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  #1  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:32 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Refreshing black leather seats

I once thought that Recaro seats (in my BMW) were just the coolest thing possible but no longer. Too constricting. I recently lucked into finding two standard E30 seats in black leather in excellent condition - stole 'em for $130.

I want to sell my Recaros, decent shape, no rips but there is a lot of scuffing that is not attractive. I'm wondering if black shoe polish would help. My neighbor is thinking it might be obvious that I was trying to cover something up.

I dunno. Any experience in this out there?

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1986 300SDL, 351K
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Last edited by cmac2012; 08-18-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:52 PM
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Just to clarify, I don't mean the thread title to be read as in:

Refreshing ice tea! Try some!

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  #3  
Old 08-27-2010, 06:34 PM
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Whoever sits in them might not appreciate the shoe polish. Get some leather dye, or leave it alone.

How much are they worth, and what do they fit?
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2010, 06:47 PM
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Cmac - those need a full refinish. You could try Leatherique. Clean, strip and re-color. They should turn out well if there are no actual tears. Check out the customer pictures on the site, some impressive results. I've heard a lot of good reviews on Leatherique's products, though I have no personal experience.
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2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2010, 07:02 PM
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Only in Berkeley do you see a guy driving a Beemer ripping copper pipes from walls to sell at the recycling joints (see pics #1 and #3)!

Zeus is spot on. Clean, rejuvenate and restore. Any attempt at dyeing or covering will stick out like a sore thumb.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2010, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
Whoever sits in them might not appreciate the shoe polish. Get some leather dye, or leave it alone.

How much are they worth, and what do they fit?
They fit the E30 Bimmer, that's the 3 series from early/mid '80s to about '91 IIRC. Mine's an '87 325i. I just found some info stating that the later series, the E36, seats don't fit the E30 without some modification.

I bought my first pair around '03 for about $220 on eBay, with about $70 shipping. Seems nutty now. The pair I have now a buddy spotted for me at a Pick n' Pull around '07 - he grabbed them on the spot for $35 each - in better shape than my first pair had been and those were getting funky anyway.

I'm seeing them online now for around $150. Crap. I was hoping for $200 + but oh well.
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1986 300SDL, 351K
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
Only in Berkeley do you see a guy driving a Beemer ripping copper pipes from walls to sell at the recycling joints (see pics #1 and #3)!

Zeus is spot on. Clean, rejuvenate and restore. Any attempt at dyeing or covering will stick out like a sore thumb.
Yeah, well I'm a half-fast plumber, boss. Most of that is for re-use, one piece is funky and I get about $100 to $200 every year for all the scrap brass and copper I accrue.

Don't ever throw out old faucets, toilet and sink shut-off valves (AKA angle stops) etc. Made of plated brass and worth a few pennies.
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1986 300SDL, 351K
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Last edited by cmac2012; 08-28-2010 at 06:06 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2010, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
Cmac - those need a full refinish. You could try Leatherique. Clean, strip and re-color. They should turn out well if there are no actual tears. Check out the customer pictures on the site, some impressive results. I've heard a lot of good reviews on Leatherique's products, though I have no personal experience.
Looks like a good route to go; the seats I just bought are black leather also, in very good shape but looking a little dry so with any luck, the 16 oz. bottles will do 4 seats. I couldn't see the price of the dye. I'll look it over more closely after I get a good night's sleep.

At the very least, I'm thinking if I invest $50, I'd likely get $50 more than I would have w/o the refinish and be more likely to sell them period.

I'll do a review with pics if I end up going this way.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:02 AM
is thinning the herd
 
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I've used black shoe polish on small touch ups, or on larger ones on cars I was going to sell, as long as you don't glob it on, and let it dry a bit it doesn't come off on your clothes. However true leather dye stick much better as that is its job.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:15 AM
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Use Melthonean shoe cream (I think that this is what it's called) I used that on my 6.9 back seat and it worked a treat. There is a post about it on my "weekend wrenching" thread on the vintage forum.

If you google it, you will see that lots of people have done the same in the past. Once you buff it, don't let anyone sit on it for a few days.

I had an 85 Opel Manta GT/E with Recaro's. They fit like a glove and were comfortable. 15 years on, i'm more suited for Lincoln town car seating

Here is a link to my efforts:
weekend Wrenching
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:42 PM
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Leatherique...

Leatherique cream and dye are good products, just don't use their crack filler for anything bigger than 1/2 inch...
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2010, 02:07 AM
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Thanks for the heads up . . .
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2010, 06:42 AM
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I used navy shoe polish on my sec iirc. I seem to remember it worked fairly well.
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2010, 07:47 PM
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I ended up going with Meltonian black Boot and Shoe Cream Polish. The Leatherique approach looked like it would be really good if these seats were in a valuable keeper, but as I'm going to sell them, I'm thinking to ask $250 for the pair, spending around $150-$175 to restore them wouldn't be too wise.

I bought two of the Meltonian stuff, a little over $3 apiece, came out quite nice, just barely dipped into the second bottle.

The first shot is the seat in the first post, I did both of the seats. What a difference. The stuff buffed out pretty good. After sitting overnight after the 1st buffing, and then a second buffing, no trace of color comes off.

Thanks all for the info.
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Last edited by cmac2012; 08-18-2013 at 02:14 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2010, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
I ended up going with Meltonian black Boot and Shoe Cream Polish. The Leatherique approach looked like it would be really good if these seats were in a valuable keeper, but as I'm going to sell them, I'm thinking to ask $250 for the pair, spending around $150-$175 to restore them wouldn't be too wise.

I bought two of the Meltonian stuff, a little over $3 apiece, came out quite nice, just barely dipped into the second bottle.

The first shot is the seat in the first post, I did both of the seats. What a difference. The stuff buffed out pretty good. After sitting overnight after the 1st buffing, and then a second buffing, no trace of color comes off.

Thanks all for the info.
So all you did was apply, let dry and buff, then repeat?

Can you still see the scuffs in the texture?

I ask because my Jaguar has some wear in the driver bolster similar to yours. Did you do the whole seat, or can you use this to "touch up" an area?

Thanks,

George

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