CAR This is not a milk thread. I have owned my '74 Eldorado convertible for 2 years now but it's time for a build thread

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
The next thing to do was to put the last two bolts into the frame. They attach the ends of the rear tack strip bow to the main frame. This allow the rear tack strip bow to pivot upwards and seal the top against the body around the rear body opening when the top is up. There is where the bolt goes. You can just barley see it from inside the car.

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With some assistance from my wife, we were able to get the bolts in both sides. I had to push the bow down while she worked the bolt in.


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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next up was to attach the pads to the front bow. I had to retract the top about half way back to get enough slack in the pads to be able to attach them. They are attached to the front bow with three screws each.

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After that, the ends of the front bow are wrapped in fabric tape to prevent the edges of the metal cutting through the top over time.

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And finally before I stretch the top forward, I reattached the rear glass lift springs in the trunk so everything would have the correct tension.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
There are a few layers on the front edge. The first one is the top itself. It has a center mark that lines up with a hole in the center of the bow.

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The ends are stapled down and then the front flap is folded over and stapled.

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Next is the front welt. It's a big piece of trim with a foam core that protect the front edge of the top and helps cover the staples. It was still a bit dirty so I cleaned it up first.

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It has two layers and the staples go into the inside layer. It's mounted directly over the staples on the tops front edge. There is a center alignment mark like all the other parts had.

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Here it is with the outer lip folded back over.

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The last piece is the actual weatherstripping for the front bow. The one that was on the car was still in great shape so I just cleaned it up and snapped it back on.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
With everything stapled in, the entire frame bolted together, and all the springs installed, I was able to close the top and see how it fits.

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The fit looks good and there are just a few little things left to do. After it's stretches for a few days I will glue the sides in where the rear quarter window weather stripping mounts. There are also a handful of some small things that have to go back together on the inside.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Small update. I glued the rear opening flaps on and installed the rear quarter window weatherstripping. I also noticed that I had one of the cables run incorrectly so I fixed that.

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This is the first time that I have been able to completely close the interior up since I have owned the car.

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I also experimented with some different techniques to clean the top. Lacquer thinner works the best but it's messy and can damage other parts of the car. Castrol Super clean is not as fast, but I think it will work almost as well.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
So now it's time to turn my attention back to the upholstery. The sewing machine I have is not going to be up to the job so I got a "prosumer" machine with a servo motor on it. I could sew the fenders on a car with this thing.

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I made some test pieces and I was able to do all kinds of fancy stiches.

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I made a tuck and roll panel just to see if I could.

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I also made a sample of what the actual upholstery style will be on the finished seats. For reference, here is an actual back seat in the style that I'm going for:

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And here is my 3rd attempt:

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
I have decided to go with a '74 Fleetwood Talisman style for the rear seats so that means that I need to make a rear center console. The factory console is quite rare and it would not fit the Eldorado floor pan even if I could find one. This is what the rear console looks like:

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I lucked out and found an NOS release latch for the console doors a few months ago on ebay. That is really the most important thing to make the console look and function correctly.

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The rest of the console I can make from scratch.
 
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I<3URANUS

I can ride my bike with no handlebars.
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Sep 17, 2002
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Dallas, TX
So now it's time to turn my attention back to the upholstery. The sewing machine I have is not going to be up to the job so I got a "prosumer" machine with a servo motor on it. I could sew the fenders on a car with this thing.

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I made some test pieces and I was able to do all kinds of fancy stiches.

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I made a tuck and roll panel just to see if I could.

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I also made a sample of what the actual upholstery style will be on the finished seats. For reference, here is an actual back seat in the style that I'm going for:

View attachment 108135




And here is my 3rd attempt:

View attachment 108136
Love the progress dude.
 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
I started out by putting the factory rear seat bottom back in just to get some measurements of where it sits in relation to the rear trim.

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Next I stripped off all the old upholstery, foam, and springs off of the metal frame.

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I cut the frame down so the console will fit in the middle. To keep the frames from collapsing from having the center cut out, I reproduced the corner supports and made an extra side support for both frames.

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I then welded the new supports to the frames

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And then I test fit the modified frames with the console shell that I made. The console is nothing more than a wood box with some lids and the hard to find latch. In the end, I will 3D print the two lids to get the recesses correct that they need but I won't bother with that until the rear seats are upholstered.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next up is modifying the foam to work with the frame modifications. First thing is to put the S springs back in. I shifted them both one notch over to the outside to center them up on the modified frames.

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And here is how the frame fits on the old foam. You can see where the springs were at before I moved them. The black line on the left side of the foam is roughly where I will cut it.

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I started out by cutting the foam in half just to make it easier to handle. The black line on the right is were I will cut it to size.

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Next I cut it to size. There is a steel band that runs around inside the perimeter of the foam to help keep it from losing it's shape. I had cut it when I cut the foam in half.

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I pushed the foam down the rod and held it back with a piece of wood and a vice grip. I covered everything with a wet towel and heated up the rod red hot with a torch so I could bend it.

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The rear rod had some factory bends in it that I had to straighten out first so I could bend it over.

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I bent them over so that when I connect the ends with a welded in rod, they will sink into a groove that I'll cut into the foam.

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I did the same to the other side also.

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And here is how the modified foam sits on the frame in the car. You can see the rod I cut that I will weld in soon.

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I still need to weld in the piece of rod, shape the foam a bit in the inside corner and paint the frames. I have an order of upholstery supplies hopefully arriving this weekend so I hope to start actually sewing stuff very soon.
 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Now to make the actual upholstery. The first thing to make is the cushion top part of the upholstery. This piece is the part you sit on and is made with a layer of backing material (I'm using denim) the outer upholstery and foam in-between. I started out by taking the outer upholstery and sewing in pleats in it to give it the proper look. The pleats are sewn in randomly along the seam lines that will form the individual sections of the cushion.

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Next I sewed the upholstery to the denim backer material. Everything is already laid out so it's just a matter of lining everything up and sewing it together.

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I'm using what is called a "tuck and roll" style for the seams between the individual foam pieces. Rather than just lining up the marks on the backer and the upholstery and putting stiches on top, you fold the upholstery on the mark and slightly overlap the fold over the mark on the backer. Then you sew through the folded upholstery and the backer. This hides the stiches so if you look between the cushion pieces, you cannot see the stiches at all.

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Once the middle is sewn, I ran a stich all the way around on three sides leaving the rear open.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next I cut the foam. I'm using a medium density, 2" thick foam with a 1" thick Dacron layer on top. I cut the foam into strips just wide enough to be slightly compressed when I put it in the cushion.

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I then cut the Dacron and glued to to the foam pieces after I shaped the foam slightly.

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I then wrapped the foam pieces in "silk wrap". This makes it much easier to push the foam into the cushion and you can just leave it in the cushion when you are finished. It does not make any noise when you compress it and you cannot feel it though the upholstery.

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Next up is to put the foam in the cushion. I started in the middle.

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I then put the other three pieces in and sewed up the rear seam.

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Next up was to sew the boxing around the sides. This is what closes up the sides of the cushion and on the bottom edge, there is a piece sewn on that lets you attach the cushion to the frame.

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