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Installing a Stylish Interior in a 1969 Camaro

We walk through the process of installing a full interior for a first-gen Camaro

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The engine makes all the great noises and power, the paint and bodywork make it nice to look at, but it’s the interior where you spend most of your time. This 1969 Camaro had a Pro Touring makeover with all-new engine, paint, suspension, and wheels and tires—the whole nine yards. The only thing missing to complete the car was installing an interior, a responsibility handed over to the guys at TMI Products in Corona, California. We tagged along as they installed the sound deadening, the carpet, the dashpanel, the headliner, the seats, and more.

One of the benefits of going to TMI for your interior is getting a full interior for your ride that looks completely custom but actually isn’t all that custom. Why is a non-custom interior so good? Well, if you are on any sort of budget, the cost savings will be much appreciated. Another perk with a non-custom interior is that all the parts were already designed and built for your specific car, meaning it takes significantly less time for your interior to go from gutted to fully functional.

As you will see, some modifications may be required depending upon how far your car has deviated from its stock form, but for the most part it’s as easy as one, two, three.

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01. The dash was the first piece of the interior to go in the Camaro. It is a single piece from TMI that sits right on top of the metal dash frame and four nuts screw on from underneath to secure it.

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02. The floor started out pretty bare, save for a thin layer of Dynamat but would soon be covered in heatshield mats and carpet.

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03. The shiny stuff are heatshield mats from Heatshield Products, which, as its name suggests, keeps unwanted heat out of the interior. It comes in a half-dozen individual pieces, and installation is as simple as spraying the backside with adhesive and padding it down into place.

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04. TMI now offers a new line of carpeting where individual pieces are used instead of a single molded carpet piece. This makes for an easier installation process and better fit for cars with custom transmission tunnels or other modifications where a stock, molded carpet would no longer fit correctly.

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05. The multi-piece carpeting wraps around the modified transmission tunnel of this ’69 Camaro nicely and, like the heatshield, uses spray adhesive to keep it in place.

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06. You can see how the individual carpet pieces give a lot more flexibility when it comes to alterations to the floorpan and trans tunnel, making for a perfect fit no matter the application.

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07. Next up, TMI’s headliner is designed specifically for each model vehicle and is held in place with a few tastefully placed screws around the edges.

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08. Once the headliner is in place, the sunvisors and rearview mirror can be installed. This is done by cutting a few small holes in the headliner and screwing the fasteners into their stock locations.

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09. The final product, which includes the pillars, is nice and cohesive with rubber molding wrapping around the doorjamb to tidy up the edges.

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10. The rear interior panel slides into place over the existing steel structure and is also cleaned up with rubber molding cut to fit.

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11. The rear bench/buckets needed to be assembled next. Here is one of the four individual leather and suede covers used.

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12. New stock Camaro rear seat frames are used, but the springs are ditched leaving just the ridged metal to which the foam and leather are attached.

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13. Another important detail to take note of is whether or not the car has been mini-tubbed. This 1969 Camaro was, so the frames needed to be notched to fit the protruding wheelwells.

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14. Four individual foam pieces are glued onto the frames with spray adhesive—two on the bottom frame and two on the back frame.

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15. Thin steel rods are cut and inserted into slots in the underside of the seat covers. These serve as mounting points to attach to the frame.

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16. A steamer is used to soften the leather, making it easier to stretch over the foam and get rid of unwanted creases.

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17. The covers are pulled over the foam and attached to the seat frame with an upholstery-specific staple gun.

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18. Multiply that process to the other side of the seatback and again to both seat bottoms and you’ve got yourself a complete rear seat ready to be installed in the car.

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19. With the seat frame notched to clear the wheelwells, each seat assembly slides into place.

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20. The owner of this Camaro opted for the center console instead of a middle seat in the rear. The center console is a separate unit made of fiberglass and covered in matching leather and suede, which fits snuggly between the rear seats.

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21. It is starting to look like an interior with the carpet, rear seats, center console, and rear interior panels all in their respective places.

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22. Moving toward the front, the door cards slide down over the inside of the door and then are secured by a couple of screws on the bottom side of the panel and underneath the interior door handle.

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23. The trunk is also gutted and ready for the matching carpet and panels to be installed.

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24. The carpet and trunk panels are set into place and attached with Velcro for easy removal in case more space is needed.

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25. TMI also includes a matching trunk lid card for which a few holes are drilled through the first layer of steel and then a few clips on the card pop into the holes.

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26. In just under a minute, the trunk of this 1969 Camaro can go from show-quality (with admittedly limited space) to open bare metal for throwing in whatever junk you need.

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27. Before the front seats can go in, the center console slips in over the shift lever and rests on the transmission tunnel.

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28. The matching front buckets didn’t need to be assembled from scratch, but the sliders and mounting brackets had to be installed.

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29. A mounting bracket bolts in where the factory seat once was, then the sliders and seat attach via Allen-headed bolts.

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30. Tada! Yeah, there are a few things missing, like the other front seat, but you get the idea. Everything you see here was provided by TMI and is available for your first-gen Camaro project, too.

Sources

TMI Products
Corona, CA
888-460-0640
www.tmiproducts.com

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