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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old June 17th, 2017, 14:11   #1
jpdeuce
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Default Seat options?

Thinking through seat options or seat cover options. The leather on my wagon is pretty bad and the seat seams are starting to rip. There are a ton of different covers available on the market, not sure how good they are or how they fit. It seems to be a pain in the a$$ to try to make newer VW seats fit and all of the mk4 ones I see for sale look in about the same shape as mine.

Are there aftermarket seat options that people like? What would you suggest?

Thanks in advance
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Old June 17th, 2017, 17:34   #2
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My advice would be to hold out for good condition used MKIV seats.

Sedan, wagon and both 2 or 4 door Golf seats will fit, just be aware of the changes (across the years) to the airbag connector.

Really the only difference across the MKIV variations listed above is the folding forward 2 door golf seats & the wagon rear bench bottom mount.
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Old June 17th, 2017, 21:07   #3
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As Rex mentions.

I had to go buy an entire parts car in order to get a decent set of seats: of all the common seats I'd have to say that heated, cloth, beige seats that are in good condition are the hardest to find; I found some beige leathers (for the daughters wagon) well before I found the cloth ones (for my car).
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Old June 20th, 2017, 21:54   #4
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Figuring out what seats you want to replace your old ones with would be very helpful when searching for your new seats.
Are you looking for stock replacements? Upgraded factory seats? Aftermarket seats? What is your price range?

There are some seats out there that are in good shape, but like mentioned above you have be willing to wait for the right set of seats to come along.

I do have a set of black leather seats that got removed a few years ago when I had a set of Euro Recaros imported from the UK that I'd be willing to sell. They're in great shape, but aren't heated. Send me a pm if interested.
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Old June 20th, 2017, 22:37   #5
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Also keep in mind that the seats were physically changed between/over the years. They were narrowed down in order to allow for the cup holders in the lower console. I realized this after replacing seats in one of my cars (to get heated seats into it). I don't like the narrower seats (and I'm not a big guy). I'm thankful that I got heated seats for my 2000 Golf out of a 2000 Jetta: same pattern, AND, same size!
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Old June 21st, 2017, 09:59   #6
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You could just have them re-upholstered, it's not too bad with the seats out. Depends a lot on watcha want and how long you might keep the car. Exact match from a junk yard is easy.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 11:41   #7
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Back in the mid 70's I recovered the leather seats in the Fiat Spyder I had.
I didn't think it was a hard job.
Don't remember when I ordered them but they weren't that much back then.
My father had the tool for the funny clip thingies.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 08:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonneber View Post
My father had the tool for the funny clip thingies.
Hog ring pliers is what I think you are referring to.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 09:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3L3M3NT View Post
Figuring out what seats you want to replace your old ones with would be very helpful when searching for your new seats. Are you looking for stock replacements? Upgraded factory seats? Aftermarket seats? What is your price range?
Mine are heated leather. Would like to retain the heated part but don't necessarily need to have leather. Since I don't know what it available and at what price ranges, it's hard to make any decisions. All I've really found are used ones coming out of wrecked cars and the leather doesn't look like it's in much better condition than mine. I don't know if there are repro options out there, overseas options, brand new options. And no clue what all of those cost.

Quote:
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Also keep in mind that the seats were physically changed between/over the years. They were narrowed down in order to allow for the cup holders in the lower console. I realized this after replacing seats in one of my cars (to get heated seats into it). I don't like the narrower seats (and I'm not a big guy). I'm thankful that I got heated seats for my 2000 Golf out of a 2000 Jetta: same pattern, AND, same size!
This is good to know, since I have a later year MK4 with cup holders. Any idea when this changed? I wouldn't want to get seats and then have them be too fat. This may limit my search even more and make it even harder to find replacements. Seat covers are sounding better and better.

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You could just have them re-upholstered, it's not too bad with the seats out. Depends a lot on watcha want and how long you might keep the car. Exact match from a junk yard is easy.
This was my first thought. I spoke to three separate shops about this and they were all crazy expensive. Didn't make sense to me and figured I could get brand new seats for what they wanted.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 10:07   #10
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..................... was my first thought. I spoke to three separate shops about this and they were all crazy expensive. Didn't make sense to me and figured I could get brand new seats for what they wanted.
Even with the seats out of the car? Is hard to find good honest crafts people.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 13:03   #11
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Even with the seats out of the car? Is hard to find good honest crafts people.
Didn't think to ask at the time. Kind of figured they would have asked, if that made a huge difference.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 20:58   #12
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Quote:
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Hog ring pliers is what I think you are referring to.
Yea Yea that's the ticket.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 21:06   #13
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Yea Yea that's the ticket.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 22:19   #14
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Its hard to find good honest crafts people.
Unlike days of old, part of the modern expense may also partly be related to a potential liability issue. We're talking about a seat with an air bag device in it, not the sport seats in my '80 Scirocco.

I own a set of hog ring pliers, and I've been through my MkIV front seats swapping covers, cushions and air bags to keep everything plug-n-play compatible. It's not an overly difficult endeavor, but the MkIV seats I went through were also the third set of VW seats I've torn down. Installing the Passat lumbar setup took some extra time, while I had things apart.

I haven't put any miles on my Bestleatherkits.com seats I recovered for my Corrado. Installing them, they were not quite the same quality leather as the OEM leather, but they also were not OEM priced. I don't know whether they have a solution for vehicles with integrated air bags. In the world of aftermarket and overseas shippers, its seriously: Caveat Emptor.

As for labor to install seat covers, "good honest crafts people" are looking to pay the same bills the rest of us have. On my third set of seats, it still took me a good long afternoon to go through them swapping parts, washing foam and covers. That's not counting the added fun of installing the lumbar mechanics.

Tricks: when rebuilding seats, get yourself a twin or full sized package of "high loft" quilt batting, and use it to create filler pieces to bulk up where you get wrinkles in the fabric, whether it's leather, OEM fabric, or the black sunbrella we used on the Scirocco sport seats.
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Old June 24th, 2017, 18:52   #15
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When I upgraded seats in my Jetta, I looked across the pond to see what I could find on Ebay UK, since they got all the nice Recaro interiors. It's amazing how well the new seats conformed to my body and held me in place.

I was able to work with Ryan at Darkside Developments and Aaron(BleachedBora) on getting the seats shipped state side. I'll admit it wasn't the cheapest option, but it was better than paying the prices people wanted at the time for their Recaro seats here in the US. Plus finding heated leather Recaros in the US wasn't going anywhere, so I was easily able to find them on Ebay UK like so.

VW Golf Recaro Seats
VW Golf mk4 Recaro Seats
VW Golf Heated Leather Recaros
Some other options
Audi S3 Seats
Bora Leather Recaro Seats
Audi S3 Leather Recaros
Golf/Bora/A3 Leather Seats
Bora Sport Seats
Sport Recaro Seats
Audi S3 Heated Leather Recaros
Audi A3 Leather Seats
Recaro Front + Rear Seats

As you can see there are quite a few good options over in the UK.

Otherwise you might get lucky and find a decent set of seats on VWVortex...
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