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Old 01-08-2004, 01:58 PM
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Tips on getting your Rod Project ready for upholstery Shop

This list is a few years old now. I have it posted on my wesite. If you see anyhting that reads crazy let me know and I'll fix it. I'm not to good with the type'n thing. I always get a head of myself and mess up.


Tips on getting your Rod Project ready for upholstery Shop

>>>>>>>>>>>>WhAt t0 KEeP IN MiNd!!<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Appointments : Call or get in touch with the upholstery shop well ahead of time to "get on the list." Most of the shops ( Street Rod Upholstery Shops ) will have a back log 6-12 months or more. " I do "! (Also keep in mind this is when your Street Rod will be ready for the upholstery shop plan well ahead). "The best thing to do is when you think you'll be ready add about 3-4 months to it." Also, stay in-touch with them from time to time. Be sure to make an appointment. It's better to cancel than to not have an appointment at all. If you do cancel, the shop will keep you in mind and work you in much quicker when you are ready.

Wiring : Make sure there is a little bit of play within the wires. The wires should have enough slack under the dash to come over the top of the kick panels and fire wall panel at the very bottom of the dash (You can use a ruler to check this). If you can run the wires overhead, it will make its floor alot cleaner and better to work with. Make everything neat, and tie up with plastic ties. "Keep Slack & Make Neat"..

Heater Hoses : Make sure they have a little slack in them also ( Just like the wiring ). On my car, the heater hoses run parallel under the dash and then run down into the kick panels and come out into the inner fender well. Then they run up the inner fender well and come out into the engine compartment where they are needed. You may have to put a spring in the hose where it makes the turn from the kick panel into the fender well. This will keep it from folding up. This makes your upholstered kick panels and fire wall panel fit up nice and clean. It also makes your exterior fire wall look better. The main thing is to keep your interior kick panels and fire wall as flat and clutter free as possible.

Windows and garnish moldings : All windows need to be in and working. If you use ( FISH ) aquarium silicon, the glass will not get that old look around their edges. Keep Slack in the wires! If power windows, ( have them wired ) put the power window switches where they are best for you (where they do not run into your leg on the door) The best window switch places are in the console or in a short drop board under the dash. Make sure that you discuss this with the upholster. All window felting should be in place. Have all the window garnish moldings fitting the windows right and painted. (If you plan to paint the moldings the same color of the leather or cloth, have them in primer and make sure that the felting is fitted for the upholster to put onto garnish moldings after he or she has painted them. This will up the cost of the job).

Dash and garnish painting, (leather look) : You can go to your local auto paint or upholstery supply store and get the cans of SEM vinyl and plastic spray paint ( The color you want to do the interior with ) and paint the dash and garnish moldings with this ( you can also have it mixed ). " It works great." Then the upholster can match the leather to the dash and garnish moldings. This way the dash and moldings look just like the leather, clean and neat!

Carpet : Make sure that you have the carpet sill plate garnishes ( Where the carpet meets the door-jam ). If you are planning for your master cylinder to be under the car, please spend a little more money and put a remote fill on the exterior fire wall. This way you won't have to have a hole cut in your high dollar carpet!

Radio and Speakers : Radio : If your radio is in your dash have it wired and working. If you plan to put your radio in the headliner or a center console, make sure if you wire it that there is enough wire ( Slack ). " I will wire the radio if you want me to." Make sure you have the three wires needed red ACC, yellow HOT all the time and Black GROUND. Speakers :, You can just lay your speakers wired where you would like them to go ( make sure there is enough speaker wire slack ). If you do put the speakers in yourself, make sure that they are flush. This way the panel or package shelf will fit nicely.

Seats : It's best to mount your seat(s) lower than you think they should be placed in your car. When you put on the new upholstery, it will ( 90% of the time ) raise you up in the car. Make sure that your seats are square in every way and that the seat tracks are also square to each other before installing them. (Check for: side to side, the backs, across, stand in front of the car and look to see if they look straight to each-other and so on ... ) Also make sure that they fit the car and that they aren't too tight. If you cannot put your hand with a little play in-between the seat and the door, I think that they will be way too tight (You can check this the best way when the seats are as far up as they'll go in the car). If you are using the original seat and it's in bad, bad shape and will need to be refoamed, go ahead and take all of the old stuff off (old nails ). You may want to paint the frames. If so, stack them on top of one another. This will save paint.

Custom Dash: If you decide to build a custom dash, keep in mind that if the dash comes straight out into the car (two,three or four inches) make room for a 1/2" peace of windlace. You can fix this by making channels for the 1/2" windlace in the side of the dash with a piece of 5/8" cut in half tubing. Also keep in mind that the door panel has to go in-between the dash and the door. Make a 5/8" to a 3/4" gap for this or just make the the dash taper into the middle of the hot rod.

Trunk : Have your trunk working. Make sure you have a way to make the truck stay open. If your trunk uses some kind of electric opener, make sure it does not stick out past where the panel sould be flush. Downs Manufacturing Co. makes the best trunk lift. You don't have to cut slots in the panel(s) with the Downs' lift.

Chopping Your Rod : If you cut or chop your street rod top, please do not take out the windlace tacking strip channels that are around the doors. If you decide to, don't use thick metal stock.


Last edited by Hot Rod Up; 01-08-2004 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 01-08-2004, 02:12 PM
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Whatever you decide on a budget, add about 15-20% for good measure. A good upholstery shop will find things that should be addressed while the car is w/o an interior. It's cheaper and easier to do them now then after the interior is done.
An example, power for electric windows, door locks, additional wires for amplifiers, CD changer, speakers, electric seats, additional interior lighting and door jamb conduits. Run the wiring under carpet and into doors and secure them where they're accessible. Plan for such things even if they're not in the immediate future.
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