I have been looking to replace my center console arm rest for a while. Price at the dealer was way too much so I have been looking on ebay etc. I just recently noticed that someone on ebay was selling new leather covers for the arm rest. He was selling an ivory/tan leather that looked like a perfect match for my Ecru interior. For $50 I gave it a shot. When the replacement skin arrived I was surprised at how close it matched my interior.
First Pic is the before.
Second and third pics are the "new skin"
Fourth pic are the screws I removed under the console to remove the arm rest.
There are 12 screws to remove. 8 small and 4 larger screws at the bottom of the arm rest. Once these are removed the cover will come off with a little wiggling to free up the air vents.
Once removed I pulled out the staples holding the old skin on the arm rest.
The new skin was templated perfectly. There were marks on the back for where to cut. I only needed to cut out the hole for the rear air vents. I tried to use my pneumatic stapler to attach the new skin but it was too strong. Tried an arrow stapler but it was too weak. I ended up using a hot glue gun and some large paper clips to hold while the glue dried.
The work took 30 minutes, add 60 minutes for the glue to dry and to remount and it's a 90 minute project. Looks great and the color really matches. I am planning to "refinish" the seats next week.
How is the piping along the edge? Seems thinner and stitched. Color is a good match but looks baggy around the edges.
The piping is good and consistent. I intentionally left it a big baggy as I did not want the piping to be crooked. I think if I were to do it again it would look neater. A few people were in the car today and I asked them if it looked ok. They both though it was a factory replacement.
That looks really nice and I think it was a good choice.
Just as an alternative for those that want to try refinishing the factory cover first - I've found a pretty good alternative. Try the leather shop and refinisher at leatherique dot com. George sells a really high quality leather refinisher including color matching and a leather filler that can make almost anything look new.
In addition, he has a line of leather cleaners and softeners that can keep your leather soft and supple. I've used it for years in many cars and in a couple cases redid entire interiors to like-new condition.