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Polar White and Rust - a restoration epic, can it even be done?


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Thanks for all the tips lads, much appreciated. At this stage, I’m pretty confident it was the NS light cluster as I could see a few droplets still attached to the stretch carpet I fitted in that area, then a wet patch under the spare wheel (the lowest point in that area).

Of course, I will be keeping a close eye on things though :thumbup

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I needed to pop into work this evening to collect something, so my Son and I decided to take the Cav - well why not?! She ran really well and showed a great turn of speed, which certainly surpris

I needed to get to something in the garage earlier, so rather than risk it falling on the car I decided to roll it out. This seemed like a good opportunity to take a few quick photos.   Pro

Dear All, I hope that you are all keeping well and enjoying your wonderful cars, in whatever capacity. This is a little update for you on things here at the moment: 1) Our Son reached t

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It’s been a very busy day, but not on the Cavalier.

Our Daughter has recently bought a 2003 Mini One, that has its MOT next Friday. Unfortunately, if had a list of faults that were reflected in the asking price, but were all MOT failures:

1) Top/front lambda sensor gone bad, resulting in the EML light being on.

2) Both front seats are supposed to tilt forward and then slide to allow easy entry/exit for rear passengers - neither of hers did the sliding thing.

3) Front Drivers side wheel bearing was VERY noisy.

4) The tailgate wash/wipe didn’t wash.

So.... off we went to fix all of the above. I’m pleased to say that I managed to get everything done, except the rear washer. Basically, I ran it of light, plus it was absolutely freezing outside!

Therefore, I took the whole unit off and put a rubber bung in the glass, so I could strip it down indoors this evening.

Think I might have a beer this evening lol  😂👍

Have a good one guys.

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Think you have cured it, got a nice mot man, he said, have you a 13mm spanner, if the wiper isnt there, it cannot be failed! 

Beer, and wiper motors, it could all end in....... beers!.....sorry!

Still havnt fixed mine! But figured out it needs a motor strip, tested switch, wiring, with a light, so its the motor. 

Always liked the mini shape, and the concept of bringing it back, plus its got the same stud pattern as manta / cavalier. 

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Well, with the Mini's wiper motor assembly rotating and squirting as it should again, time for some Cavalier work...

A few months ago, I bought a replacement boot lid from a club member. While the one on the car is 'OK', I have never been completely happy with the weld repairs to the trailing edge. So when this one popped up for £20 I grabbed it while I could and squirreled it away for a later day - and that day was today.

After a few hours of sanding, minor filling of chips and scratches, then a dusting of primer I have this:

 

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And the inside edge/lip is in really good condition too, with only a tiny amount of surface rust I had to deal with:

 

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Its too cold to paint it, so I will wrap it in cardboard and wait until the spring before I get into that.  :thumbup

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

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Hi All,

I hope that everyone is managing to cope with lockdown? I know its tough in many different ways for different people, hang in there - we will get through this rubbish!

Last weekend I started a thread regarding an idea/thought I had about covering my center console (please see Basic Technical Help).

With my car being an automatic, I suppose it does have a little bit more to break up the bland blank slab of plastic, but that probably clutching at straws a little.

Here is a photo of the layout and colours I am starting with:

 

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Now, you can certainly argue that the console does match in well with the Black of the bottom of the dash and that it looks 'OK' - but that my problem I guess, it's just OK...

So after removing it earlier, here are a few ideas using some of cuts of materials used on the car so far.

1) Wrap the whole thing in the same Burgundy Leatherette I used to remake the top door caps and the seat covers:

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

2) Wrap it in the same Black stretch carpet I used in the boot project (see a few pages above...):

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

 

3) A combination of the two:

 

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I think that I am erring towards using the Black stretch carpet. That will maintain the original look/colour scheme, but just 'soften' the look and feel considerably.

What do you, the experts, think?

 

 

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Just out of the box and looking at that side shot you could look at a brown colour to match the door card "wood" for the sides. it would soften the black and break up the red. My dash board is Brown over black with beige seats and I've been looking at this too. 

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1 hour ago, Maseflight said:

Just out of the box and looking at that side shot you could look at a brown colour to match the door card "wood" for the sides. it would soften the black and break up the red. My dash board is Brown over black with beige seats and I've been looking at this too. 

That’s an interesting idea mate, I do have some of that left over too.

It would be a right b*tch to apply over all of those complicated shapes though...

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3 hours ago, IanMc said:

Hi All,

I hope that everyone is managing to cope with lockdown? I know its tough in many different ways for different people, hang in there - we will get through this rubbish!

Last weekend I started a thread regarding an idea/thought I had about covering my center console (please see Basic Technical Help).

With my car being an automatic, I suppose it does have a little bit more to break up the bland blank slab of plastic, but that probably clutching at straws a little.

Here is a photo of the layout and colours I am starting with:

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Now, you can certainly argue that the console does match in well with the Black of the bottom of the dash and that it looks 'OK' - but that my problem I guess, it's just OK...

So after removing it earlier, here are a few ideas using some of cuts of materials used on the car so far.

1) Wrap the whole thing in the same Burgundy Leatherette I used to remake the top door caps and the seat covers:

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

2) Wrap it in the same Black stretch carpet I used in the boot project (see a few pages above...):

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

 

3) A combination of the two:

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

 

I think that I am erring towards using the Black stretch carpet. That will maintain the original look/colour scheme, but just 'soften' the look and feel considerably.

What do you, the experts, think?

This is what l done in the red coupe, and sticky, the is some photos of sticky covered the rear trim

 

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

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Another good idea Wayne.

Thinking about it, if I used some of the cushioned foam I used on the door cards under the stretch carpet, I would probably end up with something very similar :thumbup

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With this type of modification I ask myself how I will feel in five or ten years.

Someone will be trying to undo all our “improvements” in search of originality.

I’ve made plenty of modifications to my own Mantas over the years - most I regret!

This moral dilemma often means I put off doing the work and that’s probably best in the long run.

I have installed some Mini toggle switches to my centre console, but wiring them up is another story!

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I know exactly what you men Jonathan, this is on my mind too.

And it is exactly for this reason that I have decided to simply wrap the console in the same Black stretch carpet as I used in the boot. That way, I or anyone else, can simply rip it off and remove any glue residue with thinners and its back to stock again.

Typically, the carpet I had left over was about four inches too short to comfortably cover the console, so I have just ordered  little bit more.

To make this tie in a little better with the lower half of the dash etc, I decided to use what I did have left to recover the foot well panels. I had previously used Burgundy Leatherette for these, but that came off pretty easily - here is the first one done (the Passenger side).

 

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I will probably do the Drivers side tomorrow - its too damn cold in the garage at the moment!  :lol:

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50 minutes ago, IanMc said:

I know exactly what you men Jonathan, this is on my mind too.

And it is exactly for this reason that I have decided to simply wrap the console in the same Black stretch carpet as I used in the boot. That way, I or anyone else, can simply rip it off and remove any glue residue with thinners and its back to stock again.

Typically, the carpet I had left over was about four inches too short to comfortably cover the console, so I have just ordered  little bit more.

To make this tie in a little better with the lower half of the dash etc, I decided to use what I did have left to recover the foot well panels. I had previously used Burgundy Leatherette for these, but that came off pretty easily - here is the first one done (the Passenger side).

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

I will probably do the Drivers side tomorrow - its too damn cold in the garage at the moment!  :lol:

The kick cover was missing from sticky,

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stranded one whoud not fit as it had more wiring in there dew to power steering, so l made one and covered it boot carpet .Fitted 100% perfect.

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When I found that the water had entered the boot and caused some mold etc, it also affected the workshop manual that I had behind the spare wheel. Even though I have a near perfect one indoors, I like to also keep one in the car for obvious reasons.

So when I discovered the soggy one in the boot, I decided to order a new 'spare'. That turned up yesterday and whilst thumbing through it earlier to see its general condition a couple of folded pages fell out. It turned out to be an old Car Mechanics brake article from 1984.

There is nothing in it that any of us probably dont already know, but I thought that you might be interested to hear the story and see the article anyway. So here it is:

 

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If anybody wants a higher resolution copy of it, just let me know and I will E-mail it to you  :thumbup

 

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On 09/01/2021 at 10:17, IanMc said:

Hi All,

I hope that everyone is managing to cope with lockdown? I know its tough in many different ways for different people, hang in there - we will get through this rubbish!

Last weekend I started a thread regarding an idea/thought I had about covering my center console (please see Basic Technical Help).

With my car being an automatic, I suppose it does have a little bit more to break up the bland blank slab of plastic, but that probably clutching at straws a little.

Here is a photo of the layout and colours I am starting with:

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Now, you can certainly argue that the console does match in well with the Black of the bottom of the dash and that it looks 'OK' - but that my problem I guess, it's just OK...

So after removing it earlier, here are a few ideas using some of cuts of materials used on the car so far.

1) Wrap the whole thing in the same Burgundy Leatherette I used to remake the top door caps and the seat covers:

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

2) Wrap it in the same Black stretch carpet I used in the boot project (see a few pages above...):

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

 

3) A combination of the two:

 

 

I think that I am erring towards using the Black stretch carpet. That will maintain the original look/colour scheme, but just 'soften' the look and feel considerably.

What do you, the experts, think?

I suppose you might have already made your decision by now but I would definitely go with carpet (black or possibly red), on the flat inner sections and leave the outside areas as black plastic. Hopefully that would stop things sliding around quite so much.

I'm ordering some foam for other things so will see how foam/rubber would work.

 

One of the solutions to the modification Vs preservation is to find a spare which you can play with. In my case, I think the spare is in better condition!

 

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As the weather is pretty dire outside at the moment, I decided to try to occupy some time by making a start on the covering of the center console with the same Black stretch carpet used in the boot. The new piece ordered arrived a couple of days back, so off we went:

 

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First job is to cut a piece big enough (obviously!) and put the excess to one side. I chose to leave loads of overlap to take around the back to make adhesion easier - well that was my thinking, so hopefully it works out that way...

 

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Next get yourself to a well ventilated area and clean all of the surfaces with thinners, or something similar:

 

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As well as getting rid of any dashboard cleaners etc (that might affect adhesion), you will be amazed at how much muck comes off of something that you had previously thought was clean!

 

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Its very easy to overlook the smaller items, in my case the infill panel in front of the handbrake (is that perculiar to the autos?) and the screw covers. So give those a clean too:

 

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As I was getting cold in the garage (remember I'm a Southern Softie :lol:), I decided to start with the small bits first, so I could go back in for a warm up.

Using your upholstery adhesive, spray the top surface of the part and the back face of the carpet - you have to think about this a little bit, otherwise you end up with a sticky mes to remove with your thinners - dont ask me how I know this :rolleyes:

 

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After leaving everything for a few minutes place the parts on the carpet and press them together, 'contouring' as required. Then run indoors like a little girl because its cold and leave everything to dry.

 

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To be continued, as/when I feel brave enough.

 

Enjoy your weekend everyone - stay safe!  :thumbup

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Feeling brave again, off I went to the garage to do a bit more on the center console.

Firstly, assemble the things that you will need (as well as the stretch carpet of course!) = a rag and thinners for adhesive over spray and sticky fingers, some plastic trim tools to put the carpet into the corners and some sharp scissors to remove excess material.

 

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I thought it would probably be easier to start at one end and work my way down. With that in mind I applied adhesive to the top surface of the first few inches of the console, and the underside of the carpet:

 

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Then off you go with the pressing, forming stretching and swearing  :lol:

Have a plan in your head, but be prepared to adapt if you need to. I started with the middle section of the widest end and went from there: 

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Then slowly worked backwards, a bit like pulling a sock on:

 

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Dont forget to apply adhesive to the return/underside of the console too to get a really good bond:

 

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Eventually you should end up with something that looks like this:

 

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As its still very cold out there, I am going to let everything dry overnight, then cut the slots and holes etc tomorrow.

So far, so good - I really like it!

I hope that might give somebody else some ideas or inspiration?

 

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That does look pretty tidy! I like it.

Presumably this carpet material isn't very thick given how it seems to fit around the tight radii etc. A bit like the stuff that you get inside watch/shaver boxes etc. 

You will be doing the dashboard next! 😄

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8 hours ago, Monaco Blue said:

That does look pretty tidy! I like it.

Presumably this carpet material isn't very thick given how it seems to fit around the tight radii etc. A bit like the stuff that you get inside watch/shaver boxes etc. 

You will be doing the dashboard next! 😄

Hi Martin, I hope you are keeping well.

Its actually surprisingly thick - probably about 2 mm and very strong. Its made specifically for lining area on cars, boats and vans for camper conversions etc. They call it 4-way stretch carpet as it does exactly that. Presumably it thins a little in the areas where you push it into the corners etc to make it a close fit.

You can also pull it off to reshape/stretch it out again if you get a crease or cut an area a few millimetres short. The ability to stretch it really is the big advantage and allows you to cover a multitude of sins. I have to say it is very forgiving and even helps an absolute novice like me get quite a respectable finish.

Do a quick Youtube search and watch a couple of videos, I'm sure it will give you some ideas.

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With everything drying nicely overnight, it was time to do the final trimming.

I bought myself a really sharp set of dress making scissors before I started the seat covers (approx £10) and they are as sharp today as when I got them - highly recommended. Use these for this part of the job as they are sharp/cut right to the tip - perfect for those awkward places  :thumbup

I chose the start with the auto box gear selector cut out. As always with these things: think, plan, check, cut.

 

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Then I moved on to the handbrake cut out. Remember to make sure that any locations for plastic 'tangs' are kept clear, otherwise you will have great problems when you refit.

 

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You will notice the White residue of adhesive left when parts of the carpet are cut away. This is very easily removed from the plastic parts and also the face of the carpet too if you are as clumsy as me with sticky fingers etc  :rolleyes:

Please dont forget to expose the locating screw holes to hold it in the car either, I nearly did!

Simply feel them with your fingers, then put a small screwdriver through the carpet to make a hole. I then cut slits in the carpet around the hole, then pushed the carpet down into the recess with my fingers to form the hollow for the screw and its cover.

 

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Now all you need to do is go and fit it to your car... (photo to follow later).

 

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And with it now back in the car.

 

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You will notice the four screw covers are not fitted and that's because they don't!

Basically the thickness build up of the carpet around the holes, means that they are far to tight to fit without smacking them in. I will either trim away the excess carpet from the hole itself or sand the caps down a little to make them very slightly smaller. Almost certainly I will do the former with my sharp scissors.

Overall, I'm very happy with the result though, I think it does improve the car.

Have a nice day everyone.

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38 minutes ago, IanMc said:

And with it now back in the car.

 

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You will notice the four screw covers are not fitted and that's because they don't!

Basically the thickness build up of the carpet around the holes, means that they are far to tight to fit without smacking them in. I will either trim away the excess carpet from the hole itself or sand the caps down a little to make them very slightly smaller. Almost certainly I will do the former with my sharp scissors.

Overall, I'm very happy with the result though, I think it does improve the car.

Have a nice day everyone.

Try heating the caps in some boiling water or with a hairdryer (I expect you’ve got one to go with your dress making scissors) 😂

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I’m now thinking that I might also cover the top and bottom steering column covers.

 I now find those plain plastic chunks a bit of an eyesore. Oh dear, what have I started lol

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Well done, it is an idea to cover the top of the dash. When I drive towards the sun the top-dash reflects in my screen and can be dangerous. 

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