Sunday, November 5, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 22. Finishing Touches...

So with all the major panels done, what was left?

The details, that's what!

First, as I had hinted in previous posts about the front doors, we had decided to modernize by having reflective + light up LED courtesy lamps in the front doors.  Actually, I had initially sent over some old Nissan Laurel white door courtesy lamps, but they did not look right as you can see below.
Close up. Regular lightbulbs

Since a Laurel is a sedan, they sent me 4...
Although the idea was to sink them into the leather, this is when I decided white wasn't the look I wanted.
Backside antics
So, I decided that I would prefer a red lens, and for longevity, LED.  
Cesar found this locally, but it looked too thin.
I looked on Yahoo Auctions for something made by Nissan, but in the end found something cheap on Rakuten.
Thin enough and easy one bolt installation 
And big enough but not too large (and not thin like Cesar's find).
Even though I had only sent over the rough dimensions of the lens unit in several photos like the previous 2, Cesar went ahead and prepared the doors.

I was amazed that he had the confidence to do this...
Backside showing that these LED reflectors would be securely mounted.
Filling in the holes so the leather can be smoothly applied over.
A kind of a thread-lock, perhaps?
A preview of the door with the cutout for this lens.
Five days later, Cesar informed me that the lenses had arrived, and sent me the following:
LED securely attached, with leads out.
And talk about perfect fitment!
OK so what was next? Well, given that there was bound to be some leather left over, we had decided to really go for a complete leather interior:
See this seatbelt guide? We decided to wrap this in leather too.
As I mentioned in another earlier post, I could not figure out how to remove this seatbelt guide, without cutting it. And yes, I unbolted the seat belt but getting this guide piece off without cutting would mean disassembly of the seat belt spring mechanism, and for safety reasons I did not want to do that. 
You can see how my Dremel cut the thinnest part of these seatbelt guides.
Cesar showing me how he wrapped it all in leather!
Here are the pieces, completed. 
You can see that the extra length gets pulled around to the back
And there is enough pressure to keep it all from unravelling. Quite clever!
And don't forget the overhead hand grips I had also sent:

These came out quite nice too. 
The lighting isn't very good but you can just make out the stitching on the underside...
As well as the gear shift lever boot and handbrake boot:
Note I went with all black stitching.
The reason is, OEM was all black too, and it helps to highlight the red stitching elsewhere. The cars I HAVE seen with red stitching on the boots, tend to look, in my opinion, a bit over done.
Close up showing the beautiful stitch work
So you can see the brake lever stitching. 
Then, due to a delay in the production of my carbon pieces (or rather, the pieces got lost in the mail and eventually got sent back to Marc, who had to resend...), Cesar got impatient with the center console piece and decided to wrap that in leather. What do you think?

Finally, my friend Alessandro had remarked that, true bespoke parts needed to have some kind of plaque as proof. Like the ones that Nissan has on the R35 GT-R:

Great idea, right? My problem was, however, that no matter how many times I asked Cesar to send me a photocopy of his signature, he never obliged me. I guess, maybe he thought it was a risk? He is a smart guy after all... so I had to improvise.

I found a company in the US, that makes custom plaques in different metals. Of course I chose titanium, and asked them to inscribe this message:

The finished result was a bit different, but as Cesar demonstrates below, it looks pretty good and the size was just right.
Perfect way to finish this project, right?
So Cesar was now finished, and was getting things wrapped up and ready to be sent out when the following finally arrived at his place:
Whoops! But just in time...
So what's next? Stay tuned...


Skodajocky said...

Always a pleasure to see your attention to detail :).

Concerning the last picture, I suppose that chocolate is not the only product that Belgium can offer :p

Anonymous said...

Caesar is chinese? Caesar Cheung?

Aki said...

Belgium has wonderful craftsmanship! And no Cesar is not Chinese...

Unknown said...

Is there anyway to start a correspondence with you? I absolutely love everything about your car and have a few questions I would love to ask. I promise I won't email you constantly just want a couple of key questions I want to ask. So glad you post everything in detail the work to your car is absolutely immaculate. My email is or Facebook is Brad Finley I'm from Birmingham Alabama. I would greatly appreciate any info your willing to provide. Keep up the amazing work.

Aki said...

Brad, I've emailed you. Check your email.


Anonymous said...

we need more updates sir!

sh3lldon said...

hi Aki

I have just recently purchased a 1995 R33 GTR as a fresh import into the uk it is replacing my Integra DC5 ( I am a honda fan I also own a 2000 type R ek9)

I will collect the car sometime at the start of next year, and cannot wait I have been drawing great inspiration from your blog and I am looking forward to beginning my journey with it, the car is standard apart from an HKS super turbo exhaust system, what would you recommend as a good starting point to improve the car it will be mostly street driven, suspension i feel is a good first area to look at.