free hit
Header Rail retrim - Slewthy's Interior resto - The Lotus Forums - Official Lotus Community Partner Jump to content

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Header Rail retrim



Well, as many of you know, my restoration goes in fits and starts but infact, its all steam ahead in the background. Every night involves planning, rejigging the work order, all on a spreadsheet s even when I'm not in the garage, it at leastfeel[i][/i] s like I'm doing something!

The restoration advances on many fronts. The interior has been on my mind for a while and I have to look at the shocking state of it everytime I walk into the garage, its time had come.
The headlining has to be first so it's installation doesnt marr anything else. It is in a dreadful state - the foam has disintegrated into what looks and stains like curry powder. Here is an example of the headlining trim from the header rail, my first port of call
Just awful. So, having looked around abit, I ordered what seemed closest from Woolies trim. Its light grey headlining material with identical ribbing and foam thickness to the original. About £8 per meter so I bought 3 meters to be sure. Also bought some grey thread but I suspect originally, it was sewn in white.
Then, I unearthed the sewing machine.....OK, I've had mixed results with this when doing my rear carpets but, practice makes perfect as they say
Well, it took 2 goes but here is the centre cover around the clock
Here is the passenger side done and clock in.
Thats it for tonight - missus insists that I spray glue outside (abit unreasonable, don't you think) and the light has just gone, but you get the idea.
So far, quite pleased with results. and much smarter than what was there. Next is full headlining in - a simple rectangular piece - but with several problems - do I sew 4 straight dividing lines in it? Will it go on without crinckles and will I remember to use a roller to avoid finger prints?
You'll read it here first.....


Recommended Comments

Hi Simon

I did this job on my S3 last year. I even brought a header rail to practice on before I set about ripping out the one fitted to my car.

The sun visor is framed by a piece of wire - about twice the thickness of a coat hanger - brazed to the tube that forms the pivot.

To remake my visors I cut two pieces of 3 ply, one that was an exact match for the outside the wire defining the edge of the visor and a second that fitted just inside wire. Glued them together attached to the wire. Then I covered that with a thin layer of foam on both sides and then the wife stitched the outer fabic for the visor - 3 sides with a machine and hand stitched the seam that runs behing the pivot tube.

Biggest challenge will be to get the cut out for the vanity mirror. What we did was to draw the cutout for the mirror onto the back of the alcantara type material we used to replace the vinyl then machine stitch the oval, cut it out and then arrange the position of the material correctly relative to the mirror when forming up the outer "pocket" into which the visor sits. We reasoned that to try and cut the oval in a prepared visor would be too difficult.

I think I may have some photos that could explain this if you need them, and quite a bit of spare "alcantara" if you need any!

Link to comment

Not sure what you call them, but the clock is held in by 2 metal clips attached to it which flip out as it reaches position. They are made of stiff steel and I think you would need to remove the header rail itself to access it, or you might easily damage the surround/upholstery. I imaging you may need to remove the side rails first but otherwise, its held with just 4 screws.

Link to comment

OK, I said I had almost forgotten about the sun visors but thanks to some great help from Choppa (and some lovely alcantara sent by him), my first is completed.
Heres how it went.

When the coverings are removed, the inner structure is as shown. As Choppa said, its a wire frame on the 'axle' thing, with 2 sheets of thin foam stuck on either side. The chrome mounts just slide out and cleaned up nicely.The wire had rusted quite badly though.
The wire frame was wire brushed and repainted.
The original visor was really quite flimsy andnot just because of its age. I was keen to produce something more substantial. several things have been suggested for the 'filler' such as thin card, poster card, thin ply wood etc. I decided to go back to my old favourite, closed cell foam sheet. Infact, I used a tool chest top mat. Its about 7mm thick and easily shaped.
I cut it out to the original shape and then 'inset' the frame buy splitting it at the edge - very easy with a sharp stanley knife.
It was then glued in place. Next, to soften the lines and feel, I glued my headlining material which has a thin foam layer on each side.
Next, I cut out the headlining cover and matching Alcantara pieces and sewed them together on 3 sides with the machine (I'm getting the hang of this now)
Then the visor was squeezed into the new cover and the free edge hand sewn - by far the most difficult bit.
Passenger side now but I dont think I'm going to put in the vanity mirror. I have a new one but I suspect I would fail in getting it neat/straight. :mellow:

Link to comment

Header rail completed.

Moved onto carpets. Very difficult. Mainly because I dont have an industrial sewing machine. Broke 10 needles yesterday.

I've done the drivers side mat with heel pad. Looks OK but the concave curves were a bugger. Bought a binding attachment for the machine but this didnt help much so I just did them by hand. To be fair, the original was abit rough and mine is no worse, just newer! I may redo things if my skills improve. The rest of the carpet is fairly well hidden so wont matter as much.

Link to comment

What did they glue the carpet on with? I've got to get some - it is a swine!

I've been banned from working on the car for some weeks now due to preparing for a large event which is now done and dusted. So, I'm trying to regain some lost enthusiasm. I'm in the process of removing the passenger side carpet to redo. For the moment, I'm keeping the drivers side in for reference.
Th sill cover had to be removed but its just rivetted on so thats no hassle. I need some softish black leather to renew the seatbelt and handbrake gaiters.

So far, I have broken about 20 needles trying to sew a heel pad to the carpet mat. I may have to leave it plain. I'm wondering how neat I could get it with a hand awl....

Link to comment


Headliner is in along with the rail bits
I'm quite pleased with it. I cant say its perfect but I dont think I could say that about anything I've done so far.
The sun visors have been the hardest to get right and the drivers side is too loose. I seemed to have cleaned it too well! Might have to smear some glue on the shiny bit to stiffen it up abit unless anyone has other suggestions.

Also, big news! The leather has arrived for the retrim. It Sateen black from Andrew Muirhead and its the mutts nuts! My Upholsterer has cut me a piece to do the screen finisher part of the dash and I cant wait!
Really seems like some headway can now be made.

Link to comment

Carpets continue...
Handbrake gaiter from ebay very good - I'd recommend.
Last 50% of drivers side to glue in. Pas done. Then just the floor mats to cut out and bind.

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...