Instructables

Car Interior + Sugru = Awesome?

One minor issues with the interior of my 2001 Chrysler van is a crack in the leather (vinyl?) armrest on the front passenger seat.  It is irritating, and it keeps getting bigger every time I look at it.  My brother has offered several times to get out the duct tape and "git-'er-done", but I am it he mood for something a little less "klassy".

This is my first venture with Sugru, so this may go well or not, but with a spirit of adventure and a camera in hand, I cautiously venture forth.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Vinyl Armrest Repair

To start with, as the crack is expanding up the armrest, the vinyl seems to be spreading out a little bit and not laying as flat as I would like, it looks like there is pressure from the foam underneath holding it apart.  I took a needle and thread and made a few small stitches to hold things together a little better.

The interior of my van is gray, so I grabbed one packet of black and one of white.  I started with the small lump of the white, thinking it would be easier to add bits of black until it was dark enough, rather than the other way around.

Step 2:

After I got a color I was happy with, I just formed it around the crack and pressed the Sugru in place.  I was a little unhappy with the texture, so I smoothed it out a little with my fingers.

Lastly, I used a small pair of pliers to put a small detail line in the Sugru to match the existing form.  There is texture on the arm that was not confident I could reproduce, so I stuck with just smoothing it out.  I'm not perfectly happy with the color or texture, but certainly this repair is an overall improvement.
evolve13834 months ago
Do you think that this would also work on a steering wheel? My husband has over-gripped and twisted apart the steering wheel in his truck and I'd like to try this, too.
Chrysler/Mercedes (i identify this model made Mercedes) used vinyl coated foam. The seats were also cheap vinyl that you may find in a 1986 dodge Ram commercial model. I think you should get rid of this van and buy one made by Chrysler (1983-1997) or Fiat (2010-)
bobzjr1 year ago
Thanks for posting this instructable. I have the same issue in our 03 Town and Country. I may try this one myself. It looks like your color is same as ours. I'm thinking adding something (another sugru color) to the Sugru mix to warm the color a bit. Shooting for a "warm" gray. Also I'm thinking of using a an orange peel to replicate the texture. Amazingly, I have not yet tried Sugru - so I'm unfamiliar with the cured result. Does it feel akwardly harder at the repair part vs the regular padded arm area? It looks like the sugru maintains a good hold - I would have worried that it would break off quickly.
timm.tanner (author)  bobzjr1 year ago
I'm surprised how well it's held up. I have had a few small pieces that have come up or been picked off, but only around the edges where it was spread really thin to make a smooth transition.

The orange peel sounds like a perfect idea for the texture. After the fact, I thought of using one of the headrests to make the texture - even though it would actually be a reverse of the existing texture.

Good luck, let me know how it turns out!
Magee3241 year ago
That's pretty cool 1+
wilgubeast2 years ago
Nice work. Please drop a note in the intro in like six months telling us how it held up. I, for one, would be interested to see Sugru's in-car longevity. Are you someplace warm? Cold?

I ask because I am considering Sugru for a plastic dash fix. It's in a spot that gets less use than an armrest, so I imagine that your Chrysler will make an excellent guinea pig. :-D
timm.tanner (author)  wilgubeast1 year ago
6 months or so in and the repair is holding up well. No cracks or splits, and it isn't peeling away. I'm very happy with it.
fantastic, love this repair and a great first hack :)
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!