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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Mon, Apr-15-2019, 06:43:23 PM   #41
JJCTHE1
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

I vote clean them very good with the Simple Green method. It works well, I would avoid dying and painting completely. They are just never the same after that. I think dying is OK to do a small touch up or minor repair, but when its to refurbish the entire seats it never comes out quite right.
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Old Mon, Apr-15-2019, 07:11:42 PM   #42
Braymond141
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

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Originally Posted by Contracheatcode View Post
Brett: What is your technique to get indentations in the leather and foam out??? Your seats look so crispy. :-)

In the past on my foam, I remove some of the leather and steam up the foam to expand it back to when it was new. I need to be more careful as I already ruined 1 of my e36 seats as I let the steamer get too close to the leather and it burned. Arg.


You really can't remove those. Just clean the seats as thoroughly as you can and these imperfections become much more tolerable. Dirt in crevices/cracks are always going to be an eyesore.
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Old Mon, Apr-15-2019, 08:02:01 PM   #43
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

All ‘official’ leather conditioners I tried, always make the leather shiney again. I stopped applying any stuff after leather cleaning.
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Old Mon, Apr-15-2019, 10:40:04 PM   #44
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

yeah... i guess the general consensus is to keep it clean and garage the car ( if possible) and that is how you extend the life of the seats. But what is funny is that there are so many leather conditioners out there... i guess its all a sham?

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All ‘official’ leather conditioners I tried, always make the leather shiney again. I stopped applying any stuff after leather cleaning.
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Old Tue, Apr-16-2019, 02:51:06 AM   #45
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

The leatherique stuff seemed OK to me, I liked the smell. It worked amazingly well on my dyed leather couches. Other than cleaning, I'm not sure it did much to actually condition my Vader leather though. Certainly not the amazing "rejuvenation" everyone raves about... Just seemed like cleaned leather with a leathery smell.

I think the only conditioning it really did was condition my hands.

I'll have to try the simple green and magic eraser method on my seats, seems way easier than the BS you go through for leatherique. I did use the magic eraser with just some water on my steering wheel, definitely restored the color in the stitching.
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Old Tue, Apr-16-2019, 03:37:36 AM   #46
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

I tried the simple green + magic eraser on one of my rear side bolsters and was able to greatly reduce the appearance of a stain that’s bothered me for years. I didn’t dilute the simple green and went back over the seat several times with a damp paper towel and rinsing it trying to get it all off. I then treated it with leather masters cleaner and conditioner.

Not sure if I’ll try it on any other parts of the car, the leather still slightly smells like simple green and I’m not crazy about trace amounts of that stuff remaining on the leather. There are opinions all over the internet saying not to use it on leather, but I couldn’t find any examples of it actually damaging someone’s seats, so who knows....

Last edited by sivikvtec; Tue, Apr-16-2019 at 03:50:22 AM.
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Old Tue, Apr-16-2019, 05:08:07 AM   #47
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

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Originally Posted by Earthwormjlm View Post
The leatherique stuff seemed OK to me, I liked the smell. It worked amazingly well on my dyed leather couches. Other than cleaning, I'm not sure it did much to actually condition my Vader leather though. Certainly not the amazing "rejuvenation" everyone raves about... Just seemed like cleaned leather with a leathery smell.

I think the only conditioning it really did was condition my hands.

I'll have to try the simple green and magic eraser method on my seats, seems way easier than the BS you go through for leatherique. I did use the magic eraser with just some water on my steering wheel, definitely restored the color in the stitching.


I hear u on that . But they say it takes several treatments for it to really start working .
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Old Tue, Apr-16-2019, 05:12:05 AM   #48
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

Well shit . Everything I’ve always did in the past is kinda out the window after reading on this board . I haven’t worked w any leather products since about 2004 . I’m sure there’s a lot of new products out there today . I get it that the proper look from factory is the dull kinda look and I think it looks good , but I also do like the shiny look as well .
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Old Tue, Apr-16-2019, 05:33:52 AM   #49
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

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I hear u on that . But they say it takes several treatments for it to really start working .
I think that's the heat stroke getting to people, after they've spent hours applying the stuff repeatedly.
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Old Tue, Apr-16-2019, 07:45:31 AM   #50
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Default Re: re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone?

Try keeping Lotus White clean! Damn. Hence my slow transition to M-Rain and Alcantara (but I'm keeping all of the LW stuff also).

But down under we use Lux (Laundry) Flakes and it performs miracles. If you check out all the mom/mum "cleaning hacks" out there that use Lux you'll be convinced it's a miracle product.

Not sure on what it's called or even whether it's available in NA or EU but probably worth a look. The fact that there's no need to worry about dilution or where you get it is a significant convenience. Warm water, a sponge, lots of clean rags and time is all you need.
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Discussing re-dye, re-upholster or leave them alone? in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)