Friday, February 8, 2013

Can I tilt your chair? The seat rail restoration was anything but comfortable.

As the title suggests this is the tale of another one of those assemblies that look simple but ended up being a mountain of work. Right from the start we knew that the seats did not slide back and forth very well so some investigation was required. In the end it was not one problem but a number of little ones that contributed to the seats not gliding as they should. Most notable were some minor bends in the track and pitting due to lack of proper lubrication.

The photos will tell most of the tale but essentially the following is what was done:

1. Remove rails and inspect their operation
2. Chemically strip assemblies
3. Fully disassemble and categorize everything. Photos were key here
4. Straighten and re-machine tracks
5. TIG weld one of the adjuster arms that showed a hairline crack and polish the weld to make it seamless
6. Re-assemble spring and arm assemblies
7. Powder coat all parts
8. Polish all hardware and acquire new ball bearings in various sizes (mixing metric and standard to achieve smaller variations between balls)
9. Re-assemble mixing and matching ball sizes to fine tune the operation of the rails. Test until it operates perfectly.
10. Press the assemblies closed
11. Install plastic end knobs

It was in the final step that Paul really came through. Wet sanding, polishing, and using infinite patience he removed 40 years worth of marks and scratches and polished the ends to a perfect finish. If you were not told you would never know the age of the parts.

We are looking forward to mating these rails to the seats and now know that when it comes time to set the seat position that we will be met with a smooth ride to our most comfortable position.


  1. Wow you guys have gone nuts yet again lol!

    Can't wait to see these rails with the finished seats on them.

    How are they going ?

    You nut bars you!

    1. The whole interior is coming along nicely and we will post as work continues.