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Leather Restoration
Submitted By: fixb52s
Date Created: 12-03-2006
Description: Cleaning the seats was not good enough. The leather has years of use that resulted in drying out, cracking and a hardness described as cardboard. Using a product called Leatherique, it will be restored to look better. These product are designed to bring back leather that is weathered, but will not repair major tears.
Related Projects: 1989 BMW 325ic Restoration
    Interior clean up
    Fuel System
    Convertible top replacement
    Drag it home
    (Leather Restoration)
Tools / Materials: Go to the Boating Store

Ugly leather
Even though the seats are clean, the leather needs some help. They are as hard as cardboard and not really pretty.

After cleaning the seats with Fantastic to remove any silicone, Rejuvenator Oil is liberally applied to the leather and worked in. This will allow the hyde to get rehydrated and soften up. If any silicone products are on the leather, the pores will be blocked and the oil will not be able to work. The cracking in the seats is in the dye, not the leather.
Oiling the seats

Letting the product work
The interior must be warm for the oil to do it's job. It is a sunny day but only 56 degrees. The car is in the sun with a "heater" to warm up the interior. With the heat and the doors closed, the oil will soak in and drive out any dirt, salt, etc that is in the leather. This can take all day. Since the leather is extemely dry, the oil must be reapplied a few times until the leather is soft.

The seats were removed for better access. After the oil was allowed to soak in, the seats were cleaned with the included leather cleaner. This removed all the excess oil and dirt. After this, the seats were wet sanded with the prep agent and 400 grit sandpaper. This removes a lot of the old hard dye. After this, the minor cracks were filled in with the crack filler. Again, this was wetsanded and the seats were cleaned one more time.
Prepped for dye

Newer looking seats
After dying, allow the seats to sit untouched for about 3 days. The dye will be fragile and needs to fully cure. This was a good time to reclean the carpets and the rest of the interior. After the dye is fully cured, the mechanical linkages and track will be cleaned and greased since the seat backs are extremly sticky. The pressure rod that assists when raising the seats will also be replaced.

Seats look 100 times better, are soft, and smell like leather again.

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