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Thread: A leather interior

  1. #1

    Default A leather interior

    Hello everyone,

    My lovely wife gave me a digital camera for my birthday. She's the best.

    Now I can show you some of the work I've done. Whenever possible the changes were made to be reversible if I decide to go with a restoration in the future.

    The Seats came from a last generation Riviera. I chose them because the Riviera is one of the few full sized 2 door cars with a nice mix of luxury and performance.

    The front seats are 8 way power adjustable and wonderfully comfortable. My wife and I both have herniated discs and long rides on the old seats were painful. My parents have a small house on a lake in Maine that is 4 hours away. We made the trip many times with the original seats and we both were creaky and stiff when we arrived. With the new interior we make the trip and arrive fresh and comfortable.

    The installation was not easy but I'm happy with the results. At first I installed the Riviera power seat bases but the seats sat too high in the car. I switched to power bases from 1973 and it fit much better. The problem arose from wiring the new seats to the old bases. The switches are built into the side of the seat and old style switches don't have buttons for the power recline and lumbar support features. So I needed the 90's Riviera switches to work the '73 seat bases. It doesn't sound hard but the 73 bases have 1 motor and a transmission that redirects the power. The Riviera base has 3 motors that reverse polarity. It took a bunch of diodes and experimenting to get it all working. In the end it all worked out fine and has proven robust and reliable.

    The console is from a Park Avenue. I needed a console that didn't have a shifter in it that was a reasonable color match and had some Buick class.

    I scored a replacement carpet for a great price. The seller ordered the wrong color which turned out to be a perfect match for the seats. It isn't in yet but will be in this summer.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Livin' Large.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio USA
    Posts
    169

    Default

    That is a freakin rockin interior job.
    I was considering upgrading myself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    93

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    Upgrading? Hopefully you will save the original interior in case someone someday wants to return the car to it's former beauty.
    Kurtis Bierkamper
    Buick - Dream Up

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio USA
    Posts
    169

    Default

    I'm 6"2 and I don't really have a ton of room considering the size of the car.
    Tilt wheel would sure help,but power interior would be awesome.
    I probably would go with fabric as the top rarely goes up.
    Have to give props out to a guy who tackles his own interior And electrical work.
    Great job again.

  5. #5

    Default

    I should've mentioned that the seats that came out of this car were trashed. The drivers seat was missing most of the vinyl from the seat area, the springs were broken down and the wire that forms the seat edge was snapped at the front corner. The manual adjustment mechanism was rusted and would not engage both tracks unless you stuck your arm under the seat and fiddled.

    I looked into restoring the orignal seats but they were too far gone. I planned to get a replacement seat and have it reupholstered to match. No one makes reproductions so a completely stock restoration was not possible. In anticipation of finding the seat I purchased the power seat mechanisms hoping the extra adjustments would make them easier on my back. These mechanisms are the ones under the leather seats. They bolt to the floor pan using the stock mounting locations.

    I found the leather seats and was surprised that it was cheaper to buy this interior than it would be to buy and redo a stock seat.

    I'm investigating using a product called Leatherique that re-dyes leather. They make several colors and will custom match a color on request. I have a beige carpet I picked up that will tie the seats and interior together better but my final goal is to dye the seats to match the rest of the interior to help them blend in more.

    I have an unusual outlook on restoration vs. modification. I admire restorations and find myself leaning more that way over time. I drive may car alot and want the comfort and convenience common in more modern cars. One example of the conflict between restoration and modification is the stereo. I've made many changes to my car but I refuse to cut the dash up for a modern stereo. I'll upgrade the speakers but don't want them to be visible. All of the changes I've made are done so that they can be returned to stock if I choose. Nothing irreplaceable is permanently damaged.

    I'm very happy with the state of my car right now. More so than any time in the past. It's super comfortable, anvil reliable and a joy to drive. There will always be a list of to-do's but it's as close to "finished" as it's ever been.

    Thanks for the compliments!

    John
    Livin' Large.

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