Monday, October 9, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 21. The Rear Side Panels!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Cesar (actually his son Alex) had sent a few more photos, not just the ones of the doors being prepared for the leather.

Unlike last time, I did not receive 20 photos, just the following 3!

Then again, these are pretty simple compared to the door panels. No need for Alcantara, just some nice stitching in the right places... and then about 10 days later, he sent me these photos:

You can see he had pre-sewn the pieces

Then used weights to hold down while the glue dried

Close up of the stitching in this corner

And this is how the vinyl templates were all laid out on the hide.
So with the center console and main dash done, and now with both front doors and the rear panels also finished, what is left? Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 20. And Now Onto The Doors...

So as if the dash alone wasn't an absolute miracle of old world craftsmanship, ingenuity and some OCD, Cesar was far from done. Indeed, a couple of weeks after (the flu slowed him down!) he sent me the following photos of the work being done already on the door panels I had sent him from my own car.

And as is rapidly becoming my habit, I'll let the photos do the talking...

Obviously the white lines show where the stitching will go.

And here is a rough sketch of where the courtesy lamp would go

I had asked Cesar to cover the green spots in Alcantara. His response, "no problem"! Yellow and Red were the spots we had debated on where to put the courtesy lamps.
Door pocket guides have been removed to be covered in Alcantara

Adding reinforcement to that section of the driver door that had deteriorated due to one too many heavy elbows

And it wasn't just the doors he was working on, he also sent this photo to show the difference between his brake lever boot and the Redline one.
Cesar's vs Redline

Cesar's has the snap, the Redline is velcro
 Sharp eyed readers will see that the photos of the doors are only for those of the driver door. He sent a bunch over too for the passenger door but they are basically the same as the ones above and I am too lazy to post them.

He DID send some other photos, which I will post in my next post...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 19. Main Dash Update and Preview!!!!

So exactly a week after I sent in the door panels, Cesar emailed me to let me know they had arrived.  But that was not all. He sent me the following photos of the work in progress on the main dash:

So where the tabs had broken off, he had fixed using metal sheet and rivets. Love this kind of attention to detail!

I'm not sure what had broken off there, but...

And yet another repair

Since I hadn't compared to a good dash, I had to trust his instincts were correct here...
Not sure about this either, but those scratches indicate some violence in this dash's past life!

Not sure what this is... 
And here, not sure what had to be repaired...
But interestingly, at the same time, he sent me the following photos of the COMPLETED Dash and center console!!

WOW. Looks OEM!!!

I was thinking about changing the vents to carbon fiber overlaid ones, but this convinced me not to! Looks great as is!

The shift boot is the old one (from a 33, not the one I sent)

Now this looks good, but I wasn't too sure about the red stitching on the brake handle...

And with that, now a new chapter. Onto the doors and the rear side panels!!!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 18. Templates for the Main Dash + Sending in the Door Panels

Ok so we are back after that short interlude of GT-R goodness. 
Picking up from where we left off, after Cesar had "practiced" by wrapping, in leather, various interior parts, he decided it was time to tackle the biggest part of all - the main dashboard panel itself.

As he described it, he began with some "good templates" which he had earlier created out of vinyl cut to size and taped over the dash itself. 

He then followed up by placing these templates over the leather hide. The problem, as he pointed out, was in trying to avoid areas with imperfections in the leather given the large surface area of these pieces.

It was about this time that I started to think about carbon parts again, and for a short time was tempted to have the air vents converted to carbon - BUT, I realized it was probably overkill and not OEM looking so I decided to hold off.

Meanwhile, however, Cesar was asking me what to do with the leftover Alcantara - my suggestion was to use it to line the side door pockets. Speaking of which, this was (late September 2016) when I realized I was going to have to send in the doors panels from my own car, which as we all know I did.

Additionally however, I realized that, if I was going to send in the door panels myself, I would be able to see if my idea of door courtesy lamps would work. I could order some and see which ones would look the best against the door.
I found these on Yahoo Auctions
Thanks to EJ and his ER34 blog 
For Toyotas, but heck why not? Having both colors would be cool!

I made sure to point out this problem on my car - heavy elbows = worn out support!

Just to show Cesar the size and shape, and to get him thinking about where we could use the leftover Alcantara

Explaining that this pressboard back board is the only thing between the door pocket/panel and the door itself!

Finally, since there was some extra space in the boxes containing the door panels, and as Cesar was kind enough to offer to duplicate the gear shift boot in matching leather, I decided to send in the current boot.
IF you recall, this aftermarket R34 GT-R shift boot made by Redline had to be modified to fit the R33 GT-R shift surround.

Which is what these red circles in both photos show - the holes that are NOT used
So now everything was sent out, so all I had to I had to sit back, relax, and think about the final details...