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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 08:21:56 PM   #1
M spec
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Default Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

For some time I had been looking at stock leather seat restoration, and through a friend, I was introduced to Kevin of Master's Smart Repairs. Some back and forth led to him and his farther, a leather and upholstery specialist of over 20+ years, planning a trip to Southern California and booking a 2 days worth of appointments. After reading through their testimonials, before and after photos, and chatting with Kevin (great communication despite my ever persisting questioning of the process) I was sold on having them work on my previously dyed (previous owners didn't do so well at DIY'ing) worn seats out front seats, and having Kevin dye my black arm rest to Imola red.



A note, I could have worked harder to document the before, as it was difficult to show just how worn the seats were. I've done my best, but the photos truly don't show how poor my seats were!






















Overall I'm quite satisfied with the result, as it's a complete transformation of the interior, and clearly they seats are now in a better state than previously. As for the color match, while I'm completely satisfied with the turn out, I don't have an OE basis to go by, and I asked him to match it to the current condition of the OE leather (door cards and rear seats) as I wanted the car to remain the same shade of Imola throughout the car.



Looking at the results, it's clear they're no longer the eye sore that they once were, and for about $250 a seat, I'm completely satisfied vs. the $3000+ for new hides and re-upholstery.
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Last edited by M spec; Mon, Apr-08-2019 at 08:25:32 PM.
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 08:27:16 PM   #2
M spec
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

For anyone in Southern California looking to have their seats worked on, PM me. I'm working with Kevin to setup another day or two of appointments in the coming month of May.
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 08:30:54 PM   #3
Dave B
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

Well they certainly photograph nicely.

What are they like to the touch? Are they soft?
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 08:38:00 PM   #4
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Default Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

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Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
Well they certainly photograph nicely.

What are they like to the touch? Are they soft?


They are smoother to touch than they were before. Softer? They’re probably about the same, as I was told by Furniture Clinic years ago that once leather hardens, there’s not much you can do to “soften” it back up.

However, it’s noticeably nicer to the touch than previously. My buddy also had his done (his had never been re-dyed/worked on) and they’re about the same softness as before, again only smoother.

(His set)

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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 09:35:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

Nice, looks great.
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/// 2004 SilberGrau M3 · Coupe · 6MT · slicktop · manual seats · zero options · ~3200lbs · JOURNAL
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Evolve-R Alpha N · Evolve CSL CF Airbox · Eventuri Scoop · Supersprint V1 stepped 2.5" · SS V1 S pipes 2.5" + 200 cell HFC · OE sect 2 · SCZA 2.5" sect 3 · Besian · RE pullies · WPC'd OE bearings · oil catch can · fan/SAP/washer delete · CSL battery

GroundControl S/A Koni (Hyperco/Eibach 300/600) + tall RSMs · Hotchkis front sway (med) · rear strut bar · TMS camber & subframe plates · Eibach alu rear camber arms · RE trans mounts · AKG poly subf/diff 95a · SDW RTAB · weighted ///M knob + ZHP alcantara boot + UUC DSSR + delrin bushing · Mason clutch pedal + brass bushing · TMS black pedals · delrin brake pedal bushing

OE CSL trunk · Sportline 8S 18"x8.5/9.5" · MPSS 245/275 · APEX 75mm Studs · Brembo 996 4 pot 36/40 345mm CSL & 28/30 328mm CSL · ZHP "712" rack · Pioneer/CDT/Eclipse/Kicker
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 09:42:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

Looks nice. They should do a week in norcal!
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 09:50:19 PM   #7
Steve M3
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

Do they use an airbrush or small paint gun to do this? Interesting that they didn't appear to remove the seats, but the results do look nice.
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 10:17:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

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Originally Posted by spnsprt View Post
Looks nice. They should do a week in norcal!
I believe they're planning a Norcal tour, however I'm unsure of the dates and location. Kevin is in the process of designing and building DIY ready kits to sell to the public. Obviously results will depend on prep work and experience, but his DIY videos that I saw were very straight forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M3 View Post
Do they use an airbrush or small paint gun to do this? Interesting that they didn't appear to remove the seats, but the results do look nice.
They used a small paint gun, to my knowledge. It's a water based paint that they mix themselves to color match.
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 10:21:36 PM   #9
atsantone
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

I would be interested in using them if they make it up to Norcal -
What was the cost?
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Old Mon, Apr-08-2019, 10:22:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Master's Smart Repair - Imola leather seat restoration review

I wonder if they can convert my black leather to red
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Discussing Streamline & Dr M3an M3's CSL Airbox Development Journal Collaboration in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)