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Discussion Starter #1
I just received a leather kit that I bought in an e-bay auction for $390 (shipping included). Although I have not installed it yet, the quality of the kit is excellent. All the fittings are sewn in and the holes perfectly precut just like the factory seats. The kit also includes material for the door panels.

The seller is a Japanese company (with an office in LA) that subcontracts for Honda, Toyota and others for such items. www.matsukausa.com.

I have previously installed a kit for a Miata that I purchased from Katzkin for $460 that was not nearly as well constructed (and that was for only two seats). The Katzin kit looks really good installed but the cuts and stitching are just not as precise as the Matsuka kit. For example, I had to cut holes for the hinge points and other seat hardware for the Miata.

I believe that the difference may be because Matsuka gets the patterns directly from Honda while Katzkin probably has to create them. However, one point in Katzkin's favor is that their kits are custom, which means you can get two-tone and a wide variety of colors.

I dealt with Tommy Iwasaki at Matsuka who can be reached at (949)833-8082 ext. 11 Monday thru Friday from 9 to 6 SPT.

I will keep you posted on the installation, to let you know if any problems crop up. Replacing the seat coverings is pretty straight-forward for the average do-it-yourselfer - you just need hog ring pliers. I'll probably pay to have someone apply the material to the door panels though, because I'm not sure how to do that. (The kit also came with a listing of local installers.)

The current auction is http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=569305221
 

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Lorax,
Nice looking photos and kit! A few questions if you don't mind. This company is selling their products on ebay? Does the third row seat have the carpet so when the seat is folded down you have carpet and not vinyl showing (bottom of seat)? Is the leather applied over the existing door panels or do some portions of the doors need to be removed and replaced with leather inserts? When I did the pneumatic lumbar install, I noticed some horizontal rods with bent hooks at each end.
These went through some rings that were attached to the inside of the fabric seat covers and helped hold them in place as well as provide the horizontal seams you see on the seat backs. Luckily, it wasn't necessary to remove these, although it appeared not too difficult to do. I assume these leather covers will match up to these mounting points on the seat? I've never purchased from any auctions before, too leery of scams. Is the link you posted for another kit or is it the one you bought?
Regards,
=Hy=

BTW, I contacted Tommy and you did get a great deal, it seems they have (had) a surplus of the gray interiors and so he was able to offer you a discount (selling it on ebay). He quoted me $549 for the beige interior. For some reason he couldn't remember if the 3rd row seat had the carpeting or vinyl?

[This message has been edited by hip (edited 03-15-2001).]
 

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Hy,

Check your manual. I didn't have mine here with me. I believe that the third row cover separates from the carpeted steel panel, so that part is actually not touched.

The rings you saw on the front seats are called "hog rings" You just cut off these rings, and replace them with new ones using "hog ring pliers". These are available from JC Whitney or locally for under $15 with an assortment of rings. You are correct about the new covers having to match the old in these areas.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to do the door panels, and the manual is no help here. I would assume that they have to be glued.

Even $549 sounds like a good price. But I wish he had them on EBAY for 400. in Fern!

Bob
 

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Hey, I noticed the same auction on Ebay before and was interested in getting one. However I contacted them and they don't know any installer in my area and I have no idea how to do it. Do you guys know how to change the seat covers and the door panels ? Do you know where I can find more information on it ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Doing the seats should not be too difficult (I'll update this opinion after I actually do mine). The car seat basically consists of a metal frame surrounded by foam. The covering material is stitched such that some of the seams have a sturdy beading on the interior that is used to fasten the material to the metal frame. It becomes fairly obvious how to install them as you remove the old coverings. To remove them, just use cut the hog rings one by one. The only special tool required to install is hog ring pliers.

There are some books out there that cover the process, although I have never seen them first hand.

I'm more uncertain about installing the door panel material because I have never done this before. It looks as though the new material will have to be bonded in place. I'm probably going to have a professional do that part, but I'll let you know what I find out about how it's done.

In the meantime, try these sites for some info.

http://www.upholster.com/auto/truck.html

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1555611710/ref=sim_books/105-7033633-4217545
 

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From the ebay picture, the leather looks like it fits tightly. All of the dealer installed Ody leather interiors I have seen look loose, lit a pillow top bed. I just don't like that look. The factory leather in my Accord fits tightly and if I were to do the Ody, I would want it the same way.

When you get done, post and let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
robr2,

One of the installers told me that, a proper installation should be fitted with additional foam as necessary to fill out the seat. I assume that this would give a tighter appearance.

There are also style difference for kits. I believe some of the Katzkin kits have the look that you are describing. I don't mind it - it's just different.

I'll keep you posted on the installation diffuculty and results.
 

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Lorax,
A few more questions on the leather kit if you don't mind.

Do the center row seats have the back pocket (EX model)? The pictures don't show it.

Do you get covers for the arm rests and head rests? I'd assume so but it did not specify in the auction ad. Are those covers leather or vinyl?

How well was the gray kit's color match for the quartz interior? I'm assuming the quartz interior in the 2001 model year is same as the 2000.

Do you know if this 2001 kit will fit a 2000 EX?

Thanks in advance for any help. I know you're not selling these but I didn't want to have to wait until Monday to call Tommy Iwasaki.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry exindenver (I assume this refers to your Odyssey and not a former spouse
) I just got your message.

I didn't specifically check for pockets on the front and middle seats, but I seem to recall pockets.

Arm and head rests are included.

The color looks good for the Quartz interior, although I didn't actually take it out to the van yet.

Not absolutely certain, but I would be shocked if the kit didn't also fit a 2000.

I really wanted to get started on the installation this weekend by I want to wait for my lumbar supports to do both jobs together.

I contented myself with installing my foglights on Sunday (not bad, considering I had LASIK done Saturday).
 

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Modding yourself too, eh?
LASIK is on my mile long to-do list.

I'm dying to see pics of the finished interior.

------------------
Jim
'01 GG EX
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I suppose LASIK is analogous to HIDs. What would a bodykit be...implants?
 

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Lorax, thanks for turning me onto the ebay auction for the leather kit. I never would have thought to look there and never would have bid since I'm leery about what I might end up getting.

Just beat out the same guy you did to get the kit at $385. Much better than the $1800 the dealer wanted. I'm sure if I wanted to, I can get it installed for much less than $1415. With the help of all the great DIY on this board, I feel comfortable in trying the install myself. I'm hoping the leather will cut down some of the static electricity problem. Oh, it should also look and feel great.

Tommy indicated the 2001 kit should fit the 2000 except there will be extra holes in the leather for where the LATCH goes in the center seats but it should not be visable. Should be here in about a week. He has a few more of the gray kits if anyone else is interested. I'll have to get going and order the service manual and the pneumatic lumbar support. Don't know why Honda still haven't added the lumbar support yet to the Ody seat since it really needs one.

Talked to Tommy about the door panels and he said installers typically just glue the leather over the fabric with upholstery adhesive, then trim and tuck the overlap edges into the creases between the panels. The sliding door panel looks doable that way but the front door panel crease which runs along the side and bottom is very tight. Almost seems like it is the same piece of plastic as the rest of the door panel. Does the service manual show details on that panel?

Should be a fun job. I'll report back when the kit arrives and I get going on the install.

[This message has been edited by exindenver (edited 03-19-2001).]
 

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Well, I hope you guys are right about this leather kit. After reading your posts, I called Tommy up and ordered one directly. Very interested in finding out how the installation went. If this kit is the quality it appears to be, and the fit is decent, this is one screaming deal for leather for the oddy. Please keep us posted. Thanks.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by johnkalajian:
Well, I hope you guys are right about this leather kit. After reading your posts, I called Tommy up and ordered one directly. Very interested in finding out how the installation went. If this kit is the quality it appears to be, and the fit is decent, this is one screaming deal for leather for the oddy. Please keep us posted. Thanks. </font>
I'll let you know when my kit gets here on the 23rd. Did you get the same deal as we got on ebay? Tommy wouldn't commit to that when I'd talked to him. I'm sure he was hoping to get more for them on ebay.

A co-worker who had leather installed in his Odyssey told me that the front door panel is made up of two pieces which are riveted together. His installer drilled out the plastic rivets to seperate the panels. Glued on the leather (vinyl) and reassembled the 2 panels by placing screws where the rivets were. More than one way to skin this cat apparently.
 

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EXINDENVER-$385 out the door...K
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just found out that the lumbar supports I ordered on the 8th along with the ROSS can't be located (which I assumes means that they were never shipped). They're shipping them now.

I've been sitting on this leather kit because I want to install the supports at the same time. Looks like I'll be the last to install the leather kit.

Very irritating.
 

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"I just found out that the lumbar supports I ordered on the 8th along with the ROSS can't be located (which I assumes means that they were never shipped). They're shipping them now."

Sounds vaguely familiar.
I'd sure like to know who's to blame for these snafus from them, Frank or Rostra?

------------------
Chuck
Ody Pictures and Projects
 

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Sorry guys, mine came within 3 days, of course I haven't installed the ROSS yet, but the parts all seem correct.
 

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I guess I am one of the last to get the SPECIAL price on that leather kit. I got it for $350 including shipping. I was hesitant at first since I have a Fern interior and the kit is Quartz, which is a slightly darker gray. I had Tommy send me a swatch of the leather and I actually liked it better than the Fern because it is darker and will therefore be more stain-proof with my three kids. I also took Lorax's word about its quality. I had sort of a tough time finding an installer. The price ranged from $300 - $1000 for the installation. I was weary of the low cost installation concerned about them messing something up with the door panel. I decided to visit the different installers and actually did decide on the one who only charges $300. He couldn't believe it when I showed him the kit and said I only paid $350 for it. He told me he looked over the kit thinking there must be something wrong with it. He told me that it is of high quality and I got an absolute bargain. That made me feel good. I will pick up the car tomorrow and will post how it turned out. I am very hopeful! By the way, Tommy has another set on ebay now, but the price has jumped up to $495 as the initial bidding price. Which, actually, is still a bargain.
 
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