Author Topic: [0014] Fitting a Gel Pad into a seat (Option 2)  (Read 3817 times)

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Offline MartinW

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[0014] Fitting a Gel Pad into a seat (Option 2)
« on: May 04, 2014, 19:57:03 »
Summary: A method for fitting a Gel Pad into a seat. The original post was made by Willbo and can be found here.

Just finished installing a gel pad kit to my 650 seat. all in all, including breaks, took about 4 and a bit hours. not rushing. The kit came from America, knoplace is the company name and they sell on ebay. All bits can be bought via UK too I must add. I only bought the American one as the gel pad is thin, but with a higher density to keep comfort. The DL650 seat is very thin on the foam front, so a thicker pad might not fit.

Tools used:
    1 x staple remover
    1 x high power stapler . both from maplin £4.99 bargain kit
    1x sureform smoother (smooth the foam) from flebay
    1x dremel, to keep the edges flush
    1x 3m 77 spray ahesive, suitable for foam, fleabay
    1x screwdriver for stubborn staples
    1x pair of scissors
    1x retracktable blade knife
    1x gel pad kit, including pad, smoothing foam and memory foam layer

Started off by removing the leather, I marked up dead centre both to and bottom, to aid recovering. With the staples I took my time with to avoid rips. The staple remover was very handy, and the screwdriver to remove some stuborn ones. Also some rusty ones I must add.

I sat on the uncovered seat to find the "target area" and decided to pretty much cover the whole flat area. Once off, I marked up the position of the gel pad, I set the blade to correct depth for the pad and foam, then cut around the area, making sure I didn't go to far towards the sides and front of the seat. The foam is very thin here and I didn't want to go through. I then made 1" slices down the seat, to get the foam out.

Pulling gently, I removed each piece as a strip. This left an uneven but nice layer of seat foam, but something to work with. I used the sureform (very very handy ) £3 of fleabay, and smoothed the area best as possible. You need the flat area smooth, cos any bumps or holes are felt on the seat through the pad. I used the dremel very very carefully to smooth the corners. It did grip in once and took a chunk out. This I filled with spare foam.

I carefully measured and trimmed the gel pad to fit the hole, taking my time, as I have only one pad. Eventually it fitted in, but a bit big. Note to self, enure all cuts are fully straight next time, save cutting angles. I test fitted it, and felt the very slightly uneven base layer of foam. More smoothing later I got a good finish, then finished off triming the gel. Using the glue I fitted it in in place. Don't press too heavy with the smoother. Take your time and it will be a better result.

Now the memory foam. Because the seat is so thin, I decided to add a 5 cm length of memory foam so the crown jewels are at the front of the seat, futher on than the gel pad. I trimmed some more foam off the seat front, just thick enough to fit the foam in, without going too deep. Maybe 1mm protruding I think. I cut the foam carefully then glued it in place. I use the sureform to smooth the edges to level. The seat is probably 1mm taller now, but you can't really tell.

All smooth, I glued on the smoothing foam. This is just scrim foam 6mm thick. 1 side foam the other fabric. I stretched, glued, stretched, glued etc all over the seat. Starting in the middle and working front, sides back etc. Including right to the end of the seat. I have to cut here and there cos of the shape of the seat, there was a small patch of bare foam left, cos of the seat shape. this I cut a shape out of the exccess trim and filled in. No bumps, folds, creases or anything cos they will be seen or felt. Luckly I took my time and got it smooth. You can leave some eccess foam on, but not too much, remember, you don't want an untidy finish.

Now, recovering. You need 2 people for this, luckly my old man helped. Get the leather straight at the marks I made earlier. Attatched the front, then back, pulling tight. Then one side staple, then the other, pulling tight. Now I had the basic shape, I stapled the whole cover back on, changing sides if needed.

Hello presto. 1 gel seat all done. haven't tried it yet, its pouring. But it feels slightly firmer, yet more giving than before. All in all, cost about £110 including all tools, (except dremel) glue, and the kit. that includes £25 import duty.

Would I do it again? hell yes. I would still be nervous though about ruining a seat if I balls it up

For reading the essay, sorry its long, here's the pictures.


Edit 1
There is a UK company selling gel pads on ebay. These pads they say not to put a layer of memory foam on top. So if I had bought one of those, and the scrim foam off fleabay, I could have done it a lot cheaper

Edit 2
I have now been for a really long ride, and you can really feel the difference (not car comfort, but much better). much more comfortable after 3 hours riding, but I did stop after 2 though, (cos of my dodgy knee). Before 1 hour and the pain/numb started, which didn't this time.

All in all, well happy.
Tall, Dark and Handsome (In 1987) - Just tall now !!

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