The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Front Seat Bottom Foam Replacement For 240 Series

2019-01-14 - Paul Seminara

Disclaimer: Direct from ipd’s Tech Tip archive!  This tech tip contains information from previous publications.  Products mentioned may not be available or the information may not be accurate due to changes in supply, manufacturing, or part number association.  Please contact ipd Customer Support if you have further questions.

My car is a 1985 245Ti with leather and seat heater so there may be slight differences in procedure for your car. If your lumbar support is non-functioning, now would be a good time to repair or replace it as well.

  1. Remove seat from car. (two 13mm bolts in rear, and two 13mm nuts in front. Unplug the seat heater if necessary)
  2. Study and memorize the location of seat springs, wire grid, foam and upholstery for ease of reassembly, damage and possibly for need of more parts than you have on hand. Study the seat heater wiring and unplug the connection to the back heater. Note the relative position and size of the springs and how they attach to the grid and seat frame.
  3. At minimum you will need new foam. (You may find good used foam in a wrecker. Good luck. It may stink!) Study the foam and the center stiffener.
  4. You also may need a new wire grid. Often the cross wires are missing/broken and the whole grid is askew/tweaked. Get this from ipd or your Volvo dealer.
  5. You may be missing springs. Some hardware stores sell almost perfect matches (in some cases better springs). I heard that Volvo doesn't sell the springs any more, but I did not inquire. Our local Eagle hard-ware in Seattle has a good selection of springs that worked well.
  6. You may need a seat heater element, but don't buy one until you open the seat up. It may be repairable, mine was - the connector to the thermostat was broken - I re-soldered the connector and the thing works great.
  7. So now that you have an idea of what it looks like, and what parts you need, it's time to go to work.
  8. Remove the hog rings that hold the seat covering to the frame. They make special pliers for these but an assortment of pliers/vise grips/super grabbers will work. Retain the rings.
  9. Remove the spring steel slide through front upholstery holder strip. (A thin piece of steel about the thickness and width of a hack saw blade). It pops right out and slides out of the fabric/leather.
  10. Now peel back the front of the upholstery carefully to expose the foam.
  11. You will see some more (two) hog rings holding the fabric/leather button wire to the seat foam stiffener. Remove these rings.
  12. Now the fabric/leather should peel all the way back to expose the seat heater grid. And the foam should come out.
  13. The upholstery should still be attached to the seat. Don't worry, you don't need to remove it (however I have read about some folks putting the fabric upholstery in the washing machine at this point).
  14. If your seat heater wasn't working remove it, replace it or troubleshoot it now. The new foam I bought did not have a rectangular divot for the seat heater thermostat. I cut one with an Exacto blade by placing the heater, marking the spot, picking up the heater and carving the divot. If your lumbar support is non-functioning, now would be a good time to repair or replace it as well.
  15. Clean all the dirt and foam bits out of the seat frame with rags and compressed air.
  16. Clean and lubricate the seat tracks.
  17. If the grid is shot or you are missing springs, time to attack that now. I simply cut the center wires out of the grid, since I had to replace it anyway. (No need to stretch the springs to remove a bad grid!!). You may need help stretching the springs back, the last couple require some arm/wrist strength.
  18. Now you should be ready to put the new foam in. It should slide right in and fit well.
  19. Position the seat heater.
  20. Re-attach the fabric/leather button wire to the seat foam stiffener. The hog wires were a major pain for me so I used two strong tie wraps (not the cheapie kind) per spot. (In other words; where there was one hog ring I used two tie wraps. Pull them tight while sorta pulling the fabric/leather forward.)
  21. Pull the fabric/leather over the foam. Make sure it's even and firm.
  22. Use matching or black tie wraps instead of hog rings to hold the leather/fabric to the seat frame.
  23. Clean and treat leather with Lexol. Plug the seat bottom heater into the back heater.
  24. Reinstall the seat in the car and plug the seat heater in. Adjust the seat and enjoy!!!!