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Hi, all... My 200,000 mile driver's seat was looking pretty tired - the center panels were "flat" and wrinkly, and had a couple lumps that weren't fun on my long road trips. The left bottom bolster was way, way past its expiration date, limp and flat, with some very noticeable lumps of its own.

Thanks to the recent thread on fixing seat heaters, I decided to tackle this, and made it up as I went (as will be obvious). I should mention that if Acura didn't want $400 (!!!!) for a new piece of seat foam, I'd just replace the whole thing. That wasn't gonna happen, so I spent $15 at the local fabric store for two pieces of high-density foam.

Pulling the seat out is not difficult - pull off the plastic trim pieces in front and rear that cover the four bolts holding the seat in, and then remove the four 14mm bolts. Make sure the seat back is reasonably vertical (for clearance in removing it). Then, lean the seat back and unplug three plugs. Remove the headrest (trust me on this one), and grunt and complain as you hoist the pig out of the car (why do they weigh that much anyway?).

You'll have to take off the two plastic trim panels on the side (I didn't remove the left one with the wiring altogether, but let it dangle). Pull the four 14mm bolts holding the bottom of the seat down, and the seat belt buckle (another 14mm bolt), and then uncrimp the hog rings that hold on the wire inserts under the pan. Slip off the black plastic devices that hook on the edge of the pan, and (IIRC) you can pull the pan out.

I didn't bother pulling the seat cover all the way off, as the wire clips that hold the seams down in the base of the seat didn't look like they'd be fun to get back in, and besides, I didn't really need to anyway. I did uncrimp the end of the long rods that hold the front/rear seams in place, and pulled them out (you can see one of them in the next photo). They weren't all that much fun to put in, but they had to come out to do the job.

When I was done with all that, it looked kind of like this:


Next, I cut a couple pieces of foam to the size of the two rear panels in the seat bottom, and slid them in by hand from the side. Because the "seams" were still clipped in, this was tight, but do-able. If I was going to do it again, I'd probably use thinner foam.


Now to fix the side bolster. First, I had to trim out the torn up, horrible thin foam that's under a fine cloth backing. It was balling up, and would have caused loads of problems (comfort-wise and visual). That done, I pondered how I was going to add foam - I've seen people glue it on top of the original foam, and trim it to shape, but I wasn't convinced that the profile would look right, or that I'd be able to get it smooth enough to not look lumpy. Then I decided to slice the old bolster, and spray it full of carpet / headliner adhesive, and then to coat the chunk of foam with the same adhesive. I let it set up only 30 seconds or so, otherwise it would get too tacky to get inserted properly.


I jammed the high-density foam in place, making sure there was plenty hanging out.


Then I started trimming...


... until it looked like this (I did put a small piece of foam in the rear gap, before closing it up):


The end result is a huge improvement - the seat cushion is much more supportive, especially the side bolster. The seat cushion is still wrinkly, but I suspect this will smooth out over time, and even so, it's a lot, lot better than it was. Not a bad $15, one hour fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
UPDATE: after living with the seat for a day and maybe 50 miles, I decided that I could do better. The rear panel in the seat was fine, but the middle panel felt a little too firm and tall... not a big deal, but I do a LOT of miles in that seat, so...

1) I pulled out the piece of 1" high density foam from the middle section, and put in a piece of 1/2" high density foam.
2) I wrapped the front section with another piece of 1/2" foam, to fill it out better, and to mate with the center section better, feel-wise.
3) I wrapped some batting (basically thin, formable padding) around the left bolster - it just wasn't quite "plump enough", and to more or less replace the thin foam that I had to cut out because it was pilling.

Pushing the long rod back through all the fabric slots and through all the hog ring loops was a lot more difficult this time - I guess it's probably just because the fabric slots (basically, long loops that pull the seam on the leather cover down into the crease between the bolster and seat cushion) weren't as smooth as last time. I ended up running a piece of small irrigation hose (the kind the little drip heads connect to) through the fabric slots, stopping it right in front of the rod. Then I just used a pair of needlenose pliers to get the nose of the rod into the hose, and it was a piece of cake to get it pushed through, since I was pushing the end of the rod through a closed piece of hose, not through a fuzzy fabric slot.

The end result is a much better seat - the extra cushion in the rear section is great, and now I get better support for my legs from the middle and front sections. It looks better now, too. Still some wrinkles to work out, but a whole lot less than it had before I started. The only down side is now the wife says she wants me to re-pad her seat. D'Oh! ;-)

 
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