Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1974 Spider with the interior from a '78.

The interior is tan leather, tan carpet. It's all pretty trashed. The door panels are OK, the top boot is OK. The door panels had speaker holes cutinto them, which i filled with some good speakers.

I want to redo the interior to original black. I don't want to buy the rubber mats, though. **** things are $850.

Presuming World upholstery makes a good product, which is my final question, I'm need to decide how to proceed.

I could buy all new stuff in vinyl - which would be original - and the cost would be about $1227 including carpet set. I'd have a new interior less dash and console.

Or - I could buy the leather dye that they have. I could clean and dye my existing tan top boot and door panels (with holes for my speakers), and buy black leather seat covers. I'd then have all black leather, which would be nice, and it would cost $918 before the cost of the dye and the leather cleaner. They tell me that they would match the colors on the seats by using the same batch of dye that they will sell me to dye the panels and the top.

So - all new vinyl - $1227
New leather seats, carpet, and dye job - $918 plus dye
New Vinyl seats, carpet, and dye job - $588 plus dye

And is World upholstery worth a ****?

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I got some samples from World Upholstery - excellent quality vinyl.

IMHO - Don't bother with leather! It screws up the fine fragrance of melting italian electrics and gear oil! :D
Actually - I think it's a waste of money - the vinyl they're making these days is better in ALL regards than leather - it supple, perfectly textured, doesn't rot, crack or dry out like leather...the vinyl in the new BMW 330ci (Pardon Me!!!) even breathes like leather.
The only problem is - they just don't have the smell right (yet?).

I was going to dye my tan door panels - but I got $20 of vinyl and re-covered them myself.
I suppose the stitch-effect on pre-Bosch era spiders would be a bit hard though.

I think the dye & vinyl job is the best way to go...

Black interiors kick ***!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,977 Posts
Why not just buy new door panels that aren't butchered up with speaker holes? They're readily available for about $80 each . . . . and in black with new chrome trim.

As far as the seats go, I'd first check with a local upholsterer and see what kind of work they do. You can see, first hand, his quality work and see & touch the materials he'd use. It doesn't seem that re-doing Alfa seats would be that hard. Also, a good upholsterer will check the under padding and foam and replace as necessary to restore the firmness and support of the seat structure. And besides, I like to give as much biz to my local businesses as possible.

Start giving some thought to what you're going to put underneath the carpet or floor mats. You need a good sound deadener and insulator, but not one that will trap and hold moisture. You also want to easily remove the floor coverings for drying out the floorpan in the event you find water down there.

Personally, I'd restore it to original condition, which mean rubber mats. You might try and contact some Alfa dismantlers for some good used ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Once again RT gives out some very sound advice. A local upholsterer should be able to duplicate the original Alfa seats, including the 'stuffing'. My GTV's PO had the seats redone locally. Very nice work that looks authentic.

MP, what style of door panel do you have? The right-most panel pictured is the newer style. I have seen '78's with both styles.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses.

Yeah, the mats. I would love them, they have a cool logo on them. I'll check around, maybe contact the local club chapter.

I know I need new seat bottoms, was gonna order from International.

I also know i need an upholsterer to install the upholstery, or think it's wise, b/c I've never done it.

With the rubber mats, is soundproofing stuff necessary?

Also, I've got neither type of door, but closer to the second type panel because of the top trim.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,977 Posts
If it's a 74 model, then I think you should restore it to the 74 look. Since they were the last of the breed before the seriously "smogged" Alfa's, plus the last of the stainless steel bumper models, a 74 will probably retain a higher value than the rubber bumper models.

There is one thing I won't do when I have my seats recovered, and that's keep the fuzzy velour panels. They belong in the same place as my 1970's velour shirts. I'll just have them put vinyl or leather in the same pattern there instead. Only a die-hard Alfa purist would ever know the difference.

Another plus for having an upholsterer do the work is knowing that they fit "right." Getting ready-made seat covers and fitting them over a well-used foam may not yield the best fit, and by that time they're "yours" instead of still the upholsterer's.

As far as door panels go, it sounds like yours are cut-up, so you really don't have much choice but to replace. The door panels in my 74 are warped badly from moisture. I've rebuilt the pax door and it was really quite easy and looks great. When I do the driver's door, I'll take some pictures and make a how-to-do-it guide for anyone who's interested.

For floor insulation, there is some really good stuff available commercially on the web, but it's REAL expensive. Don't overlook the possiblity of going to a junkyard and getting some really top quality stuff out of a Cadiallac or Lincoln, and probably really cheap since I'll bet the salvage yards can't give that stuff away.
Also, be sure to get ever single piece of rotten insulation OUT of your Alfa. That old insulation is the best rust maker I know of. To do that, it's going to take a good day of removing everything, including the center console. Don't overlook the firewall insulation, either. Water has probably wicked up a few inches there as well.

I just saw your picture of the door panels. Wow, I've never seen those before. But given Alfa's propensity to change design midstream, I believe it. Do those door panels look factory made or do they look like homemade repros with stitching on the pleats instead of the factory fake heat-embossed "stitching." In any case, if it's a 74, the correct panel would be the one in the above picture with the chrome strips. The top hard plastic trim piece can be easily cleaned and sprayed with some black vinyl spray.

Have you pealed up that carpet to see what's underneath? You might find the old rubber mats. You might also prepare yourself for a shock, however. My bet is that it's wet down there and you've got some rust started. I hope not, but odds are there is. I'll try and put a list together for you on a few places to check for some used rubber mats. Right now, I don't have any insulation under my mats, but plan on putting some in to deaden noise and heat from the exhaust system. I saw some really nice 1/2" thick and very heavy rubber floor pad squares at the home center store (about a yard square) for only $12 each. They'd be perfect for under the floor mats. Good sound and heat protection, plus they don't absorb water and can be pulled right out in seconds if water does get into the floor pan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
No rust and original floor pans.

The entire interior is from a '78, the guy I bought it from had a '78 and an '83 parts car (I've got the Magnesium Campagnolo wheels).

Actually, I just noticed that my door panels are the same as the second door panel of the 3 pics that 67GTV posted - look close.

BUt yeah, the colors threw me, but it's a 11502 built in 1974. No rubber mats under the carpeting, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,977 Posts
Yours still look different to me. I think they're reproductions made by a shop.

If you look close, the diagonal pleats on yours are much farther apart and your door panels do not have the 3 plastic chrome trim strips.

As as aside, on 74's, I think the only interior colors offered were black (by far most prevelent) and brown.

Your lucky with no rust. That's really great and really unusual. The car must have been taken well care of.

As far as carpet goes, I'll reinterate that I think it has no place in a sport convertible. Alfa tops are pretty rain proof, but water still seems to get in somehow. Even the sill carpet can trap moisture and the last thing you want is for the inner rocker panels to rust. They're structural. Badly corroded inner rockers are horridly expensive and difficult to repair. If you're intent is that the only water the car ever sees is washing, then you may be safe with carpet. There are also some really nice removeable carpet-type floor mats with the Alfa logo available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Roadtrip said:
Yours still look different to me. I think they're reproductions made by a shop.

If you look close, the diagonal pleats on yours are much farther apart and your door panels do not have the 3 plastic chrome trim strips.
**** you're right. Hmm. Oh well, they're getting yanked anyway.

Roadtrip said:
As far as carpet goes, I'll reinterate that I think it has no place in a sport convertible. Alfa tops are pretty rain proof, but water still seems to get in somehow. Even the sill carpet can trap moisture and the last thing you want is for the inner rocker panels to rust. They're structural. Badly corroded inner rockers are horridly expensive and difficult to repair. If you're intent is that the only water the car ever sees is washing, then you may be safe with carpet. There are also some really nice removeable carpet-type floor mats with the Alfa logo available.
So the rubber mats help, but what about sound proofing under the rubber mats? Isn't that stuff bad about holding water?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,977 Posts
Yes it is if you put normal fiberous stuff that car makers usually put in. I'm still cogitating on what to put below the mats, but like I said, this really heavy commerical floormat squares that I saw at the home store looks like it'll fit the bill perfectly and is cheap as well.

The key point is that it's easily removable to check for wetness or to dry it out. I bought my latest Alfa about a year ago and pulled out more than just several pounds of soggy insulation, the original kind with fiberous stuff on the bottom and heavy tarred lead top sheet. Yuk. Rust? Yup. Firewall insulation wet from wicking up? Yup. Also cured that convertible mildew smell. This summer I'm removing everything from the floor of the car, cleaning everything, fixing the rust and putting down some of that really tough rustproofing stuff that Eastwood sells. I also have a better dashboard to install, so when I do that, I'm going to reinsulate the firewall and transmission hump with some good commercial insulation (probably from a junkyard) and be sure that it doesn't extend down far enough to wick-up. At the same time, I'm going to clean every wire connection I can find and clean the heater box insides as well (sometimes that thing can hold water leaked in from the windshield vents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
I recently just finished a complete restoration of my '72 and I used the World Upholstery leather kits. They came out excellent and I'm very pleased with them. I don't know about the "new" vinyl qualities, I personally just wanted leather.

On door panels: I went with the Re-Originals, They're really nicely done but they were about $140 each so not cheap.

On floor insulation: I installed all new floor pans and insulated with Dynamat. Again, not cheap and I think there is a substitute material that you could probably find for less cost but I can attest to the fact that the Dynamat really works.

BTW: I'm new here and none of the pictures are showing up, just get a little white box with a red X in it. Anybody know why?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
My next step is to restore the cars interior (1979 Spider Veloce). The body work was done beautifully and the rockers rebuilt on the drivers side and even though the top is new but despite this, I am getting a lot of water in and am worried that I am going to start rusting again. It's been raining so often and much in NYC these days that I saw someone post a sign in a real estate window that said "Ark for sale, inquire within, ask for Noah." Any idea how to keep the car a little dryer on the inside/water proof it a little more so when i have the interior done ( I assume I'm going to do carpet) I'm not setting up a rust situation? I have a car cover but no garage so keeping it out of the rain isn't an option - it's pretty much my everyday driver.
I am better going with a rubber interior?? And if I do, will I get a lot of heat off the road and exhaust system?

I did just get the slip over vinyl slip cover since redoing the seats is pretty expensive and these ones are pretty shot anyway, I think I am better off looking for decent used ones when i have a little extra dough, yes?

You know I could have picked a less expensive hobby like knitting... but no, I had to go Alfa crazy...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
We've owned our '72 Spider for 23 years and it spent a lot of time as a daily driver, out in the rain, without even a carport to protect it. There are a couple of things that cause water to get inside. One is the drain tubes (four of them) in the rear water channel at the base of the convertable top. They get plugged with dirt and stuff and so the water doesn't drain out of the channel and overflows into the interior. You'll find it pooled in the rear package shelf area. You have to undo some glued upholstery back there to get to them. The doors have drain holes too that can get plugged up with dirt.

Secondly, and this is especially if you have a fabric top, cats like to sleep up there at night and before they bed down they like to poke their claws through the material. Don't know of anything you can do about that with a car that's outside. We tried some repellant sprays - made the car stink and didn't work. A vinyl top might be better off but not sure because we never had one.

In my opinion carpet has no business in a Spider, especially one that sits out in the elements. It's just going to wick up moisture, mold, smell, colltect dirt and cause some horrible rust. Spider floorpans are made in such a way that if rust starts it will be contained to the floorpan and not spread to the rest of the structure but with carpeting in there all bets are off. With rubber matting you can at least mop up the water after the rain stops - something I used to have to do on a regular basis.

The rubber mats are all custom fit and look sharp but they ain't cheap. I believe it would cost about $800 to get the whole interior set.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
I think you're right, I will probably be best off with the rubber matting. Thanks for the advice, I'm going to call around tomorrow and see what's available for what price. I am also going to replace the door moulding since I think I am getting some extra seepage that way.

I do have a fabric top and I also caught my roommates large deaf white cat sleeping on the roof of the car. Despite the fact that I know he's deaf, I still yelled at him to get off at which he meerly smiled at me until I bodily removed him and relocated him to the yard. Now I have to explain to people why there is white cat hair all over the black canvas top. I am the only person I know who needs a lint brush for their car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
If you can find out were the water is coming in form one can put a stop to it or at least slow it alot. My experiance is that the alfa tops are pretty good. Unless torn or something like that.
keeping the gutters and drain tubes clean is very important. Just below were the top meets the cars body is a gutter that runs the a simi-circle from one door to the other. It is covered by about a two inch vinyl strip between the top of the carpet and the bottom of the top I think it is gluded down. If it is glue down tight don't lift it to clean. If it is not glued down it may be very dirty.
This gutter has to rubber drain hoses about 16" behind each door. Keep these free of dirt leaves ect. Also cheek to make sure the ones in your car has the tubes hooked up and in good shape. To do this one needs to unscwer the carpet just behind the door jams. Only a few screws back and you should see the tubes.
There is also two tubes that let water that goes in the vent in front of the windshield out. These tubes come into the car under the dash and send the water out in the back of the front fender wells. If these Tubes are missing or damaged lots of water will collect in your foot wells.
If I remember right there is also drain holes in each door that can clog and spill water inside. I'd use a pen or nail to poke at them to keep them clean. The rubber between the windshield and triangle vent window can also weak water into the car if it is bad.
I think these spots are the biggest Leakers. If you cheek them you should be able to cut down on the amount of water that gets into the car. By the way if water does get in, flood, there are rubber drain plugs. One in the out most front of each foot well. One below each seat and two up on the shelf behind the seats. If you pull these water drains out of the car alot faster. Intrems of carpet VS. rubber mats rubber mats also trap water under them but they are alot easier to lift out and dry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Bumping this b/c I'm about to start working on this finally.

First step - Dyeing 'painting' the door panels and top cover.

I decided dyeing them is fine for now - I can keep the speakers where they are, and I can always buy new panels, unmolested by speakers, any time I choose.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top