Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cockpit Surrounds I

While I wait for seat stuff, I decided to tackle the cockpit surrounds.  These are the trim pieces that fit around the inside of the car and (snort) act as minimal protection in the event of an accident.

The front "crash pad" is original but the vinyl is cracked.  Here it is.

Here's what's underneath.  Unfortunately, the foam is not available.  Fortunately, the foam is in pretty good shape--good enough that I can reuse it.  I'm going to have to, since it's a formed piece and I don't think I can reproduce it.  The tape is just holding it in place on the aluminum backing.

I also have the pieces that fit on the doors, where you rest your arm.  There's a couple of small filler pieces too.  I had refinished those, badly.

Once I stripped the vinyl, they are nice and clean (and made of aluminum)...

The old glue that was on there was tough stuff.

Now that they're clean, it's time for the first stage of recovering: foam.  The last time I tried this, I didn't use a strong enough glue (and crappy foam).  There is a special temperature-resistant trim adhesive made for this kind of work.  Here it is.  This stuff isn't cheap and only comes by the gallon. You can't even buy it in CA because it will probably kill you.  Of course, CA thinks everything will probably kill you.

I decided that instead of laying the vinyl over the bare metal, which means the door trim gets REALLY HOT, I would put down a thin (1/16") layer of foam first.  It should add enough insulation to keep from burning my arm where I rest it on the trim, yet be almost unnoticeable.

The instructions on the adhesive state that it adheres instantly.  Boy, they are right.  You get one shot at it, and if you don't like it you have to strip it all over again.  I found that out the hard way on the first attempt.  And wow, does it hold.  I have no worries that this stuff will come apart.

So here they are after applying the foam.  I had to seam the foam at one point because the pieces I could buy weren't long enough.  I think it will work fine and won't be noticeable.  It also has just a little give to it, which is nice.

Last thing for today's episode is the rear trim surround.  I won't show you where I started since it's embarrassingly bad (and I didn't take a pic).

Here it is, stripped...

And here it is with a 1/8" closed cell foam overlay.

I think these will turn out really well.  I have a roll of matching vinyl that came with the panel kit, which I'll use next time we meet.

One thing though--this adhesive smells.  Either that, or there is a reaction between the adhesive and the foam that makes a smell.  I hope it fades soon.

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