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1980 450 SL
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Probably asked and answered many times, but I can't find it, so asking again.

I want to reupholster my car's seats. I am not sure if it currently is MB tex or leather. (I bought the car via my dad, and he still has it in another state ... I'll pick it up eventually ... letting him enjoy it for now.) I am leaning toward MB tex for ease of maintenance, but feel free to talk me into leather.

So the main question is: where should I buy the material? World Upholstery sells complete MB tex seat/armrest kits for $640:

Mercedes W107 450SL,380SL, 560SL, carpet, seat upholstery kits, convertible tops, tonneau cover

This place sells what appears to be the same thing for $540:

Mercedes W107 450SL, carpet, seat upholstery kits, convertible tops, tonneau cover

Is that a good price? And is all MB tex the same or are there variations in quality I should be aware of?

The secondary question is, if I hire an upholstery shop to put the covers on rather than doing it myself, what is a fair ballpark price to expect to pay?
 

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71 280se 3.5 Cab, 06 C230, 06 ML350
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628 Posts
Looks like your 2nd link is just a reseller of World Upholstery. I guess they don't need to make as much as WU. I'd say since it is from the same manufacture go for the cheaper. DA
 

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That would depend on the delivery, wouldn't it?:thumbsup:
Check with your installers, Find what works best for them. Compute price, go for the best quality you can afford. At this time. Take care of your new ST, you might need it one day after you've already gone WUTD. Plum dumb.:cool:
 

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1973 450SL 2004 E320 4Matic Wagon 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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3,193 Posts
The general consensus is that GAHH is the best quality product and also the most expensive. The secret is to find a shop that is known for high quality work. Check with the MB, Jaguar, and BMW dealers to find out who they use.

I did that, found a quality shop, got GAHH and am extremely happy. It only costs a few bucks more to do it right.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,178 Posts
Post your link up on the 'Interesting Links' sticky.
MercedesInteriors posts about his favourite company so often perhaps there should be a sticky for Uninteresting Links. I once looked at the website and prices were very high compared with WU and some others.

He says that they make WUs products - This might be worth checking, but even if so, why do they charge 50% more for a Sonnendeck top??

As you can tell, I am not being my normal diplomatic self because I am tired of this blatant promotion. ;)
 

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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It only costs a few bucks more to do it right.
As opposed to the people who didn't pay more for what ultimately turns out to be nothing more than the privilege of saying I paid more and did it - what? Wrong?
 

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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He says that they make WUs products - This might be worth checking, but even if so, why do they charge 50% more for a Sonnendeck top??
Then he's lying. I've been to WU - got the whole tour. They cut and sew their products on-site.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Leather car seat covers offered by TrimCar , email them, ask for Barry Craig, they are doing my E320 cab fronts now and they also did the seats in a nut and bolt Porsche resto, great job, very reasonable.
This an SL forum and that company does not list the R/C107 under Mercedes.

I bought my leather seatcovers from XKSS in 1990 and they are still perfect. XKSS is now World Upholstery. I don't think you can go far wromg with them - they have been around for quite a while.
 

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1980 450 SL
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178 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the feedback. I am pretty sure after further investigation that the second, cheaper link I posted is an old page capture from World Upholstery from years ago when their prices were lower.

I decided to order the $640 MB tex kit from WU. I just tried to place the order online but their server keeps timing out. So there's still a window of opportunity to talk me into leather!!
 

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1980 450SL & 1988 560SL
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I have in my car one leather (driver side) and one MB Tex (pass side). I found the MB Tex on Ebay and it was a complete seat and the right color. I just didn't know it was not leather. My orginal pass side seat was torn in a few places and this seemed like a cheap repair option.
Bottom line is the MB Tex seat looks cheap beside the leather. And, I guess it is. I'm going to pull the trigger on new leathers this fall and would not even look at the MB Tex for my car.
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1973 450 SLC AMG, 1995 Chevy Tahoe
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You cann't beat John at 8187669511
 

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560SL,380SL
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Bottom line is the MB Tex seat looks cheap beside the leather. And, I guess it is. I'm going to pull the trigger on new leathers this fall and would not even look at the MB Tex for my car.
I have MB-TEX seat covers from a company that made both MB-TEX and leather seat covers, and they were not cheap. The MB-TEX (lets not give this stuff "magical Mercedes properties" - it's just vinyl) - really is of the same grain and it's very thick. The covers are constructed exactly the same ways as the originals, with sewn-in individual padding strips (not so on my other car's leather seating - vinyl skirting hybrids).

So, there are probably different grades of vinyl as well as leather.

The "MB-TEX" red covers I have don't shine quite as much as the leather did, but other than that, I think they will work out great.
 

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1980 450 SL
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Discussion Starter #16
So I considered three options:

1 - new "MB tex" vinyl, $1550 installed for seats, headrests, arm rest.

2 - new non-original, non-embossed, generic leather dyed the correct color, $1200 installed.

3 - repair and re-dye original leather, clean and re-dye carpets, fix a tiny crack on dash and two small flaws under the tonneau cover, $515 total.

I picked option 3. The seats don't look quite new, but they're pretty close, and it's the original leather. On a 1-10 scale, with new Mercedes leather being a 10, I'd rate it a 9.

Figured I'd mention in case others face a similar choice - be aware that it's possible to fix seat covers without replacing them. In my case, the upholsterer cut off the worst part of the seat (driver's seat right beside the door) and replaced it. That part isn't embossed, so it's a lot easier to match.
 

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1986 560 SL
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So I considered three options:

1 - new "MB tex" vinyl, $1550 installed for seats, headrests, arm rest.

2 - new non-original, non-embossed, generic leather dyed the correct color, $1200 installed.

3 - repair and re-dye original leather, clean and re-dye carpets, fix a tiny crack on dash and two small flaws under the tonneau cover, $515 total.

I picked option 3. The seats don't look quite new, but they're pretty close, and it's the original leather. On a 1-10 scale, with new Mercedes leather being a 10, I'd rate it a 9.

Figured I'd mention in case others face a similar choice - be aware that it's possible to fix seat covers without replacing them. In my case, the upholsterer cut off the worst part of the seat (driver's seat right beside the door) and replaced it. That part isn't embossed, so it's a lot easier to match.

Got any before and after pix?
 

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1980 450 SL
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178 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I don't have apples-to-apples pictures, but these should give a good sense. Some apparent flaws in the photo aren't there in real life, and are either artifacts of sun and photography, or just look like leather looks, but some are (such as the wrinkles you can see in the seat beside the arm rest in After #1). That's why I say 9 out of 10 ... not perfect, but plenty good for a car you want to drive and enjoy vs. restore and show.

Before #1:



After #1



Before #2:



After #2:

 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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I second that. I got my soft top from him and I'll get the seat covers from his also when the time comes.
I bought my carpets from him ( Seems to be known as Qualitytops&interiors on eBay, but also goes by German Tops). Prices seem different depending on which company you buy from!

I have a few issues with the carpets. I have had to modify several of them to make them fit. The edging is not what I would call quality work and in some places it is missing (for example non at all on console sides.)

But, I WAS looking for a low price and once done the carpets will look fine. Actually they are almost done - hope to complete them tomorrow. But as always, I think you get what you pay for.

If I was doing carpets again, I would take Nobby's route - remove existing carpets and use them as a pattern to cut new ones - then get someone to do the edging properly. That way you are in full control. The carpet cuts easily with a good pair of tin-snips.

Regarding seat covers. I bought leather seat covers 18 years ago from World Upholstery (I think it was called XKSS then). They were very nicely done and still look great. Cost me $750 back then - I don't think they cost much more now!

I would like to have tried Heritage in Vancouver - Seems to be a quality supplier.
 
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