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Location: London, Ontario
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|Interior Forum Discuss about seats, steering wheel, fabric and gauges|
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This is IMO the best bang for buck mod. I know this thread will be worthless until i get pics. My excuse is that i don't have a cellphone or camera, and my iPod touch is broken, so i will have to get friends to take some pics for me.
I now have a red plaid interior in the making. So far i have completed the A-pillars, 1 B-pillar, upper hatch trim, center dash vent cover (top of dash), and all door panels.
It is by far one of the cheapest mods you can do. I went to Fabricland, and the first time spent at least half an hour trying to make a decision. I did experiment with red vinyl wrapping (the stiffer thicker fabric, not the thin decal type vinyl) and it was far too challenging to meet my standards of quality. So i wanted to go with a porous fabric that was easier to work with. I decided on a red plaid.
I would make a tutorial on wrapping, but tutorials aren't really my thing, and IMO upholstery/wrapping is something that can't be explained in words, it has to be accquired by doing and fucking up.
Porous fabric is very easy to work with, as no heat is needed to accomplish the stretching required for 3D shapes/curves, and it adheres very readily.
I used regular LePage heavy duty contact cement, it is predictable, and generally easy to work with all around. It sets into a heavy tack very quickly, the solvent in the glue quickly flashes off. Doing this in the cold or with cold interior pieces will extend working time (as solvents flash off much slower the colder it is). It is cheap, readily accessible, and one can will do what i've done/doing with probably enough left over to do the headliner too.
The A-pillars are by far one of if not the hardest items to wrap, they have very sharp and steep curves. I did the left side the first time, but i had to attempt the right side 3 times which was a waste of material, but it's cheap enough to not care about.
The method of wrapping i like to call "stretch to fit". It's used by most car manufacturers on almost everything that isn't high traffic/high wear, where that technique won't hold up to frequent movement and stretching. You cut reliefs near curves to relieve the tension created by wrapping 2D fabric around a 3D shape, then when all of the fabric is glued down to the edges, you then trim the edges making relief cuts for corners or moulding features of the part. You leave about a 1/4" of material around all edges, then apply adhesive to the non-exposed/inside part of the trim, and wrap that line of excess material around the inside, making it tight around that edge. It makes for more professional looking edges and well defined edges.
A few tips.
-if you use a quick setting adhesive (like contact cement), don't try to do a panel all at once, start from the center or flat area and work your way out to curves, then cut out your holes such as the seat belt slot for the B-pillars, or the center dash cover vents
-if using a volatile adhesive like i did, make sure you have PLENTY of ventilation, if you do this in a closed appartment the fumes will linger for days
-remember that curves will take up more material than you think (surface area), so for the A-pillars especially, cut the fabric very oversized, and push the fabric into the curves before the actual gluing to know how much to cut and if you will have enough, you can always trim back excess once the main gluing is done, but you can't put material back if you cut it too small
-use fabric cutting scissors
-removing the vents in the center dash piece is a bitch, they put two screws in there to give you the false hope that it's just two screws, wrong, there are a BUNCH of clips that need to be pried out ALL AT ONCE to remove it properly, it was a two person job, i pried the clips up enough to shove a toothpick in each one, and buddy put the toothpicks in, just do that for all of the clips, and it should just come right off with some coaxing, it is not necessary, but if you want it to look (better than) factory, you'll do it...
Matthew Reed has a great vid covering most of the interior.
DIY: Versa Interior Removal Radio, HVAC - YouTube