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Triumph Spitfire Interior

Triumph Spitfire Interior Installations

General Instructions And Tips

Tools Tools Needed
What You Need To Do-It-Yourself

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. Lay out all carpet pieces and to match location and size.

Keep the parts for each area labeled with masking tape and marking pen for easier location later. 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.

When gluing, apply adhesive to both surfaces and allow to dry slightly before joining.

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.

Disconnect the battery cables before working, to avoid the possibility of shorting out anything while working. 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.

Carpet and Panel Replacement

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Figure 11

Getting Started

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 by unscrewing chrome finisher plate and drilling out rivet.

Check for wear, replace trim if necessary, or if this old trim does not match your new interior. Store to keep for later use.

Push the seat all the way back and loosen the two clips that hold the seat base to the frame in front. Grab the front of the seat base on each side and pull up and forward to remove (Fig. 1).

Make sure to disconnect seat sensor switch wire. Use a 7/16" socket wrench to loosen and remove the front bolts holding the seat frame to the floorboards (Fig. 2).

Notice the placement of the spacers under frame, and set them aside with the bolts. Move the seats into the full forward position and use the socket wrench to remove rear seat bolts (Fig. 3).

Keep the two seat base foams separate, as the right and left sides are different shapes.

Remove seat belts with a 5/8 socket (Fig. 4). Keep track of which side each seat belt mechanism belongs to for later replacement. Check condition of the belts, and replace them if necessary.

Remove the rear deck carpet, then use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws along each side of the rear cockpit panel, and pull it out (Fig. 5).

Using the old panels as guides, punch holes into the new panels using a hammer and awl (Fig. 6).

Pull out the panel, and remove the screws at the front of the rear quarter panels (Fig. 7).

The rear of the quarter panels are held to the frame with two clips. Pull these clips off and set aside (Fig. 8).

Punch screw holes into new panels using awl and hammer described above.

Remove the seat belt attachment spacer in the wheel well by prying loose with a strong flathead screwdriver (Fig. 9).

Pull the old vinyl off of the wheel well and clean the wheel well thoroughly to remove dirt and old glue.

When dry, apply glue to both the wheel well and the back of the new vinyl.

When the glue is tacky, press the vinyl into place, starting at the center and working out. Leave plenty of overlap to be trimmed away later.

Smooth and slightly stretch the vinyl as you apply it to eliminate any wrinkles and bubbles. Pull loose the vinyl strip on B-post, clean and replace with the new vinyl in the same manner as the wheel well vinyl.

Leave plenty of vinyl to overlap the edges and trim away the excess where needed (Fig. 10).

Hold new quarter panels in place to check the overlap, then trim away excess vinyl on wheel well.

Clip the rear of quarter panel in, then curve the panel around the side and attach with screws at the B-post (Fig. 11).

Attach the rear cockpit panel by screwing into place. Use the new rings provided on each screw.

Door Panel Replacement

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Figure 17

Door Panels

Roll window all the way down, then remove the window crank handle by using two screwdrivers, one to pry the panel and handle apart, and one to carefully push out the retaining clip (Fig. 12).

Remove the single screw that holds in door handle bezel by pulling on the handle with one hand and slipping the bezel off with the other hand (Fig. 13).

Starting at one end of the panel and working towards the other, pry loose the door panel, using a screwdriver for leverage if needed.

Leave the plastic and foam in place on the door, or replace if needed. Watch for the window crank handle spring from behind the panel.

Remove plastic door pull trim and save to reuse with the new door panel.

Remove old weatherstrip along the window opening by prying it out with a screwdriver. This process will probably ruin this strip, so have a new one ready to install.

When you remove the weatherstrip, the top rail cover will loosen, and should be removed from the door.

Insert the new door rail by gently prying open each clip with a flathead screwdriver and pushing the strip and cover into place (Fig. 14).

Check the alignment of the holes in the top rail cover for the door panel clips, and trim them out if needed. Apply glue to both ends of the top rail cover, as well as to the door frame where it will touch. When the glue is tacky, use masking tape to hold the cover in place until it is thoroughly dry (Fig. 15).

Refit the plastic trim from the old door pull onto the new panel (Fig. 16).

Place the plastic clips into the new door panel in the same positions they were in the old panel.

Put the window crank spring in place, then carefully align each panel clip as you press it into the door frame, keeping the spring held in place as you do (Fig. 17).

Using a box knife, cut an “X” in the vinyl to allow for the window crank hardware. Carefully replace the window crank handle, setting the retaining clip with a screwdriver as before. Try using needle-nose pliers or a magnetic tip screwdriver to help position this clip. Install the door handle bezel in the same way it was removed.

Carpet Installation

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Figure 23

Lay out new carpet pieces by the car in the position they are to be installed. Check each piece before installing to be sure of position and fit. Most of the carpet pieces are molded to ease fitting. Unscrew four screws that hold transmission tunnel cover in place (Fig. 18).

Remove this cover, then unscrew and remove the knee pads and armrest/hand brake cover.

Remove floor carpeting. The front floor carpets are held in place with snaps, and the rear floor carpet is set into place, so these will just lift out. Using a socket wrench, loosen bolts at the base of the radio support panel (Fig. 19).

Remove the Phillips screws at the top, allowing movement of the panel for removal and replacement of the carpet beneath. For more ease in working, you may remove this panel and radio completely, making sure to mark all wires as you disconnect them.

Unscrew the gear shift knob, disconnecting the switch wiring if equipped with overdrive. This will allow you to pull loose the carpet under the dash and over the gear shifter. Pull loose the other carpet along the door sills and sides of the foot wells (Fig. 20).

Clean all areas as well as possible and check for corrosion and wear. Correct these problems, if needed.

Apply glue to the back of the side foot well carpets and to the corresponding body area. When tacky, press firmly into place. Then apply glue to the door sill and carpet. Check the fit carefully, especially around the cross member, trimming with scissors if necessary.

Glue in the carpet for the short panel at the rear of the floor section, tapping lightly with a small hammer to help mold the carpet around the supports. Lay the rear ramp carpet into place and clip the plastic molding over the metal lip at the front (Fig. 21).

Lay the rear floor carpet into place. Use an awl or icepick to locate the holes for the seat frame and seat belt attachment bolts.

Mark each spot and cut a small round hole to allow for the bolts (Fig. 22).

Bolt all the seat belt components into place.

Position the front gear box carpet under the dash, slipping the shift gaiter cover in place.

Make sure the carpet is fit well, then locate the position of the holes for the radio support panel bolts. Trim a small hole for these bolts.

Replace the gear shift knob, and reinstall the radio support panel.

Position each front floor carpet in the car use the awl locate and mark the position of the snap studs beneath. If a stud is missing, drill a 1/8" hole in the flooring and attach the supplied stud using a pop-rivet gun.

At each stud location, trim away a small bit of the carpet fiber to allow for the top of the ring clip. Push the points of the clip down using a flathead screwdriver (Fig. 23).

Repeat for the other clips and snap the carpet into place.

Seat Cover Installation (Part 1)

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Figure 32

Using pliers, remove the clips from the wire frame of the seat base to loosen and remove the cover. Pull the old fire the bottom of the new foams. Use the new cardboard seat stiffeners under the foam.

Turn the cover edges inside out, and apply glue to the back of the ribbed portion of the seat cover, as well as the sections on each side. Also glue the corresponding areas on the foam (Fig. 24).

When the glue is tacky, align the edge of cover’s ribbed section with the recessed area of foam, and also at the front.

Put one hand inside the rolled back cover, into the corner, and use the other hand to pull cover over the edge of the foam (Fig. 25). Repeat for the other side, making sure to align all the edges of the piping in the same direction to eliminate lumps.

Put the seat base back into the wire frame and attach the cover to the frame, using pliers to attach the wire clips around the vinyl (Fig. 26).

Start at the center of front and rear, then work out to the corners, keeping the vinyl pulled tight and even all along.

Attach each side, and trim away the excess vinyl.

Remove seat adjustment seat back using a Phillips screwdriver (Fig. 27).

Take careful note as you proceed of how the seat cover is attached for later refitting. Set the seat upside down and pull the black seat release handle, swinging the runners away from the frame.

Pull off clips that hold the old seat back cover to the frame at the very bottom. Fold this first flap back and unclip the fabric that comes back from the front of the seat (Fig. 28).

Pull down on the flaps on each side of the cover to release the hook from the frame. Fold back flap and remove the old board by pulling the staples loose and slipping out (Fig. 29).

If this board is worn, carefully drill out the rivets holding the hook. Set the hook aside, then use the old board as a template to cut a new board out of the old door panel or rear cockpit panel.

Mark where the holes for the rivets belong, then either screw the hook in place or drill small holes and pop-rivet the hook on. Mark and cut the hole to allow for the frame bolt. Swing the runners back into place on frame.

Pull the cover loose from the foam in front, then reach in to pull out the flap of fabric that feeds through the middle of the foam (Fig. 30).

Pull and roll the cover up over the headrest, and using a flathead screwdriver, release the headrest retaining clip at the base of the headrest shaft (Fig. 31).

Pull loose the headrest, cover and seat back foam.

Now is the time to check for worn hardware, rust and the general condition of the frame. Repair or replace any necessary parts, and wire brush or steel wool off any rust, then repaint to prevent further rusting.

Reuse your old side flap boards, if they are in good condition, otherwise make new ones by using the old ones as a template. Transfer the metal brackets onto the new boards, making sure they are fitted into the correct sides and fit snugly in the side pockets of the seat cover.

Using scissors, trim away just enough of the vinyl to allow for the hook and the frame bolt (Fig. 32), then glue the inside of the vinyl to the boards.

Seat Cover Installation (Part 2)

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Figure 36
Figure 37
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Figure 39
Figure 40

Apply glue to the back edge of the foam, as well as to the frame and webs (Fig. 33).

Place the seat foam on the frame, making sure the opening for the headrest shaft is aligned properly (Fig. 34).

Slip the cover just over the top of the frame and foam. Tuck the flap in through the opening in the foam (Fig. 35) and down the back.

Carefully pull the seat cover down the rest of the way, taking care not to pull too much at the seams. Reach in behind the foam and pull the center flap tight, clipping it to the frame.

Remove the clip from inside the headrest shaft, and put the shaft in place to check for alignment of the cover on the foam.

Use a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws attaching the base cover to the headrest. Pry off staples from the headrest cover using a flathead screwdriver (Fig. 36).

Slip the old headrest cover off by pulling off one end of the cover and then the other. Turn the new headrest cover inside out and hold it in place on top headrest assembly (Fig. 37).

Slowly work cover down over the foam, and over one end. Turn to the other end and pull the cover over until all the way on. Adjust piping and position as necessary.

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 in position and firmly pushing the shaft back into place.

Adjust the cover accordingly, turn the seat frame upside down, then clip the first layer of vinyl in the back to the frame (Fig. 38).

Turn the seat over on its back, then trim away just the foam backing from the front flaps that cover the seat back foam on each side (Fig. 39).

Apply glue to the back of the vinyl and to the end of the foam. When tacky, fold the vinyl over the end of the foam. Pull the side flaps down and attach them to the frame. Turn the seat on one side, and apply glue to the front vinyl flap and bottom of the seat foam and frame. When tacky, pull taut and glue into place.

Check the alignment of the back and bottom flutes, and pull the flap of vinyl loose to reposition if necessary. Clip a small hole with the scissors to allow for the adjustment handle attachment. Screw the adjustment handle back into place.

Turn the seat over to the back again and pull the black seat release handle to swing the runners away from the frame.

Pull the back of the cover around the release handle and over the frame, and trim away the excess vinyl (Fig. 40). Clip the two vinyl flaps into place.

Turn the seat upright, insert the clip into the headrest shaft and push it into place. Bolt the seats back into the car, and clip in the seat base.

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!