jjeff
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:50 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:Jjeff in the Leaf forum suggests this company, with which he says he isn't affiliated - they just had good prices and a variety of different kinds and densities of foam. Here is what he wrote:

Foam is kind of made in 2 different ways, one way is how firm the foam is, how much weight it takes to compress it. The other more important way(IMO) is the weight of the foam, heavier the better. You can have a cheap light foam that supports a lot of weight, but breaks down quickly(think cheap sofa). Then you can have a heavier weight foam that is either soft or hard, depending on your weight. For our sofa I chose the heaviest foam I could get, in a medium to higher compression weight, it's great! For something like a car seat I'd suggest heavier foam and purchase the compression rate that best suits your weight.
I see you also have an account on the Bolt forum, if you deem appropriate you might want to post a link to this foam company. Again there might be others but I checked quite a few and these guys were the best priced for good to great quality foam, and they totally cut to size for N/C, at least they did for my sofa cushions.


https://www.buyfoam.com/
https://www.buyfoam.com/OurFoam.aspx

Thanks Leftie, didn't realize it was so easy to post here :)
I'd suggest either the HR33 foam, very heavy and medium density or their XL38 which is very firm but a lighter foam(slightly less cost). For our sectional I had 5 pieces of foam cut, 3 of the HR33 foam and 2 XL38 as I wanted a firm foam but also know heavier is better for foam(lasts longer). Anyway we tried the XL38 and while it was sure firm, it just wasn't as cushy as we'd like. We now have the HR33 in our 3 most sat in places and the XL38 in the 2 least used areas. In hindsight I'd have gotten all HR33 but when I mentioned on the phone I wanted a "firm" foam, the guy really suggested the XL38 so we got a couple of those, even though I wanted the heaviest foam possible. The foam is the exact same size and other than sitting on it(or lifting the cushion) you wouldn't know they were different.
Funny note about the company, while they do sell on the internet and you can order there, they have no email(that I could find) all correspondence needs to be done via their toll free number.....don't see than much anymore :lol:
Shipping was reasonable and I believe took a little more than a week to get my order.
Now knowing this trick I'm going to have to give the Bolt another sit. At first sit at the auto show I knew I didn't care for the seats and thought it could be a deal breaker, if this foam thing works it could be a contender again for our next car :)

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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:43 pm

BerkeleyBowlt wrote:
If you think the front seat doesn't have enough padding on the bottom part, it's possible to add foam without removing the seat from the car or disassembling it. The change doesn't affect the heater because you're adding new foam beneath the existing foam, and it's easy to undo. It takes maybe 15 minutes and no tools are required.



The community always finds a way. It's refreshing to see someone doing something about the problem rather than just complaining about it. Great job!
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flamaest
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:08 pm

jjeff wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote:Jjeff in the Leaf forum suggests this company, with which he says he isn't affiliated - they just had good prices and a variety of different kinds and densities of foam. Here is what he wrote:




jjef, this is GREAT!

I am wondering if this foam company can setup a quick KIT number for an HR33 front seats for our Bolts (seat bottom and seat back/bolsters). It would be great if I could just call the guy at this place and tell him I want this specific foam KIT # mailed to me. What do you think? If done this way, I would just order it from them, slide the pieces into my seats, and they would have a windfall of sales because of this GM fiasco.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:27 pm

I am wondering if this foam company can setup a quick KIT number for an HR33 front seats for our Bolts (seat bottom and seat back/bolsters). It would be great if I could just call the guy at this place and tell him I want this specific foam KIT # mailed to me. What do you think? If done this way, I would just order it from them, slide the pieces into my seats, and they would have a windfall of sales because of this GM fiasco.


Failing that, an enterprising person could buy foam from them and then make and sell Bolt Seat Fix kits with pre-cut pieces. I would suggest they also either offer density options, or provide an extra piece of the extra firm foam that could be put under the softer foam if needed. If the price were no more than $50 per seat it should sell well.
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boltage
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:51 pm

Note that there are other foam companies that sell through web stores. I have in the past bought closed cell foam sheets (for non-car applications) through such web stores.

Those who want to make the seat foam modification may want to place the proposed extra foam on top of the seat and sit on it (perhaps drive sitting on it) to figure out what thickness they want before shoving the foam into the seat. (It can help to have thinner sheets that can be stacked to figure out how much you want and/or adjust the amount later by adding or removing a sheet.)

Also, since the seat foam modification involves putting the extra foam under the existing seat foam in order to raise the middle of the seat, firmer/denser foam may be preferred for this application, since you will not be sitting directly on top of the added foam.
Last edited by boltage on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jjeff
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:53 pm

flamaest wrote:
jjeff wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote:Jjeff in the Leaf forum suggests this company, with which he says he isn't affiliated - they just had good prices and a variety of different kinds and densities of foam. Here is what he wrote:




jjef, this is GREAT!

I am wondering if this foam company can setup a quick KIT number for an HR33 front seats for our Bolts (seat bottom and seat back/bolsters). It would be great if I could just call the guy at this place and tell him I want this specific foam KIT # mailed to me. What do you think? If done this way, I would just order it from them, slide the pieces into my seats, and they would have a windfall of sales because of this GM fiasco.

I agree that might be a good idea but since I don't have a Bolt(yet :D ) I'd think it would be best to come from someone who has one and preferably someone who had exact dimensions of what foam might be needed.
Note this foam company isn't specifically for cars and doesn't really sell any "kits" of foam but again if they were given exact dimensions I don't see why they couldn't come up with something. Even if not particularly advertised they could keep a list of the sizes so if someone contacted them they could simply cut whatever density foam the customer wanted. For thinner pieces of foam, I'd think one would want a more dense foam than might be required if the foam was say 6" thick but you wouldn't want it rock hard either. Personally, I'd think the HR33 might be ideal as even thin it would provide cushioning, but some people might want to go with a softer foam or even firmer.
Ideally, someone who had cut their foam to a specific dimension and thought it worked great could mail their cut foam to the company(in WI) so they could get the exact dimensions. Of course, if the foam were talking about was square or even dimensions it might not require mailing but if it would be triangular or odd angles it might be harder to convey, well I guess unless someone could make a good sketch.
A person could also just order a piece of the foam and cut it yourself to whatever size you wanted. A good tip to cut the foam is an electric kitchen knife, the ones used for turkey carving. Cuts like butter through the foam and is nice and long. And no, it doesn't hurt the knife in the least or leave any residue. I got this tip from a local foam shop, which unfortunately isn't in business any longer :( it makes cutting foam very easy.

flamaest
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:45 pm

Cool, I will get some HR33 sheets and put something together; these front seats are the pits.

jjeff
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:01 pm

flamaest wrote:Cool, I will get some HR33 sheets and put something together; these front seats are the pits.

Oh you mentioned about memory foam in a previous post. You could talk to the guys at the foam shop about it, I think they sell it, but personally I think a quality firm foam would be better. Memory foam is nice for a bed topper or even pillow but I think it would compress too much for a thinner piece on a seat :)

LeftieBiker
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:40 am

Also, keep in mind that the fix involves putting foam UNDER the existing foam, not over it - that would affect the seat heater. So the benefits of softer foam might not even be felt, while the drawbacks would. Isn't the OEM foam soft enough, but not thick enough?
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Tttait
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Re: Howto: Adding more padding to front seats

Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:34 am

That's maybe not entirely right. The seat heaters appear to be attached to the seat skin, not the foam.

You can get your hand in the space on top of the factory foam cushion and under the skin/heater, and you can fit foam in between, on top of the factory foam-but...

In order for the skin to be pulled tight against the cushion and always stay in position, many of the seams visible on top of the seat have a small nylon rib sewed onto the underside of the seam. Then there are metal clips that clamp onto these ribs and attach to anchors, like buttons, cast into the foam.

What's this means is that you have to work in small areas between the metal clips, and it's much more fidgety getting any foam you insert sized and placed just right. When you go on top of the foam cushion you can affect directly the softness, the plushness of the seat, but that's A LOT more work.

By inserting under the existing cushion you affect the way the seat supports you, which met my needs. It's great if want to play with foams on top of the cushion too, but it will address different parts of how the seat feels.

This leads to the topic of making a foam kit... This is convenient, but... I'll bet if we all got different materials and played till we were all happy you would end up with multiple approaches and different "feels". It's easy to make adjustments, play with different options.

To start though, keep in mind there are some realities that should be remembered. Whatever you put as a bottom layer, directly on top of the spring, is going to take a lot of punishment. A soft open cell foam, or memory foam, may get ripped to pieces pretty quickly by the springs. This is why I suggest something durable for the base layer.

I used closed cell tough foam here that barely compresses as a base to reshape how deeply my tailbone and hips can compress down, and therefore not press me into the side frame that's painful to me.

Then it was a bit too firm though, and I could feel the Ridge between where I had 1 layer of closed cell foam and where I added more, or had none.

By adding memory foam over the closed cell layers and under the factory foam cushion, I filled in the ridges as it were as the memory foam gets highly compressed between layers, but fills the gaps where they occur.

If I used memory foam only I wouldn't have gotten the support I wanted, and the springs would rip up the memory from in no time.

But that's what I like, you may prefer more memory foam, for even support, more closed cell for more reshaping of how the cushion rests against the frame, open cell medium density foam for more bounce, or foam on top of the cushion make it more plush, but maybe lumpy.

After I got my driver's seat where I wanted it, I duplicated it on the passenger side, and that worked great. A kit then could give you fairly repeatable results, but you'd want to have a choice of sitting on several kits to pick what works for you. If we can't learn from the fact that different people with different body types have the full range of satisfaction to dissatisfaction with the oem seats, it Stands to reason that there is also no one Size fits all approach to the fix either.

As you play though remember that whatever you add will have to be durable, it may affect the sensor in the passenger seat, it will have its own properties for collecting odors, flammability, what gasses it gives off as it burns, and so on. You mod your car and you own your results. If knowing the flammability rating of your foam sounds important to you, then own it. If not, that's fine too but make conscious decisions. If what we install makes something like the leather or clips wear faster, it was your mod.

I'm giving some of my unused materials to a friend for his Bolt, but I've known him for years. You couldn't pay me enough to sell kits though. I don't need some ambulance chaser and a crazy widow chasing me down if the passenger airbag sensor is affected or if a seat heater makes a random foam burst into flames. Lawsuits have nothing to do with realty, and I'm too old to lose everything...

To me this is why GM should step up. Every dealer should have perhaps 3 demo seats, each with a different kit installed. Each of those kits should be fully vetted by the engineers and material scientists who do this stuff full time. Until they do, I'll take personal responsibility for my mods, and answer any questions about how and why I made my choices, but I don't endorse any of this for any of you.

Sorry for being paranoid, but there are complexities here, and GM needs to step up.

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