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rangerover

Leather Seat Restoration

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Guys,

A close friend of mine just acquired a BMW E38 740i. The interior of the car is quite shabby though. The leather is cracked and dirty. Is there any place recommended for leather seat restoration? Getting new leather on the car can cost quite a bit. (150k at the experts).

Edited by rangerover

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Guys,

A close friend of mine just acquired a BMW E38 740i. The interior of the car is quite shabby though. The leather is cracked and dirty. Is there any place recommended for leather seat restoration? Getting new leather on the car can cost quite a bit. (150k at the experts).

Try [email protected]@la Cushion Works. They did a good job on our pajero a couple of years back when we wanted the front two seats done. If I remember right it costs somewhere 80-100k. If willing to compromise on the quality of the leather, the price could be lesser.

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There used to be detailing place just before the bridge in Rajagiriya coming from Diyawannawa side - across from Dominos/ KFC/ Adidas. They used to do leather restoration, by cleaning and then painting over with a dye. It is considerably cheaper than reupholstering.

PS: I've been outta the country for a while now, so my information may be outdated....

Edited by madmax

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There used to be detailing place just before the bridge in Rajagiriya coming from Diyawannawa side - across from Dominos/ KFC/ Adidas. They used to do leather restoration, by cleaning and then painting over with a dye. It is considerably cheaper than reupholstering.

PS: I've been outta the country for a while now, so my information may be outdated....

Well the seats are not torn etc, to need a complete reupholstering. Just restoration. Will check if this place is still operational. Thanks!

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The place MAdmAx said is still there. Next to the Lions/Rotary Hall. I am planning on taking mine there for restoration and recoloring. The work starts from Rs. 40,000 the nice gentleman on the phone said to me... that is for a restoration for a average condition seats. Anything that needs a lot of attention will cost more.

BTW, how much did your freind pay to acquire the 740i?

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The place MAdmAx said is still there. Next to the Lions/Rotary Hall. I am planning on taking mine there for restoration and recoloring. The work starts from Rs. 40,000 the nice gentleman on the phone said to me... that is for a restoration for a average condition seats. Anything that needs a lot of attention will cost more.

Lemme know when you're going there. I will join. I too need a restoration done. :rolleyes:

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Bugatti / RangeRover - did either of you get any work done from this place?

Also got a recommendation for a place in Nawala (Sadara Cushion works) and the guy checked out the seats and said it would cost ~40k for restoration (remove the wrinkles and paint the faded areas).

On a related issue, some of the roof fabric (below passenger sunvisor and little bit on A-pillars) is loose; and the guy said the fabric I have is very thin, and the yellow glue they use will tend to show through if they glue it back. Estimated about 16k to replace the entire fabric with a thicker one but I'm reluctant to go on that route just yet as the overall condition of the fabric is still quite good.

Any idea about this yellow glue - are there alternatives that wouldn't show through the thin fabric?

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there is a 3M spray on glue that can be used to glue stuff. since its the spray variety it doesn't have the "bulk" glue like multibond have. So if i were you i'd just give 3M a go.

Saw this been done on discovery turbo.

Tried it myself a little while back with great results :)

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Bugatti / RangeRover - did either of you get any work done from this place?

Also got a recommendation for a place in Nawala (Sadara Cushion works) and the guy checked out the seats and said it would cost ~40k for restoration (remove the wrinkles and paint the faded areas).

On a related issue, some of the roof fabric (below passenger sunvisor and little bit on A-pillars) is loose; and the guy said the fabric I have is very thin, and the yellow glue they use will tend to show through if they glue it back. Estimated about 16k to replace the entire fabric with a thicker one but I'm reluctant to go on that route just yet as the overall condition of the fabric is still quite good.

Any idea about this yellow glue - are there alternatives that wouldn't show through the thin fabric?

My friend ordered all the required items including the colour code matched dye from an Online site based in the UK. The stuff is top notch.

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there is a 3M spray on glue that can be used to glue stuff. since its the spray variety it doesn't have the "bulk" glue like multibond have. So if i were you i'd just give 3M a go.

Saw this been done on discovery turbo.

Tried it myself a little while back with great results :)

the way the guy kept emphasising on the "yellow", I assumed it was the colour (not the bulk) that showed through.

does the 3M spray over a wide area (e.g. like a paint spray) or is it focused (like WD40 with the straw-like nozzle)?

If it's the former I'm not sure if I could angle it in at all for the A-pillar, and even for the roof it would likely mean spraying all over the place (top of windscreen, etc.)

Just got hold of the Haynes manual for the car and it actually says the headlining is held in place by double-sided tape!

(not sure if that is correct, but might be a less messy experiment)

@Rangerover - did you friend go DIY, or did he take the dye to the place and pay just for labour?

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@Sifaan

Not yet, he wants to check out if getting only the labour from these places is possible. If not, might go for a DIY. Its not that difficult, if you have all the items and time. The site is www.dynamixdyes.com.

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Not yet, he wants to check out if getting only the labour from these places is possible. If not, might go for a DIY. Its not that difficult, if you have all the items and time. The site is www.dynamixdyes.com.

Interesting; will check if they have the dye colour for my seats. How does the process of removing the wrinkles work? is there a chemical that loosens up the leather and then you rub and rub until the wrinkle is stretched out?

and do you know if it's a similar procedure for the leather (or perhaps faux leather) bits on the door trim?

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My friend ordered all the required items including the colour code matched dye from an Online site based in the UK. The stuff is top notch.

Yup, I too ordered the restoration kit on-line. Cost 18 sterling pounds.. if it works, will order another one.

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@Sifaan

Not yet, he wants to check out if getting only the labour from these places is possible. If not, might go for a DIY. Its not that difficult, if you have all the items and time. The site is www.dynamixdyes.com.

The site seems really interesting and thanx for the info.

BTW, in the gallery they show pics of restorations. How come this thing just vanishes all the cracks like this "http://www.dynamixdyes.com/gallery-popup.php?imagename=galleryimage22". I have the same issue with my seats but doesn't it happens when the top layer of leather been peeled off?

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I got a reply from dynamixdyes that they will need a sample (approx. postage stamp size) of my leather to match the colour for me (they can't do it by colour codes for my car). but the interesting thing is that they said the dye will only recolour the leather but not remove the wrinkles... so how do you get rid of the wrinkles??

(they also said "Restoration using our dyes doesn't require any specialist tools or experience to achieve professional results.")

edit: googled and found 3 ways to remove wrinkles

1. hairdryer - http://www.ehow.com/how_4841041_dryer-remove-wrinkles-leather-seats.html (this is the only one that actually removes the wrinkles!)

2. filler - http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/How-To-Restore-Leather-Car-Interior.htm

3. use dye as filler - http://classiccars.about.com/od/restorationbasics/ss/wornleather_3.htm

Edited by Sifaan

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I got a reply from dynamixdyes that they will need a sample (approx. postage stamp size) of my leather to match the colour for me (they can't do it by colour codes for my car). but the interesting thing is that they said the dye will only recolour the leather but not remove the wrinkles... so how do you get rid of the wrinkles??

(they also said "Restoration using our dyes doesn't require any specialist tools or experience to achieve professional results.")

edit: googled and found 3 ways to remove wrinkles

1. hairdryer - http://www.ehow.com/how_4841041_dryer-remove-wrinkles-leather-seats.html (this is the only one that actually removes the wrinkles!)

2. filler - http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/How-To-Restore-Leather-Car-Interior.htm

3. use dye as filler - http://classiccars.about.com/od/restorationbasics/ss/wornleather_3.htm

Ya, wrinkles need a compound to be applied prior to applying the dye. I found this "http://www.leathermagic.com/Pages/Dlx_Lthr_Kit_Instructions.pdf"

Those people provides the complete set including tools for the operation.

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My car catelouge has the colour code for the leather colour. I saw the same on the website. However, there might be a slight difference due to fading.

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My car catelouge has the colour code for the leather colour. I saw the same on the website. However, there might be a slight difference due to fading.

well, I have the code ("FC") but they don't stock citroen colours :S

might try someone from ebay who could match on the code rather than the bother of sending a sample. I noticed that some kits have toners that can help match faded colours.

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The place MAdmAx said is still there. Next to the Lions/Rotary Hall. I am planning on taking mine there for restoration and recoloring. The work starts from Rs. 40,000 the nice gentleman on the phone said to me... that is for a restoration for a average condition seats. Anything that needs a lot of attention will cost more.

I went to this place to get an estimate on the work, to clean, fill cracks (I don't have any tears, yet!) and paint/dye, and he (Upul) quoted:

~25k for the 2 front seats (e.g. if I only wanted the rear seats cleaned), takes 6 days

~55k for all seats, takes 8 days

I'm just curious how the results of the dye kits (dynamixdyes.com etc.) compare to this cos they seem to be few hours worth of a job?

I doubt if they would artificially inflate the amount of time taken the work... or do they?

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I apply original BMW leather lotion once a week, and never leave my car in the sun. Would these prevent leather cracking and wrinkling?

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I apply original BMW leather lotion once a week, and never leave my car in the sun. Would these prevent leather cracking and wrinkling?

once a week? the guy I met today recommended to use their product once a month. does your product say once a week?

from what I understood from Upul, leather will get loose with age (and therefore wrinkle) and there isn't anything you can do about it (although reducing exposure to sun would slow it down). but as long as it is kept moist it would not crack.

I have a few light cracks and they can be filled in... but if it left unattended it would eventually tear and then it's a bugger.

btw he showed me how his cleaner works by doing a small patch on the rear seat - quite impressive. you might want to get something like that done every 6 months or so.

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I apply original BMW leather lotion once a week, and never leave my car in the sun. Would these prevent leather cracking and wrinkling?

Leather is a natural product - so it will eventually age just like your skin :-) .

Leatherette or artificial leather is more durable and lasts longer. Most of the euro cars in SL have leatherette and not natural leather - but most people don't know the difference (I'm not talking about the about the 'leather' on Singapore cars - that's not even close to leatherette.)

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i have heard this method of using a hair dryer to get rid of the wrinkles.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4841041_dryer-remove-wrinkles-leather-seats.html

I found this and similar (see my earlier posts on this thread); when I asked about this from dynamixdyes the guy replied "Heat will expand leather and stretch wrinkles. Filler is really designed for cracks/lines in leather and not to repair folds"

if heat expands the leather it'll make things worse

if heat shrinks the leather it'll remove wrinkles (but the only way I can imagine heat shrinking something is if "burns" the material in some way)

two contradicting opinions.. possibly due to the difference between natural/artifical leather?

(@Bugatti: I thought natural leather was used only on few ultra high end models - e.g. some audis - where they would use it in their marketing as "natural leather" seats)

I guess the only way to figure it is to cut out a small sample (under seats, etc), measure it precisely, hold an hair dryer for some minutes and see what happens

however, if the heat treatment was a viable option I would expect that the upholstery people would be offering it as a service... it's not like it's top secret or proprietary technology?

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