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Leather Seats

Mar 3, 2001
Andover, MA USA
1986 "Bright Red" Coupe
I have cracks beginning to show on the leather seats in my 86', seats are in excellent condition except for cracks on the drivers side lower side. Does any one know how to treat this? Is there any kind of dye available or finish that will bring this area back to it's original color? I'm not looking for a miracle here, just something to make it look better than it is now without replacing the seat covers. Seats are red.
You could try a product called leather renew. It's a water based dye (paint). I believe I ordered it through Mid-America but you can find their web site with a simple search. The product works pretty well and they will custom mix colors. I would put some on a q-tip and dab it into the crack. They also sell a flexible leather crack filler. I've used it on several leather seats and the results are always very good.
I have the same problem with the blue leather seats in my 89. I ordered the leather dye repair kit from Eckler's for 59.99 plus tax and shipping. I have not used it yet so I don't know how good it will work. I am hoping for good results.

Radar :beer :)
Probably the best thing to do to prolong their life is to switch the seat cushions...both upppers and lowers from drivers side to Passenger and vice versa.......otherwise, they wear unevenly and in specific spots......eventually those cracks will turn into tears..............

The bottom cushion is a piece of cake.......at the front underside edge of the cushion is a U shaped "handle" that locks the cushion in place.....just rotate it rearword and it pops out

The top one is a BEAR.....easy to get out but hard to get back in (relatively).........its held by clips in the center of the seat that lock onto the cushion wire....to remove u push inward from both sides of the seat in turn and it pops off the clips........can anyone please explain this better? Meanwhile I'll see if I can find the diagrams.........
I agree with changing the seats. I just recently did work on my sport seats (installed the air blatter and pump). Why don't you just move the entire seat. The driver and passager seats are the same. Just take off the lower seat cushion (move the clip back). Then unscrew four bolts and disconnect any cables. You should leave the base still attached so it should not matter if one seat has power adjustments. This worked for me, but I have a 85. Good luck. BTW, the top of the seat was a bear.
Thanks Frank

That's a great article on leather restoration and valuable info that I never knew. I know a lot of seats have been replaced that could have been restored with this process. You should submitt this article to the Tech Center in the top nav bar.

Humm sounds great I wish you much luck with any "Miracle" cures you try. I will now share my experience with you. I worked and managed an upholstry and restoration shop for over 8 years and have never seen the results that those products claim. I will now tell you why you have the cracks in the first place. The protective outer finish has broken down in the areas the seats flex the most.What you see now is the very porous suade showing thru. If your seats are Red the cracks are usually tan because the OEM leather was not vat dyed or "dyed thru" meaning that the red color was applied to natural colored leather. Anyway now that I have bored you to death what I would do is apply lexol leather treatment and keep the leather soft and the cracks from getting worse if you must you might try applying some dye just to the bare cracks, not the whole seats, but be warned the dye will be absorbed by the leather like a sponge. OH and switching the seats periodically is a wonderful idea. If you have "perfect" seats try switching them once a year it will keep them looking good and evenly worn.
You have described my seats exactly. I only have the cracks showing on the lower left bolster of the drivers seat, and inside the cracks is a very light color, more of a pink tone, the seats are bright red. All the other parts of the seats are near perfect. Does Lexol work as good as claimed. I have been using "Tanner's Preserve" leather conditioning cream on these seats since I got the car 6 years ago. I have the sport seats so I dont think there as easy to swap around.
What would you suggest for leather dye, I realy don't want to spend $50+ for a pint of custom mixed dye, I only want to color the cracks, do you know if there is some kind of finish with a shoe polish consistancy that can be applied succesfully? If it was a paste product then it may not soak in so much. I don't know, but there must be something out there that's simple to apply and won't cause more harm than good!
Wewlcome Basketcase.

And thanks for the information. I thought I was seeing things for awhile. I use Basketcase on the truck forums I belong too.

The first thing that you should know is that the seats are not really leather. What you have is a plastic coated leather that is basically de-laminating. A very good friend of mine upholsters almost all of Honda, Toyota and Recaro's show and concept cars. He told me that all of the leather treatments that I was using for so many years, was not doing any good to treat or prolong the life of my seats. Why do you think that even in the newest Corvettes (and Vipers) that you never get the true leather scent? By the way, the Connally leather option in Vipers smells like crap.

Sorry to burst your bubbles. I think that he mentioned that he ahd heard that the American car companies did this as a fire retardent and for stain resistance.


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