Category Archives: upholstery


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe good news is the car is pretty much put back together. I got the interior put together and the wiring under the dash cleaned up. The front bumper is bolted on and the lights and turn signals are all working and that’s all good. I spent a long hot Sunday afternoon fitting the trunk lid and trimming the new weatherstripping to fit. Not sure yet if it will keep the water out but it finally closes correctly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI dragged out the old tail pipes and cleaned them up and installed them along with the new stainless steel tips.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo it all looks great and appears ready for a cruise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow for the bad. Caroline and I took it out for a short drive around the block and it ran horrible. The engine was missing pretty bad and it over heated before we could get around the block. Now that I finally have gauges in it I can see how hot it’s getting. So based on what I now see on my temperature gauge I know that the car was overheating a few weeks ago when I had it idling out in the driveway. Ever since then it hasn’t been running well at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo the first thing I did was try to figure out the overheating problem. I removed the old thermostat and it was really crusty. After testing it I discovered it wasn’t opening until the water temp was over 200. I got a new thermostat and put it in and the engine lasted a little longer before overheating. There was a little noise coming from the water pump so I figured it was most likely finished as well. I removed the water pump and found the impeller spinning independently of the shaft and then it fell off completely. I wasn’t surprised. I picked up a new water pump so that problem will be solved soon.

Next I thought I’d look into the engine miss. First I opened up the distributor and checked out the vacuum advance. It was toast. I put a new one on and cleaned up everything in the distributor and gapped the points but I didn’t really think that was going to solve the problem. It didn’t. My suspicion is that when it was out in the driveway a few weeks ago overheating that it blew a head gasket between a couple of cylinders. Before I go get a compression test kit I’ll check for vacuum leaks around the intake and the carb but I really think it’s a head gasket. So that’s where we are right now.








What do you do when your seats are pretty much wiped out? You could spend about $300 on a new upholstery set and install it yourself, or, if your budget is low like mine, you could go the cheap route and find something to get by until your budget increases.

Here’s what I did in several sort of easy steps.

Step one: Find some presentable seat covers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found these FOOSE covers at WalMart for $20.

Step 2: Drag out the old wiped-out seats and give them a good cleaning.


Step 3: Take it all apart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey come apart pretty easily. Just a few screws and some pins.

Step 4: Look at the ugly rusted stuff on the underside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo surprises here. It’s old.

Step 5: Clean it up and paint it.


Step 6: Cut the seat covers to separate the back from the seat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt only took a little cutting to get the pieces ready for installation.

Step 7: Lay out the seat back and figure out the glueing sequence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI started with the lower center and worked my up using spray adhesive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter I finished the center section I did the edges and then pulled the remaining stretchy material around to the backside and glued it.

Step 8: Put the seat back panel on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had to spray the back panel with vinyl dye. It helped a little.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo here is the back all glued.

Step 9: Do the seat bottom in a similar fashion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere it is with the cover glued on. The seat is easier than the back.

Step 10: Assemble seat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here it is assembled.

Step 11: Stick it in the car.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd that’s how to do a seat make-over the cheap way. It doesn’t look as good as a real upholstery kit would but it looks far better than the slip-on seat cover. Eventually I want to make my own custom seat upholstery but I don’t have the tools for that yet.