Sunday, June 25, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 7. Some Optional Stuff!

With the leather fiasco behind us, it was time for Cesar and me to start thinking about exactly what would be covered in leather, what would be left alone, and what parts might end up being covered in a material other than leather.

Cesar initiated the conversation by sending me the following photos, with the wooden stick pointing at the part he was wondering about.  A keen eye will also spot the white pin stripe taping, which indicates where we were discussing where the red stitching might go.
Instrument Gauge Surround

For the gauge surround, Cesar pointed out that this trim piece is very susceptible to scratches. He proposed to cover it in leather, unless I was going to cover in a special plastic paint or made into carbon fiber.  After some discussion, we agreed wrapping in Alcantara would be the best solution.
This central dashboard piece.
 Since mine is a Series 3 (kohki) version, the finish of this central dash piece feels almost sandpaper like. Cesar didn't know that, and due to it being easily scratched proposed it also be wrapped in leather.  I told him no need, I would order a new piece in Japan, with a new driver's side window controls to match.
Center console coin tray
Next was this center console bit.  As you can see, whoever owned this previously had installed two switches or lightbulbs and had drilled out two holes there.  Cesar again proposed leather.  I was more interested in carbon fiber, except I wasn't sure who I could find who could do so. Since this piece pops out of the console, we agreed to worry about this piece later.
Handbrake and handbrake boot
 Cesar wanted me to send him my handbrake and boot, which he would rewrap in the Cardinal leather to match the rest of car.  Easier said than one, because I still wanted to keep my car operational so I wasn't about to remove the handbrake.  Instead, I found one on eBay, however the seller refused to send to Mexico, so I had it sent to me instead here in Japan, and I would forward it on...
Shift boot and plastic frame
Cesar offered to wrap the plastic piece in leather. Again however since I planned to get a new piece that would match the central dash and the driver's side window switch controls, I told him that I would send him my shift boot (which I had to modify to work with the Getrag) as well as the plastic frame. I sent him the below annotated photo, just in case:
Red - leather; Yellow - leave alone; Pink - carbon, hopefully
As for the piping, I thought it looked great (he had actually sent me a video showing the white tape applied all over the interior) because it was actually fairly conservatively done. Too much red stitching might look over the top, but we wanted a look that was OEM, and the stitching to be actually functional, as if the cow hide had to be stitched together by design.

Incidentally, I had also proposed some ideas as well. Being that no one is allowed to smoke, eat or drink in my car, I decided that the ashtray at the rear of the center console was useless.  I had a couple of ideas:
Apologies to the copyright holder of this photo. 
Again, sorry to the copyright holder.
Cesar liked both ideas. I thought that the air vent would be useful, however while the USB outlet would only require two wires running to it, the air vent would require not only, some kind of tubing from the air con unit, I would have to find a third party vent that would fit in the rear console space. So the air vent would be a technical challenge.

And then, as fortune would have it, one of my fellow R33 GT-R owners by the name of Marc Binet (Belgian guy) showed me some R33 GT-R interior parts he had himself reskinned in carbon fiber:
I was particularly impressed with how cleanly the carbon weave was - it's straight everywhere.
Wow! Except for the gloss, this might work very well. 
 When I talked to Marc about doing this coin tray in full carbon, it turned out that all the extra curves, not just in the coin holder area but in the larger square area, would make the job more difficult.
This was for reference only. I wanted this piece to be leather.
Choices, choices. 
So I had found my carbon fiber part supplier. For anyone interested, I would advise them to contact Marc. His pricing is incredibly affordable, and as you can see the work quality is fantastic! (You can see more of his work here.) Tell him I sent you!

The hard part for me was, trying to decide what parts in the car interior to do in carbon, versus Alcantara or leather.  But meanwhile Cesar started work on the dashboard...


Unknown said...

hey man!! i just want to take the time to say thank you for the amazingly detailed content. As a fellow GTR owner (R32) I find so much inspiration from your blog. Also i live in japan too (Misawa) so a lot of the info you have given is very helpful for me learning whats available for my car and how to get my hands on it. So yeah, just keep it up and thanks again!!

Aki said...

Hey Darius! First, thanks for serving (I actually happen to be an IMA but at Yokota). Second, have you met with Matt R yet up there? Now THAT guy is more of nerd than I am, plenty of good info...lastly, thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I guess this is where I nerd out so I appreciate that you enjoy what I post! Thanks, and hope to meet you sometime.