Category Archives: Technical

Like Craig’s List

Only Better

Oldhippie.com is a new 100% free to use classified ad site. No catches or ulterior motives.

So I’m wanting to build a smaller shop close to my lake house, and stop the 100 mile each way weekly commute. But to do so I have to sell most of my 31 cars, four containers of parts and an attic full of household item I’ve horded over the years. I was selling a lot of it on eBay, but all of a sudden they now want me to charge and file sales tax in the buyer’s home. That’s not practical.

So I created my own version of Craig’s list that I’ll be listing my stuff on. I’ve already sold a bunch on it in just the week its been up.

For Search Engine Optimization to work its best – more is better. The more ads that get listed, the more buyers are brought to the site. As such, it is in my best interest to allow others to post their free of charge.

So from cars to walking dogs, from land to landscaping, from RVs to baby sitting — what ever is legal and ethical can be listed. It operates like Craig’s list — only easier to use and better organized. So clean out your attic, shed, garage. Advertise the products or services your business offers. It’s all free and my only ulterior motive is to bring more buyers to the site so I sell my stuff faster.

Old is New Again

The refurbishing of a early 90s aluminum race trailer

About 18 months ago, I bought an early 90s Aluminum Trailer from a racing buddy. The reason was that I had a Motorhome and a Stacker Trailer for week long races, a pick-up truck and gooseneck for weekend races, and a Toy Hauler and pick-up for motorcycle trips. The Toy Hauler needed to be replaced because it was shit and cost me money every time I took it out. I came up with brilliant money saving idea that buying an older, quality, aluminum trailer would allow me to sell both the Toy Hauler and Gooseneck. I could take the Motorhome and trailer (If I set up to carry both my son’s and my Harleys) on motorcycle trips and pull it behind the pick-up for weekend racing.

So I buy this early 90s trailer from Jim Bailey. I paid a premium for it, but it was well cared for and I felt I could freshen up reasonably. To this date, I modified the interior floor to accept the “Lock ‘N Loads to transport bikes, added a winch, some D-Rings, and move the wheel stops to accommodate a bigger car. I then scuffed, prepped and painted the exterior walls white with Red & Blue Stripe. It cost me a gallon of Rustoluem white and a quart each of red and blue Rustoleum – plus some supplies. I also painted the A-Frame gloss black. I later replaced the red and blue stripes with red, white and blue reflector tape – and wrapped the bottom in red/white safety tape. Electrically, I replaced all marker and tail lights with LED and the 7-blade trailer wiring. Finally, I installed an electric jack. Below are a list of shop update links on Maniacal Ravings of Dave Schultz, where I posted Details and Photos of this work.

So the above brings you up until this last week. Everything on the wall was removed and the interior walls were scuffed with 400 grit on a DA Sander, wiped down, taped off, and painted while with a roller.

Then I started to outfit to my convenience. I started with buying a black Yoga mat, cutting it in half, and riveting into place (with 1″ aluminum stock) at the back of the trailer. I then mounted a broom holder, strap holder, cord and hose holders and the Spare tire. I also mounted a hanger for the Director’s chair carrying case.

Moving to the front, I mounted a double helmet closet next to the bench. Onto it I installed a Kenwood stereo and a pair of speakers. To pick up the track radio from pitted in the Boonies, I mounted a high quality antenna on the street side – extending above the roof.

You’ll also note the 12,000 pound winch with a wireless remote mounted against the wall and a removable snatch pulley in the center. Also on the floor are the Lock ‘n Load plates for the removable motorcycle chocks.

Moving to the door, I mounted a door cabinet with fold down table. Below that is an oil bottle shelf, which also holds wrenches and screw drivers. That should alleviate some of the running in and out of the trailer for the most basic tools.

And speaking of convenience, I bought another cheap Yoga mat with carrying strap and riveted the sprap above the door. That makes it easy to grab for those times in the pits when you need to lay on the ground or work under the car.

I still need to:

  • Replace the trailer lights junction box with waterproof new
  • Mount dual batteries with cutoff switch under bench
  • Wire stereo and speakers
  • Wire roof exhaust fan
  • Run air lines under the trailer from rear and side door to air compressor under bench, and wire a on/off switch on bench
  • Make a rack for a set of 4 jack stands
  • Mount a rack for two bottle jacks and tire spinner under the spare
  • Mount a front strap holder and wall protection
  • Mount a 12V fan under upper cabinets
  • Mount a intelligent trickle charger for when the trailer is plugged in
  • Mount a set of Charging Lug on A-Frame to charge batteries
  • Install an inverter to provide AC power from a pair of DC batteries
  • Replace 4′ florescent ceiling lights with LED
  • Mount a LED pit light

Shop Going Ons – 1st Week January 2020

More work on outfitting the Stacker.

The goal is to organize a 2′ shorter trailer with far less storage than the last one.

So far the oil shelves are up and the lift control mounted to side of top cabinet; coat rack, helmet hanger, and baskets for racing gloves and shoes are on the front wall.
The telescopic pole for the weather station is mounted on the wall. for storage.
A fire bottle is mounted to attic ladder.
Some of the Specialty Tools are in the lower cabinet. Sill more ae needing to be stored there.
Logs and cleaning supplies in upper cabinets
I still need to mount something to store my folding Director’s Chair.
In the attic I started drilling holes.
Pressed in some threaded inserts
Bolted in some angle iron, which can be quickly unbolted if I was to need some more flat floor space.
Spare Parts tubs ain’t goin anywhere. Yes, I need to flip the front floor bracket around.
Buster, my Ole Chocolate Lab, has been goin to races with me since 2005. He’s been having a rough time lately and can barely walk. However he was so excited that I was working all day in the Stacker that he found the strength to climb in and keep me company. His tail was wagging like he was a pup again.I sure hope he makes it long enough to go to a few more races. He’s never happier than when were. racing.
A couple feet of three in pipe with an end cap, and s a notched 4″ to 3″ reducer
and a little pewter paint
and I have a holder for the High Strength clear RTV that I use to seal my oil pan to the block
I mounted a couple baskets on the rear-side door to hold various items (gloves, carb caps, ..) often needed when working on the car in the pit. Also riveted three magnetic bars to door to securely hold a set of wrenches for convenience.
The other side door is also outfitted for convenience.
And a Wall Mount for my cordless drill. I’ll mount another for cordless Impact wrench

I still have to mount and wire up the winch, mount a cord-reel and air hose, install a radio and speakers, make a rack for Jack stands and mount some arrangement for hardware.

Ginger, My Magnum XE

The Gear Vendor Overdrive unit is on the transmission.

The master power switch is mounted in the console as is a USB port and 12V outlet for Bluetooth my Amazon Music and Sirus from my iPhone. The LEDs and the enable/disable switch for the overdrive are mounted on the console plate.

Plans are to change out those screws with something more appropriate.

I’m waiting on the driveshaft from Victory and I’ll have to modify the exhaust system as the overdrive interfere with the cross-pipe and need to make it curve away from the solenoid on the overdrive.

MoHawk

MoHawk is going to be part Mopar and part Studebaker Hawk. It is a custom Tube Chassis frame, rack & pinion steering, a Mopar 8.75″ rear end, a 340 ci Mopar motor, Tremek transmission, 63 GT Hawk body with 60 Plymouth rear fins, and a 53 Commander front clip.

This is where MoHawk’s chassis stands. Frame is powder costed in Satin black, as is the 8.75″ rear-end and Super Stock leaf springs.

The Skipper – My GT Magnum

Trunk has been taken tp bare metal, repaired and painted. I’m waiting on the floor pan plugs so the carpet can be reinstalled.

The grill is removed and will be dechromed and painted black. The bumpers will be removed, blasted and powder coated gloss black.

I’ll be reconditioning the clear plastic headlight covers and corner lens. The motor and transmission will be pulled, cleaned, painted and dressed up. Everything in engine compartment will be removed and the compartment also cleaned and painted before the engine and new under hood components replaced. The door jams will also be cleaned, scuffed and repainted.

And that’s it. The next report will also include work on the Screamin’ Woody and the Petty Tribute.

Shop Goin’ Ons For December 2019

Petty Tribute

I aged some 15″X8″ Wheel Vintiques wheels to look Rusty, and mounted 245/60-15 Goodrich TAs on the rear. I still need to do the same for the fronts.

I repaired the old steering wheel, primed and painted to match the interior.

I tried three different shifter handles and all hit the seat, dash, or both. I finally made a 6″ adaptor to raise a pistol grip shifter 6″, which was enough to clear the bench seat and stay under the boot.

I bought all of the pipes needed to get the block hugger collectors to 2.5″ side exiting exhaust. This is all that is required to finish the car. These are the pipes needed to do the right side.

Magnum GT

If you’ve been following along on the Magnum GT, You’ll know it was recently treated to a new poly-urethene paint job, and the leather dyed before that. This week, everything was taken out of the trunk, the Surface flash removed, it was then masked, primed and painted. Since the car is pure black, it was an easy rattle can project. I’ll give the a paint a week to get hard, and then clean and replace the carpet.

The Screamin’ Woody

The engine was reassembled with a new crank, rod, and set of lifters; and stabbed into the car. It will be started and tuned next week.

Outfitting the Stacker

I spent a day getting the Stacker trailer mostly outfitted. On the door I installed a door cabinet fire bottle holder, tire gauge holder, rack of screw drivers and a pair of clamps that hold the weather station in travel mode, and the telescopic pole it goes on (to raise 5′ over the stacker’s roof) when in the pits. Another set of clamps were installed inside the door to hold the pole in travel mode.

On the front wall of the trailer, I mounted a stainless coat rack with 4 stainless steel hangers for my safety suits. Above the coat rack I mounted a pair of stainless steel baskets for racing shoes and gloves. On the ceiling I mounted a swiveling hook to hold my helmet.

Next to the overhead cabinets I mounted an Oil Rack and used Industrial Grey Velcro to hold the lift’s remote control in place. To the rear of the trailer is a strap holder, jack pouch, a blower holder and a couple cord holders.

I also put the hand tools in the appropriate drawers, but I’ll need to go back to clean and oil them before the first race.

In the attic I mounted a holder for four 5gallon fuel jugs.

I still have a day left to finish organizing myself into a 2′ shorter trailer.

Other

  • Installed an electric gate
  • Replaced all bulbs in Magnum XE with LED
  • Replaced AC blower motor on Magnum XE
  • Removed the Grill to the Magnum GT to paint when it gets warmer
  • Figured out I had the wrong parts to install an overdrive in the Magnum XE, and ordered the correct ones
  • Did a little cleaning and organizing in the shop

Detailing the Trunk of my Magnum GT

Started to Detail the trunk of my GT today. While there was no leak or rust through, the last 40 years has seen a little surface rust from wet items thrown in the trunk over the years. Pulled everything out, Cleaned the flash to bare metal, scuffed, prepped, masked and hit with coats of Grey primer.


A day later I hit with Black paint.

I’ll give the paint a week to dry hard, as I have other stuff to do anyway, before putting the carpet back in.

What I’ve Learned About CBD

Slightly after midnight on December 19, 1974, I was in the backseat of a Mazda RX2 that took a curve in the Everglades at over 100mph, rolled – throwing me from the car. I was Life Flighted to James Archer Smith Hospital in Homestead, Fl. I had many broken bones, a head injury and took 177 stitches in my face and head. To this day, 45 years later, I still have a chunk of windshield in my head.

In the ensuing years, I developed the same type of arthritis that plagued Evil Knievel, which was caused by too many broken bones. By 1980, I would stop by the VA Hospital each morning at 6am, on my way to work, for treatments. I was prescribed Indocin – which made my hair fall out; Napersin – which caused stomach problems; Zomax – which was taken off the market for liver problems; Viox – which was taken of the market for causing heart issues; and finally high dosages of Celebrex – which I quit taking because of concerns. I just muscle through the chronic pain with 800mg of ibuprofen twice day. I’ve lost 80 pounds, which has helped some – but much.

I’ve had about a dozen orthopedic surgeries, including three on my shoulder. After the last one (about 15 years ago) I was told I’d need a shoulder joint replacement, which I’ve yet to do. I can no longer throw overhand, reach above my head or in back of my neck. All of the discs in my back have degenerated, and after my last MRI, the surgeon told me that the arthritis surrounds the nerves and I’m too far past surgery. He suggested shots into the spine and burning the nerve ends to help the pain, but I have a brother-in-law who having that treatment who scared me away from that because of side effects.

So family, friends, former athletes on tv and others have been preaching CBD. To me, it sounds like snake oil. For kicks my wife bought a month’s supply of 750mg CBD at the pharmacy – for $89.95. I’ve been taking one each morning for the last week. I’m told it takes at least a month for it to help.

The last few weeks my right shoulder has given me unbearable pain. Again at our Pharmacy, my wife buys 3ozs of 500mg CBD topical lotion, again for $89.95. I scoffed at it. She put some on her back, which was aching. A couple hours later she said it felt a lot better. So I tried a squirt on my shoulder before going to bed, as my shoulder makes it hard to sleep. I actually slept through the night and had less pain in the morning. I’ve used it twice since then and feel like it is giving me some relief.

So because I’m such a cheap Bastard, I decided that I needed to find it cheaper on-line. I go to Amazon at find stuff claiming to be ten times stronger and ten times cheaper littered all over the site. I’m the type that believes that if its too good to be true (the strength and price) then its not true.

I spent the next five hours researching. What I found was the following:

  • Amazon doesn’t sell real CBD, but only sells Hemp Oil claiming to be CBD
  • Hemp Oil is pressed from hemp seed, and not true CBD chemically
  • Hemp Oil has no anti-inflammation or pain reducing qualities
  • True CBD is extracted from the mamajuana flower with an expensive process using CO2
  • The expensive stuff that the pharmacy sells is Green Roads, and it is legit.
  • The other well respected legit CBD product is CBDMD. It uses the same process, a 3rd party lab analyzing every batch, and is same price as Green Roads.
  • The difference for me is that CBDMD will give Military/Veterans a 30% discount, and Service Connected Disabled 40%. You need a military id, DD214 to prove military or veteran status; and a statement from the VA on your disability status.

https://www.cbdmd.com/military-disability?rfsn=2915221.841272&subid=xyyCCxyy211348090

So for me, I’m not 100% convinced. However, I’ll give it a month or two to see if I get some long term relief. More importantly, I’ve learned that:

  • Real CBD ain’t cheap
  • There’ currently no real regulations to protect the end user that they’re getting legit CBD, and not Hemp Oil being called CBD
  • Less 1% of the CBD bought is real CBD
  • I’ll save 40%

I hope this helps others from getting suckered into Hemp Oil claiming to be CBD. I’ll post a follow up a month or so down the road. I’m a skeptic, and feel like I’m hard to fool. If anything, I’ll most likely error in feeling that I didn’t get relief when I might have received minor relief.

My surface Pro X Nightmare

I violated my rule of “Bleeding Edge”

I’ve been into computers since the late 70s — when you had to assemble them yourself. I was a business computer salesman in 1982 when the IBM-PC came out with 16KB of RAM and a pair of single side floppies. I automated a collection agency I had ownership in back in 1983, sold that software to many other agencies. Was behind rewriting that system again to run on PCs, and started over again in 1990 with a clean slate – with the system know as WinDebt. I’ve owned a couple of computer software companies — and consider myself pretty savvy computer guy for an old man.

Every couple of years I treat myself to a new computer — always the top of the line as I do lot on it. I use to have a desk top in my bedroom, home office, main office and shop — but a few years ago I bought my first Surface Pro (a 2) and I have a hub, keyboard and monitor in many locations and just bring the tablet from place to place. About three years ago I upgraded the Surface Pro2 to a 2017.

For the last few months my 2017 has been showing signs of age. I have to have it plugged in all of the time as battery has expired — and the tablet mode (which I use most) has had the touch screen acting flakey. I knew the new Surface Pro X was coming out in December — so I hung in there and waited.

I received my X last week and immediately regretted it. It started with McAfee antivirus failing to install. The only message was call tech support. I did, and then hung up after 45 minutes on hold. I completely factory reset the computer and started over again — same deal. I uninstalled Windows 10, reinstalled and no soap. After wasting 3 hours I started doing Internet searches. There was nothing on the Internet about this problem — so I started looking for reviews on the Surface Pro X.

That’s when I started to find out that that while the hardware is Top Shelf with the fastest ARM microprocessor and 16GB Ram — on a 64-bit operating system — it changed a 25 year-old school method of how it uses DLLs. That rendered applications that didn’t get it together and rewrite their application to the faster standard inoperable – Just about all of them.

After finding out that I had to use Microsoft’s Firewall and Anti-Virus because none of the others yet work, I found most everything else I use is also useless. Fortunately Quickbooks Desktop and Quickbooks online both work. However, I use a virtual printer called Chax — which prints checks on blank check paper. I called their Tech support — and was lectured by their techie who knew nothing from what he speaks about Surface Pro being like an iPad — and not a computer. I explained to him that I had the most powerful personal computer on the market and it is nothing like an iPad. I tried to explain to him that its a new type of Microprocessor (ARM) and that I’ve read that there was going to be compatibility issues with older software. He told me that their software wasn’t older and that he could get it working. I gave him control of the computer with Gotomeeting — and he jacked around for an hour. I finally convince him to go to my Settings and About to see what I was running. When he did, he said “oh, your got a very powerful computer that is too advanced for this application” — I’ll have to tell management that we need to get to work on this.

Yeah Great! I spent the next hour ordering check printing on line for Quickbooks.

Next I tried to install and older version of Photoshop and it won’t install. I knew better that to waste my time — as the only option would be use the on-line per month charge version.
Next up was a VPN — Express VPN — the biggest, best, and most expensive. I tried twice to install and then got with Abi from their tech support. I explained that I had a new Surface Pro X and the ARM version of Windows X. He told me that won’t make any difference as Windows 10 is Windows 10. So an hour into this I have to reboot and he tells me that he’ll email me the steps to finish. An hour later and still no email — so I get ahold of Keajy and explain the deal. He puts me through the whole deal again — not listening to me explain about the ARM version of Windows 10. 90 minutes into it and I finally convince him to look at my about. I get the “Oh I’ll need to look into this.” After looking into it he says the only VPN I can do Spoofs my IP but adds no security. I don’t need to Spoof — I need security.

Next up is Microsoft, after my Brother laser printer driver won’t install and the Windows driver make white black and black white — to where documents look like negatives. At least when I explained to the Microsoft tech guy — he was prepared for a nightmare. I gave him control to the computer and watched him and someone else try like Hell to fix. The end result was that they were going to have to get with Brother to fix the driver and will get back to me in 24-48 hours.

So I write this to warn others — as this computer is so new that there’s nothing on the Internet about these problems. The surface Pro X is a great computer — but if you need a Surface Pro right now — get a 7 as it might be a year before all of this Windows 10 ARM app incompatibility is fixed.

Petty Update

Shop today:
Detroit locker waiting for the carrier bearings and chunk gasket.
Took the rear wheels I painted along with the rear wheels to the Magnum XE to my bud at Discount. He took the 245s off the Magnum wheels and put on the Petty wheels, and put 255s on the Magnum.
Painted up the shifter handle extender and bought some Stainless Steels bolts, nuts and split washers.
Remounted the door cabinet 1/2″ to left as it interfered with other door.

A Facebook Clone

But without the Liberal Gestapo tracking your every move, collecting information and reselling it, and punishing anyone posting to the Right of Bernie Sanders.

It’s called Old Hippie’s Damn Face Book. It “Looks & Feels” identical to Facebook, with most of the same features. You have your Profile, a Newsfeed of posts from friends and your Groups, Pages for businesses, Groups for like interests, a Marketplace to buy and sell, Photo albums and more.

The web address is a very simple www.OldHippie.com

It works perfectly with computers, tablets and even smartphones.

The simple goal is to grow a small community of a couple thousand like minded individuals, their family, and their friends. There is no desire to be huge, to make money, to have a Gestapo moderation department apply a Double-Standard of “Community Standards”, or to collect and sell your private information.

If you’re looking for a social community that will not be looking over shoulder and over-aggressively moderating your free speech – then why not be part of our small community by registering, checking in a few times a week, and participating, Old Hippie’s Damn Face Book would like for you to join us.

Engine & Transmission Stabbed into Petty Tribute

Got the engine and transmission stabbed in the Petty Tribute today. I ordered an aluminum cross flow radiator, starter motor, coil holder, set of pulleys and brackets, 1-wire alternator with on-board regulator, throttle cable, 800cfm AVS2 carb, and MSD Box to distributor wire.

Need to get all of that in/on, punch a hole in the floor for the shifter and measure/order a driveshaft before we can start it up.

Taped up and wetsanded the horn button
Hit I with Primer
Hit wit the turquoise paint used on interior
Repaired the steering wheel, scuffed, wiped down, sprayed with adhesion promoter and primed. That’s when I noticed the gouged not previously seen. I’ll repair, prime again, wet sand and paint turquoise.

That’s about all that will get done on the car until next week

Update On The Petty Tribute

Engine & Transmission

The engine, clutch and transmission were mocked up, including the shifter (after the above photos). When it came time to install the starter, we found we bought the wrong Flywheel. $300 later, a new one was shipped from Summit Racing. It will be here Thursday.

Under The Hood

Heater block off plate was fabricated out of sheet aluminum, painted blank and installed. The brake master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder were mounted.

Steering Wheel

I’d bought a Grant Wheel that I thought would look good, However, Grant doesn’t make an adapter for a 60 Plymouth. I bought and tried a 61-66 Mopar and 67-69 Mopar. As opposed to cutting up a good 60 Plymouth steering wheel to make an adapter, I decided to repair and paint the one that came with the car.

There were numerous cracks and breaks in this 60-year-old steering wheel.

First I V’d out the cracks and breaks. Then I wiped down with wax and grease remover. I mixed up some JB Weld Marine Epoxy and used it as the first filler. I let it harden for three hours before spending an hour with a razor blade and brown 3M pad cleaning up the high areas.

I then mixed up some fiber reinforced filler and slathered it into the on wounds. It’s setting up. Tomorrow I’ll trim the high areas and sand to shape. I’m hoping I’ll only need to apply one last coat of filler. Then I’ll sand smooth, hit with a coat of adhesion promoter, a coat of primer and wet sand. If it looks good after that, I’ll paint. Not sure if I’ll match the interior’s turquoise or go black.

This is kinda backwards, because I need to post the car build from the beginning to present. Stay tuned, as it will be coming soon.

Getting A Little Trim

I didn’t send the grill to the paint shop, but masked it off and painted myself.

The grill on a Magnum is chromed plastic, which has its edges masked off and painted over the chrome. I started by washing the grill, then wiping down with wax & grease remover, then carefully mask off the edges needing to stay chrome. Next I lightly scuff with a rough (brown) 3M pad. Some of the paint was very loose and exposed the chromed plastic under it when scuffed.

I sprayed the part with paint adhesion promoter. I started with two light coats, and finished with two wet coats.

A couple hours later I pulled off the tape and it looks like brand new.

The rest of the trim was reinstalled. I’d say that the paint job was a total success. I’m very happy with how it came out. Tomorrow the car gets washed and detailed.

Screamin’ Woody Gets New Oil Pan

I post this mainly in case someone had same issue as me.

Charlies Oil Pans had been making the fabricated oil pan to fit the Screamin’ Woody, my 60 Plymouth wagon. Charlies went out of business and when I contacted Stef’s, they said 2 months and $1000 to make one. Milodon made a off the shelf that. fits, but no windage tray for a 4.50″ stroke.

I found that 440 Source makes a pretty good looking 7-quart fabricated aluminum pan that fits, and there’s a windage tray for strokes up to.4.501″. It only cost about $225 for both and looks to be pretty high quality.

Hopefully the crank comes back from machine shop this week and engine can start to go back together. Need to cut a hole for the external oil pump and swinging pickup.

Brand New Classified Ad Web Site

Specifically for Motor Vehicles, Only Motor Vehicles and for ALL Motor Vehicles.

There has been and will be a lot of effort put into the creation of this site. If you have any car or car parts for sale, check out this site and help me get it rolling.

Click the Link to check it out.

Home – Old Hippie’s Ads http://www.oldhippiesads.com

Ginger Gets a New Interior

I pulled the seats out and replaced the carpet and floor mats. About 20 years ago, I pulled a ratty console and tilt column out of Gilligan, a Magnum parts car. I sent the console to an interior shop to be recovered, and bought a new console lids on eBay. I sanded and painted the non-granny steering column. The original tilt steering is available – if anyone with a 70s B-Body wants to convert their non-tilt steering to tilt. I bought a set of near new black leather BMW Coupe power seats, and installed them in the car.

The seat looked great, but felt too small for my wide back (and fat ass) – as I weighed 330 at the time. I weigh 250 now, and they’d most likely be great – but I ordered and waited 3 months for aftermarket black leather seat that were the widest on the market. They’re now installed. I have the BMW power seats wrapped and for sale. They be great in any muscle car with black interior. Black leather seats from a 2-door (allowing passengers to get into backseat) are rarer than hen’s teeth.

These seats then had a semi-gloss leather coating used on interiors back in the 60-80s.

You may note that the door panels and gauges are also different. Let me tell you about them. First the door panels.

The above is how they looked after 40 years of use. I scuffed and wiped down with wax and grease remover, and masked off.

I generally start with two light coats, and then one wet coat of spray vinyl dye. That worked well for the hard plastic and carpet, but the soft vinyl would have parts that looked like it was soaking it up. It was splotching with parts being gloss and parts being flat. I thought I’d must done something wrong in prep, but it finally came out OK by the time I’d hit the soft vinyl another six or seven times with a wet coat, waiting about 2-3 minutes between. It took a full 12oz can for first panel.

Same deal with second panel. I made sure I’d rubbed off all of the wax and grease remover, and let it air dry for an hour. However, same deal. Hard plastic and carpet looked good after two light and one wet coat, but I had to keep hitting the soft plastic with more wet coats where the dye dries in a flat splotches. When the soft vinyl finally was a consistent gloss, I had just enough left in the can to give the entire soft vinyl an even wet coat instead of just dressing up the splotches.

I think it came out looking pretty good. The gloss made the soft vinyl look a little loose, but it tightened up when clipped onto the doors.

A Couple of decades ago, I made an aluminum upper and lower panel, painted flat black; and then filed then with switches, vents, little lights and Dakota Digital Gauges. That look didn’t work for me, but it’s for sale if it works for you.

So I bought an empty gauge panel on eBay, and ordered about $1000 worth of custom gauges close to the size of the holes. I bought a large Speedometer (with Tach) that works off GPS; and a large gauge that has Volts, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp and Fuel Level to fill the two big holes. To fill the two smaller holes I bought an Oil Temp gauge and a clock.

The two big gauge holes with the sleeves in them were too small by about 1/16″, so I had to cut the welds attaching the sleeves to the panel and pop them out. Once out, the holes were now 1/8″ too big. On the small gauge holes, I had to cut the inset hoods off as the gauges were too shallow for the screw on collars that attach the gauges to the panel to screw on the back of them.

To make the big gauges fit, I made some spacers from 4″ schedule 80 PVC sleeves, by hand sawing about 3/8″ off the end and wet sanding until they were smooth and the same size.

I mocked the gauges up to make sure they fit prior to doing any sanding and painting on the gauge panel. They did, so I glued the spacers onto the panel.

I wet sanded the panel and masked off the idiot lights.

After painting gloss black, it looked too gloss and cheesy. Some of the glue around the rings (that I swore I’d sanded all of the way off) was also showing.

So I decided to leave the coves glossy black, but have the flat portion in a hammer tone black – to tone down the gloss and hide imperfections. So I taped off the coves, sanded some more on the glue around the rings, and wet sanded the areas to get the hammer tone paint.

I hit it with two light coats with an hour between, and then a very wet coat after another hour.

And ready for installation.