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MG TD TF 1500 - TF seat cushions

Hello
I am well into the re-upholstering of my TF. Today, I removed the old covers from the passenger seat. I was very pleased with what I found inside. The steel frame is in very good condition. The wood tacking strips and wood frame are also great and free of rot.
I was pleased to find the original Dunlo-pillow bottom cushion, and, what appears to be the original back stuffing. Real "horsehair" and padding.
Combined with the 40 year old leather I was removing, it smelled SO GOOD.
I am tempted to keep the seatback material as is. I might add more padding to the top, as it was flattened. What would others do?

Tom
'54 TF




T Norby

Here is a photo of the Dunlo-pillow bottom. Would you fellows keep this? I have read descriptions of others inserting blocks of modern cushion material in the square spaces to firm it up. Or, would you use new seat cushions? I happen to have a pair from Moss ready to go.

Tom


T Norby

Here is a shot of the seat bottom with, I would guess, the initials of the person who built the seat back in 1954.

Tom


T Norby

I'd be tempted to re use it Tom. Everything looks a lot better than what I found. The Moss cushions are pretty soft but for me I have found them comfortable with lots of multiple hours of seat time.


L E D LaVerne

Hi Tom,

Looks to me you have won the TF seat lotto ! What you have is precious.

Extra wadding can be placed in the top area of the seat back(squab)
to give this area support away from the top metal frame/lwood lath area. Sometimes even the professional upholsterers under score that area with inevitable early sagging resulting.

The seat cushion Dunlopillo really is a bonus. Nothing seems to emulate the comfort these structures give. Modern foams are ok if you don't have Dunlopillo,however the originals are the best.

Cheers
Rob Grantham
TF3719("Aramis"),TF9177("Athos").
Rob Grantham

Tom

I would still be tempted to install high density foam blocks in the Dunlopillo cushion. I personally prefer a stiff seat swab, I think despite the condition of the cushion I think you will find the original resilience has been compromised.

Great link if you arent already aware:

http://www.ttalk.info/mgtfSeatRecovering.html

Graeme
G Evans

It was proper latex foam and very expensive to reproduce today. If in good condition, always re-use them. Those seats are real survivors.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Thank you all. And Graeme, yes, I will re-use the dunlopillo and insert blocks of seating foam in the recesses.
I see from the archives that Gordon Lawson at one time posted photos and maybe a video on this. Those images seem to be gone.
I have found a source for "rubberized horsehair" for upholstery. I'm going to order some and may use that to buttress and firm up the seat back.
I've sat in a number of cars that had new modern foam and the seating position was too high. Like sitting on extra firm pillows. I always liked the butt position of my old seats.

Tom
T Norby

I removed the upholstery off the other seat tonight. It was just as good. Photo of the makers mark. Down below this was a date stamp..... 1 54

Tom
'54 TF


T Norby

Tom

A little word of caution which I did not adhere to. Dont pack the sides of the seat backs with too much cushioning.

If you make the seat backs too wide they are both difficult to tilt because they kiss in the centre, hood frame will rub when raising and lowering and also make access to the rear side curtain thumb screws difficult.

Graeme
G Evans

Image of over stuffed TF seat back.

Graeme


G Evans

Tom,

I seem to remember a TC owner over here who had a 'professional upholsterer' place new foam blocks in the Dunlopillo pillow under pockets. The result was a seat nearly as hard as rock !! I guess the trick is to apply the right density foam.

Cheers
Rob Grantham
TF3719("Aramis"),TF9177("Athos").
Rob Grantham

I cut cubes of foam to fit into the openings in the Dunlopillo seat cushions in my TF. I used the hardest upholstery foam that I could find. Cut them oversize.

I inserted cubes only in the middle of the seats because I didn't remove the covers or the wood frame under the seat cushion and couldn't reach the openings on the edge of the Dunlopillo. Unlike TD seats, TF seats have a large opening in the plywood bottom. So I held the cubes in place with a plywood baffle inserted above the seat wood frame. The plywood baffle raised the cubes more than if they sat on a TD-style plywood bottom or sat directly on the steel seat shell.

The seats feel like a bowling ball. OUCH Very hard. Raised in the middle and low on the edges.

> Since you have removed the seat cover and cushion from the wood frame, then I feel that you could add foam cubes successfully into your existing cushion. Perhaps stretch upholstery webbing over the opening in the TF bottom to hold the cubes in place, or build a TD-style plywood bottom and ramp. Or you can just let them sag to the bottom of the steel seat frame.

> Try a few foam densities to find the right one. Perhaps the light green colored foam. Maybe different densities in various areas of the seat.

> I cut the foam on my band saw. Timberwolf, 1/4", 6tpi band. Easy.

Good luck,

Lonnie
TF7211


LM Cook

I think the holes are there for a reason other than to save material. When the seat is compressed, those foam ribs needs to compress and expand. If you want to stiffen the seat a little I would just add soft or very soft foam or just part fill them - ideally with blocks of foam with a large cylindrical hole in the centre.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Thanks guys
Great advise! I bought some seating foam today and will experiment with blocks in the dunlopillo to get a good but not too firm seat.

Tom
'54 TF
T Norby

I think Dave Hill has the best idea. The original foam walls configuration is to reduce foam density. Molded foam back then was difficult to mold in low density. Your cubes with holes in the center are restoring some foam thickness/structure to the web walls.
Peter Dahlquist

Tom, I removed and disassembled my seat cover some years ago and found the original latex foam seat cushions were in good condition and had very little compression set. Latex foam does not have the ILD (indentation load deflection) that urethane foams do, especially if you get off the shelf urethane of unknown origin. Modern auto seats as made today are made to very rigid standards and do not easily compress over time. The foam used has all kinds of molded in support panels of fabric mesh and wire to keep them rigid.

I re-built my seats using the original components and they are just fine and comfortable and still in the original leather.

As a reference I spent 45 yrs in OEM automotive seating design and development. Hope I know somthing.
colin stafford

Colin,

Well said on the best possible way to go with the TF seat rebuild.
My curent restoration,a RHD TF1500,fortunately had the original Latex Foam underneath the very worn leather seat covers. As you found,they are very comfortable and allow the Driver to sit 'down' in the seat. With TFs,this gives Driver's over 6' tall, a chance to not have to try and look through the upper frame piece of the windscreen !

Cheers
Rob Grantham
TF3719("Aramis"),TF9177("Athos").
Rob Grantham

Further to the above,I should have added that I also used new seat and squab covers purchased years ago from M. Collingburn who was based in the UK. Without any doubt,he reproduced the most magnificent,accurate early MG Interiors. One of the main differences from other known retailers, is that between the pleats,he used decent, original type stuffing rather than just using thin,flattish foam which over time gives very little support.

Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

Thanks Colin and Grantham
After a short vacation, I am getting back to the seats. I have received some real 'rubberized horsehair' from a US supplier. Apart from a green color vs the brown color of the MG horsehair, looks identical. I plan to use this, along with very conservative addition of modern seat foam within the existing square spaces in the original dunlopillo. Will get back to you next week.

Tom
'54 TF
T Norby

I would use a foam with a density of 40kg/m

The rule of thumb:
20 - 30 kg/m => soft for seating and squab applications
30 - 40 kg/m => Standard or higher quality for seating and squabs, mattresses, boat- camping or garden furniture etc.
40 - 50 kg/m => high quality applications-on the firm side.


I used 50kg/m on my TD seats and they are quite firm and comfortable but if I had the choice again I would use 40kg/m as I am quite thin and lack meat at the rear end!

Regards
Declan


D Burns

I have finished my seats. I re-used the original Dunlopillo. I cut blocks of firm auto seat foam but made them half the depth of the honeycomb spaces in the Dunlopillo. I placed them in the three rear rows, where our butts sit.
This gave me a mildly firmer seat that I am happy with.
I used some new rubberized horsehair to bolster the rear seats. This gave me some new thickness and I am very happy with the outcome.
Photo later.

Thanks for the help.
Tom
'54 TF
T Norby

Way to go Tom. Great effort.

Cheers
Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

This thread was discussed between 12/03/2017 and 02/04/2017

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