RESTORATION - SEAT
RECOVERING A SEAT

If another year of snowmobiling has finally finished your sled's seat cover, don't worry, it can be recovered. All you require will be:  A straight screwdriver - Pliers - Heavy-duty stapling gun and appropriate staples for seat mounting board.

Approximately 1 yard -1 1/2 yards for the seat on a long track sled, with high sides of vinyl, good to -40 degrees. This is NOT regular vinyl for kitchen chairs. You must talk to the upholstery shop to get the correct material.  Sharp scissors, Upholstery thread, nylon is the most durable.

Sewing machine that will sew at least 3 layers of the vinyl. You will have the most professional results with an industrial machine or a machine that has a walking foot to feed the upper and lower layers at the same speed.
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Remove the seat from the snowmobile, then use the straight screwdriver and pliers to remove the staples from the snowmobile seat. Pry under each staple with the screwdriver, then twist or yank it out with the pliers. Do not leave sharp, broken-off staples in the seat board. If you are re-doing an old seat and the board is rotten, replace it. Also cover any sharp edges of mounting materials with duct tape to ensure your new cover is not damaged. Dry wet foam thoroughly before recovering.


Use the sharp scissors to cut on each seamline of the removed seat cover. Cut right in the line of sewing, keeping the inside seam allowance all on the same piece of the cover. Note where the seams have been cut in the picture below.


The seat cover will look like the above illustration when you are done. If you are not sure you will remember which part goes where, use a felt marker to write on each piece: front of seat, back, left side, right side, top seat, etc.

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Lay the new fabric out on a flat surface -- the floor or a table -- with the right side down, so you can write on the wrong side of the fabric. Lay your pattern pieces from the original seat on the fabric as shown below. Remember to lay all of your pattern pieces the same way. Your vinyl will have a grain, so you must keep your pattern pieces running parallel to the straight edge, rather than twisting them at angles.


Flatten each pattern piece to the fabric, so that it is laid out at full-size and draw around the pieces with a fine tipped marking pen. HINT: Use one pattern piece for the left and right side of the seat, so that you get exactly the same curve on both sides. To do this you will cut one piece with the right side down and one with the wrong side down so that they are opposites. 


When you are drawing around the pieces make sure to leave the 1/4 inch seam allowance that is required, otherwise your seat cover will be too small. On some of the pattern pieces you will have cut them with the allowance still on, but others will have been cut right along the line of sewing so you'll have to add it on, as in the picture above. 

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Once you have all of the pieces cut out it's time to assemble the seat. Use a stretch needle size 16 or 18, or a vinyl needle if one is available for your sewing machine. Don't use fine needles or they will break during sewing, possibly causing damage to your machine.

When you are joining a curved or pointed piece to a flat piece, work with the straight piece on the top and the curved piece underneath, so that you can ease the two together without ripples or tucks. Once you are certain all of the sides are the same length, run a second row of stitching near the first row for increased strength.
Also, when you attach the front and back pieces to the main seat cover, mark the centers of both pieces, then sew from the middle in each direction. If you start at one side and sew completely around the front or back, the vinyl may stretch and your seat cover will not stay in proportion.

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Once the cover is completely sewn you need to pull it over the snowmobile seat and staple it into place. Slide the cover over the most angled part of the seat first, usually the front that may fit against the gas tank. The rear of the seat is the highest part and is usually straight. 


Work the seat cover down over the foam, stretching it with your hands, then working it down over the mounting board. Do NOT try to pull it just from the bottom, rather insert your hands under the cover and stretch it where required. You may use pressure, such as your knee, on the board when the seat is upside down on the floor to compress the foam so that the cover can be pulled into place. 

To staple the seat, put anchor staples at the top, then the bottom. Then put a staple about every 8 inches along each side, starting at the center of the seat and working in each direction. Do a few on one side, then a few on the opposite side, so that the seat cover pulls evenly into position. [note this is a 2-person job!]


Once the seat cover has been tacked all the way around, check the top side for fit. You can still stretch and pull it into place if you find it is too loose in spots, by removing the tack staples. Staple about every inch and re-inforce the corners to make sure your seat cover is securely in place once you are satisfied with fit.


Once all of your staples are in, you're finished. Put the tail-light in, if you had to remove it, then mount it back on your snowmobile. You're ready for fall!


DARRYL HAS PROVIDED US WITH THIS INFORMATION FOR THE 69 BOLENS.
THANKS DARRYL FOR THE GREAT PICTURES AND INFO.