When looking to replace your ’68 Camaro bucket seats or rear seat covers, you’ll want to research the best ways to remove the seats and replace the materials. Ensure you stay safe while finding the most durable foam, burlap and vinyl or leather material to make your car look brand new.
How to Reupholster 1968 Camaro Seat Covers
When replacing your 1968 Camaro seat covers, you should gather all of the necessary tools and supplies before you begin the process. Follow the proper steps to ensure your car looks as good as new after replacing the seat foam.
Tools You’ll Need for Camaro Reupholstering
Gather together the supplies you need to start the replacement process. When it comes to protective gear, wear clothes and eyewear to protect your skin and eyes and thick gloves to prevent cuts or bruises. You should also have your phone on you to take pictures as you go. Here are some of the other supplies you should have on hand:
- Heat gun: A heat gun can warm the seat covers and make it easier to reinstall the leather.
- Staple gun: Staple guns make it easier to drive staples into the seat frames and secure the covers.
- Hog ring pliers: When dealing with hog rings in the seating, a set of hog ring pliers come in handy for taking apart the frame.
- Staple removers: A staple remover can help you remove the seat cover before replacing the cushions.
- Flathead screwdriver: Have a flathead screwdriver or another small pry tool to remove C-clips and washers.
- Tack hammers: Older Camaros may use tacks that need a special hammer to insert them.
- Razor knife: A razor knife is an excellent tool if you need to cut something apart.
- Chalk: Use white chalk to mark where tacks or staples need to be replaced.
- Silicone spray: A lubricant like silicone spray will help install the seat tracks.
- Replacement upholstery: Have your replacement Camaro upholstery ordered and with you for installation.
- Foam: You will need to replace the foam in your seats for comfort and structure.
- Burlap: Burlap also helps provide structure, and reinforced varieties give your Camaro that factory feel.
Step One: Taking the Seat Apart
Starting with the seatbacks, disassemble each seat and take it out of the car. Remember to take pictures of each part so you can reference it later. These photos will make it easier when it comes time to replace the seat covers and reassemble the seats to place them back into the car.
Step Two: Removing Clips and Pins
Next, it’s time to remove the clips and pins. Ensure the seatback is removed from the seat bottom and remove any C-clips while pivoting the arm away from the pins. Carefully pry the clip out with a flathead screwdriver or another pry tool. Keep these clips and washers in a safe place and note how they were installed. After the clips and pins are gone, you can freely remove the seatback and begin step three.
Step Three: Seat Track Removal
When removing the seat track, remember that you’ll have to pay attention to the socket and bolts within the frame. Remove the helper spring and take out the seat track once this is done. Clean the tracks with solvent and lubricate the mechanisms to ensure easy installation later. After greasing the seat track, place them to the side and start stripping the seats.
Step Four: Stripping the Seats
Strip the seats of all material and expose the frame. Make sure you remove the hog rings with pliers and the existing upholstery with the correct tools. Take pictures or note how the parts fit together to ensure you reinstall the materials correctly. Remove all old foam that you currently have in your seats. If you’re going to the trouble of taking your seats apart, you might as well get new, high-quality foam for a comfortable ride.
Step Five: Choose Burlap or Reinforced Burlap
You’ll want to have some new burlap to replace the existing material. The burlap will also attach to the upholstery listing wire, which can be replaced with new wire from a supply house. Consider investing in reinforced burlap during restoration, as it often has a similar feel to the original material and comes with thin wire bands that strengthen the burlap.
Step Six: Install New Burlap and Foam
Find the right kind of hog ring pliers to install the burlap and new foam pieces. While there are usually straight or angular options, angular pliers may offer a better advantage when it comes to installation. Make sure you wear gloves before getting to work.
Secure the reinforced burlap to the seat frame and the foam to the burlap. Double-check your measurements during this process to ensure the dimensions fit the original upholstery and frame. Center the new upholstery on the seat frame and combine the foam and burlap.
Step Seven: Secure Foam and Cover to Frame
Use hog rings to secure the foam to the frame and make the seat stable. You can apply a very small amount of silicone-based lubricant to the surface of the foam to prepare it for installation. Apply heat to your seat covers and wear latex gloves to make handling the lubricant easier. Consider laying your seat covers out in the sun or using a heat gun to make the seat covers stretch over the foam and frame.
Step Eight: Replace Emblems and Hardware
Sometimes seat covers come with emblems or hardware that requires unique details. To replace or repaint these details, use a model brush or a hypodermic syringe to paint over the seat emblems and finish the replacement process.
Precautions and Hints
New covers are made to fit as tightly as the original material once did. Because of this, make sure you use caution when installing the seat covers, keeping track of seams and material that may tear. When working with vinyl or leather material, consider warming the covers to make them more elastic and ease the installation process. To do this, you can lay the covers in the sun, use a hair dryer or use a heat gun. Use a heat gun carefully to ensure the vinyl doesn’t overheat.
Shop Online for Premium Camaro Seat Covers
Top Flight Automotive is your one-stop shop for all automobile needs. Our company offers high-quality parts, interior products, accessories and tools from renowned brands. Our sales team can help you find the best Camaro seat covers for your restoration project with reliable products at great prices. Shop our selection of interior Camaro parts and upgrades today!