?
Tom M.


thanks a lot, tom! as for reassembly, good point. the seats are actually really easy to figure out, the only thing i did was keep the ribs for each cushion separate. you can tell which one goes where by checking the length of the rib against the sleeve. so i have separate piles of ribs for

driver's seat back
driver's seat bottom
passenger seat back
passenger seat bottom
rear bench
rear driver's side back
rear passenger side back

no, i'm not going to get new foam. there's one torn foam wing on the driver seat which i'll probably just duct tape. you'll never see it and it will be completely functional. this terc is an ugly duckling and i'm fine with that. i'm actually thinking about setting myself a $500 budget for repairs and buying as much used stuff as i can, including the CV. it's not worth dumping too much money into and will be kind of a fun challenge.

Petros wrote:I found moldy dog food under the rear seat on the one I sold list member Cyuse. The seats were trashed anyway, so I just replaced them, and the carpet with some nice clean ones from the wrecking yard. I stripped inside down to bare metal and washed with soap and water, and than spray with disinfectant. it finally smelled clean after that.

Be sure you soak all the foam in Lysol or something similar. Ron B. actually washed all the foam in his, but it took two weeks in the sun to dry them out. No recommended for the PNW, looks like spring (and summer) may not come this year.

I would sure like a set of seat covers like the ones you have there. Do you have any extras?


ha, moldy dog food. i had moldy fries, fish hooks, tree planting instructions, dog hair...yuck. the screws in the shifter and e-brake trim were dust from spilled coke and coffee. had to punch new flats in them with a cold chisel so i could get purchase on them to remove them.

i saw that ron washed the foam but wasn't planning on doing that. what do you suggest about lysol treatment? won't soaking it with lysol take as long to dry as washing them?

peter, if these covers were in decent shape i would gladly trade them for any other covers with you but they're honestly so filthy. there's a thick green stain 1"x3" on one of the back seats that is either paint or wax so i'm going to try to get it out using an iron and paper towel, that works for wax on carpet. there are two cigarette burns (filthy habit), and a tear in the driver seat cover that i'm going to sew. i've found spray n' wash stain remover gets ANYTHING out with enough time so you might be able to get these pristine if you put the time and effort in but pristine isn't my goal with this project--i just want it usably clean, to smell and look like a decent old car. anyway, if this still sounds like a set you're interested in, let me know and we can swap.

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 9266
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby Petros » Mon May 02, 2011 12:36 pm

My rear seat with that exact same pattern on it is dirty but in good condition. I can trade you that for the one (or both) good front seat cover(s). I was considering pulling the rear one apart to use the center panels (the lighter color with the diagonal stripes) to replace the shredded driver's seat panel. but if you want the rear seat cover, it is yours. I have other parts too, what do you need?
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

ohcanada_00
Top Notch Member
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:12 pm
My tercel:: 1984 DLX 4WD
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Contact:

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby ohcanada_00 » Mon May 02, 2011 12:53 pm

epic... i was jsut about to look into undertaking this on the seats Peter sold me so this is a big long bucket of WIN!

nice write up!
"Any car which holds together for an entire race is entirely too heavy" -Colin Chapman

84' DLX with 6 speed (the project beast) 'Tora'
84' SR5 'Tori' (the daily driver)
08' Scion xB
04' Kawasaki Z1000

User avatar
sdoan
Top Notch Member
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:02 pm
My tercel:: 1983 Tercel 4wd DLX 2nd owner (sold), 1984 SR5 3rd owner (sold), 1984 with 4A engine and factory sunroof SR5 3rd owner.
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby sdoan » Fri May 06, 2011 10:56 pm

Great writeup and pictures DLB. I might just try this now. Thanks!

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6334
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby dlb » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:41 pm

DCN got me thinking about taking some post-cleaning pics to show how the seats came out. the 'after' shots aren't as dramatic without the 'before' shots but i never thought to take them when i started the job.i'll probably be cleaning the seats in the new parts car so i'll be sure to do some before and after shots then.

anyway, here's how the filthy, stinking things turned out.

driver seat - back:

Image

driver seat - bottom (this was originally the passenger side bottom):

Image

passenger seat - back:

Image

passenger seat - bottom (originally the driver side bottom, of course):

Image

rear bench from the passenger side:

Image

rear bench from the driver side:

Image

rear bench - back:

Image

as you can see, the driver seat bottom was the grossest, with the driver seat back in close second. they are both permanently stained and one has a cigarette burn. if i wasn't so impatient i could have put the covers through the wash a third and fourth time but i wasn't worried about it since the car will be an ugly duckling anyway. i also used gorilla tape (just a heavier duty duct tape) to repair some of the damaged cushions and it worked well.

North of 64
Top Notch Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:04 pm
My tercel:: "Bones" & "The Gray" both 87 SR5 4WD
Location: Dawson City, Yukon

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby North of 64 » Mon May 28, 2012 10:20 pm

dlb, my carpet in the cargo area is out and after $4.00 at the RV car wash, the wet dog smell is gone or at least it's gone until it gets wet again. An amazing difference. The carpet weathered the high pressure spray really well. In the process of removing it, I pretty much trashed the plastic fasteners that hold the carpet to the seat back. Couldn't quite figure out how to remove them for reuse, do they actually unscrew?

Anybody got a source for these fasteners and the fasteners that hold the plastic panel onto the rear hatch? I ordered some of those from Toyota a couple of years ago but they didn't last long. Thanks for the help!

User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 5960
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby ARCHINSTL » Mon May 28, 2012 10:48 pm

Auto stores in the USA and presumably Canada carry generic fasteners in black - I had to use some for the hatch cover - dunno about for the rug-to-seat, though. Maybe take in one to the store?
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

User avatar
GLet71
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:09 pm
My tercel:: '87 6-spd SR5 4wd Wagon
Location: Nelson, BC Canada

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby GLet71 » Mon May 28, 2012 11:03 pm

Next time just leave it in the car, with all the sunshine up north your car would dry up in a couple of days. I remember we use to do that with crew trucks, tape off the dash with poly and duct tape, then pressure wash the inside. Worked well, but we had to sit on plastic bags for a week!
'87 6spd SR5 4WD modified Wagon (Ron, the post-apocalyptic summer ride)
'87 Auto dlx 4WD Wagon (Otto, winter beater, maybe?)
'88 6spd SR5 4WD Wagon (Perry, the parts car)

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6334
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby dlb » Mon May 28, 2012 11:58 pm

n64, to remove those fasteners slide two flat blade screwdrivers underneath the head of the fastener and pry up in gentle, bouncing motions. i've had good luck removing them. i've read what tom mentioned, that you can get these from most auto stores.

for the hatch trim, it uses both clips and those stupid screw-style fasteners. i would grab more of the screw-style ones from wrecks personally. toyota will charge you up the ### for everything, including goofy little things like these.

North of 64
Top Notch Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:04 pm
My tercel:: "Bones" & "The Gray" both 87 SR5 4WD
Location: Dawson City, Yukon

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby North of 64 » Tue May 29, 2012 10:01 am

Thanks Gentlemen. And while we are on the upholstery topic. I seek the dark blue/grey striped covers as shown in dlbs pics, especially the front lower covers but will buy the entire set if available. Before I get carried away and rip out the roof liner - any tips there on fastener removal and reinstall?

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6334
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby dlb » Tue May 29, 2012 10:12 am

i think peter and synth mentioned a long time ago that the headliner fasteners are really difficult to save, that they almost always break on headliner removal. i haven't tried it yet so one of them should give you a definitive answer but that's the gist i got about it.

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 9266
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: seat and upholstery (seat cover) removal

Postby Petros » Tue May 29, 2012 12:13 pm

I have removed the headliner fasteners lots of times, they work the same way the carpet ones do (I remove them with two putty knifes, and some angled needle nose pliers-carefully), but for some reason they still break half the time. I would just clean the headliner in place, soak with cleaner and scrub with a soft brush, rinse and than suck it dry with a wet-n-dry shop vac.

I thought you can get most of these fasteners from Toyota, usually in 8 packs, but were not too costly.

North of 64, I have an extra set of seats for that pattern in blue, seat part not perfect but usable, the backs were not bad as I recall.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)


Return to “Repair Guides”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest