Last step was to glue on the tweed to finish the pleats. I made sure to spray adhesive deep into the grooves so the cloth would stay put. I first laid the vinyl sub panel over the pleated rubber and cut it carefully so it had the exact profile. I then tapered the top edge of the pleated rubber at 45deg. To glue the tweed on I laid it on one pleat, pressed it in place, then used a Popsicle stick to force the cloth into a groove, pressed the cloth flat on another pleat, filled the groove, etc. This method insures the cloth is not stressed across a groove and will lay deeply in them for a good looking pleat. The bottom and sides were then wrapped and glued to the back of the panel.
The panels need a little jazzing up so I decided to add a chrome bead between the materials. Photo 2 shows the foender welting I used to get the bead. This stuff is used for vintage car fenders in place of the normal black stuff that the factory used. Photo 3 shows the welting glued and stapled to the back of the sub panel. I used 3/8" staples for this and every other attachment on the panels except the thin 1/8" wood, 1/8" foam ones mentioned previously.
Here is how I put the pleated panels on the bottom of the main panels. First I glued on 1/4" thick closed cell foam, measured two inch spaces for the pleat channels and taped the channels with 1/4" masking tape. Photo 2 show the 3M90 adhesive to use. It takes a BUNCH of cans for an interior,I am on my 9th or 10th can @ $13 ea., but there is no way around it. You can mail order it cheaper, I have an order for 6 cans coming @ $8 ea., but needed to get started so bit the bullet and bought a bunch @ Home Depot. I rationalized that I will be saving at least $2000 on my interior doing it myself so glue cost is nothing!
Finally, photo 3 shows how I cut down both sides of the tape @ a 45deg angle with a single edge razor and viola!, pleat grooves!
I finally got around to starting the upholstery. I am doing all the interior panels and carpeting. Will farm out the seats since I don't have an upholstery sewing machine.
If you go back int he journal a couple of pages you will see the interior panels I made of 1/8" luan door skins. These are the base panels onto which I put pleated tweed directly on the bottom half and smooth vinyl on the top half. Photo 1 is of the luan overlay panel that goes on the upper half of a door pane. It has been covered with first a layer of 1/8" thick closed cell foam, then the vinyl. Photo 2 shows the sandwich. I used 3M90 spray contact adhesive (don't use 3M77 - it will eventually let go) - a medium coat on both pieces, let dry to the touch then position lightly. If you don't press it down you can reposition it properly. Once you press, it's permanent! Photo 3 show the cloth glued and stapled to the back. The panel clips are hidden by the overlay.
I'll discuss the speaker hole and Chevy blaze decorative hole later. You can make out the door handle and arm rest holes that I haven't cut yet. I didn't glue down the top or sides of the vinyl becaus they need to wrap around the main panel when this sub panel is glued and stapled to it. I used 1/4" long staples with my Arrow electric staple gun for this thin sandwich.
The final part of the mechanism that had to be worked out was the ratio of the drive crank length to the wiper arm crank so the wiper would sweep the correct amount of window. Again this measurement was done with everything installed in the truck. I rotated the motor crank to the far left and far right positions and marked the length of motor crank needed to displace the wiper arm the proper arc. I only needed to do this with one of the arms because they are identical. Photo 1 shows that I had to shorten the motor crank significantly by cutting a chunk out of it and brazing the two pieces back together. That finished the entire wiper system.
In keeping with the vintage look of the truck I wanted to use a stock wiper knob located in the stock location on top of the dash as shown in photo 2. This was very easy to accomplish as shown in photo 3. I first enlarged the hole in the dash to accept the VW wiper switch bezel. The switch then screwed right into place. Then I bought a reproduction '53 wiper knob and roughed up the back side with some 80 grit sand paper so epoxy would stick. In the photo I show a stock VW switch knob that is mostly rubber with a hard plastic insert shaft and flange that is molded into the rubber and is threaded to screw onto the switch shaft. I simply cut off the rubber knob body from the plastic insert, sanded the flange and epoxied it to the previously prepared '53 knob. The picture shows that the flange on the VW insert even has holes that the epoxy oozed through that helped secure the bond to the knob. Once the epoxy was dry, the knob was screwed onto the VW switch.