Stories & Photos: Restoration of my 68, Part 8

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As raw material for my front seats I chose a pair of old seats from an R16 TSA -75 I parted out years ago.
The reason for not going with the original seats is that I prefer the higher backs of the TS seats.
To remove the seat covers there are a LOT of clips EVERYWHERE to remove!
Here are the seats uncovered.
Funny thing is that the foam has been discolored on the sides, probably because the seat covers had extra foam padding in the middle section.
With the foam removed the actual frame of the seat is exposed.
The drivers seat often needs to some repairs of the frame.
However, it is most of the time simple to repair since it is only put together with small pieces of bent metal.

Here the zig-zag spring has given up in the front left corner. A common problem.
Another common problem is that the springs for the side support of the back breaks.

I have marked the missing pieces with yellow paint to make it easier to see.
This was a slightly less failure, the side spring holding the mesh had broken some 5 cm from the bottom.
Here I have found some spare parts. The zig-zag spring is from the rear seat of an R16, and the side support spring is actually from an R15 front seat.
The side support spring can easily be created from scratch using 2mm spring steel.
Now the zig-zag spring has been reformed to match the old broken part.
A quick run with the sewing maching...
Et voila, a seat as good as new...
I have aimed for an original look with vinyl on the sides. The cloth has bit of a suede look, but I like it, and it was cheap...
From underneath you might be able to see that I have glued an extra layer of canvas as the original canvas in the foam had cracked and caused the seat to sag.
On the rear seat there is a completely different kind of problem, which is visible in this picture: the outer edge is sagging...
And here is the reason, there is no support for the outer edge.

On later R16 this has been fixed by adding extra foam, but it is not a very good solution since the frame is still weak...
Anyway, this is my way of fixing the problem, simply by adding an extra spring on the side.
With the foam back in place on the rear seat frame I tensioned it slightly to get the correct shape.
Here is a picture of me making templates for the side of the seat.
The inside covers of the A-posts was, like on most R16s, damaged by water, so I made some new from hardboard and some black vinyl.

To Part 9

Magnus Bjelk (

Last revision 2005-08-10