Yesterday I finished rebuilding the seat cushion for my roadster.
Here it sits in the body.
I used all the good spring clips I could find on the bottom where they can be seen
At the top of each spring I made wire clips from hi-test welding wire, four clips to each spring. These hold the springs to the wire grid, and keep the spaces between each spring.
If I was to charge myself my usual hourly workshop rate, I would be up for $960. A block of foam would have been much quicker, and maybe more comfortable!
Allan from down under.
Looks great, well worth the effort!
You'll be a whole lot happier with the springs..
in time, the foam collapses and does not give the long life that the springs will deliver.
"In time", springs collapse, break, rust and fall apart or push their way up through the upholstery. You never win.
You WIN by knowing in your heart that you did it right!
Ken, true, BUT the "in time" for springs is MUCH longer than for foam & if you keep the springs away from moisture (like mouse stuff) they will last 100 years, lookit the cars that still have original springs in them!
My '30 A is a bit newer, but it has the original springs in it, except for the rumble seat bottom, as Mr. Green took it out to haul more stuff & no one knows where it went.
Just built some seat cushions for my speedster late this summer. The wood framed metal buckets were from a much earlier car and there were no cushions when I bought them at Hershey.
I drove the car with foam cushions for about four years and I can tell you, springs with horse hair and cotton batting are 1000 times more comfortable when the only shock absorber in a model T is the driver. :-)
My 30 model A coupe has the factory springs in the front seat. The rumble is rebuilt. The front is comfortable still for the first 50-60 miles, after that I wish it was foam.
Beautiful! I have 4 hour butt in an airplane. In a T, on those springs, maybe 2. I'm going to try to duplicate your effort on an old spring that I have.
Hi Allan, I'm not seeing (tho they may be in the pics) any diagonal bracing from top leading edge wire to rear bottom wire to help stop front of cushion collapsing forward. I was taught this by an old retired springmaker many years ago when apprenticed to him doing cushions and squabs for vintage and veteran cars. I have seen it in original seats for a variety of makes since and employ it always. Just a suggestion, respectfully submitted (to steal a phrase). Feel free to ring me if this is not clear, I'm in the Victorian membership book.
Russell (a bit further downunder)
When I bought my '14, it had a piece of foam rubber. I put a spring on the seat and it made a whole lot of difference. I even sat higher.
Russell, I have seen the diagonals you write of and understand their purpose. They are essential in the absence of the hi-tensile wire grid to which my springs are attached. The Duncan and Fraser springs I have worked with have never used them, so I have just duplicated the original.
The wire grid does the same thing as the diagonals. For the top of the front cushion to migrate forward, the whole top of the cushion has to move as a unit. Preventing this is the four point mounting of each spring. Every spring would have to be distorted sideways for the top to move, not just tilt at the top. The grid wires are hi-tensile to stop them bending over time. The rake of the seat also works against the top moving forward. If it lasts half as long this time as it did originally, it should outlast me!
I just hope it does not feel too firm.
Allan from down under..
Nice work. And to keep the finished seat from feeling too firm, just use a normal amount of padding for the upholstery.
Did this aftermarket body seat and used piano wire to reinforce and rebuild the spring stack.
That is a chore for sure, pulling, bending, and folding over the spring wire.
But then used another extra 1" of high density fiber foam sandwiched under the normal cotton padding used by the upholstery maker, she made these real nice.
Got it all squeezed down in the press, and the seat cushion came out fine.
But...in use it is really a bit stiff...not too objectionable, but should have left off that extra fiber foam Can't really feel the spring action....
I am restoring a 1915 Tourer in the UK and am missing the rear seat spring unit. The front seat spring unit measures 37" wide (narrowing to 36") by 17 1/4" deep and 4" thick.
Can anyone give me the dimensions of the rear unit as it seems that it might be different? I will then get one made locally.
I made the seat bottom assembly for my speedster from scratch. The original bucket seats only had one original bottom and I used it as a guide. Prior to this I had a piece of foam covered with cotton and then a covering. It was really hard on the butt.
The spring cushion I made was so much nicer and had just the right amount of give when I hit a bump ... a shock absorber that the foam could never provide.
By the way .. the leather I used for the final covering on the back and bottom was gleaned from a used sofa I found on the curb on garbage pickup day. Had just the right amount of wear to make my seats look like they had been there for years. The hardest part was making the second back .. book match d to match the first one. Each back required five sewn panels.
Colin, check with Snyder's, they supply replacement seat springs for most Model T's.
I have new ones in my 27 but both of my model A s have the factory springs and it's all good for about 150 miles. Probably need new springs in my 30 I drive it a lot. New spring seem worth it if you drive them a lot.
I just made that 150 mile drive so I had to change my first post that said 50-60 miles but the 150 drive was a bit much with the old springs.