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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I bought my R back in November I bought it cheap knowing it needed quite a lot of TLC but I have a thing for polishing turds so it was a good fit. The leather was in serious need of attention and this weekend was time for it to get the love it deserved.

Products used:

1 bottle of Mohawk Leather Cleaner: http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/catalog_browse.asp?ictNbr=586
Two 4oz jars of The Original Leather Refinish in Vanilla (1 jar) and Carpezio Tan (1 jar): http://www.wood-n-stuff.com/leatheraid.html
Foam Disposable paint brushes

There was another board member that had used the same leather dye who emailed me pics and the general process. The entire job is very easy and the products are easy to work with.

Steps:

1. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN! I can't stress this enough. Clean the heck out of your leather even if it looks clean. I'd recently cleaned my leather and thought it was fairly clean but it was shocking what the Mohawk cleaner pulled off. You can use this cleaner at full strength with a terry cloth or microfiber.

2. Let the leather air out for at least 30 minutes. I waited an hour because it was only in the mid 40's.

3. Mask off all plastic trim. I ended up removing the rear bottom cushion, unbolting the center belt, and stuffing the side belts behind the vertical side cushions.

4. The fun begins, lightly apply the first coat of dye with a foam brush using uniform brush strokes. Don't worry if it looks blotchy at first! It evens out as it dries and takes a few coats to get good coverage. Wait 20-30 minutes between coats and 2 hours before sitting in them. The recommended time of 5 minutes between coats and 1 hour before use was not enough. Maybe in warmer weather it would be but you can never be too safe.

I mixed both 4oz jars together in hopes of a close Gobi match and while its pretty darn close it wouldn't be appropriate for spot work. It didn't bother me because I was doing all seats and door panels. Keep in mind that a little of this dye goes a long, long way. The 8oz of dye was plenty to do 2 thorough coats of the front/rear seats and part of one door panel. I have to order more to do the panels so you'll probably want to pick up 4 jars to do a thorough job or full color change.

One thing that concerned me was what the leather would feel like. Would it look painted? Would it feel tacky and cheap? Would it retain its flexibility? We'll see what happens over a few days but all initial signs point to good things. The look is pretty natural with the natural grain being retained and after a few hours of dry time the feel is almost identical to pre re-dye.

The big unknown here is durability. While it looks great now I'll keep this thread updated over the next few months of daily usage.

Total cost? Around $75 including the two extra jars of dye I'll be ordering to finish the door panels.

Before pictures:







After:









I left the edge of one door panel alone to show the color difference between 8yr old Gobi and the 50/50 Vanilla/Carpezio mix. Its a shade darker but pretty darn close.


All done
 

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Holy crap. That turned out absolutely amazing. I'm very interested in the texture post dyeing and drying. What did it feel like at first?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Holy crap. That turned out absolutely amazing. I'm very interested in the texture post dyeing and drying. What did it feel like at first?
Yea you're telling me! My friend and I were skeptical at first so we did part of a rear cushion to see how if it looked like it'd work. Once we were amazed we set to work on the rest.

The feel was pretty tacky at first but now that its been sitting for 4 hours it almost feels normal again. My guess is after 24-48 hours you'd be hard pressed to notice a difference.
 

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That looks fantastic! I hope it lasts.

However, I have some bad experiences with a similar process. When I bought my caR, the previous owner had the side boulster repaired using a similar method. Now, four years later (well it actually started happening three years ago) the side is all flaked-up and i was even able to peel some pieces.

But let us know how it holds up!
 

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wow....that leather was absolute rubbish before. I think I'll just do preventative care on mine with lots of Lexol. Gobi has a slight metallic tint in it that off the shelf dyes won't be able to replicate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It won't surprise me at all if this stuff starts failing after a few years and I don't expect it to holdup like a factory dye would (since this is more like painting the seats).

Having said that for $75 it won't make me terribly upset either. My friend who helped with the project does warranty repair work for a major furniture company and said this stuff can be removed pretty easily with the right products.
 

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I think Gobi is the only R interior color that can get away with the color being off with a couple shades. Really great results nonetheless!

Btw, this thread has been added to the R-Index. Thanks JewFro!
 

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That looks fantastic! I hope it lasts.

However, I have some bad experiences with a similar process. When I bought my caR, the previous owner had the side boulster repaired using a similar method. Now, four years later (well it actually started happening three years ago) the side is all flaked-up and i was even able to peel some pieces.

But let us know how it holds up!
If it lasts even 3 years and he has to do it again that would still be a win in my book. His seats looked terrible before and now look great. :thumbup:
 

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can this also be done to Nordkap leather? any possible color match using this method?...I definitely wanna revive my caR's leather interior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
can this also be done to Nordkap leather? any possible color match using this method?...I definitely wanna revive my caR's leather interior.
Like DevolvR said its going to be next to impossible to get an exact match with this product. If you're looking for that you'd be better off sending a hide sample to the guys at leatherique and seeing what kind of dye they could mix up for you.

You could probably get the shade pretty close by mixing a few of their colors but it'd only be effective if you did all seats and door panels like I did.

I ordered more dye to finish the door panels and emailed the owner of the company this thread who wants to call me tonight. We'll see how that goes :)
 

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It definitely looks good. Makes me wonder what in the world happened to that rear seat bottom on the drivers side?? A dog, perhaps?

And yeah, cleaning is a huge step in the process, as a suggestion, if you can get some masking tape and make sure it won't stick at all (indicating you've removed the silicon on the seats as well that gets there from people's hands, sweat etc.), then you know it's ready to be painted/dyed etc.

You've really been doing a lot to make this car brand new again lately! Kudos. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It definitely looks good. Makes me wonder what in the world happened to that rear seat bottom on the drivers side?? A dog, perhaps?

And yeah, cleaning is a huge step in the process, as a suggestion, if you can get some masking tape and make sure it won't stick at all (indicating you've removed the silicon on the seats as well that gets there from people's hands, sweat etc.), then you know it's ready to be painted/dyed etc.

You've really been doing a lot to make this car brand new again lately! Kudos. :thumbup:
Good tip on the tape trick, I wasn't aware of that! Your dog theory is right, the original owner got the car and a dog the same summer and the back seat was his castle. There was so much dog hair under the rear cushion it clogged the shop vac :D
 

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Good tip on the tape trick, I wasn't aware of that! Your dog theory is right, the original owner got the car and a dog the same summer and the back seat was his castle. There was so much dog hair under the rear cushion it clogged the shop vac :D
Yeesh, that's crazy with the dog hair. Funny how much dog hair gets into things. I was once fixing a friend's laptop that had an overheating problem and it turned out there was dog hair everywhere in it and was clogging the fan and cooling system.

So what's next on the list? Gonna get those rusty rotor hats repainted? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeesh, that's crazy with the dog hair. Funny how much dog hair gets into things. I was once fixing a friend's laptop that had an overheating problem and it turned out there was dog hair everywhere in it and was clogging the fan and cooling system.

So what's next on the list? Gonna get those rusty rotor hats repainted? :D
The rotors are almost new haha, maybe 2 months old but they'll likely get the top hats hit some black caliper paint. Getting it aligned this Thursday, Turbo back goes on this Friday along with all fluids. In a few weeks it'll be time for summer rubber on those new Pegs. Its amazing how much better the car drives compared to time of purchase.
 

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The rotors are almost new haha, maybe 2 months old but they'll likely get the top hats hit some black caliper paint. Getting it aligned this Thursday, Turbo back goes on this Friday along with all fluids. In a few weeks it'll be time for summer rubber on those new Pegs. Its amazing how much better the car drives compared to time of purchase.
Yeah, it's crazy how fast they rust. I sanded and painted mine right when I got the car when it only had ~7k miles on it and they had already started rusting!

Definitely, and with all of those big ticket things out of the way, especially the suspension refresh, it will be good for a long, long time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, it's crazy how fast they rust. I sanded and painted mine right when I got the car when it only had ~7k miles on it and they had already started rusting!

Definitely, and with all of those big ticket things out of the way, especially the suspension refresh, it will be good for a long, long time. :)
That was my mentality. I was REALLY close to dumping it for a new car again but honestly really like this one and its paid for (all these maintenance items have cost more than a car payment recently though) but prior to my purchase the original owner just had the Volvo dealer to the clutch/slave, timing belt, control arm bushings, and angle gear rebuild so that counts for a lot.

*Knock on wood* Unless the angle gear, transmission, or engine goes kaboom it should be good to go.
 

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That was my mentality. I was REALLY close to dumping it for a new car again but honestly really like this one and its paid for (all these maintenance items have cost more than a car payment recently though) but prior to my purchase the original owner just had the Volvo dealer to the clutch/slave, timing belt, control arm bushings, and angle gear rebuild so that counts for a lot.

*Knock on wood* Unless the angle gear, transmission, or engine goes kaboom it should be good to go.
Yeah with those items out of the way, it really should last a while. I'm in the same boat with my R; it's paid for, so I might as well just keep it now, plus it's really fun to drive when it is working properly. The engines and transmissions in these cars are pretty well built for the most part as long as the engine doesn't overheat.
 
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