The most common question we are asked after “How is it installed?” is “Can I install it?”. However, every vehicle’s interior and installation method is unique. So it is virtually impossible to provide specific installation guides for all. These guidelines ought to just fill in as a general layout for a commonplace establishment and can’t be entirely connected to each vehicle. There is two type of installations, which is Standard and Hog Ring installation. Hog Ring installation is costly and time-consuming but the outcome is the best in term of smooth appearance.
1) Standard Installation
Most front seats are fairly easy to remove from your car. Take enough time to look at your seat and determine how they are to be removed. On most vehicles, four (4) bolts hold each of the front seats in. These bolts are typically found holding the four legs of the seat tracks down at the corners. Sometimes these bolts are covered by plastic trim pieces which need to be removed to expose the bolts. Once they are exposed, simply remove the bolts and tip the seat backwards to check for electrical connections. Before unplugging the electrical connections, make sure you unplug your car’s battery. Most newer vehicles will have some electrical connections, which can be connected to either occupancy sensors or airbag modules. If you unplug any seat sensors or air modules with the car battery still connected then the vehicle will probably throw an engine code which will have to be reset by a dealership later. So make sure to disconnect your car battery and then unplug the connectors and remove the seat from the vehicle. Take a lot of care when removing the front seats from the vehicle because the legs of the metal seat tracks can easily scratch or gouge the plastics on the door panels or other interior trim pieces. Make sure to save all bolts, screws, and other parts for reassembly.
Now we move on to the back seat removal. On most vehicles, the back seat requires that you remove the cushion (bottom section) first. There are a few different methods that vehicle manufacturers use to attach the cushion. On most vehicles there are two (2) bolts or clips that hold the front of the cushion to the floor. You can find these two bolts or clips at the edge of where the factory seat meets the carpet. Unbolt or unclip the front of the cushion, and slide the cushion from the vehicle. Once the cushion is removed, the bolts for removing the seat back are visible. There are usually four (4) bolts that hold the bottom of the seat back to the floor of the vehicle. If your vehicle has a folding armrest, there are sometimes additional bolts behind the armrest as well. After all the bolts are removed, slide the seat back upwards and remove it from the vehicle. Make sure to save all bolts, screws, and other parts for reassembly. The next step is to remove the factory leather interior.
FRONT SEAT CUSHION
For almost all applications, the first step is to remove all of the plastic trim pieces from the seats. Most vehicles have Phillips head screws or plastic push-pins that hold the plastic trim pieces to the seat. Make sure you mark which screws go where, as the screws are normally different lengths. After all the trim pieces are removed, flip the seat upside down, so the bottom of the cushion is facing you. There are normally four (4) bolts that hold the seat cushion pan to the seat frame. Remove those bolts and remove the seat cushion pan from the seat. On some seats you cannot remove the seat pan and you will need to just have to work with the seat pan still attached. There are either J-hooks (plastic channels that clip onto the frame of the seat) or hog-rings that hold the edge of the factory cloth/leather to the seat cushion pan. Remove these, and fold the factory cloth/leather up towards the center of the seat, revealing the center insert seam lines. The inserts use J-hooks to attach the covers to the foam core.
FRONT SEAT BACKREST
First, remove the headrest and set it aside. On most vehicles, holding down the release button, and pulling the headrest up will remove the headrest. However, some headrests have small pinholes on the sides of the headrest guides which house the release buttons that must be pressed by sliding a small thin wire or pick tool into the pinholes and pulling the headrest up. Start with the cover inside out, and align the seams with the edges of the foam. Start to roll the cover down, and attach the J-hooks as you come to them. After you reach the bottom, reattach your hardback. Reinstall the recovered seat cushion and pan assembly and reattach your plastic hardware. You will need to cut holes for the headrest posts as well as any levers/switches that are now covered by the new leather interior kit. To do this, simply cut small slits in the leather seat and work the leather around the headrest posts and any levers/switches that need to be exposed. Tuck the excess leather underneath the headrest posts/levers/switches.
To install the leather headrests, start with it inside out, and line up the seams to the edges of the foam. Then roll the cover down, and connect the J-hooks.
The backseat on most vehicles is very easy. Unlike the front buckets, normally the only hardware to remove is the center armrest and a few clips that hold the lever tore lease the seat back. Installation is the reverse of removal. It is best to start with your leather seat cover inside out and J-hooks the inserts first. When you get to the edges, simply fold the cover over the foam. Then, J-hooks the perimeter of the cushion where the factory attachment points are and you’re finished!
If applicable, remove the center armrest from the backrest. A few bolts on the backside of the foam normally hold it on. Remember to note how the hardware fits together. Some vehicles have a certain order in which washers, bearings, shims, etc. go together to make the armrest fold. To install the armrest cover, simply start with the cover inside out, line up the seams at the tip of the armrest, and roll the cover over. Hook the new J-hooks together, and set it aside. Installation is the reverse of removal. Start with the cover inside out, and J-Hooks the inserts first. Then roll the cover over the corners and J-Hooks the perimeter in the factory locations. Re-install the armrest, and you’re finished!
The final step is to put everything back into the car. It is generally easier to install the rear seat first. Be careful when installing the front seats that you don’t scrape any plastic or the door panels with the bottom of the seat, as the seat rails are sharp and will damage any plastic or vinyl they come in contact with. After the seats are re-installed, it is a good idea to condition the leather and massage any wrinkles that are in the leather. After sitting in the sun for a few days, the new leather interior will actually form itself to the foam, creating a wrinkle free install.
2) Hog Ring Installation
- Install listing wire into the new leather seat cover.
- Locate center of inserts, and center bun and attach with hog rings.
- Attach and wrap around back stretch panel skirting portion of leather seat cover.
- Wrap corner and side skirts of the leather seat cover around the front and sides of the frame. Hand work the cover until a relatively smooth appearance is obtained.
- Attach skirts with hog ring to frame.