View Full Version : Spider seats/interior

12-06-2008, 02:58 AM
Well, I am going forward with the reupholstery of my TR7 Spider. Seats were purchased w/out rails from the Bay area, rails are being shipped from Delaware. The upholstery business that my mechanic highly recommends will do a custom approximation of what was originally in the car for $300 per seat. Does that sound about right to you? Also, the headrest, sides and back of the seats were solid black--were they leather or vinyl? Which would you do?

I really don't want to fall into the "since your already doing____, you might as well___", but it seems to make sense to change out all the carpeting, sills, add the dynamat stuff, etc. at the same time as I put in the new seats. The area behind the seats (where the seatbelt retractors and convertible bits are mounted) is looking pretty ratty and needing to be redone, too. It would be a shame to have those distinctive new seats installed and have the rest looking pretty blah. Problem is that I actually want to keep my husband around a while longer, and this expense might just put him over the edge! So if you had to do the interior in smaller more gradual steps, rather than the instant gratification I would love to see, what order (process) would you do?
Thank you in advance for any suggestions/recommendations you can give me. --Monica

12-06-2008, 07:50 AM
If you can get covers made (and expecially if the shop will put them on) for $300, that's not a bad deal. Buying the non-Spider covers that are commercially available would run you around $300 or so for the pair, so $600 for custom isn't too bad. The sides and back on mine are vinyl, but then again they aren't original.

As far as how much to do depends on the budget and just how ratty it is. In reality, taking the seats out is a relatively easy job. I've done it a couple times now, and I can remove and reinstall in about an hour per seat. You may want to think about the carpet, but you'll run into the same problem as with the seats...matching it. That vinyl panel behind the seats is available from vendors, and can be changed without removing the seats, as can the sill covers.

If I had to do an interior in "pieces" here's how I would do it...

1. Carpet. The reason is that my carpet is the rattiest part in my car (looks like a PO slipped acid on the passenger side and it ate a big hole in it).

2. Seats. YOu can buy a cheap set of slip on seat covers to hide them until you have the budget for re-doing them.

3. Other bits and pieces of trim.

I know you said you didn't want a list of "well, since you're doing this, you might as well do this at the same time." However, there is one thing that you might want to do, and that's check/replace the seat foam and diaphram on the bottom when you do the seats. All these are available, and there's no sense in tearing the seat apart to put on new upholstery, and putting it back together with parts that are shot. This past year I figured out the diaphram on the drivers seat had basically disintegrated, and it mase a huge difference when I finally got one on there. Most of the vendors (TRF, Vicky Brit) have upholstery and seat part sales in the spring.

12-06-2008, 08:11 AM
You can do the interior in little steps but I would say the seats and main carpet should be done at the sametime. You will have to pull the seats so pulling the center counsole and trim is not much more in labor. The backside and sides of the seats, headrests originally are vinyl. Unless it is a huge change in price I would go with all leather it is more durable but its all about the $$$$$. For 300.00 a seat it actually is resonable considering new tan or blue plaid is about that for just new covers. I know other Spider owner's who have done grey inserts in the seats replacing the striped pattern and new grey carpet keeping with the TR8 alloys for matching the appearances of the black, red & grey. I looks good and one even went with a red insert in the seats and red carpet with the red lettering. The rear shelf carpeting can be done seperate of the rest and some match the carpet but some keep it black. The guy with the red inserts in the seats and carpet did his in red. So it depends on your mental picture of what you want in the end. I would bite the bullet and do the seats and main carpet. Eventually do the rear carpet and any misc. trim that is worn. Just the new seats and carpet will get you a big smile! He may smile and add the comment of well the seats and carpet look great but he may add the comment of........"well why didn't we do the rest?" Then you can plan the next phase!
https://inlinethumb04.webshots.com/40963/2127925770103910108S425x425Q85.jpg (https://rides.webshots.com/photo/2127925770103910108gQbMcz)https://inlinethumb31.webshots.com/19742/2491827040103910108S425x425Q85.jpg (https://rides.webshots.com/photo/2491827040103910108sGWGiI)

Mickey Richaud
12-06-2008, 08:48 AM
:iagree: with Rich and Michael.

Not to worry you unnecessarily, but, while the rear carpet is pulled, pay careful attention to the metal under there, especially in the rear outboard corners. Wedges have a reputation of trouble there, due to water trapped under the carpet. That's the area where the rear suspension points are attached, and if compromised, means BIG trouble.

Oh, and take lots of pics during the process. Always a good resource for others down the road, and you'll have them in your old age to reminisce by the fire! :jester:


12-06-2008, 10:38 AM
Ditto on what Mickey said on inspecting the rear floors behind the seats and where the join/joint is about 1/3 of the way up from the floor.

Chances are everything will be fine but now is the time to address it.

Where in Cali are you?

12-06-2008, 02:23 PM
Rich, Michael, Mickey, TDSkip,

Thanks so much for your responses. My thinking for now: Phase 1 is to rip out the old carpet (praying that the rust demon does not appear) install the Dynamat and main carpet in a pewter/gray color, install beautiful seats. Phase 2 will be the sills, sill covers, vinyl panel behind seats. Of course, I reserve the right to at a later date add phases 1b, 1c, etc. :laugh: since something else ALWAYS pops up!

I would love to use leather instead of vinyl on the back, sides, and headrests of the seats. I am located in the Central Valley approximately 50 miles south of Fresno and the high temperatures in summer make the vinyl feel too soft and "melty". I will try to explain to Santa that I have bee a very good gal-Haha! BTW, TDSkip, my car spent most of its life in Sherman Oaks, your neck of the woods, right?

Since my camera inadvertantly fell in the toilet (don't ask) I will post pictures as soon as my new camera comes in.

Thanks again!---Monica

12-06-2008, 08:18 PM
Monica. In your area I would think about a fabric middle and maybe a Pleather outside.
Something I doubt you have thought about. When that old carpet is up there will be a fair amount of cleaning the undercoating and stuff.
Show her Tom.

12-07-2008, 01:23 PM
Monica, I think you'll be in better shape than I was based on the car being in Sherman Oaks for a long time.

Here is what you are looking for - cracks in the rear section interior where the back wall meets the floor.


I have a bunch of other pictures, but I ended up taking the floors back to bare metal and painting with POR15. You will probably not need to do this...


The Dynamat will make a nice difference - definitely worth doing.

Good luck with the car - and welcome to the forum. Good people here who want to see you be successful. Don't be shy about asking questions!

Keep us posted.

12-07-2008, 07:54 PM
... but I ended up taking the floors back to bare metal and painting with POR15. You will probably not need to do this...

Boy am I nervous about what may be lurking under the carpet. Can't help but worry. Assuming that there isn't any rust when the carpets get pulled, do you feel I should have POR15 put in as a preventative? An ounce(or quarts, or gallons) of prevention...means more $$$ to be spent on the TR7 later. ----Monica

12-07-2008, 11:53 PM
Given where the car has lived you are probably OK. Easy enough to find out for sure - let us know what you find.

If the floors are good then no need to go through what I did, I think my TR8's had a tough life before I got it.

Mickey Richaud
12-08-2008, 08:49 AM
Given where the car has lived you are probably OK. Easy enough to find out for sure - let us know what you find.

If the floors are good then no need to go through what I did, I think my TR8's had a tough life before I got it.

Yep - like I said in my earlier post, I wasn't trying to make you fret. What happens is that when the top's down, or the windows don't seal against the top, water soaks the carpet, and there's nowhere for it to go. Unless the carpet is pulled back to let that area dry out, it means big trouble, as water collects in those critical spots. You'll know as soon as you pull it back if you have a problem.

Keep us posted.