Reupholstering the Back Seat – Part 4

The seat bottom is next to be redone.  The first step is to strip the old cover and padding off.  The seat back had the cover attached only at the edges.  The seat bottom is going to be more challenging as there is also an attachment on either side of the driveshaft hump.  There were a lot more hog rings used in the bottom than there were on the back.  I’m glad I got a package of 500.

There is no padding on the front or sides of the seat.  The padding wraps around the top edge of the frame a little, and then stops.  This is to make sure that the seat will fit in between the two side panels.

This is where the seat cover and batting is attached on the side of the driveshaft hump.  There is a listing wire that goes into a pocket on the cover, burlap and padding is added to the frame, then the listing wire is hog-ringed to the spring assembly.  This center section needs to be attached before the outer edges of the cover is attached.

Separated at last…

Reupholstering the Back Seat – Part 3

Third time’s a charm…  After using up all 5 yards of batting, I ordered another 15 yards.  I took the cover off again, and put another layer of batting on, including some extra at the top edge and at the corners.

This time the cover fit very tightly, and I had to use the ziptie trick to get the wire into position to attach the hog rings

Finished product.  I think some time in the sun and some heat will take care of the remaining wrinkles.  Time to start stripping down the seat base next.


Reupholstering the Back Seat – Part 2

I started with the upright part of the seat.  The first step is attaching the burlap to the frame.  I cut the burlap to the rough size of the frame and attached it in a few spots with hog rings.  I found a good tip online about folding the burlap over the edge, then back up again before putting the hog rings on.  That puts the hog rings through 4 layers of burlap, which is a much sturdier way to attach it.

Next is the cotton batting.  I had ordered 5 yards of 2″ loose cotton batting, expecting that I could do both the seat back and bottom with it.  After test-fitting the cover a few times, I kept adding more batting, and ended up using all 5 yards.  I think it could even use some more.

I put the first layer on and tacked it down with some hog rings.

I cleaned up the original stay wires and put them into the sleeves in the new cover.

Then I put the cover on top edge first:

A few rings to tack it down, then over to tuck the bottom edge in and snug it up

The result with one layer of batting was really too loose

So I added more batting…twice…

I found another trick to snugging the cover on easily.  Thread a ziptie through the frame, and through the sleeve with the stay wire, and then zip it up until it is tight.  Then it’s easy to add the hog rings.

More hog rings, and it’s tacked down

I’m still not happy with the result, I am going to open it back up again and add more batting…once I buy more.


Reupholstering the Back Seat – Part 1

For some reason the front seats were in good shape but the rear seat was not.  Mice had gotten to it, and although it looked ok at first glance, it was really in pretty bad shape.  I decided to try reupholstering it.

The first step was taking lots if pictures to document how it was put together.

Then it was time to strip the old stuff off and clean up the frame.  Luckily there were no broken springs or other significant damage.  I wire-brushed the frame and gave it a quick coat of paint.  The paint is mostly to make it a little nicer to work on.

Installing Carpeting

With all of the mounting points for the shifter and console established, it’s time for carpet.  First step was removing everything.

Last out was the seats and belts.  I also drew a map of the holes for the seats and seat belts, with measurements.  I put reference marks on the sills for all of the holes also.

I purchased a one-piece molded carpet from Auto Custom Carpets (ACC).  The one I used has extra sound deadening backing, in addition to underlayment.

The next step was putting it in to get a rough position so I could work in the cutouts for the shifter and front console bracket.  These pieces are bolted directly to the floor and the carpet is cut around them.

After smoothing the carpet out into the footwells, I added some holes for the shifter and console bracket, and slowly cut them larger until it was laying flat on the floor, and sitting correctly in the footwells

The next step was locating the inner seatbelt mounting points, and cutting holes for the bolts.  Once those were in and the carpet was smoothed out into place, the outer seatbelt mount bolt holes were located and cut.

Next was the holes for the seat mounts.  To find the holes, I used a hammer and a common nail, tapping in the area where the hole should be until it hit the right spot.  Once all four holes were located for each seat, and the carpet was laying smooth, the carpet holes were cut, and the seat was bolted into place.

The rest of the install is trimming the outer edge of the carpet on the sides to fit underneath the sill plates, the kickpanels, and the rear side panels.

The carpeting ends just under the front edge of the back seat


Fixing the console

The plastic console is a bit beat up.  The worst part was a hole in the bottom of the storage tray, and the light that had been added by cutting a big hole in the side.

I decided to try fixing it with some bondo.  First step was to clean it up a bit and Put masking tape over the damaged areas from the inside.

Then I put bondo on from the other side…

…and peeled the tape off when the bondo had cured:

A little sanding, and ready for final clean and paint.


Console Progress 1

want to put the carpet in, but first…I have to get the console sorted out.

This car was not originally a console automatic, and PO did a quick eyeball of the shifter location and nailed it down with a mig. The console was not attached, just sitting on top.

I got the bottom half of the console located properly using the factory floorpan dimples, and that dictated where the shifter needs to be mounted. New hole locations show it used to be about 1/2” too far left, and crooked.



I finally got a chance to install the headliner.  I still have to install the sail panels and the edge trim, but the hardest part is done.  It should tighten up even more when it gets through a few hot sunny days.


I marked the bows as I took them out so they’d go back in the same locations.

After some cleaning and paint…

Then on to the headliner install.  First step was masking off the windows a bit to protect against glue overspray.  Then a good coat of glue sprayed on all the mouning surfaces.

I had let the headliner warm up in the sun for an hour, then started with the bow that is held in with the triangular tabs, then worked forward to the next one.

Once i had the bows in, I trimmed the excess white sleeves off, and sprayed glue on the back of the headliner.

After the glue had set up, I started stretching and sticking the edges down.  Lots and lots of medium binder clips from the office supply store helped.



Not perfect but pretty good if I do say so myself!

After some trimming and installing edge trim:

Keeping it Cool

I decided to get a new radiator and avoid the drama.  After some research, I settled on a Cold Case radiator.  It’s a stock fit bolt- in replacement with a lot more capacity.

It’s a two row core, but the tubes are very wide, so it has a lot of surface area.

Out with the old one core:

…and in with the new.  Fit is good, it bolted up to the stock mount points on the radiator support.

My only slight criticism is that the brackets were about 3/8” deeper than they needed to be, so the radiator body was a bit closer to the firewall than I’d expected.  This caused a misalignment at the shroud mount bracket.  Not a big deal since drilling a second mount hole isn’t too difficult, but it may matter to other people.


I also got the CORRECT temp sender to work with the idiot light.

I am waiting on the new power steering pump before I do the final assembly.

Power steering

My last classic car had manual steering…and at the time I wished I had power steering.  Now I have power steering, and kinda wish I didn’t.

The problem is that the pump is leaking for some reason.  The fluid level was very low, so I put in almost a pint of fluid.  The next day there was a giant puddle of something under the front of the car.  You guessed it, nearly a pint of power steering fluid.

Part of the problem seems to be that the engine has a mix of 68 (short water pump) and 69 (long water pump) accessories and brackets.  For the pump, it looks like it’s a 68 bracket with some spacers and washers added to make the pulleys line up.  That’s not a great plan.

The pump is leaking from the mounting hole on the back of the reservoir. (Next to the ‘notice’ sticker.)   I’m not sure, but it looks like there’s a boss inside the reservoir, and an o-ring between it and the sheetmetal of the reservoir.  Fill it up above that, and it leaks out there.  Not a great design.

The trick now is to figure out the combination of pump and brackets that will work.