Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How Sweet! New Seat! Part II...

(One could make the assumption, from the askance appearance of this worn leather seat in relation to all right angles in my driveway, that it was the victim of a spirited bout of English/Polish Seat Tossing, and, knowing my patience, you'd be right. Oh, how she flew!)

I had some spare time this evening, and since I didn't need a nap now that I am basically a secretary at work, I decided to get started replacing Greta's front seats. As you may recall I had purchased some newer seats a while back, and have been looking for a good excuse to get started on installation. It was a little warm for May this evening but my shower works, so I tore into it, Stink be damned...

Basically most seats are held in with four bolts-leave it to Mercedes-Benz to go one better-that's right, there's one extra bolt that holds the whole works in place, seemingly it is for collision protection as close as I can tell-anyway, after looking at the new seats I got the general idea of how the old ones were held in, and got to it. The rear bolts are a bit of a bitch-they require either carefully angling and turning your socket wrench, or putting the socket on and carefully placing the wrench on top. Of course, there is most likely a factory tool for this, but it's probably 600 bucks and made of stag bone. Hell, there's probably just a better wrench, but This Guy doesn't have it.

But soon enough, I had the bolts undone and was easing out the seat. It gave me a chance to get a good look at it, even in the fading light of the day: (I never really noticed just how faded this was-of course, the tears in the leather are obvious.) If your 124 Mercedes does not have the front bolster piece [where the boomerang-shaped tear is in this one at the front], and your center perforated tucks go all the way to the front of the seat, guess what? Hate to break it to you, you don't have leather! It's MB Tex, sorry. Realistic feeling, ain't it?

I was not surprised at most of what I found under the seat-one needs only look down between their center console to find the collection of spare change, errant french fries, and cigarette ashes to get an idea-but some of it was a little distressing:

(total take? 21 cents, a pair of shitty sunglasses, some broken glass (automotive)and plastic pieces from some toy, a Tampax [thankfully unused, though that smell is still there, need to track that, lol], two paper matches, and a pen. My tools and solvents don't count, on top of the brown floor mat. This is actually better looking than it was, and I thought the camera didn't lie-or maybe that's the mirror...)

I generally try not to screw around when buying tools-mostly I try to get the best I can for my money, or get the best for less. This Mondo-Sized ShopVac is from an auction I went to a while back-it pays to go to an auction when everyone else is interested in a stupid John Deere Tractor with all the attachments. The tractor? $3500. My ShopVac? Ten bucks. Retail? More than ten bucks. Sucks like a prom queen, too.

So I got to work with some foamy carpet cleaner with a brush on the top and I got this:
(MUCH better-I strongly suggest doing this annually if your seat comes out easily-that way, it won't take half an hour like mine did to get the mung out. Of course, I anal-retentively combed all the nap back in the right direction, despite the fact that until the car gets junked, no one would know but me.)

There was a little grease at the rear bolt mounts-I assume from grease on the seat tracks-you'll notice the black marks above. I used one of the newer "purple" cleansers-mine was a generic version, but Castrol Super Clean is a good one if you want a brand name. I buy it by the two-gallon jug now. Word of caution: Open your doors, this stuff is caustic-smelling, and will get you coughing-God only knows what is in it to get grease out.

That left me with this:
(Some tiny remnants, but a lot better than it was, trust me.)

By now it was getting dark, so I figured I'd hold of installation until tomorrow or later in the week. I'm crossing my fingers it will be an easy one.


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