Thursday, October 15, 2009

New passenger seat in time for the Oregon trip

In prepping for our recent Oregon trip, we took a "shakedown trip" to make a list of what we still needed to do to Big Blue and what camping gear we could lose. The "to do" list was:

1. Waterproof some of the windows and doors and rust
2. Get the stereo installed
3. Fix the passenger seat

The last one is a classic example of "out of sight, out of mind". Since I don't sit in it too often, I don't think about it. EP has reminded me a few times and I usually agree, then move on to other things. Plus it has a seat cover on it which hides the offending rips and missing cushion.

But on Sunday of the shakedown trip, EP decided to drive:

"Man, this seat is really bad, huh," I said.

"I've told you."

"I know. But it seems worse?"

"No. It has always been like that."

So I ordered new seats for both the passenger side and driver's side (because you can't order just one and who wants seats that don't match?) from Wolfsburg West (I agree with Minnie on point #4 here on the great and fast service from Wolfsburg West. I, too, love seeing those white boxes show up). PJAlau had given a presentation at Fall Finnon Fest last year and Wolfsburg West also sends a DVD with instructions along, so I felt good going into it.

Here was the existing seat (that white cover is a sheepskin-like cover that Monty, the previous owner left on):

Eh, I don't really see the issue...

You can see the original material VW used to build up the edges of the cushion.

I believe that is German for "Do not remove tag under penalty of law".

I noticed a light surface rust on the frame, so I washed it, sanded it and then primed it.

After waiting for the primer to dry, I simply followed the reverse of taking the seat cushions and covers off.

A note here: WW expects you to keep some of the old metal rods that slip into the underside to give the pins something to hold onto. If you are starting with just a frame with your own seats, I guess you are going to want to get some thick gauge wire from the hardware store first or you'll get stuck at this stage.

Nice, new, impressive.

It takes some wrestling and some getting up on the seat with your knees, but it will eventually slide on. Just be aware of the stitching and that you don't put pressure on it...

In this picture, you can see the white felt I put between the cushion and the cover. I did it on the bottom cushion as well. That was to build up the edges and give it something soft to act as a filler. They recommend putting something between the frame and the cushion as well, but I skipped that part because I am a rebel.

Ta-da! I wish you were all here so you could take a seat and try it out. Someday, my friends, someday.

EP approved, and it was well appreciated on the Oregon trip.



Next requests: seat warmers and adjustable lumbar support.


Funny--one of the things I ordered in my most recent purchase from WW were seat covers identical to your new ones. :-)

Thanks for posting the basic "how-to"--I've been a little apprehensive to start the project.

Big Blue's Driver

Minnie - did they send you the DVD with your order? It's worth the watch...


Hmm, I do not think I got a DVD.

I'll have to double check...that is really good to know!

Big Blue's Driver

They taped it to the inside of the box on my order. I can send you mine if you need one as I actually have 2. Let me know.


fahrerlehne actually means drivers backrest


I don't see the DVD...if you wouldn't mind sending it, that would be awesome! I'll send you money for postage.

Big Blue's Driver

No worries about postage. Send your address to bigbluevw at and I'll get it out to you. It's got some other good stuff in it...

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