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1955 Chevy 210 Custom Interior - An Inside Job
Morrison's GT55-Part 7
Dec 1, 2004
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1955 Chevy 210 Custom Interior - An Inside Job
To ensure that the car will be quiet and cool, the entire floor, starting with the inner firewall, was covered with a layer of Dynamat Extreme. When done, every square inch of the floor, trunk, and roof will be covered with this top-quality sound deadener.
The roof was given the same treatment as the floor. Dynamat Extreme was laid down to eliminate road noise, vibrations, and heat. Next, we glued in a layer of Dynamat TAC mat. The TAC mat is an insulating foam that will prevent heat from penetrating the roof on those hot summer days and also adds another layer of acoustic sound-deadening material.
After the firewall was covered in Dynamat, the Rain Gear electric wiper kit and Vintage Air A/C system was installed.
An aluminum rack was made to mount the Phoenix Gold amps and crossovers securely in the trunk.
In areas where heat is going to be an issue, we laid down a layer of Dynamat Extremeliner. Utilizing a layer of lead foil, warm foot wells will be a thing of the past.
For the low notes, a 10-inch Phoenix Gold sub-woofer was mounted in a 3/4-inch MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) enclosure next to the amplifiers.
Something else we left up to the experts was the glass installation. Here Doug and Ken from Victory Glass install the front windshield and surrounding stainless trim. Victory also cut new side glass, rebuilt and installed the window regulators, and replaced the worn felt on the garnish moldings, saving us a ton of time and countless headaches.
Art fabricated this killer console out of 0.060-inch aluminum. Incorporated into the console is the mount for the Kenwood CD/MP3 receiver, ducting for the Vintage Air A/C vents, seat adjustment controls, and a secondary glove box. The console will be smoothed out and painted with a custom mix PPG paint and eggshell clear so the sheen of the paint matches the sheen of the Majilite upholstery.
The foundation for the upholstery panels doesn't have to be wood. In the trunk, Art made all of the panels out of 0.050-inch aluminum. Note the trick little trap door converting the spare tire well into a small storage area for tools, detailing products, rags, etc.
During the reassembly of the car, Totally Stainless fasteners were used for the body panels as well as all of the interior garnish moldings.
While the template is nearly identical to the OE door panel, it is a lot more accurate and will fit a lot better.
In order to make an accurate door and interior panels, we first used template cardboard to make some patterns. The cardboard was trimmed to within a 1/16 of an inch of the door's edge so that when the panel is wrapped with material it will not overhang on the door and quarter panels.
Once the template is made, the pattern is transferred to a sheet of 1/8-inch oak veneer. This wood panel will become the foundation to your upholstered door panel.
The quarter panel template is made in much the same way. The gaps are less critical since the wind lace, carpet, garnish molding, and seat will be hiding the edges on all sides. When you are satisfied with the shape of the panel, it can be transferred over to the plywood and cut.
With the Tea's Design seat in place, it was time to layout the design for the panels. The first step was to determine a comfortable spot for the arm rests to go.
Small wire clips like these will hold the upholstery panels securely to the inside of the car. These fasteners will hold fast and still allow the panel to be removed to access window mechanisms, stereo components, etc.
Now that we had found where the armrests were to be mounted, their position was transferred back to the cardboard template. After looking at many car interiors and custom upholstery Web sites, a design was sketched out on the door/quarter panel templates so the design would flow from the front of the car to the back. The speaker location was also mapped out so it would fit the overall design of the interior.
Once we were satisfied with the design, the templates were cut up to provide a mask for the spray glue. These new templates will also be used for cutting the wood for the inset panels.
For the upholstery process a good pair of scissors, a cheap spray gun, a few acid brushes, chip brushes, and Weldwood Contact Adhesive will be your main tools for doing a top-notch job.
Before the wood panel is sprayed with glue, duct tape is placed over the panel fasteners to hold them in place and holes are made for the window and vent window cranks as well as the door handle. The new templates are placed on the wood to act as a mask so it will be much easier when removing the foam in this area for the accent panels. A piece of 1/4-inch foam is also rough-cut in the shape of the panel.
After spraying glue on the wood, remove the template cardboard masks and then spray the foam. Giving it a few minutes to "tack up," the foam can be pressed onto the wood. Using a sharp razor blade, the excess foam can be trimmed away.
Transferring the pattern of the accent panels onto the foam shows where the material needs to be trimmed away. Since the mark on the foam was made with a Sharpie, I cut the thick black line down the middle, giving me enough room for the upholstered panel to set down in the larger door panel.
These tee-nuts and small screws will be used to fasten the inset panels to the main door and quarter panel.
Using a sharp razor blade, trim the corner of the foam on roughly a 45-degree angle.
After shaving the edge with a razor, some 80-grit sandpaper helps smooth out the radius.
To get the material to fit around corners, a series of cuts need to be made to prevent the material from puckering.
With the upholstery glued to the foam, brush a little glue to the backside of the panel.
Stretch the material around the panel and then attach it to the tacky glue on the back side of the panel.
For the corners fold the extra material over, making sure that there are no wrinkles forming along the edge of the panel.
Pulling the tab around the corner will stretch the upholstery tight and make for a professional- looking job.
The corner is complete, just take your time and work your way around the entire panel taking time to firmly press the material into the insets and smooth out any wrinkles that may start to appear.
Lying them on the floor, we placed the quarter panel and door panel together to make sure everything flows and looks good. The only thing the door panel needs is the armrest that Jamie McFarland is sewing up for us.
With the newly upholstered quarter panel and garnish molding test fit into place, we can get an idea of what the completed project is going to look like.
While we had no problem upholstering the flat panels of the car, we let the experts at McFarland Custom Upholstery do the more intricate details. Here, Jamie lays down the Auto Custom Carpet and fits it around the console.
McFarland also installed the Novasuede headliner. The suede-like material looks like a million bucks!
The Grant steering wheel was re-upholstered in matching Majilite material to help tie the entire interior together while Auto Meter gauges, Lokar pedal kit, and Grant wheel all help to give the GT55 a classy sports car look.
McFarland and his team did a fantastic job of re-upholstering the stock rear seat to match it to the front Tea's Design seats using more of the high-quality Majilite material. The synthetic leather is very durable and not only that, it is super-comfortable too!
Installed on the door, the freshly upholstered panel, new Danchuck handles, and Phoenix Gold speakers definitely look a lot better than the faded, worn-out panel that it replaced.
The finished trunk still has plenty of room for luggage, tool storage in the spare tire well, and continues the clean, luxury sports car look.
The last step was to install the Crow Ent. belts and fine-tune the killer Phoenix Gold/Kenwood sound system. It's now time for a road trip!
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