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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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CarFreak
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The seats are in decent shape but the front needs foam and the rear seat has some insect and mice damage. So I took it to my upholstery guy up here and the outcome wasnt good. He is of the opinion no matter what work needs to be done if the seat covers come off these seats there is a high probability that they wont go back on without tearing... I cant just put the seats back in because it will only be a matter of time before the springs start to come through the front seat, and I am not moving that bench seat in and out of the car more than I have too.

So I am in need of new seat material. I know of SMS but I have heard nothing but horror stories about their customer service and year long wait for material. Does anyone know of any other place to look for material? If I have to go for non original type material than so be it, but I would like to see if anyone knows of another place where I could get new light gray Matelasse type material (for time NO. 61).

thanks!

Posted on: 7/16 14:18
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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HH56
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Unless you happen upon someone on ebay with a NOS set of seat covers, for the proper type material SMS is about the only supplier still in business-- actually I think for almost any of the older bulk NOS pattern fabrics they are about the last still operating. LeBaron-Bonney was another but they closed a few years ago. Hirsch might still have some of the repro pre 51 Packard striped cloth they once carried but mostly carries only carpet and the solid wool broadcloth these days.

If you send a sample of what you are looking for and ask SMS to match or return something in another fabric or in a pattern along the same general look, if that replacement is something you would accept as a substitute there is almost no wait -- at least there wasn't on the cars I did in the past. I was fortunate to find the NOS pattern in a different color for one and a very suitable replacement on another order but seriously doubt that would be the case with the original 55-56 Packard patterns. Don't think those fabrics were used by anyone but Packard so something that low in production is not in much demand like something GM or Ford used on a million other cars.

One of the reasons a wait can be so long is if there is enough demand SMS will actually have a special production run made of a fabric. Aside from the time it takes to produce it, because of the minimum quantity needed for an order they also wait until they have more than one order to make a special run worthwhile. I believe the late Randy Berger waited almost two years for the material needed for code 96 on his Caribbean to be produced but as I recall he said the material was perfect when it was received. They may possibly have some of that repro fabric still available.

Posted on: 7/16 15:03
Howard
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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CarFreak
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So good news! I was able to find about 98% of the external trim!! pretty happy about that. The only pieces I need to find are the transition pieces that go from the fender skirts to the rocker trim, and I believe there is a piece of trim that goes under the turn signals but above the bumper that continues the trim line from the lower grill trim that outlines the top of the bumper.

I also picked up the resurfaced fly wheel today. Among other parts I ordered for the manual transmission:
Pilot bearing: MRC 204SF
clutch disc: NCF ND4220 (60s chevy truck)
Pressure plate: NCF 1107027 (71 ford F100 w/ 302)
clutch alignment tool: CTF-53010
Throw out bearing: got it from Max Merit

I started to polish the grille trim and it is looking pretty damn good!! On the grill, it would be a lot easier to polish the mesh and everything else if I could remove the mesh. Is there a way to remove the mesh and reinstall it later?

Looked at SMS fabrics for the seat material. They do have it and it is a direct match, but it is $159 a yard. According to my upholstery guy I need approximately 15 yards, so thats over 2 grand in material and about 2 grand to recover the front and rear seats. That seems like a lot... So I dont know what I am going to do yet...

Attach file:



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Posted on: 7/23 12:32
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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kevinpackard
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Only $159 a yard? The material I need is $179/yard, haha. I didn't realize it would take that much material to redo front and rear seats. Ouch. Everyone says that upholstery work is crazy expensive. Eventually I will get to doing it, but it's low on my priority list right now.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but can't SMS also sew the new seat covers for you, then you have an upholster install them? That's kind of what I was planning on when I get to that point.

-Kevin

Posted on: 7/23 13:07
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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HH56
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Quote:
I started to polish the grille trim and it is looking pretty damn good!! On the grill, it would be a lot easier to polish the mesh and everything else if I could remove the mesh. Is there a way to remove the mesh and reinstall it later?


You can but it is a bit tedious and requires some care. Carefully grind or file off the peened over part of the pot metal at the points where the screen attaches to the grill. Remove only enough to flatten the peen and allow the original wide attaching washer to slip off but still have some of the stub remaining so the washer can be replaced and will locate back in the same position. Remove the screen and carefully drill the center of the remaining stubs to accept a small and short sheet metal screw and washer. I think I used #4 round heads that were maybe 5/16-3/8 long with washers to fit their diameter so the small screw head would securely retain the larger original washer. Can't remember if I used any locktite but it probably would not hurt to add a bit for insurance.

After removing the screen, drilling and then and polishing the front surface and half inch or so that is chromed inside the front of the squares you can do some more tedious work and mask off the polished part of the grill in preparation for repainting the dull silver or aluminum paint that covers the rear 1 1/4 inch or so of the squares behind the chrome. Try to match the color with one of the several shades of silver wheel paint that some have recommended as being more durable and able to better withstand the constant air flow thru the grill than regular cans of spray paint.

The gold mesh screen is actually anodized aluminum and if yours is gold and will not polish out you might find a suitable wheel paint that comes close for a match. No idea when the change was made but several books said early cars had silver mesh which might have been a steel material and later cars switched to gold aluminum because Cadillac also used gold and it was a better or richer looking color combination.

You can see a fair representation of what I have described with the screws in this photo. I didn't count but there are probably a dozen or so attachment points on the upper part of the grill and a similar attaching arrangment in the bumper section.

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Posted on: 7/23 13:40
Howard
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
Just can't stay away
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CarFreak
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Howard, Ill give that a go... I may just try to polish in place. Ill see.

KevinPackard, yea it is pretty pricey. I could get them to make seat covers, but whether I am paying SMS or my upholstery guy, I doubt the cost of making the covers is going to change much.

In my situation now is the perfect time to do the seats since they are out. Once I get that front bench seat in I do not want to remove it. Getting that seat out was a terrible job. That seat is so damn heavy with those motors and such.

Posted on: 7/23 15:28
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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kevinpackard
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Ah, that makes sense. I was wondering why it was such a terrible job to get the seats out on your car....I've taken mine in and out several times. I didn't realize that your seats had all the motors though. Mine has none, so the seats really aren't that heavy.

-Kevin

Posted on: 7/23 17:20
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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Just can't stay away

CarFreak
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So I decided to go with getting seat covers from SMS. I finished removing the seat covers from the front and rear seats (thank God I dont do that for a living) and I hope to get them sent off to SMS in the next couple days. They said 3-5 months.

I took Howards advice and decided to disassemble the grille. I am going to need to match the paint of the egg crate, but should turn out well! the chrome still appears to be in decent shape.

I am exploring other ideas for the A/C system after talking with a member here. I sent the evaporator out to Original Air Group. They said they can restore it and also modify it. So I am going to see if they can change the flare connections over to O-ring type connections. Should know more about that in a couple days.

Posted on: 8/4 12:13
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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kevinpackard
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Does SMS require your seat covers to use as patterns? I assumed they had patterns there to use. They had patterns for my headliner, but maybe the seats are different?

-Kevin

Posted on: 8/4 12:28
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Re: Vacation Car - 56 Patrician
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PackardDon
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Packard seemed to have variations from car to car so to get it done properly they do need the old ones.

Posted on: 8/4 12:31
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