[Healeys] How Bout Them Rear Seats, Wow !

Peter Svilans peter.svilans at rogers.com
Fri Dec 14 13:57:53 MST 2007

Hi Mark.

Locating the piping with the string through the holes in the pan gives a good,
solid, dry, exactly centered starting point for the pan trim job.  No need to
do the stressful "eyeball and slam it down" one-shot method which usually
results in a crooked or off-centre cover.

Punch holes in the plastic piping flange at the exact same spacings as the
holes in the pan with a belt punch, and pass a foot-long length of butcher's
cord through each hole.  Lay the cover on the pan, passing each pair of
dangling strings through their corresponding hole.  Repeat for all nine holes.
Tie the strings to each other at the back.  Goop up the tied strings with
contact cement, cut a 1" x 1' crescent-shaped vinyl patch, glue it up as well,
and cover the tied strings with the patch. No sewing.

 You're then free to pull the cover edges 'round the pan edges "dry" at your
leisure, and you've created a nice bit of "loft" with a truly deep piping
valley between the pleated panel and the horseshoe.   The roadster pans have a
horsehair mat under the pleated panel, and the piping being pulled right down
to the steel pan is not possible with an "only glued"  job.  The result is a
shallow, flat-looking pan which you can spot a mile away.  Every other Healey
suffers from "flat pan syndrome" because the old covers with the string
remains weren't there as a guide, or the pull-down string business was
ignored, or Manuel's Trim & Tint Emporium wasn't aware they should be there.

On the roadsters, make sure you mark the holes for the pan screws accurately
from the back and poke them through with an awl before the edges are glued at
the back.  That way no hit and miss searches for the holes from the front.
And please, no giant-sized self tappers suitable for oak furniture.  Just
regular #6 trim screws and cup washers.  On the BJ 8's, the studs take a
beating and- as Dan says- make sure they locate in their holes and take a nut
before trimming.

And the judges can spot whether there is string and knots underneath the vinyl
patches underneath the pans.  :-)


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