Thursday, June 23, 2016

Upholstery Issue and Fix

I decided to finally remove the pilot seat cushion from 08Romeo and send it out for repairs.  During one of our trips, I think on the way home from Kansas, while setting up to land, I reached for the Johnson bar to add ten degrees approach flaps.  When adding the second notch the clamps on the bar snagged my seat cushion and ripped it open when I forcefully grabbed until I got the locking click for second notch.

I was just sick! I used some of that vinyl tape to cover it up and finally addressed the problem this past Sunday while waiting for the airshow to begin.  Mary and Ziva accompanied me so they could get their walk in and then Mary could broil in the sun out in front of the hangar. I was broiling in the plane with very little breeze and temps climbing. I think I sweated out at least a gallon. As I was removing the seat from the track I remembered I had swapped out the old style cotter pins for the newer type reusable/locking pins at annual.

 The pins were out with a simple push and release, just like opening up a diaper pin. I slid the seat back in the track and lifted out the front and back in the designated areas.
While I had the seat out I lubed the tracks and release mechanism with a quick spray of LPS 1® Premium Lubricant.  I use this product for door hinges, locks, fuel caps and aileron bushings too.

The original method of holding this bracket in place, on the flap bar, by the previous owner was filament shipping tape, the strong stuff with all the strands. I had replaced it after purchase since it was ugly, loose and just a poor way to secure the attachment. I took advantage of the round Johnson bar and added two mini hose clamps to secure the bracket. I hadn't covered them and one loosened and slid slightly towards the pilot seat and ended up cutting the cushion.
this is with electrical tape, I'll post the new with the handlebar grip tape
I now removed and replaced both clamps and realigned so there is no chance of slippage. Torquing the screw/hex heads with a nut driver and ratchet sealed the deal. I then used a bike handle bar or aluminum bat wrap type of grip material to cover it, matching the rubber grip at the end of the bar.

example, only the opposite side
I asked the locals at work, those that are into car and bike restoration, what is the best shop to use. I got two names and went with the shop just down the street from my project. I placed a call and then ran over the seat cover at lunch to get an idea if this can be repaired or I need a new cover.  I plan on putting this cushion on the right rear seat and the repair will be against the rear interior panel.
The job looks good and no more nasty looking tear in the leather seat. I have also been giving some thought to wrapping all the interior trim with leather, we shall see.

The new clamps work great on the bar and I'll add a picture of the new grip tape very soon.

No comments: