Jim Smart
September 1, 1998

Step By Step

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Take extra care when dismantling your seats. Clint Sharp of Ambrose Custom Interiors carefully pops the seatback covers in this case because they were in good condition and reusable.
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Clint takes a large screwdriver and works the seatback pivot off the seat bottom as shown. Our advice? Take extra care and bear against the seat frame with the screwdriver.
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Not enough restorers pay attention to seat tracks. For smooth operation, clean and lubricate the seat tracks while they’re apart. We suggest graphite grease on the tracks, which is a dry grease.
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Seat foam should always be replaced. New foam feels good and provides firm support underneath new upholstery.
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The only original pieces in your seat should be the frames. Ambrose Custom Interiors fits Bill’s buckets with new burlap, which provides support and structure.
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New seat upholstery from Texas Mustang Parts is laid out in the sun to soften it up and make it workable. Always do this before you begin installation.
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The seat foam gets an application of 3M Trim Adhesive, which enables it to stick to the burlap securely.
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Whenever possible, use the original wire listing to retain the upholstery. If you have to replace the old listing, use a thin-gauge coat hanger wire. Carefully feed the listing into the sleeves as shown.
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Clint fits the upholstery in place, then begins hog-ringing the upholstery.
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He suggests hooking the hog ring around the listing top first, as shown, then giving it hell. This ensures a tight fit.
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Cradle the foam as shown, then pull the upholstery over and aim for a snug fit.
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After you’ve hog-ringed everything in place, find the seatback panel clip attachment holes, punch same, and pop the cover in place.
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As with the seatback cover, punch the appropriate holes and install your Texas Mustang hardware.
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Reinstall the seat back as shown, taking extra care not to puncture the new upholstery.
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Make your efforts shine with new trim pieces from Texas Mustang Parts. Clint finishes out his work with new anodized aluminum.
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Our completed bucket seat is ready for action.
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Bill Kepp puts down the carpet underlayment from Texas Mustang Parts.
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We’re not completely certain which side faces down, but we put ours down so it conformed to the shape of the floorpan. For some underlayment pieces, it’s common sense.
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If you have a manual transmission, don’t forget to install the boot before the carpet goes in.
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Carpet installation can be challenging. Bill lays the carpet in...
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...pushing the molded segments into the corners.
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Then he pulls the manual shifter boot up through the carpet.
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We installed our Texas Mustang dashpad with ease.
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Simply seat the pad, then install the tinnerman’s nuts from behind.
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Our project Mustang doesn’t have the windshield yet.
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Before you install the door panels, don’t forget the watershields to keep unnecessary moisture off your door panels. Use a pliable water sealer between the watershield and the door.
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The door panels from Texas Mustang Parts installed with ease because they arrived with new retainer clips. These clips slip into the door panel toward the front of the vehicle. Seat the clip and give the panel a solid whack with the heel of your palm.
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Before you can install the armrest, you must carefully cut out the soft impressions midpanel. Gently find them, then cut the panel out in this area as shown.
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Find the armrest screw tinnerman’s clip in the door and start the screw.
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Finish up by installing the door handles and lock button.
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Check this out. Did you know ’65–’66 Mustangs can be equipped with an overhead courtesy lamp? The provisions are there for one, so we took advantage. Simply route the wire to the left-hand side of the car, then aft, then down to the “C” pillar area. You can tie the lead into the underdash courtesy lamps.
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Before the headliner goes in, the insulation must be installed. We suggest the foil-backed padding shown here. It isolates summertime heat and wintertime cold, plus it isolates sound. Glue it in with 3M Trim Adhesive.
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Feed the overhead wires into the headliner as shown. Do not confuse the appropriate wire positions.
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Support wires are installed first and then pressed against the insulation.
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Once all of the wires are positioned, work fore and aft first, pulling the headliner firm. Apply 3M Trim Adhesive along the edges at the backlight and C pillars, then on the headliner at the attachment points. Allow the adhesive to dry to a tacky state, then pull and attach the headliner. Hold the headliner with windlace pieces cut in small segments. When the rear is secured, pull the headliner firmly toward the front of the body and attach it at the windshield. Finally, pull the sides firm and do the same thing around the door openings.
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Install the dome light lens and bezel. This is a nice touch for a ’65–’66 Mustang because it provides much needed light.
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Because Bill is building a restomod, he opted for the Haneline instrument panel for Falcons and Mustangs. We showed you how to install this attractive cluster in the June ’98 issue (“Panel Discussion,” page 62). For more details, contact Haneline Products.
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A good-looking instrument panel wouldn’t be worth much without a Grant steering wheel to seal the deal. Our once humble six-cylinder coupe is taking shape.
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Bill readies the interior quarter trim panels.
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The panels have been stripped and painted in the appropriate satin black. Insulation is installed using 3M Trim Adhesive for noise reduction and comfort.
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Windlace comes next. Don’t forget to install the window crank using an Allen wrench.
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Carpeting often has to be trimmed carefully to accommodate the sill plate and kick panel.
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Finally, we’re ready for the front and rear seats. When you install the bucket seats, don’t forget the floorpan plugs underneath.
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The rear seatback hangs on brackets and is easy to install. The seat bottom just pops right in.
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Depending upon the condition of your glove compartment door, we suggest the installation of a new one from Texas Mustang Parts. For around $100, it’s a good investment.
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Bill is on the way to a completed restomod—a Mustang that will be a thrill to drive.

Recently, Bill Kepp took his 1965 Mustang from zero to hero with do-it-yourself budget paint and bodywork. Kepp was deeply moved by the results he achieved with help from Covina Auto Body and PPG Finishes. The result is a striking green metallic clearcoat ’66 Mustang coupe for less money—a good thing because it managed to free up cash Bill could spend elsewhere on his coupe.

With a painted pony in tow, Bill is ready to tackle vehicle assembly. We called Texas Mustang Parts and spoke with Jerry Weaver, who got us dialed in to a complete black vinyl standard interior for Bill’s ride. With help from Jerry’s assistant, Karol Kuehl, we got outstanding service on our interior project. Texas Mustang Parts was eager to help, coming up with parts and pieces we hadn’t thought of. It was like Christmas morning when the packages arrived from Waco, Texas.

To understand Bill’s excitement, you have to understand the history of the car—and Bill. This is Bill’s first Mustang ever. It was a $400 six-cylinder with a horrible body. In it, Bill saw promise where others saw scrap. Over a few weeks, it was transformed from beater to beauty—clad in a glistening green clearcoat finish and ready for assembly. We’re eager to get started, so follow along with us as we present you with the basics of what it takes to reform a Mustang’s interior into an environment you’ll be proud of.

Our objective isn’t to show you in great detail how to restore an interior, but basically what you can expect when it’s time to handle yours. We’re going to arm you with useful tips designed to help you achieve your dreams, just like Bill is achieving his.

Seats

We looked to the very best for guidance on our seat upholstery. Texas Mustang Parts stocks Distinctive Industries seat upholstery. We were very pleased with the quality. Then we looked to Mike Ambrose of Ambrose Custom Interiors for outstanding results. Mike didn’t disappoint us.

Carpet and Underlayment

Not enough people give the area where your feet go the thought it deserves. Covering your Mustang’s floorpans is more than just carpet, it’s protection and noise isolation. When it’s time to replace carpet, don’t forget the underlayment, those heavy petroleum-based mats that go underneath the carpet. We’re of the opinion that you should go one step further. Purchase some heavy plastic sheeting and lay it down between the underlayment and the carpet. This will keep moisture away from the steel floorpan if your cowl vent leaks or someone spills a Big Gulp.