Well, I am <ahem> somewhat familiar with leather seats and you might look
around at some boneyards but as another poster alluded to, Katzskins make a
very nice replacement cover that is pretty competitive pricewise and of very
good quality. In FL there probably isn't much value in heated seats (can't
believe I said that!) but up here where the frost is frequently on the
punkin' they are surely nice... my comrades comments notwithstanding.
Do a Google search for Katzskins or Katzkins and you will get more info.
I am interested in upgrading to power leather seats in my 96 RAM 1500
Sport. The fabric on the driver's seat is torn. It is an extended cab
so the front seats will need to fold forward to allow passengers to get
the rear seat.
What other years/models can I get the seat from that won't end up being
a nightmare to install?
Does anyone know what other options there are for the rear seat for the
96? I have seen some other pickups with a split rear seat.
Any GOOD sources for aftermarket or wrecking yards? My local wrecking
yards are not interested in seats. All the seats have been exposd to
the rain and snow.
1997 was the first year for leather seats in the Dodge truck, one color
only, camel was it. Heat didn't come around until 1998? There's only the
one rear seat for your year Ram and you've got it. Earlier (pre '94) trucks
had jump seats.
1995 to 1997, don't start, there was no club cab in '94 and the standard
cab floor is different. I know people have put in air ride seats, lots of
mods. The '98 - '02 quad cab seats swap in with minimal hassles except for
the integral seat belts...
I decided to build my own, which isn't as hard as it sounds if you have
some good contacts.
I picked up a used (normal) seat from a boneyard to put in my truck
while i played around with making the patterns. (It let my truck look
and feel normal while i screwed around with the project)
So, you take your old seat out, take off the old fabric cover. (have
some pliers handy to remove the steel rings)
Turn the cover inside out.
Number each piece, and take a quick snapshot with a camera.
Have a stitch remover handy, and take apart all the seams.
Lay them all out, and with some pattern making paper purchased from your
local fabric store, lay the pieces out on the paper, add a tiny bit
extra (quarter inch all the way around) and trace out each piece.
Next, you also need sewing padding, it's like foam with fabric on it -
you can get it from a fabric store as well. (it goes on the underside of
From here, you either get someone with a strong machine to sew it, or
bring it over to an upholstery place and have them do it.
Generally, you either need a really strong sewing machine, or a special
'leather sewing machine' to do the job. (they use special strong needles
- aside from their HD motors)
Anything else will just break.
Next, there's this special (new style) heating element you can buy, it
looks exactly like fabric, except that it's made up of / covered in
special conductive material. There's also a device that will supply the
current to it which you will need to purchase.
(Definitely the best route to take for heating, as it takes up zero space.)
And yes, you want the heating element! There is nothing like heated
leather seats, especially if you suffer from the occasional stiff back..
it's like... very nice.. :)
If you decide to take it to the next level, you may want to visit your
local mattress store, and ask them to order you some high density foam
to put inside. They can order it in any thickness and pre cut, etc.
- I'd personally recommend not going over 1 inch thickness.
Because.. doing this means changing the pattern to be larger.. which
requires some brain power, and tweaking.. and stress. I bought the 3
inch foam.. and pattern-making was a nightmare.
Oh, one last thing, be careful not to stretch the leather too tight.. it
don't like being stretched :) Be modest :)
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