Triumph 1967-1970 Seat


  • Small serrated bread knife to cut foam.
  • Hair dyer or small heat gun to soften vinyl.
  • Rubber mat to keep seat from sliding all over table.
  • Two bags of common spring close clothes pins.
  • Contact cement to glue cover flap to seat pan.
  • A sunny day, a desk lamp with a 150 to 300 watt bulb or some other way to warm the vinyl. (This is not a job for an unheated garage workshop in Bimiji, Minnesota in February)

A serrated bread knife slices the foam easily. The back section of the after market seat foams are not level. Here I am cutting about 3 inches of the foam away to level it.

You will have to remove the flash from around the edge of the foam before offering it to the cover.

Removing the flash from the side edge of the foam. Use a sawing action with the knife. Try to keep the knife blade level with the bottom of the foam. The edge will be a bit ragged and it is nice to grind it smooth.

I use a rubberized grinding wheel to clean-up the edges cut with the knife. A stone grinding wheel will also work. The wheel can be quite aggressive so go slow and easy.

Pushing the foam into place making sure that it is centered on the cover.

When you offer the pan you want the sewn section at the front flap to end up inside the pan’s sides. Once you get it located correctly place three clothes pins on each side to hold the cover in place.

Once you get the clothes pins in place you can turn the seat over and check the alignment of the cover on the foam. You want the cover top section to lay in perfect alignment with the top of the foam. Now is the time to make adjustments.

At first the cover will not stretch over the back edge of the pan. This will come later. Pull the cover as tight as you can and use 4 clothes pins to keep it in place. Turn the seat over at this point and check the alignment of the Triumph logo. The “U” should be in the center as you look from the back. This is also a good time to check the cover placement on the foam. The sewn edge, and piping should follow the top of the foam.

Lay the seat on its side and in turn pull the middle of the cover taught on the foam. When both sides are secure with three clothes pins turn the seat over and check alignment again.

Placing the seat on an old coffee can (I keep the clothes pins in) I lower the desk lamp with a 300 watt bulb so it is 12 to 15″ away from the cover. If during this process the cover gets to hot to touch back the lamp away. You are warming the cover! I let it sit there for 15 minute or so the cover can soften. This will be repeated several times before the cover has enough tension to hold its shape. Notice the cover is placed squarely on the top of the foam and he “U” in the Triumph logo is in the center of the seat.

With the cover’s vinyl softened Pull the back of the cover over the pan’s edge. You won’t get of the cover much over the edge. Secure it with 4 or 5 clothes pins. Then pull move to the side just in front of the point where the foam forms the rear “hump.” Alternatively pull the cover taught on each side and secure it with 3 or 4 clothes pins.

With the 4 or so clothes holding the side you can remove the 4 clothes pins from the back and with as much pull as hard as your fingers allow.

Use the palm of your hand to push on the cover while you secure it with your fingers. Lift a finger to place a pin in place as you go around. repeat this on the other side.

Working the other side of the cover into place.

Time to flip the seat and check progress. The foam is centered on the pan; the cover is centered on the foam and the logo is level and centered. That said, you can see in the picture the back of the cover isn’t tight enough yet. You can see the cover bulge behind the piping. Another round of warming and pulling are needed. I would pull at the sides first working toward the back. If you pull the back too much you will loose the “hump” this seat is noted for.

The finished cover ready to receive the chrome plastic trim. By pulling the cover tighter on the side just in front of the two “hump” they were not pulled flat. You will also note that there are some blemishes in the material from being folded.

This is the worst of the folding blemishes and will be removed by careful warming. This material has a memory and when warmed will return to its original texture. I strongly recommend that you set the seat in a sunny area rather than use a heat gun. But it is winter and you are working in an unheated garage carefully warming with a hair dryer will smooth it out and the first time the seat sees some sun the blemish will disappear.

If it’s Winter in Bemiji you will need to warm the blemish with a hair dryer. It isn’t as much as how much heat you apply, but for how long. That is why the sun works so well. Go slow, moving the heat source around not leaving it in one area for more than a couple seconds. No need to go for perfect as the first time the cover gets into the sun all of the blemishes will disappear. A word of caution: Vinyl melts very easily at a very low temperature. We are warming the material, not heating it. There is always several blemishes on theses covers. This cover had six. It’s unavoidable. I work a blemished area for several seconds and then move to one of the other blemishes and come back to it as the material cools.

The vinyl chrome seat trim also needs to be warm. Again the sun is the best source of heat. If there is no sun the hair drier can be used. Remember to just warm the trim. If you get it too soft let it cool before working with it. Taking off the first several clothes pins from the front, pull the cover while holding the open end of the trim over the edge. To prevent the sharp edge of the trim from cutting the cover as it is offered file the sharp corner round with a smooth file. Then holding the trim at a 45° degree angle with your thumb push the tim over the cover. Now starts a little dance of pushing the trim down over the edge with your thumb just above the point where the cover is entering the trim, guiding it with the trim resting in your curled fingers keeping it a slight upward angle and removing a couple of clothes pins as you go. You want only about an 1″ or 1 1/2″ between the point where the trim is just starting to cover the cover and the next clothes pin. If it is cold where you are applying the trim you may have to use a hair dryer to warm the trim a bit as you work with it. Unlike the cover it takes very little heat to soften it.

Once the seat trim is in place, trim the excess material under the seat leaving 3/8″ to 1/2″ all around. I like to bevel the corners of the flap, though they can be folded over and held with contact cement. The contact cement will work when used on the outside of the cover material so the sides of the flap can be folded over, held by contact cement, and the outer surface of the cover glued to the pan.

Coat the inside of the flap and the front area of the pan where the flap with be glued. Vigorously work the contact cement into the material and put a thin coat on the pan itself. Wait for the cement to dry to the touch (so it is not wet 15 to 30 minutes). Fold the sides of the flap over on itself if required to narrow the flap and push the flap over the end of the and rub it down hard, so the contact cement holds the flap in place.

A bit of warning about contact cement; READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and use it in a well ventilated space.

Copyright John Healy 2000-2014    Pictures are the property of John Healy