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Old 04-23-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Making Waterproof Seats

Just bought my first Jeep, '89 Wrangler Sahara w/ 4.2 and only 38k miles. I am redoing pretty much everything on it. I have spent a ton of money on parts and accessories, but now it comes time to do the seats. A) I do not want to have nasty seats in my Jeep, B) I do not want to fork over $600 for new aftermarket seats, C) I do not want to fork over $500-$600 in nice waterproof seat covers.

My idea is this, I have purchased a decent set of new canvas seat covers made to fit the wrangler for $150. What I want to do is take the fabric off of the existing worn seats, wrap the existing foam in a durable plastic sheeting using a spray adhesive so that they do not slide around on the foam and feel like a diaper under the covers. Once I have that done, attach Velcro strips on the plastic and similarly on the inside of the canvas covers to ensure the covers don't slide around.

In theory, if the seats get wet, the water will not soak into the foam cushions, rather just in the covers which will dry or can be removed and washed.

Any input from anyone out there? Anyone see any issues with this idea or have tried it before? Thanks.

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Old 04-23-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
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just get a can of silicone camp dry for each seat. you can find it in a sporting goods section of most stores. its used to re-water proof tents if they develop a leak. spray your canvas seat covers with this and they will be water proof. if you wash your seat covers you have to re-apply the camp dry. it works well.
as far as putting the plastic over the foam, i would think that would cause it to "sweat" from the heat, and your seats will be moist all the time which causes mold and mildew and then ofcourse it will start to stink over time in the heat. yep, camp dry is the way to go.

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Old 04-24-2012, 06:11 AM   #3
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Thats a good point on the sweating in the heat, but when i stripped off the factory covers from the seats last night, the top halves of the front seats were wrapped actually wrapped in plastic. Underneath that plastic, the foam was nice and clear, no discoloration, the rest of the seat however was nasty. I ordered a roll of heat shrink plastic film 36"x20' for 10 bucks shipped. I am going to wrap them in that, heat with a heat gun so it tightens up, and then. I may also go with the coating as you suggested, i remember when i was a kid putting that stuff on my tent and it worked pretty well.

I am glad I stripped the covers, holy crap are the seats disgusting under those things. Going to hose them off today ofter work and let dry for a day or two. Also, discovered that the metal frame on the passenger seat is broken. So I will have to make a bracket and bolt it on.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:29 AM   #4
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You could always go with neoprene covers too. Neoprene is the stuff that wetsuits are made of and the water beads right off from it. That's the route I went.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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Neoprene seems to pretty popular. The problem is cost, a good set of neoprene covers seems to run upwards of $500. To go even further, I am painting the jeep orange, and the canvas seats I found are black with the center done in the same orange, so it should look real nice together. To get similar covers in neoprene, I would be looking at like $750. Thats a whole lot of money for seat covers...
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:12 AM   #6
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I do understand that all the little ideas we get in our heads about how "perfect" something is going to work/look usually turn out in utter failure. Kind of like that one time (yesterday) that I decided it wasn't too cold to paint my door panels with Krylon Fusion. That in mind, I am going to just wing it and see what happens.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:56 AM   #7
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The Neoprene ones I just bought are way less than that and they seem pretty nice.

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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If it was $160 and included the back seat I would consider it, but adding in the back seat I am guessing your up to $300ish which is still a lot for covers. If all else fails and my plan goes to hell, I will keep neoprene in mind. Theres something about the satisfaction of finding a different way of doing things and saving money... Its no fun if it just bolts right on...
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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If you already have the seats stripped and the foam is in good shape, then I would find a automotive upholstry shop and just talk to them. I think you will be able to get custom upholstry any colors for a whole lot less than just seat covers. I completely recovered my rear seat w/ new foam for $200. Most of the shop guys despise stripping the seats and thats where the cost comes in for labor. There are some high grade marine vinyls that are water proof that feel and look like leather. Doesn't hurt to just talk to them. I found a guy here that was a jeep fan even though he works on high end custom hot rods. Whats the worst that can happen? He can't turn you into a "Hummer Lover".
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:08 AM   #10
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Drew makes a good point. There's a few shops by me that do auto re-upholstery and their prices were CRAZY.. but I think a lot of that included taking the old seats apart and re-foaming them. The one right by my work wanted $1900 to do both front seats and the back seats in marine grade vinyl with a 10 year warranty. Wasn't worth it for me, which is why I did covers.. but you could find a better deal if you went around asking for it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:28 AM   #11
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Im going to stop by West Marine on my way home to pic up some drain plugs for the tub, while I am there, I will see what they have in Marine Vinyl. Maybe I will go with Vinyl and just do it myself. I have a sewing machine and the factory covers to use as a template...

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