Excel Interior Update

Body parts, seats, dash, headlining, windows and stuff!

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MetBlue
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Excel Interior Update

Post by MetBlue »

I'm giving some thought ( planning phase lets say), to making some subtle changes to the interior of my Excel. - As if I hadn't got enough to be getting on with :!: :!:
A couple of serious wear related issues to resolve ( drivers seat leather and stitching on the centre panel of rear seats - usual issues). Drivers seat repairs will be using a leather restoration kit, and some of the standard leather will be spruced up with a kit from one of the usual suspects. Not sure yet what I'll do with the rear seat centre panel.
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But I'm thinking I want to do something a little extra. Not that there's anything wrong with a full leather (SE) interior you understand, just that .... well... It's a little too unicolour. A little bit too much Tan - (Or gold as Lotus chose to call it).
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For the purists, I won't be doing anything that looses the ability to return to standard in the future, So that's one of my guiding factors. And the pockets are not endlessly deep, so any form of professional re-trimming is out of the question. Definitely will be a DIY job on smallish budget.

But what to do? I've trawled through many of the topics on interiors on both forums and haven't found too much to glean ideas from, unless I've missed it.
I have a few thoughts, but not too proud to listen to suggestions.

I wonder where this journey is going to lead.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

bash
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by bash »

My view is that the rear seat is an easy fix because it looks like the leather stiching has failed rather than the leather itself. The fix probably wont be quick though because the leather needs alot of feeding first to make it more supple. The rear seat assembly comes out very easily, two screws on each seat base enables you to pull the base towards the front and the base tabs slip out. Inside the boot right at the top are some slightly twisted metal tabs, when they are straightened the seat back will come out after removing the screws at the base inside the car. This is the point where you could take it to a trimmer to sort out or, take the leather cover off and stitch it yourself using the correct waxed thread.... which is what I would do using the original stiching holes. If the stiching holes have failed you could get some very thin pigskin leather (ebay) stuck to the back with contact adhesive along the stitching area which will enable you to restitch the seam. If the leather has shrunk making it difficult to pull the seams together you could steam the leather and pull it while warm and wet. Theres plenty on utube about steaming stuff like this, although like alot of stuff on there you have to kiss alot of frogs till you meet a prince.
Personally, coming from an owner who has the 1/2 leather interior, I would love what you have and would therefore leave the update / colour alone. In 10 years time these cars could be worth proper money and people will want originality. Having said that, Ive got a v8 in mine, and Im not impressed by my MX5 leather seats in my other car when they burn my arse getting in on a hot day.

Bash
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richardw
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by richardw »

Tony, about the only colours that you could use would be a contrasting (dark) tan, or black. The sides of the centre console and tunnel cover (and maybe the handbrake and gearstick gaiters) could be recoloured along with the door panel, leaving the inner section original. This would relieve the monotony you feel but not change the shape. It could be recoloured as & when you wish.

It will be interesting to see what you decide!

Cheers, Richard
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AndyD
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by AndyD »

If it were me I would buy a pair of RX8 seats from eBay and colour them whatever colour you wish using FC dye as it seems the best. Similar to exterior colour?

Then source rear seat set from Lotusbits and colour it the same to match, leaving the rest of the interior as is as the seats should give the required contrast.

You could then restore and keep the originals meaning simple to return to standard.

The RX8 seats seem to fit well from what I've seen online; I'm considering similar myself as my seats are cloth and rear top has sun rot.

Andy

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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by Pete Boole »

Just change to black carpets, and maybe something with the door card inserts. Black and tan look good together.

Pete

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Lotus-e-Clan
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

I saw these contrasting panel swaps somewhere ...
Image

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Or a contrasting carpet job. You could do a dark red / burgundy/maroon version?
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by MetBlue »

Some interesting prompts. Thanks guys and generally along lines I'd been thinking. With black around the instruments, I'd been thinking on changing a few easy things like gear and handbrake gaiters, and door card pockets to a black leather. As Pete says, does contrast well.
Thanks for posting the interior pictures Peter. The one with black tunnel, but keeping original gaiters does look good. I was thinking just to change gaiters, but might now reconsider. As original post, I'd get another set to retrim rather than recolouring the existing.
Bash : at first sight looks like just stitching has split and leather is intact on the back seat. I did wonder about fitting a black panel instead, that could be slightly bigger than original to compensate for the shrinkage. Was thinking the leather was past it, but you seem to think otherwise. Any guidance on proven product to feed the hard leather and return suppleness?
One other wacky idea I've been mulling over is a slightly high centre arm rest from behind the hand brake. If I could find a suitable black leather covered hinged arm rest from a modern car, might not be too hard to knock up a bottom section and trim in black leather. Would end up with a more useful storage box than the current one that's barely deep enough to hold a pound coin! Horror of horrors - maybe I could end up with a couple of cup holders! - oh no - did I say that out loud? Oops....
Just mustn't look home made, hence the modern car top rest should help, but need to find something suitable.

Tony
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pistolpete
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by pistolpete »

Wow , yes love the pictures, I 'm going to redo my leather sometime over the next few months, mine just looks too yellow ,makes you think about being a little more adventurous

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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by MetBlue »

Well that month since last posting went double quick. been busy though with some small developments.
Introducing some black highlights seemed easiest way forward, so ordered a cows coat off t'internet, and a few other choice materials.
Started with a simple task. The door card pockets. Made up a shaped 3ply wood template, applied a piece of sticky backed 3mm foam ( for that softer feel !!), added screws and applied leather covering. (If you recall I did say I wanted everything I do to be reversible, hence didn't want to just recolour the original). Result being:
Image
Might look out for ash trays and door handles and glove box for next touch, but they will need to be recovered./ coloured lotus parts.

Also got a centre console from LB on a recent visit, stripped and recovered and added my own twist.
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So far so good. Pleased with results as a starter. Next step could be a bit more challenging, but I'll keep my powder dry about my thoughts / intent in case it doesn't work out !!!!! :lol: .

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Lotus-e-Clan
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

Great result. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by richardw »

Excellent and tasteful work Tony!

Richard
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pistolpete
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by pistolpete »

looks very professional love the black hints

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MetBlue
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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by MetBlue »

Continuing the black highlight theme, and concentrating on things that can easily be returned to standard, I thought earlier this month that the head rests wouldn't be too difficult to recover ( or make fresh) in black.
What started as a like for like replacement ( other than colour) turned into this by the end.
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Now just need to nake a second one - Looks a bit odd with one standard brown and one black.

Question though..... Is this the finishing touch? ..... Or a step too far?

Image

Really do need to get that seat repair raised up the priority list though :!: :!: :!: :!:

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by AndyD »

That's taken some effort to achieve Tony and is certainly an effective upgrade 👍

For me the seats are crying out for the centre sections to be dyed black to match the headrests and would go further towards your 'de-browning' target. Reckon that would look really good.

On the Lotus badge - if you like it, why not?

Enjoying seeing your progress.

Cheers

Andy

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Re: Excel Interior Update

Post by MetBlue »

Interesting thought on the black centre panel.
Earlier I had considered changing the kn*****ed side bolster panels and setting in a black piece, but it seems a huge amount of effort especially as I'd need to do the same on a perfectly good passenger seat.
For now I think a leather repair and colour back to brown, sorry, gold will need to suffice.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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