Interior and Upholstery Interior Panel Rehab

MustangIIMatt

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Mar 7, 2002
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Now that I've got my '75 Mustang II Ghia's powertrain sorted out, cooling system up to the task, exhaust system quieted down, EFI installed, my attention turned to ditching the vinyl top, which meant getting rid of the opera windows and their plastic filler panels and installing full-size coupe quarter windows. I got started on that, and realized that I wasn't just going to need to clean and repair my rear interior panels, they were going to have to be replaced with the standard, non-Ghia, parts.

After searching all of the local salvage yards, watching Ebay like a hawk, talking to the nice people at Desert Valley Auto Parts (They have several IIs in inventory), throwing classified listings out on several Mustang sites, and talking to the few II people I know in person, I came up dry. I finally found a set via Phil's Mustang II specialty shop, and while they're in pretty good shape, they were filthy, and the wrong color.

This thread is going to show how I'm going to fix both of those problems, as well as a few minor cosmetic blemishes in the plastic.

CAM00695[1].jpg


Here, you can see what I'm starting with. Like I said, they're in pretty good shape, as you can see here on the passenger side panel, but they're a bit grimy.

CAM00696[1].jpg

To clean them, I started off with a rinse with warm water, followed by some scrubbing with a terry cloth towel, warm water, and Palmolive dish soap. This got the majority of it loose pretty quickly, but there's some stubborn stuff that just wouldn't come off, as you can see here on the driver side panel.

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The passenger side panel's dirt was more stubborn, here I am rinsing the back side of it again to see if a little water pressure from the "massage" setting won't knock some more of it loose. (One of the benefits of being single is you can use your bathtub for things like this!)

CAM00704[1].jpg

After some more time scrubbing and rinsing, we have a pretty clean panel. I'm going to do some detail cleaning later, and I'll update the thread when that's done, not to mention the rest of the steps involved.
 
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MustangIIMatt

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So I was going to show the detailed cleaning of these panels, but forgot to take pictures. You ever forget something? I totally did.

However, after that was done, I remembered I was supposed to be taking pictures to share with you guys, and I grabbed my phone and got started with the next step. You didn't miss much, just some rubbing alcohol and an old toothbrush and a dry towel to wipe away what came off.

With the panels as clean as I can get them, it's time for paint. If you're lucky, you'll be able to find a vinyl dye or a spray paint that adheres to plastic that is in the correct color for you. I'm trying to match the maroon/burgundy interior of my II, so no such luck there, but there is still a way!
IMAG0948[1].jpg

As you can see, GM Dark Cherry Metallic is a pretty good match for the factory interior color. (Old, worn-out panel that's not compatible with my new quarter windows for comparison.)

Before we can paint the plastic though, we need to prime it in such a way that paint intended for metal will stick to it. For that we need this:
IMAG0949[1].jpg

Adhesion Promoter is a clear, quick-drying primer that works VERY well for making paint stick to plastic, fiberglass, and even lightly scuffed chrome. One even coat of this and we're in business.

IMAG0951[1].jpg


First coat done. Dupli-color seems a bit off on their shade of red. I'm going to apply another coat tonight and see if it darkens up enough (if at all), and if not, I will be on the hunt for a darker shade to correct the issue. As you can see though, the paint laid down nicely, even on plastic, thanks to the adhesion promoter!

Stay tuned!
 

MustangIIMatt

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IMAG0963[1].jpg

Another coat of paint darkened it up quite a bit! It's looking like one more coat will have it done.

The paint ran just a little at the bottom of the panel, but that will be hidden under the rear seat cushion, so I'm not going to fight with it. If anything like that happens anywhere that will be visible, I'll be working to correct it, and if end up doing that, this thread will become a bit more involved.
 
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BBRacer

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That turned out quite nice. My blue ones are scratched up and the colour - not correct if I go with a bit darker blue than factory on the exterior. Thought I had to vinyl over the panels but this seems to have worked great! Good job.
 

MustangIIMatt

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That turned out quite nice. My blue ones are scratched up and the colour - not correct if I go with a bit darker blue than factory on the exterior. Thought I had to vinyl over the panels but this seems to have worked great! Good job.
Thanks!
 

MustangIIMatt

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Great job!
Have you ever taken on the door panels? Specifically with replacing the carpet on them.
That's on the list to do. Later today I'll be posting up a seatbelt-replacement-turned-emergency-carpet-removal thread (with pics!)

I work six days a week at a car dealership 25 miles from home, so I pretty much just have Sundays to work on it right now, so I'm focusing on one-day projects that I can write up on my lunch break on Monday.
 
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Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
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Matt, @MustangIIMatt I know you did this thread in 2015. How is it holding up?
I have been sound insulating the hatch area of my Cobra II and when I put the panels back in yesterday afternoon; I just had to shake my head. Everything is so nice except the pane ls are scratched and dirty. I can clean them off but they are so weathered and gray. I'd like to try this.
 
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