Monday, March 27, 2017

Back Seat Froms Done

Dateline - 03-24-2017 - Worked on the back seat forms this weekend.  More foam, glue and sanding, but I now have a complete set of forms.  See below:

Driver side back seat form

Driver side back seat form

I also spent about three hours making paper patterns for the upholstery using the forms.  I wanted to duplicate the patterns on the front seats, which took a bit of time, but I think its going to look really good.  The good news is that I can use the patterns on both seats by flipping them inside out.

I have also ordered the high density rebond foam that will make up the bolsters and cushions and a Black and Decker 9" electric carving knife to cut the foam.  I also ordered a bunch of upholstery tools.  New sheers, a pair of thread nippers, basting tape, a magnetic sowing guide and a magnetic LED light for my sewing machine.  I figured, if I'm going to do this much sewing, I might as well make life easier, and having the correct tools is the key!

I now need to get some aluminium sheet that I can use to glue the bolsters to.  The plan is to glue the bolsters to the aluminum, then bolt that to the car.  I'll use snaps or industrial Velcro to hold seat bottom and back to the aluminum.  This avoids gluing anything to the car body and allows me to remove the seats if I wish.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tying Up Loose Ends and Starting the Back

Dateline - 03/13/2017 - This weekend I spend tying up work around the center console and shifter, and starting working on the back seats.

I had to finish up work on the center console to get the gear selection indicator lights, both on the dash and on the console, to work.  This required wiring a hot into the switch mounted on the shifter mechanism that controls engine lockout and reverse lights.  I also needed a ground.

I then had to connect the original B&M control cable that runs from the shifting mechanism to the console indicator light.  The cable moved a slide that has a LED mounted in it to light a little panel on the housing that indicated what gear you are in.  I used this same mechanism and added micro switches that power the LEDs on the dash (see for the original design).

The real challenge with this solution was that I had already installed the center console and there was very little room to work!  I wish I had thought of this before installing the console, but that's life.

Two hours of scraped knuckles later, I had the lights working!

I also needed to find a way hold the B&M shifter console down onto the carbon fiber console I created.  I didn't have a solution for this when I created the carbon fiber console.  I figured that I would find a solution when I mounted it.  I did! It was as easy as taking a few pieces of brass plate, cuting them, bending them to shape and epoxying them to the housing.
This pretty much wraps up the center console.  I just need to mount the armrest and it is done.  Here are pictures:

Center console with shifter in Park

Center console with shifter in drive
 Since I didn't feel like trying again to bleed the brakes, I decided to take on a new challenge, building the back seats.  I want them to look the the race seats I have in front, but since I don't have patterns for those, I thought I had better try mocking them up first.  So using the pink insulation foam, I started cutting, gluing and sanding forms to the correct shape.  I wanted to make sure that you could actually sit in the seats once done, so I had to make them strong enough to hold my weight (200+ lbs!).  They did and I think I have the shape and size figured out.

It's surprising how little space there is in the back of the car.  Jaguars motto for their saloon cars was, "Grace, Space and Pace'.  I guess they just meant in the front seats because it's pretty cramped in the back.  Of course, that's coming from someone 6' 2" and 200+ lbs!

I figure I will not need to do the passenger side. When I cut the high density upholstery foam, I'll just reverse the forms.  The nice thing about this is that I can use this hard foam to make the templates for the upholstery.  It will make it a lot easier to be able to work with the pieces outside of the car!

I spent about five hours on this before I got burned out cutting and sanding foam.  Here are pictures of what I got done.
Drive side back seat mock up partially completed

Drive side back seat mock up partially completed