Read ahead a paragraph or two at a time so you can plan ahead. Lay out items as you dismantle the car and match them up with the new parts.
Keep the parts for each seat with that seat, etc., label them with masking tape and marking pen for location later. The two seats have a slightly different shape, keep left seat parts separate from the right seat parts.
Small containers such as plastic film canisters or baby food jars that can be taped to the larger parts come in handy. Don't throw all the parts into one container, as you may forget which piece went where.
Don't throw away anything until you are sure that you won't need it again. This is a good idea anytime with an older car, considering the decreasing availability of parts.
Where holes are needed in new panels for screws or rivets, place the old panel on top of the new panels and tap the awl firmly with a hammer to punch the pilot hole at each spot. Use the old panels or a piece of cardboard under the area where you are working to keep from damaging your work area.
Use a knife or scissors to trim carpet and other material. You may lightly tap the material with a hammer to aid sticking the carpet down and removing wrinkles.
Clean and vacuum as you go so you eliminate having old abrasive dirt under your new interior. Keep your hands clean and dry while working with new carpet and vinyl.
Use a good quality cleaner designed to remove glue from carpets and upholstery to remove overspray or glue spills.
Rivets will have to be drilled out with an electric drill and a 1/8" drill bit. If a rivet starts to spin as you drill, hold it in place with the tip of a flat screwdriver and then place the drill at a slight angle.
Remove the battery cover and disconnect the battery cables before working, to avoid the possibility of shorting out anything while working with the console. Leave the cover loose to ease work on the rear deck carpet.
When gluing, apply adhesive to both surfaces and allow to dry slightly before joining.
This would be a good time to check the condition of the floor boards, doors and any other body sections for rust, corrosion and wear. Repair these before installing your new interior.
Unsnap convertible top boot and remove the convertible top retaining bar. Unsnap and remove convertible top, frame hardware and attachments using the #3 Phillips screwdriver. Remove the door seal trim (Fig. 1) by unscrewing chrome finisher plate and drilling out rivet. Check for wear, store for later use or replace worn trim. If replacing with new trim, keep old trim as a measure for length.
Push the seat as far forward as it will go and remove the bolt at rear of each runner using a 7/16" socket wrench (Fig.2). Then push the seat back, remove the bolts at the front and disconnect the seat belt warning switch under the driver’s seat. Remove the square blocks at the rear of the runners that prevent the seat from sliding too far back. If necessary to access the front bolts, remove the square seat slide blocks at the rear of the runners. Note the spacers between runners and floor of car. Mark spacers left hand and right hand, for position, and set aside.
Older models will have only a radio console. Remove shift knob by prying top off and unscrewing ring nut on inside of knob. On some models simply unscrew the knob. Models with overdrive will have to disconnected the O/D switch.
Use an open end wrench, not pliers, to remove the chrome finisher below knob to avoid marking the finish. Remove the 4 Phillips head screws holding the shift lever gaiter ring. Notice that one screw is shorter than the other three. Mark where the shorter screw goes for later replacement.
Remove the one screw that holds the armrest in place to the tunnel console (Fig. 3). Pull the tunnel console out toward the back and over the shift lever (Fig. 4).
Using the Phillips head screwdriver, remove old armrest from hinge and remove latch hardware from the armrest lid. Install the new armrest lid, reusing existing hardware.
Remove Phillips head screws on both sides of radio console. Pop off the spring loaded heater control knobs by pressing the awl into the hole on the side of the knob. Use the deep 5/8" socket wrench on the ring nuts that hold the cable in place. The radio console may be tied up out of the way with the wiring still connected by looping a string around the rear view mirror and through any opening in the console. If you have to disconnect any electrical wires, number each wire and connection with tape and a marker so you can easily replace them later!
Special For Cars With Air Conditioning Units:
Unscrew the units and disconnect the hoses between the driver’s side and passenger side, as well as the condensation tube from the passenger side. Tie up the air conditioner unit as far as possible out of the way.The bolt at the rear right of the passenger side unit attaches through the engine compartment, under the window washer bottle. This will take two people to re-install, one holding the bolt above, the other tightens the nut below.
Remove old panel behind radio console using a long Phillips screwdriver and pulling out to one side. Punch screw holes into the new panel with awl and hammer (Fig. 5) and mount it into the car with screws and trim washers.
Remember, always mark your new panels directly after removing the old panels for accurate placement. Protect your workshop floor by using the old panels or heavy cardboard for padding.
Remove and place the panels aside, mark where the screws, rivets and where top snaps are attached. The rear cockpit panel is held by rivets. You may only be able to access the uppermost screw on the outside kick panels with a 90 degree angle side screwdriver, or not at all, as it was placed there originally before the dash was installed. If this is the case, remove all other screws and a good strong pull will pop loose the remaining one. The new panel will hold in place snugly without the top screw. Punch screw and rivet holes in new panels and set them aside.
Remove the toeboard carpet and backing which are held in place by small Phillips screws. Also, remove carpet along door sill and on rear wheel arches (glued down) and from the floor (clipped in front, glued and held by seat runners in rear) and the transmission tunnel and inside footwells.
Do not remove the rear deck carpet (behind seats) yet so that you can first make sure the new door sill carpets are trimmed properly. USA specification cars built after 1972 will have extra heat insulation material under the carpets due to the catalytic converter system. Be sure to replace this old material to avoid a fire hazard.
Do one side at a time. Mask off the door sill to protect it from overspray of adhesive. Lay the new carpet dry in place, with the narrow end towards the front. Make sure the front end of the carpet fits against the bulkhead and the carpet stretches all the way to meet the rear deck carpet. Apply adhesive only to the top of the metal door sill and to the back of the door sill carpet (Fig. 6). When tacky, start at the front, only adhere the carpet to the car at the top of the metal door sill pressing firmly into place. You will finish the application in the second step.
Now apply glue to side of metal sill on the first side and when tacky, press the carpet over the side and down, allowing some of the carpet to lie on the floor, which will eventually be covered by the floor mat. Press out wrinkles and bumps as you go. When finished, pull the edge of the carpet up slightly and cut a notch, with a razor knife or scissors, to allow for the seat belt attachment (Fig. 7). Repeat the procedure for other side.
The stitched line in the carpet will lie on top of the arch running back parallel with the side of the car when fitted properly. Press the dry carpet in place and check for fit. Trim edges and around front of wheel well to allow for the rear deck carpet clips. Trim the inside of the seam, if needed, to get a better fit (Fig. 8). Work the carpet down with your hands to press smoothly into place, then hold the new quarter panel in place to check the fit. Apply glue to both wheel arch and carpet back and press into place when tacky.
Using a 5/16" open end wrench, reach under the rail and undo the 5 to 7 nuts holding it in place. Remove bolts from rail by sliding out of track at the slot near either end. Note the position of the old piping along the edge of the cockpit trim rail, then pull off the old cover.
Apply glue to both rail and vinyl, and lay out vinyl full length next to rail. Check alignment, then start applying vinyl at the center of the rail, keeping the piping at the top edge as you work out towards the ends (Fig. 9).
Trim excess vinyl so that when wrapped around rail it does not interfere with the sliding bolts. Wrap around the rail and stick in place, smoothing wrinkles as you go. Leave excess at ends to trim off later. Replace hardware and refit the trim rail in car, carefully aligning both ends with the edge of the quarter panels and door seal trim.
Use screws, trim rings and a snap button in middle hole near the wheel arch. Reattach seat belt clip and convertible top hardware. Refit the door seal by pressing it into place firmly and attach the chrome finishing plate with screw and pop rivet.
Screw or pop rivet in new rear cockpit panel. Make sure the top straps are pulled from behind and screw or rivet, with appropriate trim ring or snap button, into existing hole in rear panel metal frame (Fig. 10).
Remove the screws holding each of the two fastener studs near the transmission tunnel. Using a razor knife, cut loose the vinyl around each of the three riveted fastener studs at the top of the deck. Pull the old carpet out and fit the new carpet in dry to check size.
Trim carpet with scissors if necessary around transmission tunnel and at each edge, making sure the door sill carpets are overlapped slightly. Spray deck area and back of carpet (do not spray vinyl strip yet) and when tacky, press into place (Fig. 11).
Start at center and work outwards and downwards, making sure to line up the edge of the carpet with the top edge of the deck for a smooth edge when the vinyl is turned back.
Apply glue to top edge of deck and to vinyl strip (Fig. 12), carefully protecting the carpet from overspray with a scrap of cardboard or plastic. Turn over edge when tacky and cut away enough vinyl to allow for rear deck carpet snaps.
Replace panels on the outside of each footwell with the appropriate hardware and glue. Glue into place the inside carpeted kick panels. Trim the carpet as needed, remembering that the toeboard will cover the front edge, the tunnel carpet will cover the back edge and the floor carpet will cover the bottom edge (Fig. 13). Fit the carpeted toeboards and trim as needed. Cut a hole for the A/C condenser line if required and screw into place.
Unscrew the handbrake lever, leaving the brake cables connected.
Trim a scrap piece of vinyl to fit around the screw holes, approximately 2" to 3" on each side and above (Fig. 14), glue into place.
Replace the handbrake lever over scrap vinyl.
Lay out the new tunnel carpet face up on the floor with the old tunnel carpet on top. Mark holes for gear shift and seat belt anchoring bolts.
Cut an X and trim out a hole at the spot for the gear shift (Fig. 15). Place the new carpet over transmission tunnel, by working the front end under the radio console, then dropping it into place.
Check fit all around, especially where it meets the rear deck carpet. Then finish trimming out gear shift hole (Fig. 16). Lift sides of carpet and apply glue to the tunnel and underside of the carpet.
When tacky, press the carpet into place, smooth out any wrinkles.
Replace radio and tunnel consoles. After connecting any loose wires and reattaching cables and knobs for the heater controls, screw the radio console into place with anchoring screws.
Fit new gear shift gaiter over lever and place tunnel console over it. Screw console in at rear, under armrest and align with radio console at front before attaching screws and ring around gear shift.
Remember to place the single short screw in the proper position.
Align and mark on the back of the carpet where the four snaps are located. Cut away some of the backing and carpet. Overlap at these spots to allow for the ring clips. Push tops of ring clips through carpet and turn over.
Working on a hard surface, add clip back and bend points of top over with a flathead screwdriver to secure (Fig. 17). Snap carpet into place.
Lay both the front and back floor mats into place and check the fit. The front floor mat should slightly overlap the toeboard and the back floor carpet.
Trim back carpet, as needed, and cut holes just large enough for the seat spacers and seat belt warning wire to fit through. Glue into place and add clips to front floor mats, as described above for the rear deck carpet.
No trimming of the backing will be necessary.
Lay the floor mats down inside the car and snap them into place. Repeat procedure for other side of the car.
Remove the door top rail by unscrewing the chrome stops located at the leading and trailing edge of the door (Fig. 18).
Screw these stops onto the new door top rail. Loosen the 2 part trim around the door latch.
Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully split the door handle trim in the middle (Fig. 19) and pull loose.
Remove the window crank by removing the center screw (Fig. 20). Also remove the door pull handle screws and remove the door pull. Place both pieces where you may find them for installation, remember to keep the screws with the pieces.
Separate the panel from the door by pulling the edges of the panel out until it snaps loose (Fig. 21).
Align the old door panel with the new one and mark the screw holes and radio speaker hole, if needed, on the new door panel.
Cut out speaker hole with razor knife and cut an X in the vinyl for window crank.
Fit new clips in the same positions as on the old panel and install the speaker (Fig. 22).
Align the clips on new panel with the holes in door frame and snap into place by pushing firmly at each clip (Fig. 23).
Replace the door handle and the window crank. Replace the door top rail, making sure it meets the top of the door panel. Repeat these procedures for the other door panel.
First separate the new left hand and right hand seat foams and seat covers. They are slightly different and should be marked left hand and right hand for positioning. Keep one of the seats together to use as an example to check your work against until the first seat is completely recovered.
Unscrew the plastic cap covering the bolts where the seat back and the seat bottom are attached (Fig. 24).
Unbolt seat back from the seat bottom using a 1/2" open end wrench and socket wrench (Fig. 25).
Note the placement of the two washers on each side, with one in between the two seat parts. Place seat bottom aside.
Remove the seat adjusting handle, with a Phillips screwdriver, and carefully pull or pry it away from the seat (Fig 26).
Locate and remove the screws that hold down the flap on each side the seat back (Fig. 27).
Save the board inside the flaps for reuse or as a template to make new ones.
Note the position of the C-clips and smaller U-clips that hold the seat cover in place, remove the clips using the flathead screwdriver to pry the clips loose (Fig. 28)
Loosen the cover from the foam and peel away the cover from the foam and frame by turning it inside out and pulling it over the headrest (Fig. 29).
Remove the seat foam and press in on the clip at the base of the headrest shaft, with a screwdriver to remove the headrest. If the seat backboard is worn out, remove the two screws, holding it in place at the bottom, and pull loose. At this point, clean the frame if necessary and check for wear. Attach the new backboard by aligning the top of board with the top of frame and screwing it in place. Tape down edges of the seat backboard to conform to the seat frame all the way around, creating a nicely curved back (Fig. 30).
Measure and mark center of bottom tube on the back of seat frame with tape to help with later alignments (Fig. 31).
Check fit of the seat back foam on the seat frame and trim the edge of backboard with scissors if necessary. Apply glue to the back edge of the backboard and inside the foam flap on the seat back foam. Stick together using tape, overlap foam over the back and align hole for the headrest. Slightly trim the sharp edge of the seat foam overlapping backboard to help eliminate bulges that may later show through the seat cover (Fig. 32).
Cut a strip of plastic from the bag that the seat covers came in and glue in place across the top of the seat back foam. This will help when sliding the new cover into place.
Pull the new cover over the seat back foam, taking special care not to pull at the stress points where the sides and back of the cover are sewn together (Fit. 33). You should also be careful with the adjustment handle fitting.
Align the center flute of the seat cover with the center mark on the seat frame tube that you made earlier. Adjust the seat foam and piping folds inside for the proper fit.
Check the fit of the headrest by removing the clip inside of the headrest shaft and placing the headrest temporarily into place.
Adjust the seat cover and foam. When satisfied with the fit, spray or brush glue down the interior sides of the seat foam and cover only (Fig. 34).
DO NOT glue the center of seat back. The edges of the fluting and seat cover should be the only places that are glued.
This will allow the seat cover to form to the foam.
Press on the seat with your forearms. Hold down each side crease for a few minutes to attach the seat cover to the seat foam (Fig. 35).
Cut a new side flap board from the old seat backboard if necessary, use an awl and punch a hole for the flap screws in the appropriate place.
Insert the side board into the flaps (Fig. 36).
Clip the back vinyl of the seat cover to the frame with the U-clips.
Make sure you pull out all the wrinkles.
Glue the front flap of the seat back cover down to the back bar, checking the alignment of middle seams to mark on the frame you made earlier and attach the C-clips (Fig. 37).
Use the awl to punch a hole through the vinyl where needed for attaching the side flaps (Fig. 38).
Pull flaps snugly into place and screw them in.
Cut a small X in the vinyl for the seat adjusting handle and refit handle.
Set the seat back aside.
Use a flathead screwdriver on the C-clips (Fig. 39) to remove the old seat bottom cover and foam.
Make note of the placement of C-clips for reinstallation.
Use pliers to pull loose the seat webbing where it’s clipped into the bottom and refit the new seat webbing (Fig. 40).
Helpful Hint: Installing Seat Webbing
When installing the new seat webbing, use a hair dryer to heat the webbing. This will loosen the rubber and allow you to stretch it into place much easier for better fit and placement.
Clean the seat frame if necessary. Make sure you have the correct seat bottom for the side you are working on. Glue a piece of scrap cloth to the underside of the seat bottom foam, to protect it from excessive wear from the webbing, and trim off any excess material.
Temporarily bolt the seat back onto the bottom and lay the seat bottom foam in place. Using a pen, mark the seat bottom foam where the outermost seams of the seat back meet the seat bottom foam (Fig. 41).
Turn the seat bottom cover inside out and lay it on top of the bottom foam (Fig. 42).
Check the position of seams and flutes against seat back carefully to insure they are properly aligned.
Apply glue to the outer edge of the center flat portion of the seat bottom foam and to the outside edges of fluted part inside the seat bottom cover (Fig. 43).
With the seat cover still inside out, align the seams and flutes of the seat cover, as well as the front edge, and glue them to the bottom foam (Fig. 44).
When glue is tacky, work the cover over the foam one edge at a time, starting at the front of the seat.
Place one hand on top of the front corner of the seat and press down foam. With the other hand, curl the cover down into place around seat bottom frame (Fig. 45).
Adjust the piping and seat foam as you eliminate bulges in the seat cover. Check the alignment with the seat back and adjust it as needed.
With the seat bottom aligned with the seat back and the front of the foam aligned with the seat frame, pull down each side and the front flap of the seat cover. Temporarily clip the sides and front flap onto the seat frame (Fig. 46).
Unbolt the seat back from the seat bottom and set it aside. Pull the rear flap of the seat bottom cover through the back of the seat frame.
Glue and clip the rear flap of the seat bottom cover into place (Fig. 47).
Cut an approximately 1" slit at the point on each side of the seat bottom cover where the bolt brackets meet (Fig. 48). Tuck under and glue the portion behind each bracket, and then glue and clip the front and sides into place.
Attach the seat back to the seat bottom (Fig. 49).
Important: Don't forget to replace the two washers located where the seat back and the seat bottom meet.
Attach the runners to the seat frame (Fig. 50).
Align the two wood spacers, which fit between the floor runners and the floor carpet in their appropriate positions inside the car (Fig. 51).
Now align the newly covered seat assembly over the spacers and bolt the seat into the car. Repeat these procedures for the other seat.
With all of your new interior kit installed, you’re ready to reassemble your car.
Replace the convertible top and the top retainer bar in the same manner as they were removed. Attach the convertible top boot and reconnect your battery.
You did it yourself! Yes, it was work, but the finished job was worth it. Go ahead and smile… you earned it. This is what pride is all about!
You may be able to accomplish this with a quick, forceful pull upwards on the headrest, but only if the clip inside the shaft is well worn. If this is not possible, then you must access the rear inside of the seat back.
Unbolt seat back from the seat bottom using a 1/2" open end wrench and socket wrench.
Note the placement of the two washers on each side, with one in between the two seat parts.
Place seat bottom aside.
Remove the seat adjusting handle with a Phillips screwdriver and carefully pull or pry it away from the seat.
Locate and remove screws that hold down the flap on each side the seat back.
Note the position of the C-clips and smaller U-clips that hold cover in place.
Remove the seat clips using the flathead screwdriver to pry the clips loose (Fig. 53).
Loosen the cover from the foam and peel away the cover from the foam and frame by turning it inside out and pulling it over the headrest (Fig. 54).
Remove the seat foam and press in on the clip at the base of the headrest shaft with a flathead screwdriver to remove the headrest (Fig. 55).
Using the Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws attaching the base cover to the headrest.
Pry off the staples from the headrest cover using the flathead screwdriver (Fig. 56).
Slip the old headrest cover off by pulling off one end of the headrest cover then the other (Fig. 57).
Turn the new headrest cover inside out and hold it in place on top headrest assembly (Fig. 58).
Slowly work cover down over the foam, and over one end. Turn to other end and pull the cover over until all the way on (Fig. 59). Adjust the piping and position as necessary then pull tight and staple where the old cover was.
Attach the headrest base cover as positioned before. Replace headrest into seat by making sure the clip is on position and pushing the shaft back into place. Reposition seat cover and replace seat back.