When you order a brand-new, ’18 Ram 3500 Mega Cab from the dealer with no intention to customize it, you better hope your friend Jeremy Cook, Editor of Truckin’ magazine, doesn’t find out! In this case, a new-model truck was needed for some fresh tech, and Mike Sutton had just the right vehicle to bring our readers a series of tech stories.
Having owned an interior shop in the past (and having built a handful of cover trucks), Mike had no issues taking on the install of his new Katzkin leather seat covers to spruce up the interior of the brand-new Ram. A couple of hands, a few tools, and a little patience pay off with a real improvement in the overall look inside the big Mega Cab. However, if you aren’t comfortable with doing your own installation, Katzkin has a vast listing of authorized retailers/installers it will set you up with upon ordering to get your truck done right.
As soon as you check out the Katzkin website, you can see the vast array of designs and colors available for your particular truck, and from there you can design the perfect interior. The inserts and thread are especially fun, because you can change up the color, material, stitching, and even add some embroidery. In as soon as a few weeks, you can head to your local dealer for the install! As mentioned earlier, there are more plans in the works for this big Ram. But for now, Mike can enjoy breaking in those seat cushions with Katzkin leather covering them instead of the factory, no-flair fabric that came in his truck from the Ram dealer. Follow along as Mike gets these two-tone covers installed in his Ram and make sure to check future issues of Truckin to see what’s up next for the build.
| We begin with the everyday, no-frills factory interior many trucks come with. It’s functional but doesn’t stand out by any means.
| As we start disassembling and removing the seats from the truck, we make sure to keep handles and retaining clips together for a quick, painless reinstall.
| Several areas of the seats are secured with Hog Rings that need to be cut or pried off to remove the materials they are holding.
| The foam and Velcro for the seams are ready for the new Katzkin leather coverings and don’t like being seen this way!
| To remove the seats from the vehicle, a few common tools are needed for the seat brackets, seatbelt retaining bolts, clips, and any wire harnesses.
| The bolts that attach the seat brackets are removed with an impact driver to save a little time over ratcheting each bolt manually.
| We jumped the gun with that first seat bottom to see what we were working with, but with the seats out of this Ram, we have much better access to the areas that need to be disassembled.
| The stock seat covers are held tight with elastic bands and clips attached to the wire frame under the seat. These are simple to remove but are not to be overlooked in a rush.
| An ABS panel clips in to cover the seat controls and pops off with a plastic interior pry bar.
| More elastic bands have been built into the seat to hold it tight on the sides over the seatbelt receptacles.
| The plastic clips along the underside of the seat hold the fabric firm to the cushion, but with the seat turned over you can make quick work of sliding them from their designated places.
| We began to unzip the seat cover and work our way up, making sure not to snag the foam or anything that may be inside.
| This wiring harness was attached on the inside of the cover and needed to be worked loose to get the seat apart fully.
| In the side of the seat, you will find the secondary restraint system, better known as an SRS airbag.
| Just a couple of nuts on the inside rail of the seat will get the airbag pouch loose. The equipment will need to be slid out of the stitched pouch on each seat and set aside to go into the new Katzkin covers.
| The barely used foam on this ’18 Ram seat is still in perfect condition and needs no fluff work to bulk it up a little like foam on a vehicle seat that has seen some more time with someone sitting on it.
| We started to reverse the deconstruction process, starting with slipping the SRS airbag unit into the new Katzkin seat covers.
| Then we slipped the cover on and made sure to keep it close to the foam cushion. The best way to do this is to roll it up from the bottom and then slide it over the upper section. The raised seam areas tuck down and secure to the Velcro in the foam.
| As we worked the back of the seat cushion, we pulled, pushed, and slapped everything tight, making sure the foam stayed in place, with no areas bunching up or seat cover wrinkles.
| Using an angled pick to grab the zipper pull, we slid the zipper all the way down to close up the cover.
| The excess zipper is tucked away under the cover to keep it out of view.
| The back of the new seat cover has cutouts provided for any wiring that will need to be pulled through. With a basic understanding of the seat bottoms and backs, the rest of the install went pretty quickly. Then we turned our attention to the center console.
| The center console comes out of the truck the same as the seats and has many small bolts and clips that are used to keep it in place as well as give it the ability to be used as a middle seat.
| A series of screws, bolts, and plastic clips are taken out carefully. Once the plastic parts are out, the metal framing of the console is fully exposed.
| Plastic edge retaining clips and elastic bands are pulled off in the same way the seats were disassembled. The stock fabric comes off the framework.
| The Katzkin console cover section slides over the frame with ease and clips back in place.
| Next, we slipped the covers over the cushion sections of the console before reinstalling the cupholders and storage compartment.
| As with the factory seats, the Katzkin seat bottom goes back together and utilizes these bands to hold it snug to the seatbelt arm.
| We turned the seat on its back and clipped the rails back in place. It required a little extra work to make sure we ended up with a tight fit, but it is worth it in the long run.
| The plastic lower seat surround is pressed into place and tightened with the bolts that were previously removed.
| With an afternoon of labor, some well-made products, and a little patience, we ended up with a much nicer interior in our Ram Mega Cab than what was provided in the base package at the dealership. Check out the Katzkin website to design a set of custom leather seats for your truck and stay tuned to Truckin to see what we do to this Ram next!