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- TT reupholstery with Alcantara-like microsuede
- Mileage: 77150. My headliner began to sag in Aug 2012. So, since I couldn't get new OEM material I decided to go with a microsuede like Alcantara. The only problem with Alcantara is that it is damn expensive at over $100 per yard and not available locally: web only. So, I started shopping at local fabric stores for substitutes. Alcantara is the brand name for one company's microsuede so since it was not available I started shopping at local fabric stores for substitutes. I found this high quality microsuede at a commercial fabric and upholstery store. I bought 5 yards at $7.99/yard (wholesale to the public) to do the all the panels except for the hatch. You can find it at retail stores like JoAnn Fabrics but I found theirs to be of lesser quality. Not that it was bad, but it was lesser quality in my opionion. J's was more expensive too. However, the headliner material (thin foam with fabric back) was only available at J's and sells for about $15 per yard. I bought 1.25 yards. I also used a little over 3 cans of spray adhesive for the entire project. I used Loctite 200 at about $10/can.
The rear panels were easier than I'd expected. The A/B pillar trim was the worst and I probably should have saved them for last. C-pillar was also a PITA. The trunk floor was not difficult but it is large so that offered some challenges when laying down the material by yourself. I recommend doing the back-end first (i didn't) that way you get the folding seam done correctly and you won't run out of material. I would have preferred a little more material in the seam...oh well. Live and learn. As a result, I had to cut the seam and insert a small strip. It's not the most elegant but it does fold as it should now. The rear seat backs were very straight forward as was the rear roof panel. Easy compared to the other panels.
Otherwise, these thoughts come to mind:
0. Remove the rear seats first, then the trunk floor, then the trunk side panels. then remove the dome light, visors, visor anchors, vanity lights, and motion sensor panel and sensor. Then begin removing roof panels beginning at the back and remove the panels in this order: rear center, C-pillar, A-B pillar, headliner. Installation is just the reverse.
1. This mod is time consuming. I'd estimate at least 90 minutes to 2 hours per panel when you include cutting the material, applying glue in stages, and the trim-fit.
2. Microsuede is easier to work with than vinyl because it is thinner but it does not stretch with heat like vinyl. It does stretch very slightly so you can avoid 99.99% of the creases associated with wrapping compound curves.
3. There are lots of curves on the panels so you must be patient when attaching the new material to avoid creases. You must work quickly but not fast. The glue bonds very quickly so you only have a few minutes to pull it back and fix a crease once they've bonded.
4. When you do each panel it's best to do half at a time, even the small ones.
4a. Lay out the new material on the panel, fold over 1/2, spray back side of material and front of panel. Allow a few minutes (read the can instructions) for the newly sprayed surfaces to get tacky. Be sure any exposed "face" of the material is covered by paper or something so you don't get overspray on the face of the material
4b. Work from the fold/center, holding the material up and not it contact with the panel with one hand, then using the other hand to push/slide the material into contact with the panel...outward to the end of the panel and gently lowering the material into contact as you go. Always work from the center out in all directions to avoid creases.
4c. Cover the new layed material with paper to avoid glue overspray and then fold over the other side to expose the back side of the material
4d. Spray the back side of the material (second half) and the second half ot the panel. Allow them to dry slightly, so they are tacky, not wet.
4e. Repeat step 4b.
5. Be sure the new covers are at least 2 inchs bigger on all sides before you glue to allow for enough overlap and the possibility that your new cover is slghtly askew. Not good to run out of material before you run out of panel.
6. A credit card works well for smoothing out the new material AFTER you've used your hands. As you smooth/rub the new material out across the panel, with your hands, you will feel creases almost instantaneously and can quickly pull the material back again and re-lay it.
7. Cut excess material and make your relief cuts to wrap the material around the side/back AFTER the face has had a chance to set-up and bond. You will probably need to respray the edges/add additional glue.
8. Let panel cure 24-48 hours before you cut-out holes for lights, sensors, etc.
5 yards microsuede
3+ cans spray adhesive
1.25 yards headliner material
1 tube super glue to mend the broken plactic bases for the clips that secure the trim to the body.
flat head screw driver/pry bar to remove panel clips
torx sockets for removing rear seatback brackets from seatbacks
metric sockets for removing rear seatbacks from car
philips head screwdriver
1 pair quality sewing shears.
- albums: 7
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- TTavant 3.2Q Folder
- My 2007 A3 3.2Q S-Line. Bought Jan 2013 43K miles, one previous owner.
- albums: 4
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- Bob's 1995 M-edition Miata. Purchased Sep 2013.
- albums: 3
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- Album was created 1 year 1 month ago and modified 1 year 1 month ago
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