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fitting headrests

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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 21:41   #1
redcar
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Default fitting headrests

Had some time to myself this weekend, so finally got to give the car a bit of love..

Here's a quick how to on a Headrest retrofit into a ’66 Amo..

1. Source 2nd hand headrests from a friend (thanks Mitch)
2. Find a copy of Fredrik Lofter’s headrest install guide (thanks Derek)
3. Grab some tools. These ones worked for me. Pic 1
4. See it’s 10am, grab a beer and a big Philips screw driver.
5. Take off the first seat by way of 4 screws in the sides (2 per side)
6. Compare seatbacks to donors ensure they’re pretty similar. See Pic 2.
7. Move on to the next phase of actually opening the seatback. Basically get your big pliers out and your needle-nose ones and turn the hog-rings around until the split is shown, then just twist apart and unhook the trim edging. (sorta feels reminiscent of trying to undo your first bra, you need to be very gentle, and you’re not quite sure what you’re going to find...)
8. Using the flats of two big screwdrivers and the well shaped, rounded, handle of your biggest pliers, prise open the channel that holds the front annd back of the seat together..
9. There’s stick your hand up the shirt and find a little metal thing about halfway up inside the seat you need to unhook, and then it all slips out very easily after that.
10. The moment of truth is lifting up the foam and finding the two supports the Volvo guys were kind enough to weld in place. (Apparently only cars ‘66+ have these..) Thank god mine had them...
11. Remove tubes and bits from donor seats and insert into new homes. The plastic catches are pretty difficult to get into the receivers, so i took the frame outside, turned it upside down and banged them up and down on some carpeting until they were in enough.
12. Pull the cover back over the seat and be sure to line the cover up properly with the contours of the stuffing. Where the two tubes pull through the covers, get your craft knife out and cut two holes. Fit the securing nut and washer in place and have another sip.
13. Get your pliers and white gym towel and start slipping the front and rear seat trim back into the securing channel
14. I found the best way to bend the channel back into place was to clamp it up.. Pliers and such only wreck the vinyl.
15. NB: Go easy pulling the shirt back on, otherwise you might tear it like i did.. Feck it anyway.
16. Try on your new headrest for fit.. looks ok so far
17. Have another sip and go grab the next seat and repeat the process
18. Pop up to Halfords and grab a can of vinyl paint. Prepare and paint headrests.. About 4 coats did it for me..
19. Fit headrest and admire your work..
20. Go for a drive to test them out.. Stop in at B&Q and pick up 6 metres of green and black strapping (40mm). Replace tired Pirelli webbing...
21. Job done..

Time to complete = about 3 hours, minus waiting for paint to dry
Difficulty rating = 1 beer.
Satisfaction = great
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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 22:43   #2
Ron Kwas
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RC;

My compliments on a good documentation...the bra analogy was unique and colorfully descriptive...I like it!

Looking back on the work, do you think it might have been possible to install HRs without "undressing" the seatback to get access to the innerds and frame? ...by feeling around and locating mounting tubes, cutting holes for access, and doing the rest of work externally? This is the way the retrofit instructions presented it (Fig. 3), and it would sure make for a lot less work! I'd be interested in your experience...I'll certainly link this thread in my article: http://www.sw-em.com/headrest_upgrading_notes.htm

Cheers from Connecticut!

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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 23:43   #3
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Well done Gareth! A great article. Thats a nice job you have done. I must say the vinyl paint works well too. I can see this ending up in the "articles" board, but beer at 10am, tut tut...
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 06:27   #4
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Looking good...
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Kwas View Post
RC;

My compliments on a good documentation...the bra analogy was unique and colorfully descriptive...I like it!

Looking back on the work, do you think it might have been possible to install HRs without "undressing" the seatback to get access to the innerds and frame? ...by feeling around and locating mounting tubes, cutting holes for access, and doing the rest of work externally? This is the way the retrofit instructions presented it (Fig. 3), and it would sure make for a lot less work! I'd be interested in your experience...I'll certainly link this thread in my article: http://www.sw-em.com/headrest_upgrading_notes.htm

Cheers from Connecticut!
hi Ron,

i'd be reluctant to try putting the tube in without pulling the covers off. the plastic bit at the top of the tube is a lot wider than the hole you're cutting, so you'd probably end up ripping the vinyl.. tbh it only took an hour or so per side, and is not beyond the reach of any person who owns a classic.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:39   #6
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Originally Posted by mitch1971 View Post
Looking good...
Mitch, not long now until i have half your car on the road..

Thanks for the headrests they turned out very well..
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 12:22   #7
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Many thanks for the info Redcar & Ron - I already have a pair of factory headrest backrests, but they don't quite match the rest of my interior (Volvo used far too many different reds.....), so it has always been the plan to install them into my original backrests. Your posts will prove invaluable!

Btw, does anyone actually consider these headrests to be especially comfortable? The alternative accessory ones that are in Ron's link look much better from that perspective (I find that the factory fitment headrests are too far back), and am thinking of getting some cushions made to clip / tie around them, so that the headrest reaches further forward.

Also, has anyone ever fitted headrests to the rear seats, in particular to an estate?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 20:00   #8
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them headrests look great,like what uve done with the vinyl paint,id like to do that to my own amazon....but its finding a pair of headrests and tubes!!
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 12:40   #9
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Originally Posted by Alf ista View Post
Well done Gareth! A great article. Thats a nice job you have done. I must say the vinyl paint works well too. I can see this ending up in the "articles" board, but beer at 10am, tut tut...
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Old May 1st, 2012, 18:23   #10
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Nice article. Should this be added to the jobs and guides section of the forum along with Ron's added info and links?
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