Monday, April 24, 2017

Seats, Tires and Gas

Dateline - 04/22/2017 - Another weekend of working on the back seats.  Did a lot of upholstery this weekend.  I finished 3.5 of the four side bolsters.  These take about four hours a piece when you take into account creating the templates, lay out, cutting, sewing, fitting, gluing and finishing.  It's just a lot of work.  To be honest, I'm going to be glad when I'm done!  Here are pictures:

I also got new tires for the car this weekend.  I got Bridgstone tires at Costco.  I figured that there wasn't a lot of reason to get expensive tires since I'm going to end up using them up doing burnouts! ;-)  I bought five because the old spare was in pretty bad shape (Like "A Christmas Story, "My old man's spare tires were actually only tires in the academic sense.  They were round, they had once been made of rubber.") and since the spare tire is on a nice chrome rim, I figured I could rotate it along with all the rest.

I spent a good portion of the day on Saturday cleaning and shining chrome wheels.  They really needed the time and attention.  The chrome, like the chrome on most of the car, is good but starting to pit and rust.  I cleaned them up, but they really need to be rechromed at some point.  Something that is not going to happen anytime in the future.

I also worked on the gas leak in the trunk.  I think it may be caused by using fuel line that is too large, so I bought a smaller size (5/16" instead of 3/8") and pulled all the fuel lines.  It is a good thing the gas tanks have drain plugs because, since they sit higher then the fuel feed, there is a strong siphon effect that wants to drain the tank into the trunk.  There was no gas in the right tank but about three gallons in the left one that I had to drain.  More used gas!  Hopefully this will fix the gas leak!  It was never very much, but it sure filled the trunk with gas fumes.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Weekend Working On Seats

Dateline - 04/15/2017 - Continued work on the back seats this week.  Worked on the upholstery for the passenger side seats and in doing so, I used the last of my material!  So I had to buy another three yards.  That should be enough to finish off the car...I hope!

Saturday I spent working on the bolsters.  Much easier to do the second set since I had a set that was already complete, I just needed to reverse them.  It still takes time.  It's a lot of cutting and gluing and trimming and gluing and cutting and fitting, but eventually you end up with all the pieces.  I did manage to dull the blades of my electric carving knife to the point that they barely cut now!  I can't get replacement blades for the knife so I'll end up throwing it away.  It's a shame really.  The handle and motor are fine.  It only cost $11, it's just such a waste.  Oh to live in a "throw away" world!

On Sunday I worked on the metal backing plates that are attached to the foam.  These are what will be bolted to the car body to hold the bolsters in place.  In those will be glued the Velcro that will hold the seat bottom and back in place.  It should all go together nicely, and I can remove the seat bottom and back easily if need be.

Here are pictures of all the seat parts sitting on the floor.  The different black and red paint doesn't mean anything.  I ran out of red, so used black.  Trying to use up some of these rattle cans I have lying around!

Once I get the rest of the material, I can start on rest of the upholstery.  In the meantime I need to get ready to drive the car in about three weeks, so time to put tires on order!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Back Seat is Coming Along

Dateline - 04/08/2017 - Continued to work on the back seat this weekend.  I finished the bottom cushion and the thigh bolsters.  Then I sandblasted the sheet steel backings to get them clean and to have a little tooth, then glued the upper and thigh bolsters to their respective metal backing.  I then painted the exposed bare metal to prevent rust.

In the afternoon and evening on Saturday, I started the upholstery work. First, let me say how nice it is to have good tools!  A good pair of sharp sheers, a 24" transparent quilting ruler with guides, a good pair of snips, a magnetic guide for the sewing machine, an magnetic LED light so I can see what I'm sewing, the digital variable speed motor on the sewing machine, and most of all, basting tape! What a difference!  It was an actual pleasure to do the upholstery instead of a challenge!

So, I started with the easiest piece first, the upper seat cushion.  Using paper patterns, I cut the material and using the basting tape, was able to put everything together so that all I had to do was run it through the machine.

After sewing and fitting, I realized that I'm going to need a little filler foam so that you don't feel the seams.  So using some headliner material that I had left over from the XK-8 headliner repair, I cut pieces to fit and glued them in.

I also needed a back panel so that I can close everything up.  I didn't want to use my expensive upholstery material, so I used some vinyl I had from another project that worked perfectly.  It's not the same color, but it's on the back, so no one will notice.

I plan to close everything up with Velcro, which I have on order.  Once that comes in, I can sew it into the cover and call it done.

Next I worked on the bottom seat cushion.  Same process as the top cushion only there was no need for sewing flat seams on this one.  However, the shape was more complex than the top cushion, which provided it's own set of challenges.  Here are pictures:

Upper seat cushion with sewn cover.  Note foam backed headliner material on head rest.

Upholstered upper and lower set cushions in situ

Upholstered upper and lower set cushions in situ

Next, with be the bolsters.  Stay tuned...

Monday, April 3, 2017

More Back Seat Work

Dateline - 04/02/2017 - Over the week, I received my 9" electric carving knife and a large role of rebond foam, so I went to work turning the pink foam forms into soft foam seat cushions.  First though, I needed to created the metal backing plates.  I bought four pieces of 8" x 18" 22 gauge sheet metal at the hardware store.  Three of the four pieces needed to be cut to shape, so I created templates out of paper, transferred them to the metal, and got out the trusty saber saw.  Two hours later, I had all four metal frames ready to go.  They will need to be painted, but I will do that after I mount the rebond foam to them.

Creating the foam cushions was an easy, if somewhat slow process.  I bought both 2" and 1" foam so I was able to use the appropriate thickness that avoided a lot of piecing.  All the foam was glued together with 3M 77 adhesive.  The electric knife really made cutting the foam easy.  It just chops right through without complaint.  

I'm really glad I made all the pink foam forms ahead of time because I could really see how the layers fit together and could easily mark them out on the rebond.  That saved a lot of foam from being wasted! To do the other side, which is reversed, all I have to do it separate the layers of the forms and draw them upside down on rebond.  Should be pretty straight forward.

I got the back and two upright bolsters done before I called it a day.  Here are pictures of the work:

Note in the two bottom pictures you can see the bottom bolsters with the paper patterns I made for the upholstery which I mentioned in the last post.  I got all my tools for the upholstery work last week also, so I'm ready to go with that as soon as I get the foam done!

I've also worked on some of the remaining instrumentation.  The center "Information Center" piece has gone through lots of transitions.  I bought some black ABS and printed the information center again on the 3D printer.  Then, I tried out a method for "chroming" it using fingernail polish and rub on chrome flakes.  It had real promise, but it just has a little too much "glitter."  I'm still looking for a chrome method that will work.  I don't want to paint it black since all the other gauges have chrome bezels.  I may just have to sent it out to be chromed.  Considering the time and money I've already spent, it probably would have been cheaper to do it already!