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Old 12-22-2009, 08:46 PM
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Need some upholstery clip help/advice

I'm in the process of finally installing the upholstery in my '31 A roadster (see the AVATAR). It has been done professionally then removed so I could finish up the paint. The upholsterer used those @#$% spring "Ford" panel clips which I learned to really dislike many years ago. I've been able to successfully install the kick and door panels, but had to replace probably 50+% of the clips as they were too bent out of shape to use. Now I'm about to do the rest of the interior, which is an upholstered one piece ABS panel wrapping around the back of the interior, door to door. Of the dozen or so of these @#$% clips, all but one or two are junk. I can use the Phillips head screw with a conical washer arrangement fairly easily, but will need to install a block of wood to use the same holes, panel and body. Not a big deal, but if there is another choice, except maybe the nylon Christmas tree which would be hidden, I can't find any on-line reference. This panel is one that I would like to be reasonably easy to remove as my wiring module resides behind it in a cavity between the trunk panel.

So, with that said HELP!!!!



Dave W

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:04 AM
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Take a look at the Au-Ve-Co catalog at this web site. CLICK HERE The reason I like to use those spring type clips like the 10780 or 2385 is that they are the easiest (for me at least) to put in and take out. Is it possible for you to hang the panels in question with interlocking clips like the flush mount system? Then you would screw the panels down at the bottom. When you wanted to remove the panels, you'd unscrew the screws and lift the panels out. CLICK HERE This is one kind, there are others.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:34 AM
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What size are your "receiving" holes? I was having similar problems with the Ford type clips. They didn't want to go in without a lot of effort and then when I would remove a panel, the clip would be bent badly and like you say, unusable.

I'm not even sure where I first read it but I initially drilled my receiving holes at 1/4" diameter. And that was causing me problems. So I started experimenting with larger and larger holes. I worked my way all the way up to 7/16" and that is what I ended up using on the car. The clips snap in place easily and holds quite firmly. But most importantly, the clips come out with a gently tug and are no longer bent or twisted when they are removed.

Obviously, I don't have much experience to go on here, but larger holes made life a whole lot easier for my particular case.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:52 AM
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Dan and Cboy - thanks for the great help. That Au-Ve-Co/Perfectfit catalog has a lot of great stuff and have bookmarked it for some good reading. The one bracket Dan, wont work for me, but sure looks interesting.

Drilling the holes bigger is one of the alternatives I considered, but wasn't sure that the clips would hold tight enough and it sounds like a good way as the holes I have, I believe, are .25 or thereabouts. Since I need to take the kick panels off to install the cowl cover braces, will experiment there - like with .375 first .

Again, thanks

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Old 12-23-2009, 10:21 AM
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You might even want to consider experimenting with a junk piece of metal similar to what you holes are currently drilled into. I used a chunk of 1x1 square tubing since that is what most of my backing plates consist of. I just kept going larger and larger, testing the clip which was inserted into a little experimental piece of backer board. By using a piece of backer board instead of just inserting the clip, it tells you a little better if you are going to get a firm grip with only a minor amount of play (in and out) for the clip and panel.

I know 7/16" looked and seemed outrageously large when I started, but that ended up being the perfect fit as far as I'm concerned. But I also know the feeling of not wanting to go overboard. Once the hole is drilled too big...your sorta up sheep creek.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
You might even want to consider experimenting with a junk piece of metal similar to what you holes are currently drilled into. I used a chunk of 1x1 square tubing since that is what most of my backing plates consist of. I just kept going larger and larger, testing the clip which was inserted into a little experimental piece of backer board. By using a piece of backer board instead of just inserting the clip, it tells you a little better if you are going to get a firm grip with only a minor amount of play (in and out) for the clip and panel.

I know 7/16" looked and seemed outrageously large when I started, but that ended up being the perfect fit as far as I'm concerned. But I also know the feeling of not wanting to go overboard. Once the hole is drilled too big...your sorta up sheep creek.

Probably a good idea even tho mine is just thin (18-22ga) sheet metal. I'll work up to a size from the .25 and post for "posterity"

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Old 12-23-2009, 10:44 AM
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You are more than welcome to do what you want, but I urge you not to drill holes bigger than 5/16". The larger the hole, the easier it is to attach the clip, but the larger the hole, the more chance you have of hitting a bump while you're driving and your panel popping off. The older the clips get, and the more the panel is taken off and put back on gives the clips less holding power.

The majority of problems with attaching panels with these clips comes when someone tries to pound the clip in at an angle to the hole and not directly over the top of the hole and destroys the clip. Also, the 10780 clip is slightly longer than the 2385 clip. If what you're putting the clip through is thin, the 2385 will work O.K., but if what the hole is drilled in is thicker, you need to use the longer 10780 clip.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Also, the 10780 clip is slightly longer than the 2385 clip. If what you're putting the clip through is thin, the 2385 will work O.K., but if what the hole is drilled in is thicker, you need to use the longer 10780 clip.
This is a very good point and it will make a difference on how tightly your panel will snug up to the back bracing (sheet metal). The bigger the hole, the more in-out travel there will tend to be. I tried both the 10780 clip and the 2385 clip (shorter throw - distance from panel back to the shoulder of the spring) and ended up using the 2385 because they hold the panel more firmly to my bracing. But I think every application will probably be a little different.

I also think Dan's recommendation for hole size is particularly important for headliner or roof panels. I screwed my roof panels in so I didn't have to worry about it, but I would have been very hesitant going all the way up to 7/16" on anything overhead.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:30 PM
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Dan, that's exactly the reason that I said I was goung to work up from the original .25. I'll probably do this in .0625 increments and WILL report back as to how I'm making out with the sizes. Thanks for the part numbers - I'll order a bunch up, probably after Xmas now. I have other mechanical work on the car, the house as well as plunge into holiday gluttony plus hang around with 6 of my visiting grand kids

As far as bent clips - my upholsterer and I are going to have a talk about "Ford" upholstery clips tho I can't be upset with him as he was supposed to reinstall the panels and it was my choice not to trailer it the 100 miles back to his shop in the snow....and his final pricing was reduced accordingly.

Dave W
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:16 PM
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Dave, could you use some industrial grade Velcro to hold that panel? WalMart carries it in 2" wide sections and it grips great. My door panels are held on with it and they are doing fine so far.

Vince
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:59 PM
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... could you use some industrial grade Velcro
How do you attach that Vince so that it doesn't pull right off the panel or the sheet metal when you remove a panel? I can vision sewing it onto the panel side but how do you get it to stick to sheet metal. From my experience, the velcro hooks are stronger than the glue the holds it to the material.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:54 PM
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The industrial grade Velcro has some really sticky adhesive, more so than regular Velcro. It does however need a smooth surface to adhere to, it will not stick good to wood. On my wooden door panels I used 1/8" paneling and one side was finished a smooth white primer which the Velcro bonded to really good. Just try some of the industrial grade and see how well it sticks, I think you may be surprised.

P.S. Just make sure both surfaces are super clean.

Vince

Last edited by 302 Z28; 12-23-2009 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:20 PM
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Just try some of the industrial grade and see how well it sticks...
I'll have to get some and try it. Sounds encouraging. Do you think it might work to hold carpet in place?
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:25 PM
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Vince - my guess with the ABS sheeting used that the 'super stick' stuff on the back of the Velcro wouldn't hold too well. My upholsterer cut the back piece out of a single .062x4x8 sheet and it might just be too heavy. Just for the sake of an experiment, I'll try a piece tomorrow as I do have some available from an 'abandoned' Rod Doors kit I had originally planned on using - sold the panels at a swap meet but kept the Velcro (sounds like you used that Home Depot 5/32's paneling).

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Old 12-23-2009, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Irelands child
Vince (sounds like you used that Home Depot 5/32's paneling).

Dave W
Yep, that is what I used. The doors on my 34 fit so closely to the body the lower portion of the doors has no foam padding just upholstery glued to it.

Make sure that Velcro you have is the Industrial stuff, as it is vastly different from regular Velcro. I would think it would hold great on that ABS. I would use some long strips to spread the weight out as much as possible.

Vince
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