You’ve added that killer suspension system, a bunch of lights, and other stuff any self-respecting prerunner needs to tackle the off-road, but now you want to get refined. Fine. If you want to turn your ride into that luxury prerunner you’ve been dreaming about, you need leather.
Luckily, companies like Roadwire produce leather covers that transform your old seat covers into new leather-covered beauties with precut kits that slip in place with just a little work. Made using the OEM computer files, Roadwire uses photo sensitive digital laser-pattern cutting technology to perfectly cut patterns so their new covers exactly match the stock seats, but best of all, you can chose from a myriad of colors and patterns and even add logos to the finished product to make them perfectly fit your truck’s aesthetics.
The process of installing them is not all that difficult, but a few tips and the right tools are always a good idea to have in your arsenal. That’s why we went to the source to get the low down. Roadwire is located in Santa Fe Springs, California, (but they have 28 company-owned installation centers and over independent 3,000 certified install centers nationally), and once they had produced the covers that this owner ordered, we thought that it would be a good idea to get an idea of how the covers were installed.
From stock replacement to custom colors and patterns, Roadwire leather seat covers allow owners to make their trucks into their own version of what they want to hop into.
Of course, the Roadwire guys have had a lot of practice, so they had the covers switched out in short order. If you buy the covers and take them to a local upholstery shop, they should have them on in less than a day too.
Or maybe you want to install them yourself? If so, read on and see how your ratty-around-the-edges prerunner can be well on its way to becoming a luxury prerunner with a little help from Roadwire Leather Interiors.
When removing the stock seats, care must be taken when undoing the electrical connections, and the vehicle’s battery should always be disconnected.
Once on the bench, the stock covers are carefully removed. Some covers, such as this Toyota, have zippers that make removing them easier.
There are a lot of metal and even plastic clips that need to come off.
A pair of side-cutter-style pliers are used to remove the heavy staples that affix the old covers to the frame. This section is the seam between the back and outer panels of the seat cover assembly.
With the old cover off, the heating pads are affixed in place using spray adhesive. If you do not have factory heaters, Roadwire sells a carbon-fiber seat heater, which will keep you warm in all climates.
Care is taken to center the coils so there’s no chance of damage when the staples are put in.
A specialized pneumatic stapler is used to attach the cover to the seat frame. The staples are not flat like you’re used to as they actually encircle the seat frame.
Extra material is left at the seams where the backs and sides of the covers come together. It’s this extra material that is hooked with the staples and attached to the frame.
Steam is used to loosen the material up so it can be stretched and formed to the padding well and to get the back panels to zip together easily.
The seat section of the cover is set into place.
The seats are bolted back together.
In addition to steam, a silicone mallet is also used to finesse the material into place.
The stapler is again used to affix the material to the base.
All electrical connections are checked.
The stock plastic bumper is screwed into place.
Getting the plastic foot in place is a pain though.
Once the installer had determined that the cover is in exactly the position he wants it, a small hole is cut into the top of the seat back for the headrest mount.
The material is gently formed around the mount and slid beneath.
The fit is checked and looks good. This is why only a small hole was cut, as you don’t want to blow it here.
So far so good. This owner chose her own colors and patterns to match the color scheme on her Toyota.
Plastic wrap is placed over the foam of the headrest. The plastic will help the material to slide over the foam easier.
With a few shots of steam, the headrest cover is slipped into place.
The Roadwire kit includes covers for the rear seat too. It goes on pretty much like the fronts, so you get the picture.
With the seats back in the truck, the finished product looks good. Anyone who has cloth seats and yearns for that touch of leather, Roadwire can make covers to your particular specs.