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Old 07-24-2022, 01:04 PM   #1
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Reupholster Center Armrest in Leather

My center armrest was beginning to look a bit shop worn:



I decided to recover it in leather. There are at least two companies that make leather armrest covers for the 986 and 996 - Redline Goods (Poland) and JF Customs (UK.) I decided to use Redline Goods because they were having a 4th of July sale and the cost with shipping was around $35. The cover arrived in about two weeks and was good quality. I used JF Customs when I recovered the armrest on my Mercedes C230 and their quality is similar.



Removing the armrest to work on it is easy. Open the cover and remove the 8 T10 torx fasteners. The armrest cover will then slide forward and detach from the center console.



Here's the underside of the top. Note that some of the OEM material is folded and glued to the underside of the top.



I determined that wrapping the new cover over the folded OEM material might interfere with reinstallation of the cover due to excess fabric. I removed the folded-over materail with a utility knife.



Because my cover has contrasting stitching, lining up the cover correctly was a crucial requirement. I made marks down the center line of the armrest and the underside of the cover to use as reference points when I glued the cover on to the armrest.



I used contact cement on both the cover and the armrest and slowly pressed the two pieces together. (If you haven't used contact cement, there are many videos on YouTube that show how the recommended methods.)

I don't think my alignment of the stitching is perfect but given the position of the armrest in the car, it will probably not be noticeable.



Here's a photo of the underside. I had to trim excess material to avoid having it interfere with the alignment of the cover when I reinstalled it.



Overall, I'm pleased with the final product. It is not a huge improvement, but it didn't cost much money or require much time.





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Old 07-24-2022, 01:12 PM   #2
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Well done! The replacement cover seems to be much higher quality leather than the original.
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:44 PM   #3
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Thanks

When I trimmed the strip of material on the inside of the armrest lid to make room to tuck in the edges of the new cover, I wondered whether the original material was leather or plastic. Unless the first owner of your vehicle opted for the full leather interior, the seats are a mix of leather and plastic. I expect that the OEM console lid could be a well-engineered substitute for leather.

There is a thin layer of foam bonded to the underside of the OEM material which provides most of its thickness. The black material on the outside that you see and touch is very thin. I estimate that it is 1/2 to 1/3 as thick as the new leather.
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2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-Channel Amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top, Homelink integrated in dash with Targa switch, 997 Shifter, Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated 12-way driver & 8-way passenger seats, Litronics, silver console

Last edited by KevinH1990; 08-12-2022 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 07-25-2022, 03:35 AM   #4
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The update looks great!

I'm going to reach out to them for the same piece... in addition to seeing if they can fabricate a boot for the Tiptronic shifter.

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Old 08-07-2022, 07:54 PM   #5
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I Covered the Door Armrests in Leather Too

I bought some leather pieces from an auction site used them to cover the armrests in leather. I removed the soft-touch paint (which was scratched) with citrus paint stripper and attached the leather with contact cement.



The flash I used to take these photos makes the leather appear shinier than it actually is.





Most the soft-touch plastic trim in my car is showing its age. I plan to cover most of it with leather. The area around the door handles is next and then I may explore the area around the head unit and the climate controls.
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2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-Channel Amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top, Homelink integrated in dash with Targa switch, 997 Shifter, Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated 12-way driver & 8-way passenger seats, Litronics, silver console
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinH1990 View Post
I bought some leather pieces from an auction site used them to cover the armrests in leather. I removed the soft-touch paint (which was scratched) with citrus paint stripper and attached the leather with contact cement.

Most the soft-touch plastic trim in my car is showing its age. I plan to cover most of it with leather. The area around the door handles is next and then I may explore the area around the head unit and the climate controls.
Looks very nice!

Is this leather you used kind of 'normal' thickness stuff or possibly thinner material planned for automotive etc use?
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:06 AM   #7
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It appears slightly thicker than the material normally used for shift boots and e-brake gaiters in automotive interiors. The material is thinner than the material used in the center armrest cover I bought from Redline Goods.

The seller is in North Carolina. This is an area in the U.S. in which many furniture factories are located. I think the material is likely to be left over from furniture manufacturing. The seller is probably attempting to make some extra money and avoid wasting material.

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2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-Channel Amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top, Homelink integrated in dash with Targa switch, 997 Shifter, Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated 12-way driver & 8-way passenger seats, Litronics, silver console

Last edited by KevinH1990; 08-12-2022 at 07:23 AM.
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