Old 05-18-2023, 11:26 AM
pngoat pngoat is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 156
Default Bucket seat upholstery installation

Car is a 65 GTO. I've been thinking about buying a bucket seat upholstery kit and the tools from Ames to do it myself. My question is, has anyone done this themselves? If so, Is it very difficult or is it a job best left to the pros? Any help appreciated. Thank you.

Old 05-18-2023, 12:02 PM
OG68's Avatar
OG68 OG68 is offline
Ultimate Warrior
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Posts: 1,411

It's not a hard job but can be challenging.
Attention to detail, proper tools and supplies helps immensely.

Contact Ben Rambow for the padding, springs, seat kits.
(425) 765-3023


If your budget allows it, buy Legendary seat covers.
The design of the 65 GTO bucket seat covers is specific to left and right. Make sure you have it right before installation.


1968 GTO (Thanks Mom)
2006 Silverado
2007 Cadillac SRX
2015 Chevy Express

Old 05-18-2023, 08:58 PM
Trevor78 Trevor78 is offline
Chief Ponti-yacker
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 595

I think even if I could get it to 90% and done a great job, it's that extra little bit with fit or padding in the right amount or whatever that makes the upholstery place where I'd take them. I've seen plenty of these cars with reproduction seat covers that simply don't look like they fit right. It could be the covers themselves, but often I think, without knowing, that the owner had a go.

Old 05-20-2023, 01:06 PM
punkin punkin is offline
Senior Chief
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 292

I did the seats in my 68 firebird many years ago. Very rewarding but will give your hands a work out. A good set of hog ring pliers is a must. Make sure your seat frame and springs are in good shape and let the covers sit in the sun to soften them up a little.

1968 Firebird
IAIIa 522
340 E-heads
Northwind with XFlow TBI
3.50:1 Rear
Old 05-24-2023, 10:56 PM
tjs72lemans tjs72lemans is offline
Ultimate Warrior
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Winona, MN
Posts: 1,138

Legendary also has videos specific to many makes and models of classic car seats. Take a look. I did my 72 Lemans buckets and rear seat which turned out almost perfect. Before that I was on my own, just going by what I took apart. I did do a set of Fiat Spider buckets and rear seat a few years before that, and they also look very good. My first set were my 75 Camaro buckets and for the first timer, those were near perfect. With the wait times and expense of someone else, I find it worth it and fulfilling knowing you did it yourself. Try it!

Old 05-25-2023, 01:07 AM
dataway's Avatar
dataway dataway is offline
Ultimate Warrior
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Saratoga NY
Posts: 8,820

I did mine a year or so ago, first time for me. Legendary covers, forget the brand name but the good foam pads, got the installation kit from a PY forum member if I recall correctly.

Use the plastic bag trick when the time comes, you'll know what that is by the time you start the job.

Local shop wanted $700 to do the seats with me supplying striped frames and all materials.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Bucket-Finished-2.jpg
Views:	233
Size:	136.4 KB
ID:	613176  

I'm World's Best Hyperbolist !!
Old 05-26-2023, 12:12 PM
rambow rambow is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 217

Here ya go... Step by step what you are in for with 64/65 buckets:


Redoing seats is NOT rocket science by any means- Some guy (or gal) did it literally on an assembly line by hand, so you can too.
You do need to take your time and be methodical about it. Photographing your seats as they come apart is the #1 helper when putting them back together. Also, the tips and tricks in that thread i linked are very helpful... especially when it comes to installing the upper cushion covers!
64/65 upper cushions are quite different from 66-72 and they have unique challenges and tricks to getting them on right.

anyway, keep this thread going as you start. I'll be happy to reply here or in PM's if you have any questions.


Last edited by rambow; 05-26-2023 at 12:19 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to rambow For This Useful Post:
Old 05-26-2023, 04:11 PM
kingbuzzo's Avatar
kingbuzzo kingbuzzo is offline
Chief Ponti-yacker
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 545

No, it's expensive rocket surgery....I'm in awe


'74 T/A 455 Y-code SD clone

previously on Dawson's Creek:

'74 T/A 400
'81 AMC SX/4
'69 FB 350
Old 05-26-2023, 08:48 PM
ZeGermanHam's Avatar
ZeGermanHam ZeGermanHam is offline
Ultimate Warrior
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,887

If you're good with your hands, it's absolutely within the ability of a skilled DIY'er. I redid the buckets for my '66 GTO having never done any kind of upholstery work before. Tore them down to bare frames, sandblasted, painted, and built them back up. It takes some attention to detail and a little bit of determination, but not that hard ultimately. And you will save a boatload of cash that can be put toward something else.


1966 Pontiac GTO (restoration thread)
1998 BMW 328is (track rat)
2023 Subaru Crosstrek Limited (daily)
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
The Following User Says Thank You to ZeGermanHam For This Useful Post:
Old 05-27-2023, 10:05 PM
Entropy11's Avatar
Entropy11 Entropy11 is offline
Senior Chief
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Posts: 354

Great points listed in all the responses above.

Take plenty of disassembly pics
Watch all the YouTube vids available for your year
Take your time/attention to detail

Iíd add, use ACI seat foam if replacing the foam. I think it helps ease the assembly considerably and looks perfect when done. Take the time to replace all the small pieces of card stock/felt that the factory had in places to prevent metal to metal binding when the springs compress against each other or the frame. I prefer cordura fabric to burlap and use acrylic felt instead of wool but everybody has their preferences. I also like to replace all those fine stay wires that the factory used in their burlap layer directly over the springs. As for tools, it helps to have angled and straight hog ring pliers.

Old 05-28-2023, 09:07 AM
fairwayhit fairwayhit is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 111

Hereís my 02 having just done this.

Get extra hog rings from legendary. I think I used 2.5bags or maybe it was 3.5 bags. It is difficult to find quality hog rings elsewhere.

You are probably going to have broken springs. I think the next time I do it Iíll just replace the whole seat spring assembly instead of repairing them. I think Rambow sells replacement springs and I probably should have done that. I cut up a couple of used seats to repair mine and it was a lot of work.

I wouldnít get legendaryís rear seat install kit. It uses cotton batting in the back and foam in the seat. You can get the foam cheaper at a hobby store, and just use it for both seat and back. I think the cotton is more prone to mice and is also harder to get even.

I would definitely get the aci foam buns and legendary covers.

The hardest part is making sure the covers are centered on the seat.

Overall I thought it was a fun project and really satisfying to see the results. If I were doing some sort of concours collectible car I would probably just pay 500-750 and have an upholstery shop install the legendary covers. I just like to do everything myself since itís a hobby for me.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:01 PM.


About Us

The PY Online Forums is the largest online gathering of Pontiac enthusiasts anywhere in the world. Founded in 1991, it was also the first online forum for people to gather and talk about their Pontiacs. Since then, it has become the mecca of Pontiac technical data and knowledge that no other place can surpass.


Copyright © 2017