Recovering Rear 1994 Convertible Mach 460 Speaker Grilles

5.0 Ford Guy

Founding Member
Nov 29, 1999
Brownsburg, Indiana
Do your rear speaker covers look like this?

In this article I am going to show you how to repair these speaker grilles with new cloth.

Tools Needed:
Basic hand tools (small socket set)
T50 Torx Bit and 1/2" ratchet or breaker bar
Flat and Phillips screwdrivers
Flat pry bar (for removing plastic Christmas tree looking push pins)
Dremel or Pencil Grinder
Dremel Grinding Stone Bits or Drum Sander Bit

Materials Needed:
Speaker Grille Fabric
Fabric Spray Glue
Fabric Tack Glue
2-part Epoxy
220 Grit Sandpaper

I found the article on how to recover the Mach 460 speaker covers by TxFrog1999 HERE.

The fronts went rather well as you can see here
So I decided to do the rears. But there wasn't a lot of info on how to do these. It just states they were a lot easier. They are actually a bit harder to do and the task is a bit more time consuming. But it's well worth the effort I think.

TXFrog1999 references an article that explains how to remove the rear panels in the convertible. It is kind of vague though, and I actually broke a couple pins off of my rear panels because I pulled them the wrong way. Live and learn. It is no big deal because the clips that hold the panels in place are still intact. The pins were just to guide the panel into place. This is my first time doing this, so hopefully others can learn from my mistakes.

Sourcing Materials:
I went to Joanne Fabrics to get the materials. I wasn't 100% thrilled with what I ended up with because it's not quite dark enough after seeing it on the speakers, but it looks ok. Just make sure whatever you buy it has some elasticity to it. Don't grab a bunch of it and stretch it, because most fabric will appear to be elastic doing this. Use just your thumb and index finger on each hand to pull the fabric. It should stretch quite a bit to be a suitable fabric for speaker covering. You also need a good spray glue, and a tacky glue to affix the cloth to the back of the grille covers. These are the products I used with very good results.

The total cost counting the fabric was around $16.00. The fabric I bought was $7.00/yard. You could get by with 1/4 yard, but I think they only sell it by the yard. I still have enough supplies left over to do my Bose 601's ;)

Interior Quarter Panel Removal:
To remove the rear panels you have to remove the rocker covers. These just pop up. Then remove the rear seat. Slide your fingertips along the lower edge of the rear seat bottom. There are two rectangular push buttons. Push them toward the back of the car to release the seat bottom. You may need to use a screwdriver or something similar to push them in. After these are pressed the seat should lift out.

Then to remove the back of the seat remove the two bolts at the bottom of the seat back. The seat back should then slide straight up.

Once the seat is out of the way remove the two Christmas tree push pins along the back side of each interior quarter panel and the one at the bottom below the speakers using the flat pry bar. These refused to come out no matter how hard I pulled. They were the toughest push pins I have ever seen. So I just ripped the heads off and bought new ones.

After the push pins are out of the way remove the rubber molding attached to the interior quarter panel at the top of the door jam by pulling it forward. You only need to remove the two rubber prongs that are inserted into the quarter panels.

There is a small plastic Phillips screw at the upper rear of the panel as well. Then the panels are removed by sliding them up slightly at the rear then straight forward. Be careful. Do not pull them away from the wall until they are free.

To completely remove the panels from the car you have to remove the seatbelts using a T50 Torx bit and preferably a 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar.

Removing the Upper Speaker Grilles and Seat Belts:
To slide the seat belts out of the panel remove the upper speaker grilles. To safely remove these without breaking them press firmly on the clips holding them in.

Do not push on the grille itself. Press one clip out at a time working your way around the grille. It will come out easily if you do this. Start at the top pin (arrow).
If you look you can see the broken pin on the left side of this pic. You can also see the lower grille is a little tougher to remove. But don't sweat it.

Removing the Lower Speaker Grilles:
To remove the lower grilles you really need a Dremel or pencil grinder. The speaker grille is fused to the interior quarter panel and you have to grind away these spot welds using your grinder.

You want to just grind the tops of these welded areas off like so.

Gently wiggle these tabs until the speaker grille's pin breaks free from the tab. Try not to break off the tabs because you will be gluing the grilles back to these tabs. After getting all of the grilles removed pull the old fabric off of them. It should come off easily.

Prepping the Grilles for New Fabric:
Using a flat screwdriver or a small scraper remove as much of the old glue around the back of the grilles as you can. The glue on mine was very brittle and peeling. If you glue your cloth to this old glue it can easily pull away down the road. After scraping away the old glue use some 220 grit sandpaper and sand the front, the edges, and the back of the grilles. You don't have to remove all the glue, just try to scuff everything up so the new glue has something to stick to. Then wash the grilles with warm water and use a hair dryer to dry them off or just let them air dry.

Preparing the Fabric:
After the grille is dried and before applying the spray glue you need to get the fabric cut. Lay the speaker grille on the fabric and cut the fabric about an inch larger all the way around.

Putting it All Together:
Work on one grille at a time. Lay a grille on a piece of cardboard and spray the top of the grille with the Loctite (or similar) spray glue. Don't spray the bottom. It doesn't need to be dripping wet. Just a light coat over the entire grille.

After spraying the glue let it tack up for a few minutes, then drape the fabric over the grille and smooth it toward the edges gently stretching the fabric over the surface.

Next re-trim the fabric approximately 1/4" away from the grille.

Now lay a bead of the tack glue all the way around the back edge of the grille where the original glue was.

Let this sit for 5 minutes to tack up a bit.

After the glue sets up a bit start folding the edge of the fabric over and press it into the glue.

If you've done everything correctly you should have some nice new grilles to enhance the interior of your Mustang.

Reinstalling the Lower Grilles:
Position the lower grille into the opening. Place a folded up towel under the grille to keep it pressed into the opening.

Some of the pins that were ground off may have been removed with some force, and may require some force to "pop" them back into the tabs holding them in. Make sure and seat all of the pins back into the tab before applying any glue by pressing down on each tab while pressing up on the grille. Mix the epoxy really good using a toothpick. Pick up a glob of epoxy and dab it onto the pin essentially replacing the plastic you ground away. This is what it should look like.
Be VERY careful not to drip epoxy onto the back of the grille as you will have to start all over. Fortunately epoxy is thick and does not drip easily.

After everything dries your final results should look much better than what you started out with.

And here they are back at home.
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Looks good.

Might I suggest using a heat gun on those "spot welds"?
If its anything like the shifter boot, I use a heat gun to soften the plastic to separate the two pieces, then heat them again to rejoin them.

That way I don't have to use any additional adhesive.

I've also used the tip of a solder iron on the plastic to melt the weld and rejoin them, but I've never worked on the plastic on plastic weld, as I don't have a convertible.
Using the Dremel makes this job very easy. You can grind away just enough material to pop the grille free. Applying the epoxy is very simple and the final result is just as strong as the original welds.

Heat may distort the plastic tabs that hold the grilles in. Especially since you would be doing this from the back side. Gravity would pull the tabs down. When they cooled off they would remain in that position and may not hold the grille firmly against the panel.
Excellent work. Looks very good. I was thinking about taking mine out and just spray painting and clearcoating them black to match the interior and leave the cloth off. But this is a good repair and doesnt seem extra extensive to complete. Good job sir. And thanks for possting up the pics and instructional information
Thanks. I am getting another one put together here in a week or so on doing the door panels. I have all black door panels in my car with the perforated leather inserts. Mine are in bad shape. I found a tan set with the leather inserts that are in great shape. I am going to salvage the uppers from the tan set and merge them with my lowers. It will make for a really big improvement in my interior which I will show.