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Thread: Upholstery ?!

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  1. #81
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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Hey Kerry!

    The leatherwork is "Biscuit Lt Tan", and the carpet is "Palomino" wool. Jonathon responded promptly to a request for the materials available, and sent about 6 swaths each of leather, vinyl, and carpets...in the brown and tan shades. I should have asked for a sample of the PVC material also, as that is what is used for the hood and sidescreens. We (my wife, actually) picked a color and asked for the hood to match. Jonathon offered the current colors you see, as the PVC does not have as many options as the leather and vinyl. It narrowed the choices to get the matching hood and sidescreens to the interior. The color we went with was just a bit lighter than our original choice.

    One interesting thing, I asked for the boot gas tank panel to match the interior, as that is what the VTR site says was "original". Jonathon responded that he would be happy to, but that black was the original color for my car. I tend to believe him more than VTR!?! Jonathon is. A wealth of knowledge since he has been doing this for a long time, and very helpful.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Thanks John. I will call Jonathon for samples. I think the tan would look nice with Signal Red. My understanding is they were not using wool for carpets by the time of my TR3b. I have to check about dash covering - I guess I thought that was in vinyl not leather. Your leather covering looks really nice. Loved all your restore threads. Hope to see the car some time!!!! Take care,
    Kerry
    ------------------------
    62 Tr3b TSF 198
    frame off restoration started

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    I wasn't sure about the tan, but every time I walk past the car it grows on me more.

    Got the hood installed. The following pics will show how one of those goes...



    The thing to remember about TR2/3 hoods is that they never have any extra material. Like, none! So, in this pic I have installed the first of the tenax fasteners on the windscreen corner of the passenger (right) side. Notice I have taken care to place it as far outboard and downward as possible, to maximize the space between the outer fasteners. Again, there is never and extra material!



    Now I install the fastener to the windscreen. The tenax only require a simple 3/8" hole to install. A collar screws down on the back side, normally using a special tool to screw it down. I say "normally"because I have never used a tool. I use the points of my snap ring pliers to turn the collar. A 3/8" hole punch would also be very nice, but I have always used the point of my #11 Exacto knife to cut the holes too.



    So, now both the outer tenax are installed in the outer limits of the hood, and are then latched to the windscreen studs. It's a start!



    Now, I carefully work across the screen using the "halfs" rule. That's wher you always do the one in the middle of the material that's left, until you have installed them all. Notice I have, once again, placed each fastener right along the edge of the binding. As close to the edge binding as possible, but not over it.

    The tiny wrinkles will more than come out once we stretch the rear fasteners.
    Last edited by CJD; 07-04-2017 at 10:47 PM.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    In the TR?

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    Re: Upholstery ?!





    Here I have moved to the back of the hood. There are 2 seams in the hood that come down along the stick straps. I measured and centered the material on these 2 seams, to insure it will be mounted straight. I then installed the 2 tenax fasteners against the edge binding.



    Just like at the front, I am using the rule of halves to install the middle rear tenax across between the 2 hood seams.

    Note: on the later lift-the-dot fasteners, it makes hood installation easier if you mount the "dots" to the outside. Because of the shape of the fasteners, mounting them sideways also gives you about 1/8" more material to work with. These tops are always a very tight fit. Extra material is a good thing.





    So here is where we are so far. The middle tanax are installed front and rear. It's now time to fix the stick frame.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!



    The OEM stick straps were cotton, and most commonly "natural", or a tan color. That worked out perfect to match my tan interior color. I visited JoAnn's Fabrics...again. (Yep, sad to say I'm like the only "guy" that frequents that store. The old ladies love me?!?)

    Anyway, they happened to have tan cotton straps. Cool!

    I need to back up a bit at this point:





    Before I got started on the top, I installed the straps under the metal plate that is also held with the tenax studs next to them. I folded the material back on itself under the plate, to minimize the chance of the strap fraying on the end and pulling out one day when raising the hood. Yep...I've learned to do that the hard way. Cotton does 2 things. It stretches...which must be accounted for during the installation. And, it will fray on a loose end.



    Here I have merely layed the straps over the sticks in preparation for marking and installing the locking plates to the sticks.





    Here I have raised the stick bows under the hood with only the middle tenax installed. I am pushing the rear bow directly under the sewn seam just above the window...plus a little more to the rear than needed. A little more rearward because the cotton will stretch later. About 1/4" more rear than shown here, and what seems right should do it.



    From inside the car, and while holding the rear bow where it needs to go, I place 2 small dots to mark the location.

    Now I remove the rear tenax and lay the hood forward and out of the way.









    Using the marks, and with the hood pulled back so you are not fighting any stretched material, install the locking plates left and right on the bow stick.

    On this particular bow, I had to move the strap inward a tad, so it would center with the windows. Usually you will have to place the screw THROUGH the strap on both sides of the plate. Once my strap was centered on the windows, I only had to go through the inner side of the strap. I did this by using an ice pick to find the hole and open the webbing of the strap. I then installed the small sheet metal screw to hold the plate down and lock the strap.

    Once done on both sides, the rear bow is properly located, forevermore!

    We now re-fasten the hood and pop the sticks into their fully upright and locked positions.





    Here, using the exact same technique, I have measured and locked the middle bow into place. Once again, the center bow is positioned directly under a seam sewn into the hood.

    Of interest, the Robbins hoods are heat bonded at the seams. Heat bonding vinyl makes a completely water-tight seal at the seams. Notice that this hood from Skinner is fully sewn. I don't know if he does that to all of them, but I specifically requested that it be sewn instead of bonded. There were at least 3 service bulletins about how to seal the seams on these cars when they were new. I'll get to experience an authentic leaking TR2 roof if I ever get caught in the rain! I know there is something wrong with my thought process...but I think it's cool being that authentic!?!



    The forward bow is locked in place on the middle bow, so there is no need to measure it's location. Once the middle is set, the front just follows in suite. Here I am showing the folding technique to use when locking the end of a cotton strap. I have marked where I want the strap and used the ice pick to puncture a screw hole. I then folded back the loose end and punctured a second hole. Finally, the extra material of the strapping gets trimmed off, so the end will be hidden under the plate.



    Here is the finished strapping.





    With the strapping and sticks located correctly, we can now start working our way on around the rear sides of the hood, installing the tenax (or lift-the-dots).

    When I finished, Mother Nature cooperated, by giving Texas a nice, sunny, 98 degree afternoon. I parked the car in the sun with the hood installed. By the time I came out to check on it, 2 things happened.

    First, the material both stretched where too tight and shrunk where too loose. Really cool.

    Second...my JB welded tenax studs on the windscreen popped out!! I was too embarrassed to take pics, but I will once I get the tenax stud issue resolved!?!



    A few final pics. This is one of the 5 studs that would not tighten. I JB welded it in. The JB held on the center studs, but these outermost studs are just too stressed for any glue to hold.



    A shame, but I am afraid the windscreen is going to have to come back apart to fix the stud issue. The TR2 baby tenax studs used a larger thread size than the standard tenax available today. To be continued...



    This is the TR2 "fuzzy seal, which is up against the inside of the windscreen when the hood is installed. A little different than the rubber roll seal that confuses most owners to no end on the later cars!?!



    This is how I got the Tenax exactly where I need them. The backing collar is the same size as the fastener, and has the needed hole size as a template. I hold the collar up to the material, so the stud shows through, and then carve the hole out with my Exacto blade.



    In lieu of a proper tenax tool, I have been using snap ring pliers to screw the collars down on the back of the fasteners.

    Anyway...that's it for a hood install. I'll have the finished shots once I resolve the tenax stud problem...
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Here's something funny...in my continuing search for a solution to my tenax stud issue, I found a shop in the UK that had the short stud tenax pretty cheap. By that I mean $14 for what I thought was 2 packs of 6 studs. Since I'm blowing through these things like crazy looking for a goo fit, I bought them. Well, they arrived. Get this...it was not 2 packs of 6...it was 2 PACKS OF 100!! I got 200 studs for windscreens for $14 including shipping. Price them at the big 3 and try to tell me we aren't being ripped off by those guys!?!

    Anyway, they are the little "teardrop" style, so not exactly like the originals. I can say that this style (also supplied by TRF and VB) seem to locate the fastener much better. The fastener does not tend to rock and pry itself off like the round ones do. So...if anyone needs short tenax studs...you pay for shipping and they're yours!

    Before I go on, here is a brief history of my week in tenax...







    Here is the issue. The modern studs simply push into and pull out of the old "baby" threaded holes in the original windscreen. These holes are NOT stripped, mind you, they are simply threaded for a larger stud.



























    This photo sequence shows the most hopeful solution I came up with. I used a bit of stainless wire to force the studs against the opposite side threads. It seemed to work absolutely wonderfully. My brother-in-law wanted to help put the hood back on when I was done. I did 8 fasteners with no problem. He blew 2 out immediately. I know, I know. It wasn't really his fault...the studs would have eventually blown out anyway. But it's funny how it always happens when someone else is using your stuff!?!

    But, I can say that if I had a single stripped stud hole...this technique does work. Not as strong as it should be, but a contender for a temporary fix until you line up more parts. Not recommended if all 10 holes are stripped, though.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Here are the door pulls from Macy's.





    These are like, tightly rolled leather straps with hog rings in the end. Macy swears that this is the way the original TR2 was, under the cover. He also tells you not to open the door by pressing down on the strap, but you should grab it and pull forward. Sounds like a good idea to me!?!





    Here is the Macy strap by the Skinner cover. Same inside strapping! That leads me to believe the inner leather was, most likely, the way the TR2 was "in the day".



    Here I have merely replaced the skinner inside with the Macy inside, and then stitched around the hog ring inside.





    Here is why I purchased the Macy's pull kit to begin with. I need the end trim caps. This is an original left, and Macy's right. They are not identical, but once installed you would have to be very anal to tell them apart. The difference is in the part that rolls under and is not seen from the outside.



    For the latch end, I simply cut enough leather to feed the latch bolt through the inner hog ring. A chrome acorn nut holds it there. There were other parts included both with the Moss latch AND the Macy's kit...but try as I could, there is no room for any more hardware without causing a bind. this looks fine and works....I'm sticking to it.



    OK, try not to blow your coffee out your nose laughing. Yes, I KNOW the leather washer is not supposed to be there. I have some concern that, over many years, the Macy's trim cap will mar the door leather. So, I cut a small leather washer to protect the door leather. IF, any future owner would want to show the car, the leather can be removed in less than a minute. I will never show the car, so I can live with it.

    That's all the parts I got this week. I have to go to work for 6 days...so crossing my finger more parts will await my return!!

    Cheers!
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Dude never show the car Really! Once please just for me
    JP TS 35123 L (Family Resto)
    I can only gauge the quality of a friendship based on how hard it will be to shoot you when you turn into a Zombie; R.S.
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    http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/u418/Pucman1/TR3A/

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Thanks JP, but I'm not of the temperament to have judges picking on my car. I have no problem having you guys point out originality issues, but I live for the challenge of getting the car there rather than trying to show it off. That'll be something the next owner can go for.

    I finally got the tenax fasteners from Skinner, so we can continue with the upholstery. For today, we start with:

    Stick Cover!




    As with any upholstery item, always start at center and work outward. So, here I have installed the 2 fasteners closest to center.



    Now we can stretch it out for a general test of fit.





    The ends have little pockets to accept the end of the sticks.



    All seems to fit well, so lets continue with the installation!



    As with all weather equipment, I always install the fasteners right against the edging to get the most material usable as I can. I pulled taught at the corners, and then installed the 2 fasteners in between the corners and center.



    Now, ensuring the pockets are installed at the inside onto the sticks, we work around the sides of the car. You will note that these fasteners are NOT installed right against the edging. When I pulled the cover so as to get minimum wrinkling, it had to go a bit farther down on the sides, so the fasteners wound up inward from the edging a bit. Again, stretch the material for minimum wrinkling, and then install the fastener at that location.

    Edit: with this car I can see I need to dress better for the pictures! Sorry about the old shorts and hairy legs!?!





    There is one tenax stud located inside the cockpit, on the quarter capping. This is the fastener that holds the inside of the cover to the inside stud. Notice it is installed inside out compared to the other fasteners. This will be demonstrated shortly. Notice it is not located at the center of the bulge in the cover. I found the proper location by pushing the cover around the sticks and up to the stud. I then "felt" where the cover met the stud, held that spot as I pulled the cover back out...and placed the fastener at that spot.



    Now, this shows how the fastener attaches to the inside stud. When installing the cover, you first hook the pocket onto the front of the sticks, and then attach this fastener as shown. Then you attach all the outside fasteners in any order you please.

    Edit: As I read this, I realized the "any order" is for a Tenax cover. If you have the later Lift-a-dot style fasteners, then it is best to install the fasteners with the "dots" outboard. Then, if you do, you will always install the cover center fasteners outward. Removal will be opposite...from the outer fasteners inward.



    Once all the fasteners are attached, you are left with this pouch in the middle.



    Neatly stuff the pouch back and under the sticks.







    And that is it! The stick cover is definitely one of the easiest upholstery jobs to install. Notice there are a few wrinkles. I am afraid that is the result of a common pattern for the cover being used on a handmade car. There are differences.



    On the TR3, I fashioned the cover specifically for that car, and it wound up with far fewer wrinkles. But, essentially that cover was built ON the car it was going on. Some of these wrinkles should smooth with time in the heat and sun. Vinyl and leather tend to shrink with age.
    Last edited by CJD; 07-20-2017 at 03:08 PM.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Tannau Cover!



    "One thing I was proud to see"...the Tenax from Skinner came with this cool installation tool. I didn't find it until halfway through the job!, but it let me retire the snap ring pliers that were much bulkier to work with.







    To make installation easier, I decided to remove the windscreen, giving better access to the tenax along the dash capping. On the early cars, the wipers come off by loosening the nut at the bottom, which loosens an internal collet, similar to the tools on a Dremel tool.





    On the early cars, the stanchions are held in place with dzeus fasteners. A quarter turn realeases the stanchion and pops the dzeus out.





    Now the entire windscreen will slide forward...but there are some issues as it does. First is the seal hits the wiper posts. You have to slide a little, and pry the seal forward a little as you go. As tedious as this is, it is much better than the installation! If you neglect to free the seal as you go, then the wiper post will punch right through the rubber seal. Don't ask me how I know...it's still too soon.





    Finally! With the windscreen out of the way we can get to work. The rule of upholstery is to always start at the center and work outward. Here I have installed the front 2 center tenax fasteners.

    Note. With most installations I have always installed the tenax fastener as closely to the edging as I can...and you can see I did so here. It turns out the Tannau from Skinner actually has extra material. I should have moved them back, away from the edging to compensate. That will become obvious shortly in the installation. The only way to know this would be necessary before making the first hole would be to have the family help out and "test stretch" the cover before punching the first hole. Something the next hobbiest may want to consider! Working alone I had to make the first hole before it could be judged.



    Here I have gone from front center to rear center, and then outward. Now you can see the deal. I had to take up some of the extra material at the rear...so these fasteners are a bit away from the edging. I actually moved them as far from the edging as I thought would look proper without having gobs of material hanging off the rear. There is still some slack in the middle of the tannau. By test pulling again at the front, I realized there was always going to be "some" looseness to this tannau.



    The looseness at first bummed me out a bit, as the cover I made for the TR3 was supper tight, and looked awesome. But, I did become less bummed as the installation continued. It turns out it is not super tight, but it looks very nice in the end. In fact, I am now torn between thinking that the tight one on the TR3 may shrink to be too tight...and this cover may shrink to be perfect.

    Only time will tell!?!



    Anyway, moving on. Here I am working my way around. I installed the rear corners first, and then filled in between to center. Here I have started working around the sides. I pulled each side fastener to make the minimum wrinkles possible.



    Up front, I installed the outer corner, and then worked my way inboard to the center tenax previously installed. In this pic I have just started to work outboard from the upper corner. For each I pull the cover to minimum wrinkle, and then mark and install the fastener.



    Pulling the cover down, I installed the lowermost fastener on the quarter panel. Again for min wrinkles over the side of the cover.







    Here all the door tenax have been filled in...and the job is done. There are a few more wrinkles than I could wish for, but I am starting to think a few afternoons in the Texas sun may shrink them right out. I know the Texas sun shrinks me...I have been losing 5 pounds every day I work in the garage, and then have to drink it back every night!
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Racing Screen!



    This is a real bonus for me, thanks to 2Long (Dan). Dan took pity on me and gave me a great deal on a repro racing screen to use until I get the full screen sorted out. This is a little section on how the screen looks and installs.





    This is the basic screen. It has safety glass welted into a chromed brass frame. The mounting pads have a single screw hole per side, with a pad going aft to support the wind loads. The large chrome wing nuts allow you to adjust the angle to your liking...i.e. raked until the wind starts to take your ball cap off.





    And here it is installed. Not shown is you do have to place gaskets under the feet for padding on your paint. I used 1/16" cork. I tried thicker, but the OEM chrome mounting bolts were too short then. The holes for the installation are already there for the TR2's and early TR3. For the later TR3's you would need to drill the holes and find a way to place a backing nut and pad under the scuttle.



    On the early cars having the hole, the underside nut is attached to a steel plate that anchors to the wood dash frame. You can see in this pic, the plate with the single nut mounts the screen. The double nut mounts the mirror. I show this, so if any TR3 owners add the screens, you realize that the backing is substantial, not just a nut and washer under the scuttle!

    That's about it. Perhaps one of you guys having an original race screen could chime in and show some of the difference in the repops vs. the OEM screens for anyone shopping for screens. I understand the glass is labelled on the OEM, while the repro glass has no markings. Are there any cast marks or such?

    Hows it drive? Pretty cool! The screen is just enough to keep your hat on while you drive, with no extra. If you get in a crosswind, one ear just catches the breeze, but for straight on winds I get no more breeze than the full screen. Pretty neat design, actually!

    Now, I was a bit bummed at only having one screen. But I realized that the only family member that truly loves to ride in the Triumph in the summer heat is...



    My son's dog, Hans Solo. It turns out the Triumph with a single racing screen is the perfect ride for the 2 of us!

    If you find yourself behind us, like on the commercial, watch out for the slobber.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Now you've done it!

    I had a great deal of respect and admiration for your skills, talent and willingness to share and teach. Now however that has all doubled. I love my cars but my dogs are far more important than those inanimate objects.

    Well done!

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    I hear ya. Hope it never comes down to choice between saving the wife or the dog!?!
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Speaking of the dog, I can't keep him out of the car. Every time he sees it he's in it, all day if I don't drag him out. He even figured out how to pop the tenax off the cover to get in. To keep him from tearing up the new seats, I spent a couple hours making a set of slip over covers. Not pretty, but functional.



    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    I see you installed the 700 Tripod headlights. do you like them?

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    I'm doing the interior of a '57 TR3 with a kit from Skinner, so your instructional is really useful. Thank you!

    One question: What holds your rear fuel tank cover in place? On my car, I can slide the upper "lip" of the cover into 6 "slots" formed by flat metal pieces (about an inch wide) that are suspended from the tonneau saddle panel (the horizontal panel with the gas-cap hole). However, the bottom of the tank cover isn't secured to anything. It hangs down (not very elegantly), and its weight ultimately pulls the tank cover out of those slots.

    The backing of the tank cover is a rubberized sheet about 3/16 of an inch thick. It doesn't have much heft. It's the one piece of the kit that I'm finding frustrating.

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Hi Kerry if you do not know this; my understanding is the tr3B had a special interior of gray and black speckle carpet

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Hi Steven there should be 2 sheet metal strips about a one inch wide and two inches long on the bottom of the back piece that screw into the tub

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    Re: Upholstery ?!

    Hey Steven, as Steve says, later cars have a couple strips of angle metal spot welded to the boot floor that the bottom of the cover hits, and the screws go into these strips from the rear forward. The early cars, like my TR2, and possibly early TR3’s, do not have the extra metal. On the early cars 2 screws are installed vertically into the boot floor...one on each side of the tire tub, so the sharp points don’t hit the spare tire. On these cars the cover also has a folded lip that folds to the rear, through which the screws are inserted, and is later covered with the boot covering (carpet or rubber).

    Sorry, just looked for pics, but I had so much trouble getting a dry fuel tank that I neglected the pics of that area when i was doing it?!?
    Last edited by CJD; 12-21-2018 at 02:06 AM.
    John

    1955 TR2

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