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Project: Do it yerself interior

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20+ Year Contributor
Mar 4, 2003
Bay Area, California
Allright guys, so i bought another talon a couple months ago, i was real happy with the condition of it, but not so thrilled on some of the interior, so after looking it over with my gf, we decided we would give it a crack. We started off with shampooing the carpets, cleaning the trim panels, seats etc. and arrived at 2 conclusions...... 1 the clean carpets made a huge difference, and 2.... the seats just werent cutting it.

The car had the stock light grey leather seat in back, and buckets that look like the ones from my old 92. The black (extremely faded to light grey) with rainbow lines on them. The fronts are just so faded and the rear seat is a mess. We decided to try reupholstering them ourselves, we really didnt have much experince with upholstry, but i'm ok at figuring stuff out, and my GF can sew her ass off. Anyway, here's our progress so far.

- The stock back seat.
- The new skin
- Some finished progress of the back. We still need to attach the seatbelt grommets permanently.

It was definitely a learning process, i'm pretty happy over all, there are some things i know we could do better next time, we got some more of the "right tools for the job" to do the fronts. But i gotta give my GF a ton of credit she just dove right in and figured out A LOT of stuff i woulda been scratching my head on, she definitely did more work than i did on these. I'll try to get more progress pics of the fronts soon


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That looks good. You're lucky to have a g/f who is willing to help and has some idea of what she's doing :)
I have been considering doing this, but what kind of material are you using? Vinyl? What is the best material for reupholstery?
blueman803 said:
I have been considering doing this, but what kind of material are you using? Vinyl? What is the best material for reupholstery?
really any good grade cloth is fine.
I personally would not use vinyl, hot and sticky in the heat and holds heat badly.

I would use cloth centers, and leather or good quality fake leather with rought surface.

I have been debating on trying this with my car, along with some FG work to get it looking good again.
Did you just cut/remove the old sections and separate and use them as patterns or what?
Double stitch with cord, or just plain double/double stagger stitch?
Damn...that looks amazing for a DIY job.

YOu could have a potential Profit maker here....I'm sure more than one tuner on here wants there seats done. I knwo i'd def buy somethign like that. Just a thought.

Ohh and my g/f shares the same passion, kind of weird at times but i live with it.
Guys, first off thanks so much for the compliments, i will definitely say while i think my GF had a better idea of what we were getting ourselves into, i think that i may have slightly underestimated what this job was going to entail, so to hear things like "looks amazing" definitely feels good.

As far as materials, the black is a marine grade vinyl and the grey is suede (i dont think it's real but it's a darn good imposter, and i dunno why but the pics make it look like a felt material, it looks much "suede-ier in real life) all of the materials were just purchased at a local fabric store. And yes, i share the same concerns as Bostedquest, after having the back seat in for about a week now, i think that the fronts are going to get HOT, which i sorta thought going into this which is mainly why i went with the cloth centers. The main reason we got into this was to practice for when we do my s10, my show truck, which i will be spending a little more money on real materials (real leather , suede etc.) The heat shouldnt be too much of a problem for me though since the talon doesnt have a/c. so when it's real hot i tend to drive my fullsize chevy.

To make the pattern we completely tore the seats apart, every little section and used them to make the pattern, i'm not sure what "kind" of stitching was used, i'll ask my gf she did all the actual sewing, i know an upholstery grade thread was used, and most importantly i want to mention that these were NOT sewn with a traditional sewing machine. My GF and her mom are sewing fanatics, aside from the talon, my gf has plans to do the interior of her honda, her 67 bug, and my s10, so she recently purchased an industrial sewing machine, this thing is pretty scary, it's pretty much like a regular sewing machine but bigger badder and scarier. I'm not too sure how much luck you would have with a regular sewing machine, perhaps if you were using a velour type of fabric like the stock seats you would be ok, but ths vinyl and leather type stuff is pretty tough.

We got a lot done on the fronts tonight, the "skins" are completely done, the backrest/headrests are complete. We just need to get the bottoms finished, they are proving to be the most difficult portion so far. I'll try and get pics soon. Thanks again guys, i'll be sure to tell my GF you like them!
very nice job....i have to do something with mine...but since i plan on taking out my back seats anyways and carpeting the back and replacing the front seats all together i see no point in doing this...but you did a very damn good job... :thumb: :thumb:
very nice job, seems like it was well worth the effort.
how easily did the vinyl come off the foam?

Like I need to be worring about doing this while I am still waiting to get my damn car running, but it is on the list.
Ok, so we got the fronts finished today, the backrest portions were probably the easiest part of the entire job whereas the lower butt part was probably the most difficult.(except the headrests were a huge pain in the ass to get off) I definitely think the job would have been easier if we stuck with one solid color, and if we used a more stock-like velour type of fabric rather than the vinyl....... but what fun would that be??

As far as how hard was tearing the seats apart? i would say easy to moderately difficult. If you can change your own oil you should be able to tear the seats apart, the trick is just being parient and not destroying the stock fabric so that 1. you can make patterns, and 2 if you totally screw up, you could probably still put the stock stuff back on. The biggest thing is having a good selection of pliers, needle nose, lineman, etc. these things are held on by about a million hog-rings, You're definitely gonna want to get a good set of hog ring pliers and a healthy supply of rings for the install as well (hog ring pliers are only good for install, useless for removal)

So with that said, here are the pics, hopefully they work. I didnt get the seats in untill dark so i couldnt really see what i was shooting, these were the only pics that really came out, i'll try and get daylight ones tomorrow.. also, you may notice some ripples in the sides, the backseats had pretty good ripples too, the heat from siting in the car seemed to take care of them, so we'll see if they go away up front too.


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I was thinking about doing all that myself as well. Something like that is good to do when your mom is awsome at sewing, LOL, not as good as a GF though, haha. Anyways, I think I'm going to do the headliner, seats(front and back) and the fabrics in the doors and trunk. Should take a while but in the end, it will look nice. I also want to paint the dashboard to match the fabric. Yours was really well done, I don't know if I can top that but I will try and I will post pics when all this is done. :talon:
Just make sure your mom reaaally loves you :p If it's the first time tackling anything like this let me tell you, it IS a lot of work.

A couple of tips for a first timer.... Do the driver seat last, unless you dont have to worry about having another car to drive. Invest in a good set of hog ring pliers/rings, makes the job easier (i'm only assuming 2g's use hogrings as well) and finally if you are going to try and use a regular sewing machine, you wanna be real careful with the material you use, the industrial machine we used ripped through that vinyl with a vengeance, but a regular machine may have had problems. You may want to stick with using softer velour materials more along the lines of the stock fabric. I'm sure you can get a regular machine to work with vinyl/imitation suede etc. but it will probably just be slower going.

Thanks a lot for the compliments, and definitely be sure to post pics when you're all finished.
Looks awesome man!! especially for a DIY project! props to you AND your GF!! must be nice to have a girl that is that interested and willing to help!

I recently acquired a new project car that my girl really like driving and really wants. during the entire 24hr drive home with the car, she was telling me how she want's to help, and it can be "our" car. i got all excited! but now a month later... i've done all the work. so i don't let her drive it anymore :thumb:

anyways, REALLY NICE JOB! i'm sure the sun will help flatten out those wrinkles on the sides. Make sure you tell your GF too how nice it is, and that everyone on here is very impressed with her work so far!
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