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  #1  
Old 07-11-2002, 09:20 PM
Benzwood's Avatar
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Center Armrest Cording Cracked

The cording around my center armrest cover (1992 300E) is broken with chunks missing (see photo). The leather is still okay.

Has anyone had an upholstery shop replace just the cording? If so, how were the results?

I have also found replacement covers from World Upholstery for $98.00 (1 month wait) and SL Accessories for $105.00 (2 day wait, price in catalog is wrong).

Has anyone purchased armrest covers from these companies, and if so how was the quality, color-matching, and fit? My current cover seems quite precisely made, with plastic clips sewn on to attach the rear, and unless a replacement is "perfect" I'd rather just hack off the rest of the cording and live with it.

Thanks!
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Center Armrest Cording Cracked-armrestcrack.jpg  
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Last edited by Benzwood; 07-27-2002 at 06:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2002, 11:00 PM
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Benzwood,
My 300E has just started to do the same thing. fortunately, My dad owns an upholstery shop! If the rest of your armrest cover is in good shape, save your money because this can be an easy job. My dad says that finding the plastic like cording may be difficult but he has some cording that can be died to match easily. Replacing this is easy.....there is a zipper on the back of your armrest for removing. you can then turn it inside-out and razor blade the stitching apart. If you can find a replacement cord any nanny should be able to stitch it back together. You may however wont to make sure her equipment is up to date with a heavy duty sewing machine(ie: pfaff, singer industrial) otherwise it will not be able to make it through two layers of Leather plus the cording.
Good luck,
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2002, 12:09 AM
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i deal with gahh in north hollywood ca. they have terrific prices & very nice wood. they use all original material.i have the web page at work. if your intrested let me know. the match is very good.
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2002, 04:51 PM
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Thanks drbrandini, I'll see if Phil at PartsShop can get the vinyl cording from Mercedes.

WRM, Gahh's web site was easy to find, thanks for the tip. It looks like they know their stuff and the pricing is comparable ($100).

Gahh Web Site

Have you (or anyone) ever ordered an armrest cover from them? My cover is a very tight fit with a two-piece plastic clip sewn into the rear of the cover (half on top and half on bottom) that attaches for a neat appearance after the cover is on.

I'm wondering if an aftermarket manufacturer duplicates that with good results?

I don't mean to be overly skeptical, but I just got burned on an aftermarket speedo cable.
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2002, 08:47 PM
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The Penske Mercedes dealer in West Covina referred me to GAHH, and they said the replacement leathers are perfect.
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2002, 01:15 AM
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yes, i've replaced arm rest covers & seat covers from them. they all fit like original.
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2002, 03:39 PM
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Thanks all for the tips -- just ordered one from GAHH that should be here by the weekend. I'll report back.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2002, 05:56 PM
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Received my new armrest cover on time from GAHH, can't complain about manufacturing time (1 day turnaround)!

The materials appear to be of high quality and sewn with skill. However...

First thing I noticed was the color, of both the leather and cording, was not an exact match. I expected the leather might be off a bit, but figured the plastic cording would be closer.

Second thing I noticed was that the cutouts at the armrest attachment points were not correct, presumably this is on purpose and left to the installer (see photo, original cover on top).

Unfortunately, cutting them out myself does not leave a nicely finished edge like the MB original part (which has cloth cording over the raw leather edges).
Attached Thumbnails
Center Armrest Cording Cracked-armrestholes.jpg  
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2002, 05:59 PM
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Third thing I noticed was the plastic clips which attach at the rear of the armrest were reversed from the MB part.

Didn't think much of it, until I started installing it. Unfortunately this means the seam where the clips meet is now facing up and visible (was facing down before).

Doesn't look very professional, and is also sure to collect dust/crumbs.
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Center Armrest Cording Cracked-armrestseam.jpg  
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Last edited by Benzwood; 07-27-2002 at 06:08 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2002, 06:05 PM
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Last observations after installation...

There is some "bagginess" on the left/right front of the armrest, the cover isn't cut quite narrow enough.

And the cording on the drivers side does not lay straight, it meanders around a bit.

I used some leftover scraps of leather to help hide the interior foam at the rear of the armrest (this was hidden by the cloth cording on the original part).

Also note the color match (or lack of it) in the final installed photo (below).

Overall, the quality was good, but not excellent. I was hoping for excellent since this was supposed to be a cosmetic upgrade.

So... I probably wouldn't do it again. I would either just hack off all my old cording, or spring for another $100 or so to get the original MB part and see how that went.

One concern I have about the MB part is if it's been sitting around for 10 years, it might be in poor shape if it wasn't stored correctly.

Ah well... at least my arm isn't getting scratched up any more!
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Center Armrest Cording Cracked-armrestfinished.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2002, 06:07 PM
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Those of you with experience with GAHH or upholstering shops in general... is this par for the course? Are my expectations too high?

And would a MB original part fit better, or are they handfit at assembly time?
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2002, 06:35 PM
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Your car looks great either way!; but it seems odd that they reversed the plastic clips, up instead of down. Any chance it would stretch on the other way?;it looks pretty symetrical in the X/Y plane on the photos.
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Last edited by jbaj007; 07-27-2002 at 08:05 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2002, 07:49 PM
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I've been to GAHH and they seem to be a very good shop. They do interiors for Porsche, Rolls Royce and BMW as well as MB. I'd give them a call and tell them your concerns.

I'm sure in 10 years your leather had faded. Any chance that the armrest is closer to the original color than your interior? Just a thought.

Craig
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  #14  
Old 07-28-2002, 03:49 AM
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baj007, thanks, and no it wouldn't go on upside down (especially after I cut out the big hole for the adjustment knob! ) The photo doesn't show it well, but the underside of the armrest is contoured differently than the top.

Dcraig, certainly the color in my car may have changed in 10 years (I've owned it less than a year), but if it had I would expect exposed areas to have faded more than concealed areas, or the leather to have faded differently than the vinyl and plastic areas, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Also, I would expect it to fade to a more muted color (like the GAHH part), not to a more vivid blue.

Also, the leather and cording doesn't match too well within the GAHH part itself, nevermind my car. The leather has too much of a grayish tint to it. If it was more blue like the cording it would be a better match to my car. Ironically, I like the grayish blue better than my blue... maybe they could dye the rest of my car to match?
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  #15  
Old 07-29-2002, 07:46 PM
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Per suggestion, I've e-mailed GAHH with a link to this thread so they can read and view my concerns.

I'll keep you posted... there are a lot of these cracked MB armrests out there if my car-shopping experience is any indication.
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