After having successfully adhered flat vinyl to flat sheet metal, the challenged was stepped up just a bit for the waterfall. Factory 5 provided plain black vinyl for the waterfall that you are supposed to adhere (seriously.. watch how to do it on YouTube). However, I wanted it to have a bit more pop, so we stuck with the two-tone theme and added some ivory vinyl, quilted stripes behind the seats.
I cut the very nice piece of black vinyl they gave me into three pieces, and sewed two strips of ivory in between, measured so that they would end up behind the seats.
After this, I was bad about taking pictures, but basically, I took some of the new headliner I purchased and spray basted it to the back of the ivory section. This would allow some cushion and make it stand out from the flat black. I then quilted a seam down the center, as well as added some seams in coordinating thread to the outside of the black and ivory sections. The sewing machine bobbin pulled a bit, so we had a lot of extra thread in the back that would have come apart if we weren’t cementing the entire piece onto the fiberglass – lesson to have another person help with the sewing by making sure the vinyl stays taut.
Drew then became a professional vinyl applier. Working in sections, he slowly adhered the vinyl to the waterfall with contact cement. It actually stretched pretty well around all of the curves. We started with two pieces on the edges. I think that the directions provided from Factory 5 said to do the same. We had some issues keeping the very concave curves in place, but luckily they get covered by the seats so no one will ever know..
Another upgrade, I stitched the edges of our two-tone piece that would go over the vinyl edges. The directions didn’t say to, but it looks a lot more finished. We clipped the edges and brought them around the outside of the waterfall. Overall, we are very impressed with the amateur upholstery job – and are much happier than the plain black (at least I am, I think Drew likes it (correction – he says he “really likes it).
A break in the sewing projects has given me a chance to make Delores some new duds. The kit came with plain black vinyl for the waterfall covering and quilted black vinyl door panels with no door handles (just a rod that you push) and plastic armrests. I told Drew that if he is going to spend this much money on a custom car, the inside should look nice… I also couldn’t figure out how to open the doors from inside anyway, so we definitely needed some new handles.
We are going with a two-toned theme on the outside, so we decided to carry that inside. I found some cream vinyl and purchased some headliner. First step was to remove the black vinyl that was glued to the metal door panels with a putty knife. After it was removed, Drew fit-up the bare metal panels and pre-drilled all the holes for final mounting (this would have actually been very challenging if the vinyl was already installed…).
I kept the quilted look on the door panels but made them two-toned with black and cream using the headliner as the quilted liner. The sewing machine did just fine after I got a roller foot, leather needle, and upholstery thread. After sewing the two pieces together and quilting with coordinating thread, I cut the finished vinyl to fit the metal panel then added the trim. So far this is 99% like cotton quilting.
After the pieces were the right size, we watched some YouTube videos about installing auto vinyl. We would have definitely done it wrong if we didn’t complete this step.
Step 1: Paint both sides with contact cement and let it dry.
Step 2: Sit the two pieces together and stretch to fit.
Step 3: Apply contact cement to the trim and back of the metal panel, stretch the trim around the panel and adhere to the back.
Step 4: Since I didn’t want a pucker at the seam (in order to attach some chrome trim here… possibly), Drew had pre-drilled me some holes in the metal that I used to sew the panel to the metal sheet along my seam after it was glued. This also had the unintentional consequence of making the line between the colors much more clean.
The door panels look much more stylish than the plain black, plus new billet door handles.
So one of the downsides of a fiberglass body is noise and vibrations due to the panels being extremely light and them being… well… fiberglass. My solution to this issue is to cover as much surface area in sound deadening and heat insulation material and seal absolutely all seams and gaps that I can. The pictures below are of the start of it. The system is a 2 part system with the first layer being a heavy butyl rubber and heat barrier and the second being a dense foam for more deadening and insulation.
Kristy has decided that she will take over the interior upholstery and sound deadening and is so far doing a hell of a job. Although I am not sure she is using the lift properly.
She has also declared the black on black carpet/vinyl not up to her specs, so stay tuned for some potentially custom amateur upholstery work.