View Full Version : JPX's Knuckleheaded Seat Re-Cover Job - 1996 GSX

08-16-10, 01:48 AM
Greetings everyone! I haven't been on here in a long time - and that's probably because I haven't messed with my Seadoo and my two steward Seadoos for roughly about the same time.

We took out the 1996 GSX that I had been banging my head on a couple of years back to get oil-tight and up and running again. As it turns out, after not being under my watch for the year following that, it died again. The solenoid finally let go (it was pretty gnarly after the hull had flooded several times). I was surprised it lasted as long as it did. It was taken to a shop for repairs and a tune and is somehow back up an running.

Unfortunately it still had been treated roughly, with the boat exposed to the elements year round. And the nasty seat finally became a torn, nasty seat.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554003_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554003_large.jpg)

As the vinyl had already hardened up, this tear is really awful to sit on. Not to mention that the water intrusion to the foam now produces a 50 lbs seat.

So I started with the obvious, buy the cheapest seat cover from the internet.....where red means....uh, well, sort of red. More like maroon - but I like to think of it as a more "mature" red. It is not stock, but it looks fine.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554002_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554002_large.jpg)

Then remove the gazillion staples off the underside. This only takes a screwdriver and a good 20 minutes if you get a good angle on them. Since I was not planning on keeping the cover at all, I didn't mind mangling the vinyl in the process.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554004_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554004_large.jpg)

This is the crazy part. Since the foam was soaked and somewhat damaged, I didn't have a problem getting medieval with it.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554005_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554005_large.jpg)

The vinyl is glued to the foam. Which means you can't simply slide or rip the cover off if you intend to re-use the foam. And since I am planning on re-using the foam, I need to slice off the vinyl.

http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554006_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554006_large.jpg)
[/IMG] (]http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554007_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554007_large.jpg)

There is the added bonus of the foam being secured to the seat base. This was not really necessary for a typical recover job. But I wanted to dry out the foam as much as possible before starting the re-cover

http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554008_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554008_large.jpg)

Finally , I got the cover completely sawed off, leaving only the moldy foam in front of a fan to dry. The towel is stuffed into the tear to help wick the moisture out from inside that spot. The foam is so much lighter after an hour after the vinyl was stripped.

Next up - get a THIN sheet of foam to glue to the existing foam. I will do this to "level" out some of the divots I made when sawing off the old cover. I also need to slather some contact cement and foam filler in the big tear to stabilize that part.

Then I can start the grueling task of stapling the new cover on.

More to come!

08-17-10, 10:46 AM
I've been waiting for the foam to dry. The stubborn portion of the foam that is still wet is at the bottom of the tear.

08-19-10, 01:37 AM
Now that the foam finally dried, I glued a few patches of scrap foam to fill some divots I made while cutting off the old cover.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554081_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554081_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554080_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554080_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554082_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554082_large.jpg)

Once the glue set up, it was time to lay out to vinyl in preparation for stapling.

And here is the weapon of choice - a standard Arrow hand stapler and stainless steel staples. I love the label on the box - "Not for marine applications". Onward we go!
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554083_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554083_large.jpg)

I started with the front first to anchor the material.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554085_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554085_large.jpg)

Then a single staple on the rear to stabilize it. I sprayed some glue on the concave part of the foam near the front to help hold it down. Otherwise it would pull too tight and lift from the foam - like a tent. Then I could shoot a few staples on the sides.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554084_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554084_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554079_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554079_large.jpg)

Most of the "middle" of the seat was pretty straightforward. It is best to use the heel of your hand to push the material from the middle to the sides. The idea is to stretch the material to work the wrinkles out.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554088_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554088_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554087_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554087_large.jpg)

The real challenge is the rear of the seat. My wife helped me hold the fabric in place while I stapled. This was NOT as easy task and certainly crazy difficult if I had tried to do this by myself.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554086_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554086_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554089_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554089_large.jpg)

We stapled the extra fabric to set tension on the curves at the "corners". Then we pulled again and set a second row of staples. On some folds, we had to pull staples and re-set the material.

The last thing to do was set the plastic corner pieces. Compared to the rear of the seat, this was crazy easy.

Trimmed off the excess material and I think that's it.:)

I'll take a photo in the sunlight tomorrow on the ski to see how it looks together.

08-26-10, 12:47 AM
Well, here are photos of the newly covered seat on the boat.

As expected, the color is not a dead-on match. But given what this boat has been through, this is a big improvement over a torn seat.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554092_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554092_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554091_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554091_large.jpg)

http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554090_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554090_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554002_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554002_large.jpg)

And as you can see, I am in the process of replacing the mangled purple mats. Hydroturf is good stuff, but even so it has been abused to death. My plan is to put on black mats, black handle grips and replace the red start button. This will freshen up the overall look.:)

I'm considering using this experience with stapling the seat cover to replace the handlebar pad with a new black vinyl insert (to go with the black grips). The red vinyl is gumming up and becoming discolored. Just don't want to have to buy a whole yard of material when I only need a magazine sized piece.:rolleyes:

08-26-10, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the step by step instructions along with the photos. My 96 gsx has a ripped seat so im looking for a good seat skin, and to give this a try,where did you buy yours. Mine is blue i hope i can get a good color match.
thanks Jack

08-26-10, 03:05 PM
Looks great man! You need to put some Hydro Turf in next :)

08-27-10, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the step by step instructions along with the photos. My 96 gsx has a ripped seat so im looking for a good seat skin, and to give this a try,where did you buy yours. Mine is blue i hope i can get a good color match.
thanks Jack

I got it off a seller on eBay which has a wide variety of options. I saw similar material available at Joann Fabrics as well but only for a few colors. Make sure whatever you get is MARINE grade vinyl.

Greg, yup - I am installing new Hydroturf next week. :cool: Lots of fun removing the old contact cement.:rolleyes:

08-31-10, 12:43 AM
Well, I finally picked up a half yard of black marine grade vinyl to re-cover the nasty handlebar pad.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554098_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554098_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554097_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554097_large.jpg)

After taking off the hex screws from the black plastic on the handlebar and the screws from the steering bar cover, I found 2 10mm bolts/nuts that held on the pad. The information control buttons could be removed through the center hols, but the buzzer would have necessitated unbolting a portion of the steering mounting block. I decided to take an easy way out although it is certainly not that elegant of a solution - cutting a slot from the hold to the edge with a hacksaw. This allowed me to remove the buzzer wires without pulling any wiring.

Once the pad was off the boat, I could pull off the staples from the old cover.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554093_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554093_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554094_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554094_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554096_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554096_large.jpg)

Then after cutting a section of vinyl roughly the size of the old red piece, I planted a staple in the center of the top edge. I marked the pad TOP and BOTTOM to help with orientation. Then I started planting staples across the long sides.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554095_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554095_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554102_medium.jpg
(http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554102_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554099_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554099_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554100_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554100_large.jpg)

The short sides are more challenging than the long sides. Pulling the vinyl tight is pretty easy on this small surface. If you covered a seat, this is CRAZY easy. The advantage is that the very edges are concealed by the steering cover.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554103_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554103_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554101_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554101_large.jpg)

For the plastic on the steering bar cover and the hatch cover, I am using Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to rub off the white oxidation and freshen up the color. Magic Erasers are AWESOME!
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554104_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554104_large.jpg)

Other activities right now include the grueling task of removing the old contact cement from the worn out purple Hydroturf. I chose a black steering pad in preparation to match the black grips and new Hydroturf mats. Now the "maroon" seat cover doesn't look so out of place with the black handlebar pad.

And as a new direction I am taking with both car and boat care, I finally bought a dream toy - a Porter Cable 7424 polisher. I tried this out on a test spot on the hazing hull and the preliminary results are AMAZING. I will write up more on that later.

08-31-10, 03:04 AM
the black pad looks cool. now i'm going to have to change mine, even though it's fine. i just like the look of the black better. :cool:

09-01-10, 01:55 AM
So I re-installed the new steering bar pad and put the assembly back together.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554098_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554098_large.jpg)...http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554108_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554108_large.jpg)

The black end caps didn't line up properly with the red covers. Most likely because the steering bar is bent from some "incident" where someone bashed it into something.

But the new black pad with the new black grips looks nice! A new start-stop button also makes for a fresh look.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554107_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554107_large.jpg)

The old glue removal is a slow process - using Goof Off, Acetone and Wax/Grease Remover . Have about half of the job do so far.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554106_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554106_large.jpg)

09-01-10, 12:21 PM
Very NICE JPX! Your hard work has paid off.

09-04-10, 02:59 PM
All righty, here is how it is turning out:

I was inspired by faded's GSX photo->http://www.seadooforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=5209&thumb=1&d=1279296430 (http://www.seadooforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=5209&d=1279296430)I removed all of the big graphic decals from the hull on the starboard side. I left the GSX logo since it is still in good condition.

http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554109_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554109_large.jpg)http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554111_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554111_large.jpg)

The port side is in the shade and is taking a lot longer to remove. Once things warm up later today, I can can continue peeling it off.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554110_medium.jpg (http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2475/1109/6185554110_large.jpg)

09-07-10, 11:24 AM
I finished my seat i picked up a yard of marine grade vinyl at joann fabrics $15.00 can of fabric spray glue and some stainless steel staples and did the job for under $30.00
I noticed you didn't put your seat strap back on. I was able to reuse mine the color on the under side was still in good condition. The srews that hold it to the seat work both ways.
Mr Clean magic ereaser is the best. My front handle bar cover & storage compartment was all white instead of the factory blue and with Mr clean and some elbo grease it brought the color right back.
Your seadoo looks great thanks for your post

06-07-11, 09:01 PM
I have boin doin my pair of gs's today also.The rear of the seat is really the tricky part.I did one and it looks great everywhere but the rear.Just couldnt get the wrinkle's out.But the grab handle hides most of it..Try the other tomo...