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custom upholstery 101..
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:14 PM   #1
rabbitnutz
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Default custom upholstery 101..

well, it's time someone finnally made a decent thread about this. and i've got the time to spare, so i figured i would. the things i will be covering in this thread are how to re-upholster the following:

-door panels
-interior quarterpanels
-headliner

i'm doing this write up for a 1998 L coupe, so if others wanna do a write up abot how do do similar type stuff to a bugeye, and a 04/05 and maybe an 06+ and add them to this thread, that would be cool by me.

first off: the door panels.

here we have a set of perfectly stock doorpanels from an RS coupe.i've decidedd to go another route for my interior, and will be removing the stock fabric inserts in favor for some black suede i purchased at the local fabric outlet (joann fabrics if you must know) it's NOT ultra suede, alcantara, or what have you, it's a finer suede thats supposed to be used for curtains or something..who knows...anyways...

tools required(or at least ones i used are as follows:
-small pair of scizzors for small amounts of fabric removal
-regular sized scizzors
-box cutter
-flat head screwdriver; or thin, flat chisels
-you're favorite spray adhesive.
-work surface where you won't care about spray adhesive pverspray

here we have two doorpanels:
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...l/IMG_1034.jpg

cute, aren't they ?

the first step is to seperate the fabric from the foam padding underneath. Realize that the fabric has a small layer of foam, more so around the door handle for padding or something.


starting at the doorhandle hole, work your way through with the screwdriver untill it pokes out the other side.

then with your finger, work around the entire hole untill the entire area around the hole is removed.

tah-dah no more fabric


Now place the old fabric, GLUE SIDE UP, on your new fabric, with the back of the fabric facing up, this is important, as if you switch them, your new fabric will be backwards, so be carefull. Trace the outline with a marker i should have used one of those fancy silver sharpies, but i only had a blue one laying around.



now, after you mark and cut out your new fabric, lay it over the door panel, and center it up (do not glue yet) you'll need no more than a 1/4 of an inch of surplus fabric around the outline of the panel. trim any excess if neccisery, but don't go overboard, more trimming will occur later.


spray the entire foam area, and the back of your new fabric with you adhesive, making sure not to get too much overspray in the actual door panel, it will clean off, but it's kinda tough.


now comes the fun-ish part, get your flat head screwdriver/chisel/tucking tool and start-a-tucking. working all the way around, saving corners for last.(do the two sides that the corner "connects" first, then the actual corner)


now, if not too much excess has been removed from the earlier steps, it might look like this:


this is where the smaller scizzors come in, carefully un-tuck, and snip away little bits at a time. be carefull not to snip too much off, as then it won't properly tuck in place and foam will be exposed.


tuck the remaining bits in, regluing on edges if nesssicery, and tah-dah! fancy new door panels!

Last edited by rabbitnutz; 09-21-2008 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:15 PM   #2
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so, as you may have read before, tan in my L's interior had to go, but i wanted something more. a simple black suede headliner would not do....

so i decided to try something new. 3d inlaid symbol in the headliner.

here are the following steps to remove the headliner on a 93-01 coupe.
- takign out the front seats makes everything easier...just do it. or at least one, and fold the toher flat as possible.
- remvoe the four push fasteners on the back of the headliner, nearest the rear window.
-remove the "evasive manueaver" handles, if applicable, if not, remove the oval coverings for where they would screw in.
-remove the sunvisors
-remove the rear veiw mirror, and it's attachment clip that attaches it to the roof
- under the attachment clip thingie for the rear veiw mirror, there is another push fastener, remove it.
-remove the cover from the domelight, and remove the domelight assemebley

after everything is said and done, and all the stuff is removed, the headliner is essentially "free" now comes the tricky part.

some people say here is where to remve the doortrim, interior paneling, a and b/c pillars, and completely remove all trim in side the car, sans dash......screw that.

if you can manage to get your fingers inbetween the a-pillar and headliner, simply pull the a-pillar down towards the center of the vehicle, and it will pop out. do the same for the band c pillars, and repeat on the other side. you shoudl notice the headliner actually be able to move around and wiggle and stuff.

now comes time to get it out. the way i did it, which worked for me, but others may have other ways of going about it, was to simpley pull the headliner down carefully, and slide it forward, using the hole for the dome light as a makeshift handle.

*BE VERY CAREFULL NOT TO BEND THE HEADLINER*
the material it's made out of can easily bend and crack, and if it does, it's likely the new headliner will start sagging from this spot if not properly glued.

slide it forward untill the front mot edge of the headliner touches the dash, and it should be able to give you enough "legroom" to wiggle it out

yay, removed headliner!


subaru headliners, much alike most other modern cars headliners, are vaccum mressed into hot glue on the styroboard. makes it conform the compund curves alot better, and look more appealing. it also makes it more of a pain in the ass to remove.

start in one corner, and try to pry up the old fabric along with it's glue. the glue tend to crack alot, but make sure to remove it, the fabric is harder to remove without the glue attached to it.


i found it easiest to move along the edge of the headliner (i started from the back) and curl up the fabric halfway up to the middle of the headliner, then rotating it, and pulling it towards myself



now we can see the styro-board stuff that is the main body of the headliner

Last edited by rabbitnutz; 09-21-2008 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:16 PM   #3
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now, heres the fun secret surprise part.


we're gonna have a 3D pattern on the headliner. i decided to chose the subaru emblem. i picked up at the local wal-mart, some 2mm think foam, with adhesive backing. stuff is pretty cool, they have it in the craft section. along with that i picked up some really strong glue.


put your pattern on top of the foam, and trace the outline of the pattern with a box cutter lightly, only enough to make a mark you can see later.


now after that's finished, we have a lovely outline of our pattern which is easily seen.


now cut out the pattern you chose, being carefull for proper curves, and straight lines.



i decided to leave out the oval shape, and only use the stars. after deciding where to put them i removed the backing from the foam's adhesive, and layed downa nice layer of my super-strong glue


start spraying your adhesiv from around your pattern, this is the area you want to start off with to define the patter.

Last edited by rabbitnutz; 09-21-2008 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:17 PM   #4
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after you've sprayed adhesive all over the place, and you've placed your fabric evenly over the patter, take a small blunt object (screwdriver handle sized) and trace the outline of the pattern working the glue into the fabric.


it helps to put firm pressure with your hand on the pattern for a few minutes, to ensure the glue has adhered. after that's done, move onto the rest of the headliner, and spray small bits at a time (i did 6" strips all the way across) and slowly adhere the new fabric on.

this is what you should have now, or something like it.


now tke the excess, and cut all but about half an inch or so away. this half of an inch will be wrapped over the fold of the headliner, and glued in place, so no one can see the edges of the new fabric.

make sure to leave notches and spaces for any headliner spacers that yours has ( like this one)


here are some details of the pattern in my new headliner.


it came out a crapload better than i thought it would, and i will be re-doing my door panels to match.

i hope you all appriciate this, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

~Nick.

Last edited by rabbitnutz; 09-21-2008 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:21 PM   #5
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awesome!!!!
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:13 PM   #6
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now thats kick ass.
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Old 10-18-2005, 05:04 PM   #7
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Great job man! Looks cool!
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Old 10-19-2005, 07:28 AM   #8
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Isn't suede a little heavy for a headliner? I just think it might sag from the weight over time. I did this same mod to my old L and it turned out good except for a couple of small areas.

Nice work. I especially like the foam stars underneath. Nice effect. I've got to do the doors on my OBS. I hate the jizz shot pattern on the seat and doors.
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Old 10-19-2005, 07:49 AM   #9
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+1 Awesome job. Bonus points for creativity too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbowagon
hate the jizz shot pattern on the seat and doors.
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:26 PM   #10
rabbitnutz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbowagon
Isn't suede a little heavy for a headliner? I just think it might sag from the weight over time. I did this same mod to my old L and it turned out good except for a couple of small areas.

Nice work. I especially like the foam stars underneath. Nice effect. I've got to do the doors on my OBS. I hate the jizz shot pattern on the seat and doors.

i don't think it's too heavy, it's only single layer stuff i used, not foam backing to it or anything, it's pretty pliable. the stars came out pretty good on the door panels too.
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