ElectroClassic EV
Classic Cars Reborn into the Electric Future

Sweet Pad

The last piece of upholstery to be finished and installed is the back pad, which is a three-piece cover for the firewall that buffers the seats from engine bay noise and heat.  The new upholstery pieces came with the 914 kit purchased earlier from World Upholstery.  Although it’s possible to buy a fiberglass core board replacement, my original fiberboard was still serviceable, so I reused it.

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Before beginning, I carefully studied the old vinyl to determine the exact attachment method.  The factory used upholstery staples, which I augmented with spray contact adhesive (Super-Tack 5001 from Veteran Company, seen above).  The original foam padding that was permanently glued to the fiberboard was still in good shape, so I did nothing to improve it.  I let the upholstery sit in the sun until it had some stretch, and then carefully pulled the warm vinyl over the padding and fastened it with glue and staples, following the existing staple marks.

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Attaching the vinyl to the large, flat unpadded part of the board required spray adhesive alone. The picture above shows the cover being attached in two stages, rather than an all-at-once attempt that could risk wrinkles or mistakes.

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After the three pieces were covered, they needed to be rejoined into a single back pad.  The center piece has speed nuts at every attachment point around the edges, and it was a simple matter fastening the side pieces to it with stainless machine screws.

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After everything was together, I decided the fiberboard needed reinforcement where it had lost some strength.  This was especially true at the bottom edges, where it was soft and more flexible than normal.  I also gave some added reinforcement to areas where the original upholstery staples had punctured and weakened the fiberboard.

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Above is a shot of the back pad test fitted on the firewall.  The hole for the engine bay lid release cable was fiberglassed over and needed to be recut and cleaned up.  But otherwise, it fit like a glove.  The hole in the top of the center pad is for the dome light.  The pad cannot be permanently installed yet, as it will block access to the firewall panel for mounting the battery racks, as well as installing the seat-belt mechanisms.

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