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How to Replace a Snowmobile Seat Cover

How to Replace a Snowmobile Seat Cover

As the proud owner of a Polaris snowmobile, you are probably familiar with a few basic repairs and maintenance tasks to keep your machine in top shape. Since this is a vehicle exposed to such tough riding conditions, there are bound to be tears or holes in the seat eventually if you keep your snowmobile long enough. When it comes to how to replace a snowmobile seat cover, we have a few steps to help guide you through this important task so you can get back in the action this winter.

  1. Remove the Seat: The first step in how to replace a snowmobile seat cover is pretty simple. Most snowmobile seats are fastened down with just a few bolts, typically in the rear of the seat, and also a tab near the fuel tank. Remove the hardware and this will allow you to remove the seat with relative ease. You should always check with the owner’s manual before disassembling any part of your snowmobile to make sure you aren’t making things harder on yourself. For instance, some models are built in such a way that the fuel and seat base are one continuous piece so you would need to drain the fuel tank and plug the fittings during this process. You may even need to remove the taillight to work on the seat depending on your model. Make sure you consult the owner’s manual to avoid making a mess of your ride!

  2. Remove the seat cover: Once you have removed the seat from the frame, you can remove the actual seat cover. The cover is traditionally held in place with staples all around the bottom of the cover. You can easily remove these staples with a flathead screwdriver or a stapler remover and pull them the rest of the way out with pliers. Most models also secure the cover with straps which hold it against the bump at the back in an area called the seat bun. Remove all straps and staples to loosen up the seat cover for removal.

  3. Set the new cover: The next step in how to replace a snowmobile seat cover requires needle nose pliers or duckbill pliers. While the bare seat foam is exposed, you want to carefully position the new cover over the cushion and make sure it is perfectly lined up. This step is important so take your time and make sure it’s lined up correctly to avoid issues later when riding. An improperly installed seat can lead to a lot of trouble and discomfort. Once you have it lined up, pull the cover straps back through the seat bun using the pliers. You want the cover to line up with the trunk access hole and the seams to line up with the edges of the seat foam.

  4. Use a pneumatic stapler: While you can remove the staples with just about anything, you need the right tool to staple the seat cover back in place. It is possible, albeit incredibly difficult, to use a standard office stapler while also holding the seat cover taut and in place, but a pneumatic stapler is much easier, offers better precision, and the force gives a better hold overall. When working with a pneumatic stapler, you want to set the psi to around 70 or 80 to staple through the material. In areas where the fabric is doubled up, such as the corners, you can try adding another 10 psi to the setting to get a better hold as needed.

  5. Staple cover in place: When working with the stapler, you should start by laying down a few staples to hold things in place and then add more for a better hold. Start at the front of the seat and the back of the seat to hold the cover in position and then work your way all along the sides to further secure it in place. You want to pay attention to where you place the staples as well. For example, staples should be placed as close to the edge of the material as possible in case you need to remove the cover and readjust to get the right fit. You should also keep in mind the particulars of your model. Some models have a base and a frame so you will need to staple both parts on each side to get a secure hold.

  6. Perform a final check before doing final staples: Before stapling down the cover completely on all sides, you should make sure it is properly lined up in terms of logos and seams. You want the lettering to be straight and the corner seams at the corner of the seat base. If this is the case, you are free to move on to filling in the rest of the staples. If not, you may need to remove the seat cover and start over or simply adjust it a bit to one side or the other before finishing.

  7. Finish the stapling: If everything lines up the way it should in terms of logos and seams, you can finish stapling the perimeter and fill in all the blanks with staples along the edge of the cover. Make sure you keep the cover pulled taut to get a smooth end result in the surface of the seat. You should also check the corners to make sure they are taut and won't bunch up. You may require a few extra staples in the corners to give it enough tension.

  8. Reinstall seat and other disassembled areas: Once the cover is secure and stapled in place, you can replace the seat to the frame, as well as the fuel tank and taillight assembly if you had to remove those. Make sure to replace the straps on the seat bun and that any wires, cables, or nuts are tightly fastened during this reinstall phase. Again, consult your owner’s manual to ensure you replace all the elements correctly to avoid damaging your ride.