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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.
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- TTavant 3.2Q Folder
- My 2007 A3 3.2Q S-Line. Bought Jan 2013 43K miles, one previous owner.
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- 1992 Sunburst Miata
- Some background and history:
Way back in early November 2015, Miata.net forum member Charles2002 told me about the SBY and knowing that I was interested in getting one some day, put me in touch with the owner. Charles had been talking with the owner and in passing mentioned that he knew a guy that might be interested in it should he decide to sell some day. Owner said, if you'd asked me last week I'd have said no-way. But now, I'm considering it. Owner agreed to let Charles give me his contact information and I contacted the owner.
We discussed the SBY history and played 20 questions (my questions, his answers), he sent pictures as I requested and after about a week of back in forth conversations, emails, texts, we committed to the sale. I bought a 1-way ticket to Raleigh and flew out to get it on Friday 11.18.2015 and arrived about 12:30pm. Brian picked me up at the airport and we drove to the SBY. It was as described, including a 2-inch notebook with all maintenance since new plus a separate gas-log with every tank of gas with mileage noted from original delivery on 10.17.1992 to my delivery on 11.18.2015.
1992 SBY, # 704 of 1519
Two previous owners:
Owner #1 (Jerry): 1992-2013
Owner #2 (Brian): 2013-2015
Owner #3 (me): 2015 - present.
Mileage at new car delivery on 10.18.1992: 15.
Mileage on Thursday, 11.18.2015: 103669. Brian had the oil/filter changed at local mazda dealer.
Mileage on Friday, 11.19.2015: 103679. We drove to his bank, made the transaction (without 14inch BBS wheels he'd installed), he pointed me towards the freeway, and I headed towards home. On 11.19.2015.4:00pm Raleigh was in the rear view mirror.
About 22 hours later I got home after an uneventful 2 day drive (except for a dumb ass on I20 in Alabama that damn near ran me off the road as he merged onto the highway across 2 lanes with no-traffic except me. How the hell do you not see a freeking Sunburst yellow miata...but I digress).
Mileage on 11.23.2015 back home in Texas: 104925. I had the SBY inspected, registered, titled.
I started a "mod/build" thread over on M.net with the intent of documenting my what I consider an OEM+ build using OEM parts or high quality aftermarket parts.
Here's the URL for the link:
- albums: 5
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- Album was created 3 years 9 months ago and modified 3 years 9 months ago
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- Album was created 5 years 3 months ago and modified 3 years 7 months ago
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