Probably so, but at this point it's appropriate! Once she's all pretty again the moniker will probably go.....probably. I've quickly discovered that with a convertible everything is harder to work on and costs twice as much as it should....if it's available that is!
Yeah I did the top too. It wasn't bad. I swear. You just need a good stapler, mine runs off my compressor. I followed a DVD from late model restoration. I had another convertible before and had a professional shop do the top. The one I did myself on this car actually came out much better. For the seats I used the TMI leather and new foam.
Outstanding job. I have the TMI leather set also (and ordered the matching vinyl from them to recover the rear quarter trim panels.) I was torn between spending the money on having an upholstery shop do the fronts and rebuild the foam or to do it myself and spend the money on new foam. Since doing it myself also affords me the opportunity to reinforce all of the welds on the seat frame that swayed my choice to just do the fronts myself. I'm a picky SOB anyhow so I'll only have myself to blame if I don't like something!
C'mon dude! Cars stopped being a "she" 10 years ago..."it" "he" and " the car" are now the preferred nicknames for an inanimate object of your affection .
Let's add that to the " tranny" , and " stabbing the dizzy" junk pile of stupid assed car guy sayings.
Along with peeling out, laying rubber, bitchin, pop-up's, 3/4 cam, rail job, and wrinkle walls.
Been a few weeks since I've posted any progress but some has actually been made. A lot of what I've gotten done you really can't see, weatherstripping, quarter window guides, etc. Here's the biggest and most visible accomplishment:
Yep, the front end was built out and installed. There weren't any front end shots previously because it wasn't on. I couldn't adjust the hood until after it was on but I got that finished too. I HATE lining up hoods! It was a true test of patience and I had cringed at the body shop when they said they wanted to take it off to spray. I have the "pleasure" of getting the quarter windows adjusted properly now. If anyone has any tips to make it a little easier, please pass them along.
I have a restored set of Pony rims with new rubber I waiting to put on. I need to clean up the inner fender liners first. Between work, weather and honey-do's my time has been limited on what I can get done. The days I have been able to get stuff done have been sweltering! Wrench, wrench, wipe sweat off of glasses and out of eyes....repeat. The heat index has been 100+ on most days and no breeze. When it does cool down it's only because a downpour is coming and you have just enough time to run around picking up everything before it hits. Getting closer though. I'm hoping to have it off to the top shop in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
There's one exactly like mine (except it's a '93) that's been on the Jacksonville CL for the past month. They're asking $6500 and it's in beautiful shape. Ya have to look in the parts section though, not the cars for sale. My best friend found the listing. I told him I coulda saved money, time and effort and just bought that one! Ahhh but the joys of wrestling a vert back together.
Been some time now since any updates have been posted. I had to go out of town for work for the entire month of August so that was a total bust! Due to losing as much time as I did, the top replacement has taken last place on the list. Since my return it's primarily been interior work. I wasn't going to redo the interior until the top was done but I'm afraid to lose the car for a week or so with the bulk of the interior still not done. I'm trying to make Foxtoberfest with it this year. I can drop the top if it's still crap but kinda hard to drive 3 hours with no interior!
So far I've refurbished both armrests (new chrome trim, switch bezels and dyed pads). I found a white armrest assembly on Fleabay and used it for pieces, mainly the pad. There was a little discoloration so I dyed both to match each other. It's a little pricey but I gotta say I love the LMR vinyl paint/dye!
I also redid the door panels. At $500+ for a repop set I preferred to work with what I had. I cleaned the vinyl really well as it was in super shape (no re-dye necessary), put in new backer boards, inner door belt weatherstrips, map pockets and speaker grills. They came out really nice and for under half of what new ones cost. I have about $200 total in them.
I had the stuff to do them for a long while but was kinda scared to screw them up and really didn't know where to start. I ran across a Youtube video on a channel called House of Dula where he did a really good instructional video on how to replace the backer boards. Armed with that helped my confidence. I did spring for an air stapler and it's a huge help!
The last thing I've done is to finish the seat upholstery up. Again the air stapler was a great help when it came to covering the knee bolsters. I am by no means an upholsterer but I'm happy with the results. I can say the single hardest thing to do was installing the new covers on the headrests. All I can say is avoid at all costs! What a PITA!! This is the passenger seat (and the first one I did). The drivers seat is also completed and went pretty smooth after exerperience gained from doing the pass. seat. I also did the headrest first!
All that's left for the interior is to do some painting on the console and the glove box door and finish re-covering the rear trim panels and I can then install the new carpet and reassemble the interior. I'm hoping for some really productive time this weekend. Next shots to come will be the rear trim panels when completed.....and a little more frequent updates now. Then, on to a new project I bought myself for my birthday a few weeks ago....
If you decide to do the top use stainless steel staples. I do them on the side. Actually, I do all kinds of convertible tops. It really isn't hard to do. If you order the top keep your original padding that covers the top bows. Put the new included thin foam on top of your old padding and wrap it in the new black vinyl sleeve. It'll keep your car from looking like a starving dog with its ribs poking out. A heat gun is your friend. Lmr has a good video.
EZSofttops guarantees a perfect fit when you restore your Ford convertible top with our new convertible top that is made in the USA using the original pattern.
There are only a couple manufacturers left so they are really close in quality from brand to brand. The cloth tops are harder to maintain and tend to leak where the top is folded repeatedly.
The best product I've found to clean and maintain convertible top vinyl is Ambersol....yes the old original shaving cream. Cleans and softens the vinyl...all vinyl. It takes any dirt, moss, or mildew off. Even works on door panels and armrests. Afterwards, wash with mild soap ( Dawn ) and use a top conditioner.
Thanks for the top advice. There's not a whole lot I won't tackle myself. Putting on the top is on that short list! The current one isn't horrible, but it's cheap and has the vinyl rear window. It's scratched and yellowed. The top itself has some staining and looks worse next to the new paint and trim. A new fresh one with a glass rear window is what will be going in. The top shop I'm taking it to has been in business for decades around here and is one of the few well known and reputable top shops. Thanks for the advice!
Ok, I'm terrible with progress updates, I admit it. I have gotten stuff done though. Yesterday I worked on my car and my best friend had his '93 notch at the house for some work on it. NOTHING went right yesterday so it was a complete waste! In the past week I have gotten the console completely finished, to include an actual working ashtray door WITHOUT drilling or using a repair kit! I've also finished repairing some underdash and door wiring issues, some from the PO (speaker wires). The dash is all cleaned and purdy now with a new tri-bar emblem to boot. I was having issues with the drivers outside mirror not working and got that fixed too. I STILL need to address the glovebox door. Cleaning helped but it's gonna need resprayed I'm afraid.
Since I was on a roll..finally...and the electrical repairs were going good, I decided to hook up the whole stereo system to make sure everything worked. Using Mike's (Mustang5L5) post on doing a factory '93 AM/FM/CD (Stereo Post), I was able to make the one wiring mod needed, plug everything in and TADA!! It worked like a champ first try! Thanks Mike for a great post, it was a huge help.
The only non-Ford stuff I used were the speakers. I replaced all 6 with Rockford Fosgate speakers which cost me a little over $120 for all of them. They sound great for a "factory" system. The new carpet is all ready to go in, and would have happened today except it started raining. One rear quarter rim panel left to re-cover and the interior work will be done. As soon as the carpet goes down I'm putting the front half all back together and pics will be coming then! I hate being on a roll and stopping to shoot them. If I thinkabout taking pics when I take a quick break I will take a few extra minutes and take some then, otherwise I usually do them after everything is done. I've only got another week and a half left before I have to get everything done in order to make Foxtoberfest with it. Later!
On the road...FINALLY!! I had off work all of last week, some normal off days and some vacation time. I put in between 8 and 10 hours a day working on the car. It was going to Foxtoberfest this year..period! A week ago this past Sunday still saw no interior. Several days of steady work and waiting out drizzling rain two days in a row but I got it all back together. Here's some pics. I've previously posted the "before" pics so here are the "after" pics:
Last Thursday it went for a front end alignment and Friday it was on the road to Charlotte. I've never driven the thing more than a block or 2 since buying it. The first road test was 3hours on the interstate each way. If you're gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly! Here's the "finished" pics before the road trip:
The trip up went smoothly and the car ran and handled great. I had the low coolant sensor decide it didn't want to work occasionally (even though it was full), a Check Engine Light that would pop on after 20 or 30 minutes of driving (but no hard codes, I think it's an EGR valve problem), and cruise wanted to work when it wanted to. Other than that it had no other problems on it's maiden trip.
I showed the car Saturday with the top down (to hide that ugly top). As rain moved in I started to put up the top and windows. First real casualty, the left quarter window motor gave up the ghost. When we got back to the hotel I had to do some shade tree engineering to try to keep the expected rain showers out of my fresh interior. A piece of cardboard and some duct tape did the trick and kept it relatively dry. Yes I have a pic of it, no I don't want to post it! As Dwayne Johnson said in "Skyscraper", if ya can't fix it with duct tape, ya ain't using enough duct tape! As if a windy and slightly chilly 3 hour road trip wasn't enough, the heater core decided it wanted to leave the party. The temps were good the whole trip but it got real foggy, real fast if you used the vent with the temp turned up!
I still have more work to do in addition to the new repairs to make. Although I worked on the right side window aligments for almost 3 hours, they still need work. What a pain in the a$$! It still needs the new top. The one on it is a 5 footer, I did get it to clean up quit a bit but it's still gotta go.
As soon as I get the shop straightened out it'll be on to the hatchback!!