Installation Tips and Techniques
Remove stock seat cover.
As our listings state, we make replacement seat covers. Therefore you must remove your old seat cover first. Our seat covers will NOT install over your old seat cover.
To remove your stock seat cover, you will need to pry up all the staples and pull them out with pliers.
If your seat is riveted on, you will need to drill out the old rivets.
If your seat is glued to the base, you may need to use a hair dryer or fabric steamer to loosen up the glue.
Most motorycle and snowmobile seat covers will have straps that go through the foam to aid in pulling the seat cover tight to the foam. Most are stapled on, but there are models that are tied in, or have a buckle that goes through a slot.
Once you have removed your old seat cover, you must make sure the foam is dry, and all damage holes filled in with spare foam. Use marine grade silicone to fill in the gaps and smooth over with a putty knife, similar to applying drywall mud.
Each seat cover is going to vary on the method of installation. In most cases it is basically remove your stock seat cover, and follow the above diagram. Materials vary on how they install.
We typically use multi axis stretch marine grade vinyl that is far more expensive than what the OEM put on your stock seat. The Ostrich material and Python material are only a 2 axis stretch material and do require a bit more work to install for a smooth finish.
Some seat covers may require a hair dryer or fabric steamer to get the wrinkles out. Steamer works best as it helps reshape the foam and the seat cover material together. Many factories, seat covers are installed in a steam room. Just do not put the steamer face directly on the vinyl or it can blanch it. 2-3" away is usually sufficient. Wipe down any moisture ASAP so that calcification in the water does not bond in the pores of the material.
You may find areas where you just cant get the fit right. Dont panic. Try steam or heat. Many Harley seat covers do NOT require a lot of pulling for them to fit. Sometimes its just "punching the foam" into place a bit. If you have ever watched any of those custom car building shows you will see how the upholsterer will shape the foam and skin together with steam or by hand. Unlike factory replacement parts that are done by CAD machines down to 10ths of an inch in tolerance, upholstery doesn't work that way. There is a lot more tolerance in hand made seat covers than there is in your crank rod bearings.
There are times you may need to glue the seat cover down to make it work. While we do our best to make sure our seat covers install in the best possible fashion, sometimes there is just no way around it. That is usually due to how the foam was molded from the factory.
We do not issue installation hardware. On some seats, like Arctic Cat, they have a metal rod in the lumbar seam and a U shaped metal rod that holds the lumbar straps through the foam. You must reuse those rods. If yours are rusted a coat hanger or zip ties work for the straps. For the rod in the lumbar seam, "call before you dig" flags are the perfect diameter metal and have the same malleability as the stock lumbar rods.
Older Harley seats(button top/pillow top) had strings with metal T's on the end. We do not supply those. If yours are rotted out or missing, plastic zip ties work great. Just loop them through the tabs in the new seat cover, pull through the slots in base, and staple them down.
"Hard pan" metal based seats are usually glued or riveted on. You will need to put new rivets in. Just make sure when you drilled the old ones out, that you pulled the rivets out completely or they will work their way through your seat foam over time.
Foam is usually poured into a mold at the factory. The foam dimensions can vary depending on the chemical mixture and humidity. Hence why most seat covers at factory are installed in steam rooms to shape the two together. If your seat cover is not fitting perfectly, understand it is not that we did our job wrong, but that tolerances are in play that may excede your expertise to properly install. You may require the assistance of a professional shop to install or send it in for us to do the finished product.
You will need the following tools to remove your old seat cover and install your new replacement seat cover from Scotty's Sled Shed.
Upholstery staple puller or flat blade screwdriver.
Staple gun: T50 works fine with no longer than 1/2" long staples. Some seats may require 5/16" or 1/4" long. Duofast makes nice 3/8 and 1/2" wide crown staple guns available at most home improvement stores. Use chisel tooth stainless or galvanized staples.
Needle nose pliers, small wire cutters or pliers to remove staples.
Additional items may be required:
3M 90 Adhesive spray
pieces of foam to fill in bad areas
marine grade silicone
Rivets and Rivet gun.