Wooly15

Interior Restoration

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17 hours ago, buick5563 said:

 

I thought the same thing, so I took an industrial sewing class. I immediately realized that it would take me ten years to be able to sew well enough for me to be happy.

$7k sounds high, but the original materials alone for my convertible cost $4k.

… well yeah a convertible and the resale value return on it has a much higher future upside return then say a lot of other type / models / makes that are just simple low cost investments. A lot of us only have maybe

$ 5,500 into the car over the cost of it and that was to get it dependable and road worthy.  So another $ 7-10 grand for the rest of us non gated community and/or non estate dwellers is just unaffordable and undoable so an alternative universe has to be created and mastered ….

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I paid about a solid grand for my interior. Thats for the cost of the material and labor for all four door panels, both seats (with new foam) dash, carpet, and the various little pieces like the top of the door handles, glovebox fabric piece, etc. I just now finally got all of it back, and hopefully will get it put in this weekend! (excited!). 

 

 

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Hi guys 

very  useful reading 7k ouch! Crossed the 55 Buick needing new interior of my shortlist.

cheers

pilgrim

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No gated community here. I just don't shovel the driveway.

Don't believe in security lights either, just leave sharp stuff in the tall grass with the lights off.

Oh, and I bought my Wife a Tahoe so's the Feds think they are already here.

 

Bernie

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I'm not in a gated community either, but I get buickman's point. I had just the seats recovered in my wagon in an inauthentic pattern and vinyl for $2,400. Carpet, I installed for around $400 shipped. Figure another $500-ish for headliner and $500 for ok door panels and you are closer to $4k.

 

My 55 Special was in the $5k range with authentic materials. 

 

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1 hour ago, buick5563 said:

 $500 for ok door panels...

 

 

 

Maybe if part of a big job.  I was quoted $350 to replace just the panel for one integrated arm rest...and I would disassemble other than the fabric/vinyl.

4 minutes ago, Paul Falabella said:

Anyone ever have just the foam in the seats replaced? The upholstery in my car is decent but the foam is slowly disintegrating.

If that is original upholstery wait until all needs attention.  I tried to keep one "original" by just replacing foam, repairing seams (every time if was fixed another would open).  When I finally got it intact the vinyl and fabric gave up and I had to do the whole thing anyway.

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Think about it. At a $50/hr shop rate $6000 only equates to 3 weeks work. Do you think you could do a complete interior in 3 weeks? And oh yea, that doesn't include the price of materials. You get what you pay for. The nicer the nice the higher the price.

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Regarding post # 35.  From your pictures looking at the seams and the wrinkles I think you paid too much at $460.00.  In fact I wouldn't have accepted the job.  Or maybe I would be expecting an excellent job for a charge of about $4,000.00.

 

I had my seats done 35 years ago.  The trimmer's question was "do you want them like original with tacks or just re done modern style with staples".  I supplied the mohair he did the work for $2,000.00.  The pleats, folds and overlaps were exactly as original.  Because it was easier that he expected and I had just brought him the seats he sewed my new headliner for free.  It took me five hours to hang the headliner and it fit just like the original.

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16 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

 

16 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

Regarding post # 35.  From your pictures looking at the seams and the wrinkles I think you paid too much at $460.00.  In fact I wouldn't have accepted the job.  Or maybe I would be expecting an excellent job for a charge of about $4,000.00.

 

I had my seats done 35 years ago.  The trimmer's question was "do you want them like original with tacks or just re done modern style with staples".  I supplied the mohair he did the work for $2,000.00.  The pleats, folds and overlaps were exactly as original.  Because it was easier that he expected and I had just brought him the seats he sewed my new headliner for free.  It took me five hours to hang the headliner and it fit just like the original.

 

 

Nah, my seats rule!!! I probably could of got a wrinkle out for an additional $2,000, but I love em. Plus the seams look just the original ones. I love all of it! Especially since I helped make the door panels instead of just sending it off and dealing out wads of bills. If you want to reject that then there is no fun in the project.

 

I'm not saying thousands is too much if you want a 100% original, totally flawless job. I just think it's funner to do as much as you can by yourself/ with close people, rather than "pick it up in 3 weeks, pay me."

 

More memories that way, and a 1/10 of the price.

 

 

Edited by Brandon Todd (see edit history)
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I hope Tinindian was joking about the wrinkles. That looks like what I would expect at that price. I'm not ragging on it either, Brandon. 

 

 

Living in in my gated community B) I expect certain wines to taste certain ways. You CAN find a good bottle of wine for $15, it just may not be as good as the $75 bottle, but is still satisfying.  

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I did my interior all by my lonesome with purchasing components from aforementioned AutomotiveInteriors.com. Many of you have seen my interior in my '47 Roadmaster and I think it is slamming nice.  I have around $1,000.00 and my labor into it.  Perfect? No!  Nice enough to draw

compliments at every show I go to?  You bet!

I didn't have the money to put a Lebaron and Bonney interior in and am glad I didn't!

 

love my car as it is!

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2 hours ago, buick5563 said:

I hope Tinindian was joking about the wrinkles. That looks like what I would expect at that price. I'm not ragging on it either, Brandon. 

 

 

Hershey16.jpegSome wrinkles were factory installed. Reprint from Motor Trend road test of a brand new 55 Lincoln. Note the headliner. Might I add I did not work at Lincoln at the time.

 

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This thread started out with the op wondering about the cost of having is interior done professionally.  Of course professionally does not necessarily mean a 100 point restoration, it depends what your professional is capable of doing and what you contract with him to do.

Trimacar mentioned that upholstery can be done by anyone.  I agree with that.  Also having upholstered one wingback chair I would not do a chair ever again or attempt an auto seat.  I did my door panels following a Fisher manual.  The first one took me five days, the second one was three days and the last two were done in one day each. Total ten days to do four door panels.  If I were to do it again I think my time is worth more that what a trimmer would charge.  In the time it took me (80 hrs) I could have earned enough to have had the whole interior done professionally.

Now paint is a different story, I enjoy it so it is not about saving money it is about doing something fun.

Owning an antique/vintage/collectable car is about enjoyment.  I once owned five 1930's cars one was a CCCA recognized car, three were ordinary cars and one was the car that my Grandfather bought new.  When it came to family or cars everything went except for the Pontiac that had been in the family from new.  I don't know if I could enjoy a daily driver that had $10,000 in paint and $9,000 in interior.

Brandon, enjoy your car, if it gives you half the pleasure that mine has given me as my daily driver  for 57 years you will have had a great time. All that matters is your enjoyment of whatever you have.  Do it now, enjoy it now, don't wait until you are old and then say "I wish I had done ???".

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I showed the old upholstery to a local shop, and these guys have been around for a lot of years.   They redid the seats, carpets, padding and headliner, and all the trim for $2,700, although it took them almost a year to get it done.  I'm (trying to) attaching the finished product, which looks very close to the original. 

IMG_1843.JPG

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In trying to choose an upholstery shop to sew an interior together, I'd find out who the local new car dealerships use for their warranty repairs on vehicles.  There's usually one that stands out.  Also one that can do leather replacements on new vehicles, too, even if from a vendor's kit.  Key thing to me is that when you say "OEM level quality", they know what that means.  

 

The next step is to use OEM-level fabrics and vinyls.  There are even some OEM fabrics which look the same (as we found out in middle-1980s Chevy Caprices and Pontiac Bonnevilles), but one is significantly heavier than the other one.  In this case, the Chevy fabric looked "see-through" and the Pontiac fabric was very much thicker (and has lasted "like iron").  And the price was about (at that time) about $1/yard more.  If you're not going completely original and can tolerate a little color shade variation from the original (especially if you'll end up with the whole interior "done", then look at the color swatches at the trim shop.

 

Headliners can be tricky to install and not have wrinkles, kind of like a convertible top.  With the headliner out, you can add some more jute insulation between it and the fabric, possibly.

 

If you're going to do it in stages, buy ALL of the seat fabric and vinyl at ONE TIME.  This ensures that it all matches later on!  There can be variations in the 'dye lots" of things between batches, although the batches are made to the same specification range.  And also get more than enough to do the door panels, too, all purchased from the same bolts of material!

 

In another thread, the owner sent off for swatches, which were what he wanted.  When he did purchase the fabric a year later, what they sent was from a bolt of fabric wehre the screen printing of the design was offset and not acceptable.  Therefore, if they have what you need, get all of the fabric right after you get the acceptable swatch back!

 

Carpet prices can vary, too, as material varies.  Some come with a seam on the center of the transmission hump as others might be fully molder to the floorpan and need no such seam.  The protective cover of the exposed edges are another item to inquire about.

 

LOTS of things to ask about before it all happens!  Prices can vary, too.  When you find a good shop, they'll have plenty to do already.  Be patient.

 

NTX5467

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On 9/22/2016 at 4:29 PM, buick5563 said:

Living in in my gated community B) I expect certain wines to taste certain ways.

 

You crack me up Mike...

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On 9/22/2016 at 11:29 AM, Brandon Todd said:

I paid 200 for all four door panels. I think 60 for the dash, and 200 for the back seat.

 

This thread is a blast from the not so distant past. Brandon, what was the name of the place that did your work? Wouldn't mind finding something like that near me, that's about all I can afford.

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On 6/28/2017 at 4:41 AM, Beemon said:

 

This thread is a blast from the not so distant past. Brandon, what was the name of the place that did your work? Wouldn't mind finding something like that near me, that's about all I can afford.

I'm sorry!!! I just now saw this! The guy that did mine is just a local friend that lives near me and happens to do upholstery for a living, haha. Really talented and nice guy. Did exactly what I asked.

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