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Katzkin Leather Interior Install







If you are looking to upgrade the appearance of your interior from the plain stock cloth or leather seats then Katzkin Leather Interior, Inc. can help you do that. They have a variety of colors and styles to pick from, for just about any vehicle out there. You can design and order you interior online at www.autoleathers.com which is the online retailer of Katzkin interiors. They will custom make your interior for your specific vehicle and ship it to your door. When deciding on your interior, I recommend you request a "sample ring" as opposed to the sample booklet they initially send you. This ring has larger leather samples and a few more colors to choose from which can aid in getting the best match with the stock interior. Once you order online, they will contact you by phone to verify your order, then they will start production. I decided to get the two-tone gray(stone) with black inserts to match the rest of my interior. There was no extra charge for the Katzkin logo.



Installing the aftermarket leather wasn't too bad of a job, just time consuming mostly. If you have access to some tools and some patience, you can save a few hundred dollars on professional installation fees and do the install yourself. You will need a least a full day to do it in and a helper near by to lend a hand. It took me about 8 hours in my friend's driveway in the back of my X, to do the job.



Here are the plain old stock cloth seats. Ugh, just horrible!










Admiring the new leather laid out on the living room floor, waiting for a free day to install. You may be tempted to try out the new skins before they are installed, this is completely acceptable. :)





This install was done on a 1998 Ford Explorer 4dr with cloth seats.



Tools and equipment needed:



- A table or workbench

- Clean rags to keep hands clean from the seat slide rail grease

- Metric socket set with extentions

- Philips and flathead screwdrivers

- Torx bits T45 and/or T50

- Needle nose pliers

- Hogring pliers

- Hogrings

- spray adhesive

- staple gun with staples

- scissors or exacto-knife



Front seat install



Remove the front seat by unbolting the 2 front bolts and the rear torx bolt that secure the seat bracket to the floor. Disconnect the electrical plug(s) from the bottom of the seat and pull the seat out. You can now disassemble the seat.



Using a philips screwdriver remove the plastic side molding from the bottom part of the seat. There are 3 screws.





If power seats, remove the electrical connectors from the molding.





Now detach the top portion of the seat from the bottom using a torx socket and ratchet removing the 2 bottom bolts on the seat lever side and 1 bolt on the other.





Remove the seat bracket with a 10mm socket.





If equipt with lumbar support, unplug the air tube at the bottom of the seat





Now you are ready to work on the top portion of the seat.





Pull up the cover at the bottom to reveal the hogrings that secure the cover to the foam cushion.





Use needle nose pliers to remove the hogrings.









After all the hogrings are removed, you can pull out the metal rods 1 on each side and roll up the cover to the headrest. *You will reuse the metal rods*









There are three hogrings at the headrest that will need to be removed.







Foam cushion after the cover has been removed





Now it's time for the leather cover. Turn the cover inside out and pull over the headrest part of the cushion.









Fasten the top part to the foam with the new hogrings. Be sure not to over tighten the hogrings, this could result in "pinching" of the leather. Check the front as you go.





Work the cover the rest of the way down making sure everything is even. *Be careful when pulling on the leather, you don't want to rip it* Then at the bottom, slide the metal rods into the sleeves of the new cover and fasten with the hogrings.





Zip up the bottom(this is where an extra hand is helpful) and tuck in the ends of the zippers.



You have finished the top portion of the seat! Now for the bottom portion.



Unclip the cloth cover from the bottom of the seat cushion and pull back revealing the hogrings.







There are 3 rods that secure the cover to the foam. Remove the hogrings and pull the rods out of the sleeves. Then pull off the cover.











The new cover is ready to go on.





Slide in the metal rods into the sleeves of the new cover.









Spray some adhesive onto the foam cushion to keep the leather cover from moving around. Then attach the cover using the hogrings.





Pull the cover completely over the cushion and secure it to the seat frame. Then reattach the seat bracket.









You will need to cut holes in the new cover for the electrical plugs.





Bolt holes and a hole for the lumbar tube will also need to be made.





Reattach the top to the bottom and screw on the side molding then admire your work.





The rear seats



The rear seats are a little different but do not have the hogrings. First remove the seats and separate the tops and bottoms. The top portion of the seats have a plastic backing with a foam front. The bottom piece of the covers are attached to the plastic with staples which need to be removed as you pull the cover off. Underneath the covers you will see the clips that hold the headrest to the seat. Remove those and the headrest pulls out.



Putting on the new cover is the reverse of removal. Holes will need to be cut out for the headrest before they go in. Once the headrest is secured with the clips, you can work the cover over the seat foam. *Becareful not to pull too hard* On the bottom of the new cover there is extra material that wraps around the plastic seat backing. Pull the material around the plastic and secure with staples. Zip up the bottom. The headrests are simple. Just remove the staples holding the old cover on and remove. The new covers simply go on over the padding and zip up at the back.



The bottom portion of the seats are about the same as the fronts. They just wrap over the foam and clip on to the bottom of the seat frame.



As you can see there is some work involved in installing replacement leather seat covers but overall, I'm glad I did it myself and saved me few hundred bucks.



On a side note, there is a $99 installation kit that I ordered with the covers. All that's included in the kit is the cd video, hogring pliers, hogrings, door panel tool, torx sockets, and spray adhesive. IMO, I think it is a waste of money. You can pick up those tools from any hardware store for less.



The finished product





 

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OMG TED! WOW 8O I am speechless! That is one HELL of a writeup! Would you mind if I took all of this and made it into an article for the "main site?" Of course your name would on there as I would not try to take an inch of credit for it! Heck your writeup was so good I don't even need to revise a single sentence!



Let me know if its cool with you, I wouldn't want to do it without your permission.
 

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DAMN!!! Sweet write-up!!!!!!!
 

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8O you did a very detailed and awesome write up Ted. That will be a very helpful article for anyone that is planning on doing the install or even if anyone needs to take the seat apart to do repairs. I know it had to take you a lot of time. I have to say that you did a GREAT JOB
 

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8O you did a very detailed ?and awesome write up Ted. That will be a very helpful article for anyone that is planning on doing the install or even if anyone needs to take the seat apart to do repairs. I know it had to take you a lot of time. I have to say that you did a GREAT JOB ?
:word:
 

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I here you, I started to do that when I changed my guages and found it was a PITA to keep stopping and remember to take a pic of each step. I know you put alot of effort into the write up and the instulation
 
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