My 81 - The Green Dream

RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
765
Gaithersburg, MD
I have been focusing on the interior and have started recovering my front seats. I already did the rear seat buns a few years ago and they were pretty easy to do especially since I re-used the original seat foams.
I did my first front seat bun using new PUI standard black covers and new American Cushion Industries foam. I started with a cleaned and painted frame along with new seat springs.
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Recovering the foam was not easy for me, but this was the first time I ever tried. I kept missing the metal bolster support when trying to hog ring down the sides and must of gone through 25 rings that I had to remove, man that is tough on the hands cutting those things off. After a lot of cussing I was pretty happy with my work. Getting the cover to slide over the new foam was tough but I managed. Initially I was pretty disappointed with all of the wrinkles in the vinyl but after some steam and letting the seat bake in the sun for a couple of hours the wrinkles got much better. I am happy. Like most things now that I have done it once doing the other side will be much easier. Here is a pic of the final product.
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And again with the back seat buns on each side

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Next up is the seat back but I had to order more hog rings before I can start.

In the meantime I finished putting the silver accents on the gauge bezel. Since my car has the rear grid defogger I have the switch that was in pretty sad shape but a little Mothers back to black really brought back the original color.

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Of course the lettering was gone but a decal from Burtons Antique brought them back

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In the bezel
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I have put the carpet in the car and now have to start trimming and poking holes for the seat belts etc.. But it is going to be cold here the rest of the week so think I will work on the seats, hog rings should be here tomorrow

RickM
 
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RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
765
Gaithersburg, MD
Haven't posted in a while but I have been working on the car. Most of my time has been spent working on the interior. I finished getting the kick panels in and trimming my carpet so that it tucks in nicely underneath. The carpet with mass backing is sometimes hard to work with especially cutting holes for the seat tracks, seat belts and high beam switch. But I mostly have it done I'll post some pics tomorrow. BTW that passenger side kick panel on an AC car is a bitch, but it can be done. After failing for 45 minutes I walked away cussing but on the second try I figured out how to do it and I had done 10 minutes later.

Biggest accomplishment was finally getting one bucket seat done with new foam and covers. I have new found respect for those who do this for a living. I had a hell of a time with the hog rings. I found it most difficult getting them installed on the correct part of the seat frame which is buried in the new seat foam. For every one ring that I got in correctly, I must have put 2 or 3 in wrong. Most of the time I missed getting the hog ring under the wire frame and ended up just attaching the cover to the foam. So, I would have to cut the ring off and try again. Cutting those rings did not make my wrists and hands feel very good. After 10 days of swearing and cussing and having to order more hog rings and getting the wife to help I got it done and it turned out pretty good.

Painting, then greasing seat tracks today. Then I have to start on the other bucket :whine: my hands hurt already.
RickM

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Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
30,848
Bloomington, MN
Very nice job on the seat! :D

Yes... That passenger side kick panel has to be tilted "just right" to slip into the hole in the sheet metal behind the panel.
You know it will go back in (because you took it out) but it can be quite a challenge. :mad:
 

RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
765
Gaithersburg, MD
Worked on the car a bit today, I wanted to install those lap vent pieces that always have broken tabs, mine were no different.
I have a plastic welder kit and was able to do a pretty decent repair on the passenger side lap vent.
Steps were:
  1. Clean and then roughen up the surface with 150 grit
  2. Glue the broken tab with some hot glue in one spot, just to hold in place
  3. Cut some wire mesh and melt it into the plastic fusing the broken tab to the lap vent
  4. Using the plastic welding rod (its called fiber flex) to further strengthen the repair
  5. Using a dremel sand and smooth the repair.
The repair is not real pretty but is very strong.

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Here is the welder and the fiber flex rod
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And here are the lap vents installed, nice and tight
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Here is the newly installed carpet and back seats installed next is to get the seats in
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Not very exciting but it is progress.
RickM
 

Canadian Barton

Veteran Member
Jul 20, 2015
376
Alberta
Keep it going, everything seems to take 3X longer than you think it should, I am down to T-Top paint and weather stripping, door glass and interior door panels. I actually think as soon as the T-Top weather stripping is in I'm driving it as is. Hope for no rain!
 

RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
765
Gaithersburg, MD
Worked on the car a bit yesterday, first was to install the rod that hooks to the steering column so the car will only start in P or N

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That went in pretty easy next was to install the flexplate/torque converter inspection cover
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This was a no go I could not get it in place unless I remove either the starter or the tranny cooler lines. But after doing some research it appears that since this is a universal cover I need to cut it so that it will clear the starter.
Does anyone have any experience with these? Does anyone install these? Do you guys leave the torque converter uncovered?
Regardless I am going to cut it and get it on this week.

Last, I tried cleaning up my BF Goodrich tires. The tires have 0 miles on them because the car is not mobile yet. The white lettering had turned brown/blue. I removed one tire and used the products you can see in the picture. It looks a lot better. How long it will last? who knows.

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Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
30,848
Bloomington, MN
I used a plastic "universal" converter cover (200-4R transmission) and cut the notch for the starter.

Then... I found it would warp when it got hot and it would rub against the flex plate teeth. (Made a horrible noise. :eek: )

I took it off and have been running it without a cover for over a decade (60K miles) and it doesn't seem to cause any issues.

That's the same cleaner and finish I use on my BFG TA Radials.
Great cleaner!
It strips the tires bare of everything. (Dirt, brake dust, previous finish products etc.)
It's pretty serious stuff so don't get it on your skin or eyes!

The VRP product seems to slow down the process but the lettering will start to brown again within a year, whether it's driven or not. :(
 




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