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Day 162: Seats out, tank out, more trim off and new fenders

Hodgepodge

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With the dolly done, I've been working on pulling parts off of and out of the car in preparation for soda blasting and paint.   First, I drained and removed the gas tank.  I have a small marine gas pump and an extra 4 gallon gas can, which I completley filled 3 times (and dumped the gas into my truck).  So that was over 75 lbs in gas and another 15 lbs or so for the tank. 

 

Then I took the seats out.   The seats are a bit of a mystery.  The latches for both backs are broken and the headrests don't move.  I have new covers for the seats, but this was the first time I was able to take a really good look at them.  The back seats have no padding at all on the bottom but some foam padding that somebody may have added on the back.  This makes sense because the seat bottom is newer and doesn't match the back.   The front seats have horsehair pads but the bottoms have been repadded and include some foam.  I recall the horsehair on my other BMWs was constantly depositing hair on the carpet under the seats.  No horsehair under the seats on these.  So if I'm really lucky, somebody replaced the horsehair pads and supplemented it with an extra foam pad.  I won't know unti l start dismantling them. 

 

The front seat backs are a different story.  They are clearly the original horsehair, which is in bad shape.   Since getting foam density right is such a dark art, I think I might try to find some replacement foam from a similar seat from a different car and cut it as needed to make it fit.  Newer car seats often use multi-density foam that you can't just buy at a fabric store. (i.e. softer layer on top, stiffer bolsters, stiffer on bottom, all in one gradual foam pour rather than layers of sheet foam.)  If I can find something close, I'll try it and let you know how it goes.   

 

 

Back seat bottom. New cover.  No padding at all other than the backing on the cover.  Note surface rust everywhere.  

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Seat back.  Looks OK.  Old cover.  decent foam.  More surface rust.  Was there originally horsehair here?  My '76 530 had horsehair everywhere.  

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Front seats in the original US-spec vinyl and velour.  Just a bit too ratty to be cool.  

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Front seat bottom.  Padding and a piece of plastic.  There is some light colored, non-original horsehair in there that is not disintigrating.  More surface rust.  

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Front seat back.  Kind of scary.  Original horsehair is disintigrating, of course.   Headrest rods are rusted so badly that they won't budge.  (I'll hit them with barkeepers friend)  Note stray wire on left, that is the broken back latch release.  Parts for that are NLA so I'll have to get creative.  I am determined to put these or equivelent original seats back in the car.   I might have the frames soda or media blasted in an effort to remove the rust. 

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I was also able to remove a bunch more trim including the lower trim, the midline trim, the waistline trim and the gutter trim.  I still have to remove the trunk and remove the trim from the trunk and the hood.  And of course I have to remove all of the little plastic trim keepers from the body.  And I have to remove the front fenders.....

 

The new reproduction fenders came in from Restoration Design.  I posted some info in a thread elsewhere, but here is an image of one of the fenders. These are wallothnesch fenders and they look OK.  Might have to fiddle with the openings for the corner markers a little and there is some drilling to be done, but they will work.  Sorry, I just realized I don't have an image of the entire fender as I was most concerned about the light fitment.  

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I also got the Ireland Engineering front air dam as well as the rebuild kit for the steering box.  I haven't opened them yet, but I was a little surprised at the way the air dam (and steering box kit wrapped inside) was packaged.  I don't think I've ever recieved an auto body part that was just wrapped in saran and shipped like this.  Normally, $56 in shipping would warrant a box. This "package" weighed 2 lbs, 12 oz!   To be fair, Restoration Design charged me $70 for shipping but that was for 2 fenders and they were large, well padded and double boxed, total weight of the fenders: 25 lbs.  I like Ireland Engineering a lot and will keep buying stuff from them, but geeeez guys!  Presentation means a lot!   

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That's it for the past week.   I'll post what I did this weekend shortly.  

 



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