Running high on the excitement of my little Mitsubishi 360 landing in Texas (read more about that here
), I ran downstairs and got hard to work this past weekend.
First up was to paint the vents that my lovely fiancée masked up for me.
With the masking tape peeled off and the vents mounted up they look pretty good!
The chrome on the passenger side vent is in rough shape so I'll keep my eye out for a replacement in the future, but for now, it's considerably better than the big gaping hole it's filling!
One thing that was really holding me back on the interior was carpet. I couldn't find any fitted carpets and the original carpet had long been destroyed. My only choices were to get someone to custom make a carpet for me, or to make the carpet myself. Given that I had come this far by making/doing everything myself, I wasn't about to let a little carpeting get in my way. A trip to the local rug, curtain and carpet shop yielded this nice, 2.5 meter by 2 meter black rug.
First step was to clear out all the stuff sitting on the floor pans and pop in some new grommets.
Then I cut a piece roughly shape but oversized so I could trim it down.
I started fitting it by aligning it in one corner and working my way across. The first new cuts I made were to accommodate the passenger seat mounts.
Then I formed it over the tunnel, cut out the e-brake hole, then the driver seat mounts and finally trimmed off the excess.
Next was the bit that goes on the metal that's just below the rear seat. Fortunately, I had the original piece that went there to use as a template.
The newly cut piece set in place.
Then small triangles to fill in more exposed steel.
Moving above the rear seat, I got to work on the rear parcel shelf. I took the piece of wood that was there originally, drilled new holes in it to mount it properly, sanded it and painted it black. Then I mounted it into the car.
I used tapered screw head M6 bolts to mount it so they would sit as flush as possible.
Then I cut a piece of carpet to the right size and set it up there.
Looks pretty good!
I need to sew on a cover for the end you can see to cover up the white, exposed edge of the carpet.
I also took the side panels beside the seat and mounted those in.
It's slowly looking like a car again.
Next up was the transmission tunnel. Again, I used what was left of the original piece as a template.
Unfortunately, the template was seriously deteriorated on the driver side and I cut the new piece a bit too short on that side. So I had to recut another piece to fit.
While I was working on carpet, I started gluing the exposed vinyl from panels down. I would line it with a thin line of bond and then use a ton of clothespins to hold it all in place while the bond cured.
Once the center console piece was mostly in place, I cut out the passenger side foot piece.
And then did the same for the driver side!
The center console piece was then removed again to go get some stitching put into it by my fantastic better half. While she was doing that, I got to work installing my new door panels (that don't have massive holes cut in them for speakers). The exposed metal below the door and above the carpet is actually covered by an aluminum trim piece, that's why I didn't cut the carpet to cover it.
I did the driver side as well.
I was still working on gluing vinyl back in during all this as well.
The stitching on the center console piece was done, so we threw it back in!
Miki then got to work cleaning up the final bits of exposed metal underneath the seat and generally just making my work look perfect. While she was doing that, I decided to install the chrome trim that lines the rain gutter just above the door.
A nice plastic deadblow hammer made quick work of these pieces!
They still need to be polished, but that's something I'll handle all at once.
The main reason I was gluing all the vinyl back into place was because I picked up some new weather stripping!
I cut it to shape and pressed it into place!
With one door sealing up just fine, and dinner time rolling in, we decided to call it a night! There's still a small amount of work to be done under the seat on the triangle pieces. They are a hair too big and need to be trimmed back and glued down. Other than that, I'd say it almost looks professional!
Not bad for my first time doing a full carpet installation on a car.
I think once the aluminum trim and the seats are installed, it'll look really fantastic!
It's really moving along at a good clip now! It's time to start reassembling the dash and hooking up the wire harness!
Well, this weekend was mostly spent trying to get my Honda Life mobile again. That car always seems to work for five days and then require repairing on Saturday and Sunday, haha. After getting the garage clean and ready to start work on the Bellett, it was already 1530 on Sunday, so I didn't have a whole lot of time.
I enlisted the help of Miki to help me finish off the last bits of the carpet just below the seat. The parts that were bothering me were the little triangle pieces. So she made some templates and got to work!
After much cutting, shaping and gluing in place, we have a perfectly formed triangle piece that covers up all metal!
The flash on the camera we're using is crazy bright and highlights things like you wouldn't believe. You can easily see the seam where the triangle piece is, but in the flesh it just disappears.
You can see a little blue poking out in between the floor carpet and the side carpet, but that's just because we were moving in and out of the cabin all day and the floor carpet slid around a bit.
I then got to work bringing the trim pieces that go just below the door panels back to life. They're just super flimsy aluminum and were in really rough shape. I tried polishing them to bring them back, but they were too far gone. So I rubbed them back with some sandpaper to get a clean, smooth surface and then hit them with a few coats of zinc rich silver paint. They came up looking much better, but I would like to find some replacements of these in the future.
The next problem I ran into with them is that they're designed to work with a different type of door weather stripping, so they don't fit at the moment. I need to trim them to work with the new weather stripping I have.
I then started putting a little bit of the dash back together, starting with the wiper and headlight switches and the pieces that run next to those switches.
Then just to get them out of the box so they didn't get damaged, I put the sun visors in.
There's still a massive amount of work to do before the interior gets sorted, but it's getting really close! We have two three day weekends (followed by a one day weekend...) coming up so hopefully I can get the interior all buttoned up and the wiring all sorted!
I got back out there and got a bit more work done during the first half of this week.
The side trim pieces that I painted last time had a lip that comes up over the weatherstripping and then is supposed to slot in between the rubber and the metal reinforcement. This is because the rubber and reinforcement pieces were separate originally but my new weather stripping has them as one piece. So, I trimmed back the lip on the pieces, repainted them and then installed one side!
That turned out pretty good, so I threw in the other side as well! You can see how it covers up the section below the door panel just enough that you can get away with having carpet cut like I did.
Then I really wanted to get the seats in, but first, I had to clean up, paint and regrease the seat rails.
And bam! Seats in!
Naturally, I had to take a seat and close the doors. The thing is massive inside. Maybe it's cause I'm used to daily driving a 360cc kei, but it's really, really comfortable and spacious in there!
Even with both seats all the way back, there's still a tiny bit of room in the back seat. If you scoot the passenger seat forward a bit, there's tons of room for a normal sized adult.
It's beginning to look like a car!
With the right engine in it, this could be one amazing GT/long distance car!
I forgot to paint the brackets on the side of the seat in the center of the car, so I may remove the seats again, mask them off and spray those black, because at the moment they kind of stand out. Also, the blue brackets that the seats mount to stand out quite a bit with the door open, so I may cut some carpet to size and cover those up. Still, it's amazing what some seats and carpet can do for the interior!