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Thread: Upholstery ?!

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    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Upholstery ?!

    This will be the last of my big TR2 restoration threads. I say TR2, but with a few slight changes to patterns and shapes, all Triumph interiors are installed the same way. I am no expert in this, so if anyone has a better technique or suggestion...please chime in! I won;t get my feelings hurt and I always like to learn new ways of doing things.

    My first dabbling in upholstery was replacing the seats in my 1970 scout, over 50 years ago now. The first thing that caught my attention as I progressed to different upholstery jobs in many different marks is that, for the most part, modern upholstery is still a throwback to the 17th century horse and buggy days! In the last 300 years I think the biggest change has been the power stapler in place of tacks and hammer. But the rest of it is the same. Synthetic leather, or vinyl was a big change, but from a practical view it still works and handles the same as leather.

    So let's get going! I'll start with a quick break down of the supplies I have been collecting for the job. My TR2 is as bad as an interior could get. Anything of steel dissolved. Anything of vinyl or leather cracked and crumbled. There is absolutely nothing I could re-use. I hope most of you are able to save at least a panel here and there!





    These are the boxes from Jonathon Skinner in the UK. I have used kits from TRF and Moss, and have no real complaints about any of them. This time around the exchange rate made it cheaper to order out of the UK, and Jonathon has a long standing reputation for quality. Moss and TRF have sales on upholstery at least every year, so when the rate against the pound goes up, you can save 20% domestically if you wait for a sale.





    One part that seems to go fast are the seat pans and seat springs. I guess that's 2 parts!?! In fact, it is near impossible to find used in any condition worth using...I shopped Ebay and word of mouth for 4 years, and finally ordered these from Rimmer Bros. Again, only because of the exchange rate.

    The bonus of getting new seat pans is they come painted. Hoorah! If yours are salvagable, they will still need to be stripped welded and re-painted. I have yet to see a pan that is not cracked around the rear bolt holes. The springs did not come painted, so I sprayed a coat of rustoleum over them to slow their demise due to occasional rain showers with the hood off.



    This is a seat padding kit from Moss. The original padding was horse hair. Like, REAL Horse hair. Remember what I said about the 17th century? Anyway, horse hair is hard to find in mats anymore, so these kits use some kind of Jute looking fiber that emulates the horse hair. There are also foam padding kits around. They are probably more comfortable AND easier to install. For now we'll be using the original style padding kit. Maybe someone else can show pics of the foam kits when we get to them!



    I did not order the sidescreens. I did ask Jonathon to supply extra matching PVC covering for them, so I could sew them up later. Note I say PVC. It turns out that vinyl exposed to sunlight is actually PVC plastic. Those covers include the hood, tannau, and stick cover. The interior vinyl is, well, really vinyl! Small point. The important thing to remember is the PVC is cotton cloth backed, and it does not stretch much. The interior vinyl is polyester backed, and stretches a good bit.



    This is jute pad kit. Jonathon seems to include much more padding than was original. The original was only a pad here and there. More has to be better, right? Anyway, it insulates and doesn't show.



    This kit is the tacking strip kit for the seats. These will rivet to the metal seat pans and provide a medium to staple the edges of the seat covers to. Original seats will already have the tack strips, but make sure they have not rotted and will hold a staple.





    This is both sides of the "panel kit". It includes all the panels that go in the cabin space.



    This is the tank cover for the boot. In my year TR2 it was always black. Later cars were body or interior colored, depending on the year.



    This is the rubber padding along the top of the doors.





    Hard to believe it...but this tiny bag is the entire hood! I had to open this one to make sure, it was so compact. Here I did find an issue with the Skinner kit. My car uses all tenax fasteners. If you have a sharp eye, the hood and tannau were sent with lift-a-dot retainers. I have an email out to see if they will send the correct ones.



    This is the carpet set.



    This is the boot carpet set. Again, only the early TR2's had black boots.





    And...the seat covers, front and back.

    Well, that's where we start. The only other part I need is a snap kit for the carpet, and a trim screw kit for the interior panels. I ordered the snaps and screws from Jonathon. The snaps look perfect. The screws came with phillips heads. Bummer. Our cars do not use phillips!! A trim screw is very obvious and will give away a non-original restoration in a flash. So, call tomorrow to TRF...

    We'll get started tomorrow on the dash covering. That has to be done before we can install the gages.

    Until then!
    Last edited by CJD; 06-06-2017 at 12:59 AM.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    The kit looks great.

    I just sent in my order a few days ago for about the same kit.

    I was thinking that the springs would need some protection. My old springs would probable have done but at this point I thought may as well get new ones.

    Shall be following along with your progress.

    David

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Sorry I don't have any pictures of the process, but here's one of the finished seat. If you look closely you might notice the drivers seat bottom is much lower than the passenger seat. I am 6'1" and my head pushed up the canvas with the top on -with the top off, no hat or sun visor would stay on my head 'whilst motoring'. Rather than reduce my height, I lowered my seat.

    The car came to me with only one seat (in terrible shape) and I happened across a set on ebay complete. They were refitted with solid foam instead of springs. I removed the bottom cover, cut the foam in half with a long razor knife, and stapled the cover back on. It's not quite as comfortable as the full foam seat, but anything less than 5 hours is barely an issue. Until you sit in the car or look closely, it's hard to tell, but driving lower makes a huge difference. -Yes I know, the seat bottom bead pattern is for a slightly older TR and not correct for my TR3A, but for a total pair of seats investment of $510, I am very happy.
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    I have done it a few times with the horse hair and burlap and cotton batting and it came out fine. This time I was waiting for you to start because you have been so talented in other areas, and I was going to copy you. I was hoping you were going with black because you were helping me with my side curtains. But that is only cheap vinyl.

    I bought my seat covers from Tim; the quality looks great and totally original. For padding, I am going to with cotton batting and synthetic foam and padding. I was thinking about doing my own door panels because most the car is carpet and I made some carpet patterns last time, and have a door panels to copy.

    The spring you bought are different than old school spaghetti springs and make for a higher ride with an odd shape and not an original look. TRF sells the older springs and they are higher in the front and cushier plus feel better.

    I am still not starting until you because I think your skill level is higher than mine and you’re being modest and slow playing your hand.

    Steve

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    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    You scared me, Steve! When you said not original look on the springs I was worried the upper wire was off. I think the upper wire is the correct shape...but I'll study it closer when I get to the seat covering. I was not happy with the non-original spring design, but decided that since it doesn't show I didn't mind that enough to return them to Rimmers. We're short in our family, so maybe sitting higher will be a good thing. If not, it would not be the first time I had to start over from scratch! Of this entire restoration, I have spent more time behind the scenes looking for seat parts than any other facet of the job...by at least a factor of 3 or 4!
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    John I bought the springs on the black seat from Moss, so they could different than yours. The seat is out of my driver and the springs have gone down over the ears. The white and black are my new ones I am playing around with the foam and an original look. They only have burlap and 2 inches of padding slightly bigger than the spring frame and again the black seat has flattened out with more cotton batting. The padding can make a big difference. The spaghetti springs make for and almost cantilever look for the top section.

    Were as the coil springs are flatter and stiffer and that is why the ride is higher. I do not want to cause problems because I might be one of the few that sees it. TR2 and early tr3 seat are heavy fluted and are not seen often, so who knows.

    The seats I am doing are spaghetti springs for a 58 tr3a. The only difference I know of is that the early seat had more square corners and no difference in height.
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Interesting, Steve, seeing both types next to each other. It appears the lower seat has more padding over the top and sides, giving it a "leaner" look too. I would have preferred the original spaghetti spring set...but after 3-1/2 years a deal never showed up. I reached a point where I had to go with what was available.

    Getting to work!

    I started my upholstery with the dash. The water temp gage has the long capillary, so it cannot be installed until the dash is covered. In addition, I didn't want to work around the steering wheel, that is another reason the dash was first on the list. So here comes our first panel, the dash!



    The kit from Skinner came with a roll of material. Here is the one allotted to the dash...pretty obvious! Notice I have cleared ample area and lay down towels to prevent marring the leather. Oh...I went with Skinner's option of all leather for the interior. I know that is not strictly original...but I have been sewing both leather and vinyl for decades...and I still have to study material closely after installation to tell the difference. I could not resist going with all leather. As far as covering is concerned, both materials are very similar Leather stretches a bit better, bu also mars easier if scratched. But the installation techniques are identical.





    A good interior kit will have a sewn pocket for the steering column. Otherwise you will never get the material to turn the rounded corner without slits and puckering.



    For the center instrument cluster I found the smallest piece that fit it. We will start here, as the flat panel is easier to get us warmed up for the curves on the main dash.



    By pressing the panel down firmly, you will get an imprint to work from on the back of the leather. For vinyl you may want to mark the area covered by the panel. You can also see I am removing the unobtainium brass thumb nuts and setting them aside for now.







    I have previously used 3M 77 spray contact cement. It did not hold terribly well in heat. Now 3M has come out with "90". I used this for the center cluster...but then went back to the brush on Weldwood contact cement. It just seems to be a fact that brushing on the cement spreads it more deeply into leather. It holds Tighter and longer.

    Weldwood also has a type that is a gel, sold at Lowes and Home Depot. I also do not like that type. Nothing beats the good old fashioned contact goo!



    These are the cheapest brushes you can buy. You will trash them and have to replace them rather frequently. One cool thing about dealing with contact cement is that it never really hardens. Rather...it does...but it can be re-activated by brushing on a wet coat. The solvents in the new coat re-sticky the previous coat...even if it has sat for a month when you had to give the project a break. Likewise...if you have a hardened brush, you can soften it with a couple dips in the cement.



    Here was the spray test. You can see the spray covers like spider web...but never goes very deeply into the material. This was the only time I use it before going back to the spreadable cement.



    Patience is the key to contact cement. You let it dry to tacky! If you press too soon, then it is wet and becasue it now has no air, it takes even longer to set up. Let it dry and only then press to glue. Then you can immediately move on instead of standing around waiting for it to set.





    Now trim about 3/4" around the panel. I trimmed about 1/4" to closely here. The leather I am working is thicker than typical, so I needed a bit more to work. It takes some time to get back into the swing of covering. Notice I am using a #11 exacto knife. Use any razor knife you are comfortable with...but have many fresh blades. Cutting the material against the metal backing will dull the blades rapidly. I used 2 just for the center cluster. I buy a 100 pack and use them liberally to prevent ragged tears on my cuts.



    Starting with the long straight sections, glue, let dry, and fold them over.





    Here I am using the instrument panel to hold the edges down while they fully dry. I will get into the corners shortly...
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Upholstery ?!



    Getting ready for the main dash, you must have a handful of these little edge clips. There are compound curves on the dash, and some areas the material is stretched too tight for glue alone to hold. These are the original clips I have saved.



    Start at the critical spot first. For the dash, that is the steering column pocket.

    Spread the glue on both the dash and the material in this area. Always apply contact cement to both surfaces. NEVER just one!



    Take your time to line it up and press into place. The back of the sewing seam has some extra material...make certain that it is all oriented the same direction, or it will cause bumps. If you get the alignment off, just peel it up and reset it where it should be. Contact cements is very forgiving if you do it correctly and let it flash.






    Once you like the pocket fit, lay the next area of the dash cover over and spread more glue. I chose to work upward next.

    In the above pic you can clearly see the imprint of the dash on the leather. That is my guide for applying glue.







    After going upward and pressing it into place, now I lay the left side back and spread that direction.




    Now we work right. At this point we are only doing the flat part of the panel. We will work the rounded edges shortly. At any point, if the wife calls you can cover you cement can and walk away. When you return, just spread a fresh coat over the old cement and continue as though you never left!



    Here I am pressing the indented area for the cluster.



    This is a very handy tool called a "bone". They are available from any Tandy leather shop. I assume the original tools WERE real bone, but modern ones are simple very smooth plastic. You can press and move it in the crevasses without marring the leather or vinyl.



    Moving along a section at a time. There is NO REASON to try to lay the entire panel at one time!! You will not be able to spend the time getting it to lay well if you try to do too much at once. Work only a comfortable section at a time.



    Time for the edges. Now we have to work a bit! Here I have practiced with the area of the steering column pocket. When I understand how I want it to lay down, I trim the extra material off. It's VERY important to plan how you will do it, as you want no cut edges to show. Plan for as long as it takes! Cut only when You are satisfied you like it!



    Here we are on the back side of the dash. Work small sections at a time. In the pic I have glued the section that I cut previously, and folded it over the corner. Now I am getting ready to fold the bottom dash material over the ugly cut edge.



    Cut edges are amateurish! Notice that to prevent showing the cut edge I have folded the edge on itself and glued it first. Like wrapping a package for Christmas. If you don't get it...trust me, your wife will! Women are good at this kinda thing. Get her to explain it, and she'll enjoy getting envolved in "your world" for a change!
    Last edited by CJD; 06-12-2017 at 11:24 PM.
    John

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    Re: Upholstery ?!





    I am stretching the sewn edge and making sure it lays as flatly as possible.



    And the dash bottom folds over the top (from this perspective?!?).



    Now we are going to work the rounded sides of the dash. Start by gluing the long stretches of straight edges first. This will leave only the puckered corners to "finish".



    Pull the material tightly around the corner to stretch it a bit. Where the material first starts to "pucker" at the corner, where it can no longer be stretched to lay down, make a slice. Slice only as high as absolutely required. Better to slice to low and have to extend, than to go so high it shows.



    Now stretch the area that has not layed down yet, mark it and slice the extra off.



    Glue the slice, line up the next material and stretch it into place.



    Continue around the corner. Slice at the point the material refuses to lay down.





    Large radius corners, like here do not require any cutting. The material will stretch into place nicely without puckering.

    We are simply working our way around the dash a section at a time.



    This is the area below the center instrument cluster...and is a compound curve. The material must be stretched and bunched in a close proximity. We will need those clips here.



    Pull it as normal, and then clip any area that is too tight for the glue to be trusted completely.





    Work it slowly. If you don't like the way it lays, now is the time to pull it off and re-adjust it. If it puckers at all now, it will only get worse when you park the car in the hot summer sun. Work slowly and methodically.



    Working on around now. The puckering OFF the dash is not a concern...it will get trimmed off.



    The RH lower corner completes the outer edge of the dash.



    Here I am re-pressing any areas that are not laying perfectly.



    I keep leather cleaner around to remove any extra glue.



    And, with a trim of the selvage around the back edge, the basic dash is done. I am in absolutely no hurry to trim the openings.



    Here I am trimming the hole and stud holes for the center cluster. This is where you dull blades rapidly on the underlying steel. Change the blades as soon as they start to tear the material rather than slicing it.



    Always leave as much selvage (for now) as you can. All material will shrink with age, and you don't want it to shrink back so far it shows!











    The finished dash...except for...



    The glove box pocket. THIS will challenge you patience! Only start it when you have plenty of time and a peaceful mind. If you picture the problem, the material is already tight across the opening. To round the edges downward, it will have to stretch...a lot! There is no way around that, but it'll do it...with time and patience.



    Start the stretching before you think about any trimming of material. Press the material downward as far as it will go.



    Now trim the center out...and leave about 1-1/2 to 2 inches around the opening.



    Water, or windex...or commercial leather treatment. NOT any oil! Oil will prevent the cement from holding.



    This is the patience part, Keep the material wet. Keep the pressure on the material in the direction you need it to go. Don't expect it to happen in 5 minutes. It'll take 30 minutes to an hour to stretch it into place.

    When you are getting it closer to the metal, then you will have to slice the material that will wrap around the panel to the back side. I used many clamps and a few clips to get it held. We'll get back to the dash in a bit...only after all my glue dries!
    Last edited by CJD; 06-12-2017 at 11:30 PM.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Hello John

    A great tutorial on the dash covering. Are theose clips available anywhere

    So the TR2 had a covered center panel not the crinkle paint.

    David

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    John, excellent job and your grammar is first-rate also. I was going to comment on not painting the gauge cluster, but know that I think about it; they were not painted. Every main dash on a tr3a I have seen was painted red primmer, so I a painted mine that color; a tr2 is a different fish and Berry Nelson my tr2 buddy disappeared to New Mexico. I want to find him, so I hope he is watching, but he turned into parts seller 40 years ago and not a driver. I have done a few dashes and learned some tricks from you especially on the corner of the dash, I always had cut it. I am not sure if those clips are available or not, but let me know if you need some. I used some little odd clamps on the last one I did and they left imprint that I can still see.

    You have been my teacher again and I am appreciative. I also try and be your critic because that is important also. I say call TRF and ask about the spaghetti springs with square corners for a tr2 and if they have them-- get them; your seat covers will fit over them, and sell the others cheap at a loss because making on this stuff money is not your thing----- just saying

    I like the bone tool and I am going to get on. The leather shops also have punches for holes and they work well for making the gaskets too. I am going to look for some vinyl for my car and try it.
    steve

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    John, your work is so authentic it amazes me. As always, there is more than one way to skin a cat. I didn't want to spend the money for a kit so opted to use a length of marine grade vinyl available at a local sewing shop. I also really like contact cement. With vinyl, too much cement will 'bleed thru' and alter the grain, possibly ruining the look. I found re-activating the glue to be very useful to go back and stretch areas better, but I started by gluing to only the flat non-curved sections. The last section I did was the steering column. It was difficult, but after a few years, the white vinyl still looks good. -maybe not as good as yours, specially since mine does not have that stitched area around the column.

    I also used small paper clamps, and found that if I used a fold of scrap material between the edges of the clamp, they would not leave a glue mark in the grain after it set up completely.

    Keep up the excellent work.
    Jer
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    59 TR3A "Butter"

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Very nice John. Thanks for the excellent documentation. Cheers, Mike
    Webmaster Ottawa Valley Triumph Club (www.ovtc.net)
    73 TR6 - CF727U (www.triumphowners.com/to-car/tr6-200/)
    56 TR3 - TS11537 (www.triumphowners.com/to-car/tr3-9/)

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    David...I have some extra clips that I'll send if you want them. Just PM an address. Apparently I have used far fewer than the dash came with. I think that shows I have way more time than the workers at Triumph that had to turn these things out on a schedule.

    Steve...I can tell you're going to stay on me about those seat springs! I'll call TRF and see what they've got.

    Jerry...Your "new" dash came out great. White is the hardest covering to work with, as you have to be so careful not to mar it. I also love the "socket clamp". When covering, anything in the house could be tasked to hold down a corner until the glue dries. You know how it is, you stand there holding a tab of material, for what seems hours, and thinking, "what could I use to hold this down so I can move on?" The other thing I noticed is your "old" cover had the selvage around the instrument holes, as I remember my dashes had. Jonathon provided much thicker leather than I am used to working with...I mean, like, 1/8" thick. I had to trim the instrument holes flush, or the instruments wouldn't push in the holes.

    While waiting for the corners to stick on the dash, I started the glove box door. A little history on the door...

    The PO had cut out the door to install a radio. When I got the car the door was merely covered over, with the large rectangular hole still there. I had to replace the aluminum backing, and I cut a new wood door frame to fit. Skip ahead 4 years, and Jonathon's leather is extremely thick. It's almost in the rawhide realm. So, of course, the wood frame is too large to accommodate the extra 1/4" inch of leather wrapped around the dash and door frame. Of course you can't tell that until you get both covered and try the fit!

    So here it goes, "as it went down":



    Here I have glued the leather to the wood door frame. Once I had this done, I could hold the door up the the dash and check the fit. It didn't fit. Bummer!

    So the leather had to be peeled off.







    I then had the bright idea to trace the actual shape of the aluminum backing plate, to get the minimum sized frame possible.



    And sanded the edges to fit the backing plate.



    Now I'm starting all over. Leather glues to the wood frame.





    I always do the straight edges first. Oh, I know I said the bone tool is plastic...I was wrong! I looked very closely at it, and sure enough it is real bone. It has been highly polished, but modern bones are still truly bone!





    Now the long curves, which need no special work. Now we only have the tight curves. We'll take care of those using the slice technique.









    Just like that. Now you just keep working along the curve, slicing only as much as needed, and no deeper than needed. Pulling the material fairly tight decreases the number of slices you have to make.



    This is the 100 pack of blades I am working through. Remember, to get a clean look you need clean cuts. toss your blade as soon as it starts tearing the material rather than slicing it.







    Even after you're done, the bone is great for working out any little bumps and imperfections.











    I am convinced that the glove box screws are the smallest screws used on the car.



















    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    I have to stop here, to discuss a problem I ran into. I set the door lock as shown, but the locking tab in the picture came nowhere near holding the door closed. I reversed it, and now the door could not be locked. I wound up having to hammer the locking tab to fit, so the door would close completely and the lock would easily lock. Then I went one farther...I realized that the light colored covering material on the dash would get hit by the lock tab frequently, and eventually get torn. Soooo...I then ground the tab shorter, and placed an angle on it, so it closes easily, doesn't hit the leather, and locks easily.

    Naturally, that made a 5 minute job installing the glove box lock into a 2 hour job! I'll have a picture in a minute showing the final locking tab.







    This is the "wrong" place for the bumper to go. The slotted hole is for the door stop wire.



    I first put the lock striker plate like so, but then switched it to the back side of the dash. The screws would hit the door in this configuration. Now...I am certain that this is the factory config, but once again, Jonathon's leather is too thick to make it work. Thus the change. The plate does not show unless you are on the floor looking up.



    This is the final configuration for the locking tab.





    And the change I made to the latch plate.



    Here the bumper is in the correct hole, and the stop wire is going in it's slot.



    The door end gets held with a push nut.







    And that's that!

    At this point I am taking a short break on the upholstery, to get the electrics and mechanicals running. I expect any range of issues getting a complete rebuild going. There are the possibility of oil leaks from the oil gage, antifreeze from the heater, grease from me. Especially with the light colors, I don't want to have any of this happen to the new interior. SO, the car will be running and dry inside before I continue with the upholstery.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Art work I am so jealous. I am still stuck with my front fenders I cannot get the wave out and I found a soiled one with no patch needed and it fits my door nice. So I am getting primmer and stating over there with driver fender; the front fenders are difficult for me. I play around with upholstery when I can.

    I and was thinking of doing my dash in vinyl. I would buy some do it myself to save money. I think I get the steering wheel deal sown at a shop and I saved the old dash covering.

    I see you almost straightened out the clove box back latch at least in the picture it looked that way. Is that a tr2 glove bow latch? Plus who has the dash screws with slotted head. It is nice John
    steve

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Hello John

    Thank you that is very kind. I will PM you.

    Understand why you would want to get all the work done under the dash finished and fluid tight before the interior gets fitted.

    Your progress is looking great.

    David

  18. #18
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Upholstery ?!



    While I wait for the TRF water pump...let's do the dash cap.







    The bottom gets bunched around the end, like this. You may have to pull off and re-stretch a few times until you get it right.



    And...another technique is a heat gun to shrink leather and vinyl. Heat shrinks both materials. Water and ammonia stretches leather. For vinyl, heat will also stretch it!





    Trim the selvage and glue it around the back.











    On the later TR2, like mine, the cap is held on with 8 wood-screw style tenax along the top, and 5 interior screws and washers underneath.

    Notice the TR2 passenger handle is rubberized black.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  19. #19
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    Re: Upholstery ?!



    Moving around the cockpit...the door cappings come next.





    These actually kicked my tail. On the later TR3 caps, the metal frame has end caps, that support the rubber underneath AND the covering on top. The TR2 door frame has neither. This makes fitting a true PITA.



    The original batting material was cotton, which you can buy at JoAnne's fabric. I will be using polyester batting here, just because it was laying around.



    About now I WISH I had made a trip to get the cotton batting! Cotton does not fray as badly while you work with it. I'd recommend lining up the cotton if you can.









    The TR2 does not use the chrome end caps on the capping. That means you have to use some of the material to fashion the end caps.

    I have to elaborate here. At this point I assumed, incorrectly, that covering the TR2 door caps would be as 1,2,3 as the TR3. Because the frame has no end supports to give the end of the capping shape...the TR2 is actually many magnitudes of order more difficult. I realized that the cap material had to come off and I had to sand the rubber to shape, to match the dash capping. This took hours!

















    After pulling up the ends and re-sanding the underlying rubber at least 8 times...it finally came out well in the end. Some tips I send along to others who follow:

    1) Sand the rubber to match the dash first!
    2) Because the material ends up triple thick at the ends, only bring the batting up to the point where the outer covering is folded on the end. That will help the fold to not show.
    3) Remember to allow for the triple thick material when sanding the rubber!
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  20. #20
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    Re: Upholstery ?!





    For side 2, I am showing the issues you deal with. Those are...clearance at the rear of the door cap to the quarter cap...and the clearance AND angle for the front end of the cap to the dash.

    I tore all the leather and batting off to start from scratch here!



    Here I start from scratch, with only the rubber roll glued to the frame. I have stretched tape to protect the door top paint, and am pointing to the edge of the metal that will have to ground off.



    Here I have sanded the rubber down somewhat, and am trying to match the angle of the dash cap. I have to come down farther on the rubber to allow for the triple thick material that will be rolled over there.

    Once I got all the above taken care of, I simply covered it as shown earlier.



    This is my original door panel, I saved for comparison. I will be listing it on Ebay as "slightly worn corners". $500 OBO.





    What I am pointing out is the location of the sidescreen mounts. These locations will not be set right now, and I need to be aware of them, so I don't put panel screws under the mounts.







    These shots illustrate the next crisis. Notice the new panels are larger than the old panel. Bummer! This appears minor. I assure you it requires an additional 3 hours to work out! The worst part is that you have to decide WHERE you want to adjust the panel to fit. Top? Bottom? Front? Back? No matter which side you choose to alter, you will discover it won't work for some odd reason...like the glove pocket hitting the door frame or such. And you frequenly can't fit the panel in place to check it before you dive in and start drilling holes.



    I started by installing the sill trim plates. I learned that the door panel MUST be above the top of the trim plate, or it will get pinched and the door won't close. So the plate must be installed to measure the top of the sill weld lip.



    I finally decided to live with the rear and bottom edges as cut. I then placed 2 screw holes and mounted the panel to the door.

    This pic shows the amount the size was off!! This is where I began to wonder if it was smart ordering a pre-made kit. Honestly, all these panels could easily be home made.





    So, the panel comes off, and the offending edges get the covering pulled up. One step forward...two steps back!



    Here I re-mounted the panel and marked where it needs to be trimmed.

    Cliff hanger!

    Gotta go to work. So tune in this weekend..."same bat channel, same bat time!"
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

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