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348 Complete Interior reupholstering of 348 project

Discussion in '348/355' started by Lavenknight, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    I have decided to reupholster the interior of my 348 in its entirety to include the carpet. The interior was reupholstered at some point in the car’slife but it was done using cheap vinyl and it is coming apart (see pictures).

    I posted pictures in a different post by another member but have decided to create my own post with specific details as a DIY so others can do it as well. I have already completed the dash so I don’t have the specific details on how to do that part but moving forward I will.

    I wanted to start this project last year but I just bought the car and needed to focus on completing the “major” first. I ended up completing the major along with some additional repairs to include the replacement of the steering rack and some minor upgrades (added 360 radio, wheel spacers, replaced various sensors, fuel pump foam gaskets, etc) that took quite some time. I still need to finish a few other mechanical repairs but nothing catastrophic just the usual things that go out on a 348.

    Prior to starting this project I knew very little to nothing about sewing or reupholstering. But..... I watched a lot of you tube videos and bought some books. I was afraid to start tearing in to the interior with no actual reupholstering experience but I approached as I would with any type of auto repair....lots of research, patience, and utilizing online resources as needed.

    The minimum tools needed to start this project were relatively inexpensive compared to how much it would cost to have it completed by someone else:

    -Chinese leather sewing machine - $120 on amazon
    -Italian lambskin leather (I only buy from one supplier on eBay great leather smooth). $36 or so for 8 square feet.
    -Needles, thread, contact cement glue, 1/8 inch foam backing - $12 on amazon and other minor tools (exactoknife, double sided tape, etc).

    This project is definitely DIY if you have the patience and mechanical skills. I say mechanical skills because the “concept” of reupholstering and fixing your car are essentially the same. You are removing something and replacing it with a like item. The difference is some parts require sewing (French seams) and their is a little bit “artistic” skill required. I had to acquire this skill since I had none to start off with.

    Before you start taking things apart you have to practice sewing French seams. YouTube this task and/or by a sewing book. It is not difficult but requires practice on scarp material. The Chinese leather machine I bought from amazon required some fine tuning (oiling ports, sanding down rough edges, etc) and new a leather needle with #69 bonded nylon thread. If you have any mechanical skills you can easily fine tune the machine so it will work properly. You can also you tube videos on how to fine tune the machine. The machine is like the 348 itself. It works great when running properly but to get it to that point you have to fix a bunch of other minor nuances. You can also buy a brand name leather sewing machine but they cost between $1200 to $3000. Here are a few pics of what I have already completed. Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login




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  2. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
  3. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    Here is the dash with the vents Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login


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  4. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
  5. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
  6. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    This was the first piece I completed. It looked good when I first completed it but now after many “hours” of experience I can now see that a few seams are off centered to the left and there is a bump above the 348 logo due to insufficient trimming of the leather below. Oh well....I will just have to redo this one. Another lamb to the slaughter house. It was my first piece after all. I also plan on buying a new 348 TS emblem it is 40 dollars on ricambi I believe. Image Unavailable, Please Login


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  7. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
  8. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    Nader likes this.
  9. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    krazykarguy likes this.
  10. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,448
    New England
    I'm glad I read the entire thread before posting because I was just about to say that I admired you effort but that the piece pictured (above in quote) really didn't look that good due to the seams. Glad you decided to redo it. Your later work, with red thread, looks pretty good to my eye.
     
  11. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 14, 2011
    7,983
    SoCal LA/OC
    Full Name:
    Tim Dee
    JoeTSI likes this.
  12. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Apr 12, 2017
    1,936
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Steve D.
    You did the diamond stitch yourself? That's awesome looking!

    Both my seat bottoms are torn, I figured if I ever re-did them, I'd look at doing a custom diamond pattern.
     
  13. F129b

    F129b Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    455
    oc, calif.
    Full Name:
    Robert
    So dam cool!..good for you learning & taking this on!


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  14. Koenig1

    Koenig1 Karting

    Aug 25, 2016
    193
    Ottawa ON
    Full Name:
    Sandy
    Great project, kudos to you. Just a note to you, save that emblem! There are none to be had. I have been looking for quite awhile, along with others. Finally came across a new one, in Italy no less, and the gentleman wanted north of $250!!! Another in Montreal wanted $500.CAN with the cover.... still looking, LOL! Good luck with the rest of your project. I certainly will follow.
     
  15. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    I did not do the diamond pattern I bought it like this. It is unique. I did not like them at first... but the look has grown on me. I believe I can eventually sew a diamond pattern (watched video on it) but I am not there yet....


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  16. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    Damn, the emblem makes a difference. I will have brand new leather covers but a worn and noticeable emblem. Maybe a 3D print? Might look to cheap. Perhaps I will try sand blasting and repainting...


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  17. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    Lol, I tried using a sewing machine with the power foot peddle thing and could not control it. It also did not sew through leather very well. With the hand crank I go slowly and have far better control.


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  18. Alpintourer

    Alpintourer Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 20, 2013
    1,452
    The Low Country
    Full Name:
    Dave Steven
    Is it possible that they use a single needle machine to initially join the two pieces of leather and then use a double needle to create the French Seam? Trying to use a single needle for both jobs seems quite a task.
     
  19. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Dec 7, 2003
    15,261
    Winston Salem, NC
    Full Name:
    Daniel

    Correct. I have the tb emblems in stock I think.... but the ts emblems are indeed a rare bird. I think $250 is not an unreasonable price for a NOS one. Absolutely they could be stripped and repainted to look perfect; that's the route I'd suggest.
     
  20. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Dec 7, 2003
    15,261
    Winston Salem, NC
    Full Name:
    Daniel
    p.s. kudos on the leather work. If I tried something like that, I'd be in the hospital with either multiple puncture wounds or a massive anxiety attack.
     
  21. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
  22. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    I finally have the machine fine tuned where it works effortlessly. I go slow and steady but the pieces are small so it doesn’t take too long to stitch. On the other hand, the preparation takes a while. You only get one shot to cut and glue in place. Here is the driver side dash pad. The PO had the dash reupholstered before ( in vinyl and it was already starting to peel badly hence this project) and covered over what appears to be a temp sensor. Not sure why? I covered it up as well in order to finish the piece but will be cutting into that area and replacing with the bezel that goes over it (available from Ricambi) I have the circular bezel some appear to be rectangular. Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login


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  23. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    Here is the semi completed dash board. I still have to redo the radio console area and clean up in a few spots (add 2 strips of new leather above the dash pads placed old ones in picture for appearance) but it looks 20 times better than before. I had a few people look at it during the holidays and they were amazed I made this. I of course knew I could have done better in a few small places but i am overall happy with result. I normally do not like cars with too many after market options but unless you are “one of us” you will not notice that the leather is not factory....and it feels so smooth...also the radio console did not have a French stitching from the factory along the corner but I thought it needed it in order to match the rest of the line on the dash pad.

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  24. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    I also used some leatherique conditioner on the dash right from the start. This leather (Italian lamb skin from sheep raised on mount Olympus) will definitely shrink through time. I lengthen the leather on the other side just in case...


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  25. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    36
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    Once I redo the radio console my next project will be the steering rack bezel. It’s horrible. It looks very worn. I plan on l “leatherizing” it. It’s tucked in the dash pretty deep and not very noticeable but I know it is there...looking ugly as ever. Instead of 2 oz leather I will use a 1 oz matte black leather to match the original sheen it used to have. Looks like I will be working on this car for the next few months...


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