A New Set of SkinZ

on 17 October 2010
Created: 17 October 2010

In this article we will be going over the steps to replace the factory leather seats with Katzkin Leather Products in our 2007 Cadillac Escalade. The Installer Institute staff was commissioned to build this Escalade for CES 2009 to display a new line of product from the UK called VIBE. Look for the feature within the next few months.

Step 1- just like any install the first step should be making sure that you have all of the part to properly complete the project. In this case we opened the box from Katzkin and laid out both front seats on our wood shop bench. Be sure not to lay the new seat covers onto an unprotected surface; after all they are brand new.

Step 2- The next step was to remove the factory seat for the Black Death Escalade and set it up on the workbench next to the skinz. With a plastic pry tool the seat back were removed and set out of the way. 

Step 3 – Next the back and bottom of the seats were separated so that we would be working with three small pieces instead of one large one. 

Step 4 – We started with the back of the seat first, using the plastic pry tool we popped the factory clips out and began to peel the tan leather back. When we got to the top of the back seat we used the plastic tool again to gently remove the leather from around the head rest mounts. It is always possible that a customer will want to put a vehicle back to stock, so it is very important that you take as much time removing the factory material as putting the new ones on. 

Step 5 – With all of the side released it was time to release the center of the leather cover. From the factory Cadillac has snaps that hold the center of the seat in place and also give it the nice seams that you see it all the new vehicles. Be careful with the snaps as you can pull out of the foam stopping the new cover from snapping into place. 

Step 6 – Once the cover was off we did an “A” “B” comparison and found that the construction of the Katzkin leathers were very close to the quality of the factory seat cover. This is good to know because the reassembly went just as smooth as the disassembly. 

Step 7 – Now it was time to work backwards,  we started with the center of the seat and worked our way out to the edges. Make sure that seat cover is snapped into the correct location so that your seams are straight and centered. 

Step 8 – With the center in place its time to pull it over the edges of the seat. This task was probably the most difficult part of the install because of the force required to wrap it around the foam. A good idea is to flip all the material inside out it makes it easier to wrap and fit into place.

Step 9 – Next was to secure the leather back into place by snapping the katzkins back to the factory mounting locations. With the back of the seat finished all we had to do was to repeat the steps for the bottom portion of the seat. 

Step 10 – Next was the head rest cover. The head rest was fairly easy compared to the rest of the install. This was because the headrest had a plastic inserts that gave the head rest support. Once the clips were released the plastic insert slid right out.

Step 11 – With the insert out the head rest was very easy to maneuver. Be careful when removing the leather from the foam because it could rip under pressure. 

Step 12 – When reinstalling the head rest cover start with it inside out and pull it down over the foam. Some repositioning may be necessary to get the stitching to line up correctly. 

Step 13 – With the headrest wrapped the ABS form was reinserted and the two ends were snapped in place.  The next step was to carefully cut out the mounting holes for the headrest to slide into. A small incision was made and the plastic tool was used to gently slide the leather underneath the headrest mounts. 

Step 14 – Next button that repositions the H.R. was reinstalled using the same careful techniques used to make the incisions for the headrest mounts. With almost everything done that last thing was to recover the back of the seat. This was very easy and only required some adhesive to apply. 

Step 15 – Time to reassemble and reinstall the seats. First the back and bottom of the seats were reattached and then mounted into the vehicle. The old product should always go back into the customer’s vehicle that includes factory leather. 

If you would like to build your skills as a mobile electronics installer and learn from the best fabricators in the industry, browse our website and see what the Installer Institute can do for you.

Remember doing it right the first time will always save time. 

Knowledge is Power 

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