Are Replacement Mopar Interiors Really That Bad?

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on November 15th, 2013

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In his latest “Interior Insights” article for Hotrod & Restoration Magazine, Ace Eckleberry of ACE Custom Upholstery & Rod Shop tackles Mopar restorations and rails against the the “vast majority” of replacement parts that suppliers sell as being unacceptable.

Give his tirade a read and let us know if you agree.

Earlier this year a very good customer of mine brought his really cool old Mopar in to have me install original style replacement upholstery on the seats. This is a task every trim shop has done hundreds if not thousands of times. The provided seat upholstery he ordered as a it from a very reputable retailer was a brand associated with good quality parts. That is where the good part of the tale ends.

Both front seat backs tore like notebook paper when pulled on right at the seams. Neither seat cover was sewn straight. The borders were sewn onto the decks very obviously crooked in comparison with each opposing side. The rear seat border was not even attached in three places to the deck! Weltings were not trimmed. The reinforced areas were sewn on twisted.

I have intentionally left out the company and brand name of these products. I am however, issuing a blanket statement that a vast majority of interior replacement parts available are now far below the standards acceptable. If the materials are available I encourage you to buy bulk and take the time to recreate what you take off as opposed to replacements.

To read the full article, and download your free copy of Hotrod & Restoration Magazine‘s November issue, click here.

What do you think? Are replacement Mopar interiors really that bad? And is recreating them from scratch the best option available to auto upholstery shops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

7 Responses

  1. Retired.. Should Have Given Us All The Name Ace, Word Would Spread And They Would Clean Up There Act Or Go Out Of Bussiness. Coarse In This Country You Can Open Up The Next Week Under A Different Name And Do The Same Thing Again. Now You Guys Are Seeing Why Some Old Trimmers Just Throwed In The Towel And Gave Up. Its Gotten To Where We Cant Buy The Original Materials Any Longer Because Companys Are Being Bought OutThat Make The Materials And This Is The Result. The Company Buy Out Says We Make The Seat Covers Our Way And Make The Profits Whyle You Guys Deal With The Customer And Do The Hard Labor.

  2. Fred Mattson Fred Mattson says:

    I concur. Dealing with poorly made products has been a problem for a long time. Poor installation of products is another topic that needs to be addressed also.

    I met with several manufacturers at SEMA this year and let them know how unacceptable their products were. They just do not care what WE as an industry think. Voice your concerns to the manufacturers and let them know that THEY need to step up and do better.

    • I think they would care if we start calling them out by name on industry websites like this — not to trash them, but to offer constructive criticism.

      It’s unfortunate that in his piece, Eckleberry didn’t do that. It could have gone a long way in ensuring they (1) listen and (2) do something about it.

  3. It is so nice to hear someone else going through the same thing. We have been installing kits for customers for years and over the last 4 years especially the quality has been horrific. I can not begin to tell the problems from faulty stitching to inferior materials . One time we had to send back seat cover 4 times to a reputable manufacture. Finally after 6 months we cut the patterns apart and resewed our selves.We actually keep pieces of each companies kits in stock to show the customer the possible issues which is hard to sell someone a job when we are skeptical of what we are going to get. We just installed a headliner that was so thin you can effortlessly tare like paper. It was so time consuming to install because we had to be so careful every step of the way. I really feel bad for the do it yourselfers because they by these “KITS” thinking they go right on never realizing when the kits are actually wrong and will never work. Its an every day thing here

  4. wolfman says:

    You are right the repos are junk
    149 for a set of seat covers made with cheap materials
    What ever you do don’t steam them
    In 1980 I got 700 dollars for a set of 66 mustang
    Now I don’t do repos at all

  5. Bill Krasovec says:

    I recently had new foam installed in my vintage Sport Fury. The foam was from a very well known distributor/manufacturer. The instructions say that some modification may be needed on some models since they cover five years. Mine was not listed. It took a professional upholsterer 7 hours to get the base foam installed in my 25 year old custom seat covers. I was going to order new covers for another car but am considering new ones made up locally. By the way, it cost me nearly $500.00 just to install the seat bottoms.

  6. seatmaker seatmaker says:

    Semi-retired. I did quite a few mopar interiors in the past. Quite a few of them were aftermarket covers. After a few I would tell the customer that if there was any damage to the cover while installing and or problems with seams after installation that they would have to go after the supplier for the full cost of repair as I would not cover any repair cost as they purchased the covers and have been informed of the risks. Some of them even knew of the problems and still went with it. The next time I saw them we would remake the covers from scratch.

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