Saturday, June 12, 2010


In my last post I had pictures of the new seats I had bought for my truck. The interior in my truck right now is shades of blue so I have decided to tie the grey of the new seats into it. There are many ways to do this that I will post on in the coming weeks, the first of which is going to be the headliner.

The headliner in the truck was coming loose from the cardboard base and starting to sag in numerous areas. The original headliner was white with blue sun visors and my plans to tie in the dark grey seats were to cover the headliner and sun visors with a lighter grey felt.

Last weekend Tania and I went to a fabric store and found some felt of suitable thickness for $3.99 a yard, cheap enough to buy plenty extra for any mistakes.

After pulling it out of the truck the vinyl pretty much fell off of it, leaving a thin layer of deteriorating foam which was relatively easy to remove from the cardboard just time consuming. This sort of work is much like painting, the more time you spend and the better job you do in prep the better the end result. Removing the foam and cleaning up the surface took me about an hour to do.

I wasn't able to get a good "before" shot because of the vinyl falling off but here is a shot of what the original perforated vinyl covering looked like.

Here is a shot of the finished headliner, it took a bit longer than I thought it would and I made a few errors with it. I pressed out the felt on the floor after gluing it down with 3M contact adhesive this de-arched the headliner a bit and I didn't realize it until it was too late.

Overall though it came out very nice, I was able to dye the trim around the dome light and found some grey trim retainers at the local NAPA. The biggest cost was the 3M contact adhesive at $15.00 a can.

Tomorrow I am going to work on the sun visors, they will be a bit more challenging but I think I have a good plan for how to make them work.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Truck Seats

A few weeks before we moved from Indy, I found some seats for sale on Craigslist for my pickup. I had been looking for quite a while and then gave up for a few weeks. One night I got home from work and boom the first listing that came up was for some blue seats out of a 94 Z71 in "new condition". I was skeptical about 16 year old pickup seats being in new condition but was pleasantly surprised when they did actually look new.

125.00 later I had them in the back of the truck with all sorts of plans for my interior going through my head. Because 88-94 trucks basically use the same seat they were more or less a bolt in for the truck and a huge improvement over my wore out bench seat. It was just recently that I found out the seats I had bought were very undesirable because the covering on them is actually glued to the foam. This process makes the pleating in the seats look very nice for a long time and also prevents them from ever being recovered. The other minus to them is that it made my truck a two seater.

Today I was driving home from work and part of my drive home is past little garage sale setups along the side of the road. Most of it is normally fruit, leather saddles and harnesses or junk from Mexico. Today a jump seat caught my eye. I had been looking for one to add a third seat back to my truck but they seem to be very desireable and regularly sell for 175-225 dollars on Ebay.

Catching it out of the corner of my eye I made a U-turn and went back to see if it was in fact a jump seat.

When I got out of the truck I noticed a matching grey leather seat sitting a ways off from the jump seat. I asked the guy standing there how much for the jump seat and he told me it was part of a set. I though well if I can get it cheap enough I can just dump the oddball bucket seat. I also thought I should be able to get a good deal on this who would want just one bucket seat. I finally got out of the guy he wanted 300.00 for the set, I told him it was too much for one bucket and a jump seat and he said "no Senior the other bucket is in the back of my truck". He went on to explain that he had taken them out of his 2010 Tahoe because he was putting racks or something in the back. Thats when I realized these were the second row seats not the front. This started to make more sense to me because most front row seats wont fold down completely flat and they normally have the shoulder belts built into the seats making them a pain to put in older vehicles.

I took 200.00 out of my pocket, dangled it in front of his face and he said OK.

Because they are second row seats they have quick release tracks on them. I think I should be able to make rails for them fairly easy. The price was definately right its just going to be a matter of the time involved in making the rails. The fact that they are basically brand new along with the addition of the jump seat will make the effort in getting them installed in the truck more than worth it.