Author Topic: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?  (Read 7029 times)

Offline Pasta Hog

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What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« on: January 09, 2015, 04:33:59 PM »
I am thinking about fixing my cement-like Jackal seat. I got a quote to have someone else do it, and it was so high, I now figure I have nothing to lose by giving it a shot myself. If it sucks, I can give in and pay someone.

The bike is worth less than 2K, so I'm not in a rush to buy an expensive seat mod.

Small problem: I have no idea what kind of foam to use. I can get motorcycle seat foam online, but one kind looks about like another to me. I have read that the problem with the Jackal is that the foam is too soft, but I am not sure what kind of foam to get to replace it.

Any hints?

Could also use information RE the proper adhesive.

My seat is already customized, but the guy who did it did a really bad job. He claimed he was putting a gel pad in it, and he was supposed to add fancy touches I didn't get. Annoying. And then he put a giant chrome tag on it, advertising his company. That went in the trash.
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Offline Kiwi_Roy

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 05:17:24 PM »
If you have a Foam Shop in your area go there, they will fix you up.
If I recall they recommended a layer of high density (the stuff made of chopped up coloured pieces) topped off with some lower density. They will also have the adhesive spray.
When it comes to carving the shape there's nothing works better than an electric meat knife, the one with reciprocating blades. Get one of those from your local thrift store.
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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 05:31:32 PM »
Thanks for the tips. I don't see any stores specializing in foam near me on Google maps, but I guess I can order stuff.
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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 05:40:01 PM »
I just checked, and my DeWalt staple gun can't seem to get staples to go into this thing. Am I using the wrong tool?
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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 05:40:01 PM »

Offline Mike Tashjian

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 06:25:02 PM »
I use a air stapler made by Sure Bonder and it will drive a T-50 staple into just about anything.  I think the Ryobi line has a T-50 style stapler available now too.  I think the foam that is being referred to as chopped is carpet foam.  Spray adhesive by 3 M is easy to use and works well if you really want to give it a go.  Mike

Offline tpeever

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 06:45:35 PM »
You will want to use a fairly dense foam for the base layers, especially if you are 200 plus pounds like me. Build up layers by gluing them together with spray foam and cutting to shape with a carving knife as someone else mentioned. For the final top layer you want to put on a low density foam of 1/2 inch thickness or so to cover up all the imperfections and to stretch out the vinyl cover and keep the seat free of wrinkles and looking good. You should be able to buy the lower density foam at a fabric/crafts type of store like Michael's. The higher density stuff for the base layers is harder to find. Some of the foam camping pads are about the right consistency and so is carpet underlay as someone else mentions. Also, some of the MC seat manufacturers will sell you their "magic foam" but it is pricey. Another source I have seen are places that sell foam for aircraft seats like this one:

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/categories/building_materials/bm/menus/cm/foam.html

Spray adhesive should be available at your local hardware store or at a fabric/crafts store. I use 3M Spray Adhesive.

You might need to try a couple of different kinds of staple guns and different lengths of staples. Maybe you are trying to use staples that are too long and the gun doesn't have the juice to get them all the way into the seat pan? You can also glue the cover to the pan using a super contact cement or combine the use of the glue with staples for extra hold.
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Offline charlie b

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 07:03:19 PM »
Try this site

http://www.diymotorcycleseat.com/

Yes, you want to get the high sensity upholstry foam (like above, it looks like chopped up pieces glued together).

You might also want to add a cross piece as shown on that web site.

Don't know about the staple gun.  When I modified a Gold Wing seat I used a hand staple gun and it worked fine.  Some of the powered guns don't seem to have as much power as the spring loaded ones.

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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 07:08:28 PM »
I appreciate the help. I found the rebond foam (firm lower layer) online, and I think I can get it locally in the form of a carpet pad if I don't mind overpaying.

I'm kind of wondering if I can cannibalize an old ab crunch board for the upper foam. It has nice firm foam on it, and nobody does crunches any more.

I know an old Cuban guy who does car upholstery. I may run it by his shop before making myself crazy.
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Offline Kiwi_Roy

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2015, 07:19:33 PM »
We have a chain store in Vancouver called "The Foam Shop?
Otherwise any furniture upholsterer should have what you need.
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Offline SemperVee

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2015, 08:03:02 PM »

 
 I have a moderate amount of experience in this as I have done it myself several times.
* To cut to the chase, -  find a commercial foam company and purchase what is known as " 25 lb."  foam.
 You will probably not need more then a square foot of it.  That, a bread knife or electric knife and some spray adhesive with a staple gun and time
shaving and forming you can do a pretty nice job as I have found out. :^) 
 One you got it down it is very satisfying to not only save hundreds of dollars but you can  make adjustments as needed!
Good luck.
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Offline charlie b

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 08:16:10 PM »
The best tool for shaping, after you cut the outer shape, is a sanding tool (like a belt sander) orma disk grinder.
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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 08:45:31 PM »
The blue exercise/sleeping mat foam at wally world.  Use 3m spray adhesive to attach. Spray both surfaces, let them get sticky then attach them together  Use 100 grit sand paper to shape.  Works great, good density and can be built up to the thickness you need.  Blend your edges good so they do not show thru the cover. 

Offline tpeever

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 10:48:01 PM »
I appreciate the help. I found the rebond foam (firm lower layer) online, and I think I can get it locally in the form of a carpet pad if I don't mind overpaying.

I'm kind of wondering if I can cannibalize an old ab crunch board for the upper foam. It has nice firm foam on it, and nobody does crunches any more.

I know an old Cuban guy who does car upholstery. I may run it by his shop before making myself crazy.

For the upper layer I think you want something softer than an exercise pad. Exercise pad is more like you want for the base layers. What you want on the upper layer is the low density open cell stuff. This is important so that it can bounce back and give your seat shape. The softer foam prevents the cover from sagging and creating wrinkles.

Old Cuban upholstery guy sounds exactly the person you need to talk to for seat making advice!!
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Offline Petrus Rocks

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 09:47:40 AM »
I've been building a few seats and have learned one important note.  The rebond foam (chopped and glued together) is open cell foam as are motorcycle seats.  The exercise mats are closed cell foam.  Closed cell foam will compress and stay compressed under load, has memory.  Over time it will collapse.  The open cell foam springs back after compression.  It maintains it's shape much longer.

http://www.foambymail.com/R/rebond-foam.html
 1/2 sheet costs $30 for 70lb foam.  Use a strong spray adhesive like 3M 77.

If you want to soften the seat a layer of 1/2" to 1" foam under the stock seat foam makes a noticeable difference.  You would slice  1-2" below the top from front to back.  Remove some material and glue in the new foam.   Use an electric knife to trim the excess and blend the different foams together.  If you put it under the existing foam there is much less shaping to do. 

Offline Guzzistajohn

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 10:24:03 AM »
Here's some foam reading meterial. We use similar layering tequinques in the wheelchair seating industry
http://www.rickmayercycle.com/foam.html
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Offline Semper-guzzi

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Re: Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 11:39:16 AM »

If you want to soften the seat a layer of 1/2" to 1" foam under the stock seat foam makes a noticeable difference.  You would slice  1-2" below the top from front to back.  Remove some material and glue in the new foam.   Use an electric knife to trim the excess and blend the different foams together.  If you put it under the existing foam there is much less shaping to do. 

This sounds like the ticket. I might give this a shot. And soon. The Jackal seat is so bad, I get incredibly uncomfortable by the 30 minute mark.
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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2015, 04:41:14 PM »
I am back on the project. I took a deep breath and gutted the Crunchboard. I needed to get rid of it anyway, because it serves no purpose and no one will buy it. It turns out it was full of rebond foam. Exactly what I need.

There is a flat layer about 1 1/4" thick, plus two wedges at the ends. The flat part is 13" by 31".

Question: if I put two pieces of this stuff side-by-side on the pan, will I have problems? It's not big enough to cover in one piece. I am also wondering if adhesive will bond it to itself strongly enough to turn two pieces into one.

I have 3M 77 lying around. Will that work or should I get 3M 74?

I guess I'll have to spring for an air stapler, since the hand stapler doesn't like the seat pan much.
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Offline charlie b

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2015, 05:36:21 PM »
I'd use contact cement to bond the two halves together.  Then treat it as one piece when you make the seat.  If it were me, I'd use the technique in that DIY seat website and put a piece of plywood underneath for extra support on the outside where you need it.  That way if the glue bond does come apart your seat won't 'sag' on you ;)
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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2015, 06:55:53 PM »
Home Depot gave me a floor model Porter-Cable stapler for $30, so life is sweet even if the seat sucks.
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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 06:59:01 PM »
I did it.

When I got the leather off, I saw that the customizer had put a gel pad in the seat. I think this was the biggest problem. It was mushy, so I guess I was sitting directly on the upward projections on the seat pan. I ripped out the pad and installed a layer of rebond foam, and I added a U-shaped piece of foam around the back of the seat to give me some support when I hit the throttle.

I used a band saw to trim the foam, but to shape it, I used a grinder with a wire brush. Bad idea, but the seat looks fine.

The stapler was no good. The staples had to be done over and over. The seat looks pretty bad from underneath. But I did save $400+. Maybe I can get someone to redo the staples. I have not ridden the bike yet, but it can't be any worse than it was.
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Offline Semper-guzzi

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Re:
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2015, 10:19:31 PM »
Didn't happen unless there are pics.
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Offline sidecarnutz

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2015, 04:33:26 PM »
I did seats for years. A large disk sander and 24 grit pad are terrific for shaping seat foam. Don't worry about electric carving knives. A old hack saw blade will work fine.

Staplers are problematic. Most don't have a nozzle to allow you to get the staple down into the pan. Many years ago I spent $200 on a professional German made upholstery stapler. Built like a Glock and just as tough. Still using it almost 20 years later.

A firm well shaped base of foam covered with a thinner layer of soft padding makes a comfortable seat. Most gel pads are too small to work well. I have had better luck starting with large sheets of gel and shaping them to cover an entire seating area. Then you are fully suspended by it. No edges of different material that'll dig you and cause discomfort after some hours.
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Offline Pasta Hog

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Re:
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2015, 04:03:29 PM »
Didn't happen unless there are pics.

You really don't want pictures of this. I would pay money to have them destroyed.

Quote
A firm well shaped base of foam covered with a thinner layer of soft padding makes a comfortable seat.

Unfortunately I now have a mushy layer of foam topped with hard rebond foam, so I have it backward. It was easier than replacing the bottom foam. It's not optimal, but now I can ride the bike without feeling like I've been permanently injured.
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Offline sidecarnutz

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2015, 10:13:05 AM »
IME here is my opinion on Jackal seats. I have rebuilt dozens of them over the years.
They are rounded and too soft. No support for your ass cheeks. That is a recipe for a sore ass after a short time. Its like sitting on a log.
I add a wedge of firm foam on each side to support the ass cheeks better and then blend that in to a semi bucket shape with a blade and a disk sander. Cover the whole thing with a 1/2" layer of soft foam to smooth it. (Note that glue lines between layers of foam CAN show through a cover later. So neatness counts!  ;-T)

The rear seat is too damned small for most adults. All you can do there is add a high density wedge to either side to widen it a bit for better comfort/support. Then a soft 1/2" layer over it. The strike your centerline and tailor the covers.

On covers I like to fold under and double stitch the side seams. Top center seams get a second layer and triple stitched. neat and structurally sound that way. Keep seams away from contact areas with the body. Think "Princess and the pea". You will feel those contact points hours later!

BTW, 3M 77 is a pretty weak contact cement IMO. But it is convenient. I get big 5 gal. cans of DAP upholstery cement. Its about $100 for 5 gal. Not cheap. But awesome cement. You can repair boots with it. I apply it with a paint sprayer. Not unusual to shoot a whole quart during a seat project. This DAP cement is only available from wholesalers to the tradesmen customers. You won't find it retail. The DAP glue in hardware stores is junk. It is like corn syrup! Don't waste money on that. Take a pickle jar to a upholstery shop and see if they'll sell you some of the good stuff.

I'm not actively seeking any business anymore since my supply chain is very sketchy. Health issues too. But I have had 19 years experience building seats and I'll be happy to share any advice I can give.
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2015, 11:20:51 AM »
The Jackal seat that Rich did for me changed from a 45 minute torture rack to an all day all nighter..  ;-T
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Offline Groover

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Re: What Kind of Foam for Jackal Seat Fix?
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2015, 12:35:52 PM »
I've used a "Latex Foam Rubber" as the very base level in a seat application (Vespa), but it was only 1/4" and 8x11 which is was tricky to work with due to it's size availability. It is an excellent material to add into the foam sandwich needed to build seats comfortable (I think it works best for the base level). Unfortunately, I don't know where to find this material other than from hobby stores for R/C applications (it's used to suppress electronics' vibrations on remote controlled cars, airplanes, Etc) - It's good stuff.

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