Monday, June 10, 2013

Fiero seats

The original Corvette seats leave a lot to be desired. They are narrow feeling (at least for me!) and do not have any adjustment for the angle of the seat back. Pontiac Fiero seats are a popular source for a seat swap so that's what I decided to try. The Fiero seats are much more comfortable and the seat back angle is easily adjusted.  I just happened to find a pair in dark and light gray that match the new interior pretty well.

I had to make new seat brackets to bolt them to the original bolt pattern.

I had to make up a 'squaring jig' to ensure the brackets lined up with the holes in the floor.

Instrument clusters...

The new drivetrain needs a different combination of gauges. For the most part the original gauges are not functional due to age and corrosion. So, the plan includes a complete new set of VEI Systems digital gauges to be installed in new handmade panels in place of the original clusters. I removed the speedo and tach and took the cluster housing to the bandsaw and slices off the rear of the meter housing.

I laid out the shape on the new gauge panel in AutoCad and cut it out in 1/8" ABS plastic.

With ABS pipe glue and epoxy I put the new panel into the front of the original housing.

I did the same with the center console gauge cluster. I removed the gauges.

Then I cut all the original gauge faces out of the panel leaving about a quarter inch border to bond the new panel to.

Here's the center cluster template done up in AutoCad:
I have the new gauge clusters temporarily connected to verify the wiring connections.

Putting the interior back together

The heater box has been rebuilt with a new heater core installed

The old "wine" colored interior is definitely showing its age. I decided I will replace the carpet and door panels with some "charcoal" interior pieces that were used in the 81 models. Some parts that are in good condition will get dyed with SEM Color. In fact I'll try the dye on as much of the interior as I can to keep the cost down.
The dye goes on like paint. It's important to prep the surface properly which means cleaning it thoroughly. There's 30+ years of fingerprint grease and Armor All to get off. SEM makes a special cleaning and prep fluid. So far I'm impressed with the results. It remains to be seen how durable it is but I suppose it will be easy enough to touch up when necessary. Here's the dash:

And a pic of the dash back in the car:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Getting started on the interior

 Well, the project has been stalled for a while. The car needs a new heater core and I figure while I'm in there I'll also replace the AC evaporator. Here's the new evap.

 You can't do the job without tearing the dash out so everything has to come out.

With the dash, seats and carpet out this is the best time to work on controlling noise inside the car. I got some 3/8" thick neoprene foam sheet and cut and glued it in place.