Vintage vehicle collection and restoration are becoming increasingly popular across the country. In fact, collectors and hobbyists spend more than $1.9 billion each year on auto body restoration, performance parts, accessories, and customization among other aspects. While the restoration bug seems to be biting people of all ages, the 16 - 24 age group appears to be the fastest-growing segment of the market.
Though some people indulge in vehicle restoration for nothing more than their own satisfaction, most have additional motives in mind. Some are interested in racing and proving it's what's under the hood that counts the most. Many are more excited over showcasing their vintage vehicles, muscle cars, foreign roadsters, and rare finds. That means the quality and detail that go into their restoration efforts are of the utmost importance.
Having an Inside Advantage Obviously, the body of a vehicle and its mechanical and electrical components are important aspects of restoration. For some, searching for the right parts and the sheer satisfaction of finally finding them is enough to keep them enthralled in the world of collecting and restoration. Being able to show off a vehicle you meticulously restored yourself or had professionally revamped can be extremely rewarding as well.
That being said, what's inside counts as well. Your vehicle's interior can make all the difference between a mediocre restoration job and one that truly stands out in a crowd. You certainly have plenty of options for interior restoration and reupholstering. You can go with an authentic retro look and feel or go out on a limb with something that speaks to your own style and personality. Several fabrics are available for automotive interiors, including nylon, polyester, vinyl, and leather. Nylon and polyester are the most common of the bunch and generally the least expensive. Of course, the fact that they're so widely used causes many hobbyists to shy away from them. They also tend to fade and wear out more quickly than other materials.
Leather is one of the more expensive alternatives. It has its own distinct look, feel, and smell, but it's much more difficult to take care of. Without a great deal of attention, it can become dull and begin to crack. Vinyl could be considered a middle ground of sorts. It's affordable, durable, and easy to maintain. It also resists stains and wear and tear better than some other materials.
Making Your Interior Restorations Matter Regardless of the materials you choose for your automotive interior restoration, you'll have an endless array of colors, textures, and patterns at your disposal. The padding that lies beneath makes a significant difference as well. Carpeting, headliners, door panels, and other upholstered surfaces also matter. Different types of padding are available for each of those areas and varying purposes, so it's important to choose the right ones for your needs and expectations.
Bringing Your Vehicle to the Automotive Upholstery Specialists Interest in vehicle restoration may be on the rise, but experts say the skills for performing restorations are in short supply. At Charleston Upholstery Pros, we're automotive reupholstering specialists. We have the skills and experience necessary to bring your vintage vehicle's interior to showroom quality. Contact us to find out how we can make your vehicle stand out for all the right reasons.
How to Select a Custom Auto Upholstery Specialist
The look of a car's interior makes a difference in how people feel when they get into it. When a van, truck, or car is skillfully customized, it makes a significant difference in its resale value. There are a variety of choices when it comes to customization. Owners may repaint the exterior, add well-tuned sound systems, or update the car's interior using custom auto upholstery. To find an upholstery specialist capable of doing a good job, there are a few things to look for.
Is the Car Upholstery Company a Legitimate Business? A custom re-upholstery job is time-consuming. The shape of the seats and the curves on the floor requires an extremely detailed focus. This level of detail means that the job can take a few weeks to complete. During that time, car owners will not have access to their vehicles. Make sure that the company chosen has experience in the field before committing to a customization job. Look for information on the website about previous experience in the car care field before committing.
Car care specialists' work is often featured at local car shows. Go to a car show and look at the re-upholstery jobs. The car owners will gladly tell you who their vendor was. If you can't make it to a car show, pay attention to the photos shown of past work on the upholstery company's website. Friends who have had re-upholstery jobs completed are also a good source. The state and condition of the workplace also offer clues to the level of experience in reupholstering that a business has.
Will the Customization Job Pass the Functionality Test? A reputable custom auto upholstery business will walk customers through their plan for the job and provide a full written estimate. Knowing the cost in advance is the first step in passing functionality. If a customer can't afford the job, it won't work. Be advised that labor costs will be a significant portion of the total price. To complete the job correctly, workers will have to make sure that the car retains its functionality by ensuring that unseen components work well when the job is complete.
For a job to be well done, the adjustable seat mechanisms must continue to work correctly, the top of a convertible must continue to lift and seal accurately, and other things. Before the work can begin, technicians must repair any damaged framing that affects the re-upholstery or replace hydraulics in the vehicle. A job can look great at the end, but if any of these items don't work properly, the car has lost functionality, and the job is incomplete.
Does the Upholstery Selection Suit the Aesthetic? Upholstery for a car's interior can be fabric, vinyl, or leather. Each type has its advantages, and a technician should walk customers through this choice by explaining the benefits and the downsides. Before selecting the material, ask to see a sample swatch.
Does the Timing Work? Since the upholstery job is time-consuming, make sure that the schedule provided will work. The vehicle will be in the shop and unavailable for use during this time. When scheduling, be sure to ask about the warranty on the work.
Cars and trucks sell for more money when their interiors look great in addition to being more comfortable to drive. To make sure that the company chosen for the job is the right one, check out their past work and look hard at the level of detail provided by making sure that the car will remain functional after the job is complete. Once the job is done, it's like having a brand new vehicle available.
Tips on Successful Vehicle Headliner Repair
Sagging headliners are a common problem in older vehicles, but in most cases, they can easily be fixed. Though there are numerous online tutorials promising easy do-it-yourself results, there’s no substitute for professional experience.
By leaving the job in an expert’s capable hands, a vehicle owner will save themselves from the time, money, and frustration spent on DIY repairs. Consider the following factors when choosing a home headliner repair or a professional installation service.
The Headliner’s Materials and Construction In the past, vehicle headliners were often stretched over thin metal frames. However, things are a bit different in modern cars. In most of today’s vehicles, headliner boards are made of cardboard, plastic, or fiberglass. A fiberglass headliner usually has an outside layer that offers some protection from the bothersome itching that some installers experience.
Conventional automotive headliner fabric comes with a layer of foam backing. Pre-assembled headliner repair kits, which are commonly available in auto parts stores, are available in only a few fabric types and colors. Professional headliner repair shops have access to a wider selection of materials.
Custom headliners can be made with special fabric and foam rubber backing. Auto upholstery repair and installation specialists know which types of material to use in vehicles, and they will use their skills to find the perfect color match.
Headliner Disassembly Instructions and Precautions Though a handy vehicle owner may be able to disassemble and replace a headliner in a day’s time, it’s not always that easy. Depending on the vehicle’s make and model, as well as its interior styling and options, it may be preferable to let an upholstery professional do the job. Below are some common headliner disassembly steps:
Trim removal. Here, visor clips, visors, grab handles, dome lights, rear coat hooks, trim screws, and trim panels are uninstalled. Start by removing the side trim, which is typically made of plastic and very easy to break.
Further disassembly. Next, remove the rear and front trim, and finish by removing the weather stripping around the car’s doors.
Certain headliners may require the use of special tools, especially when a car has a sunroof, a lighted visor, an overhead console, or a pillar airbag.
Replacing the Headliner Fabric At first, replacing a fabric headliner may seem rather easy. However, if the job isn’t done correctly, the fabric may sag or buckle. Basic replacement steps include fabric removal, scraping away old foam and glue, positioning the replacement headliner, and gluing it in place with a special heat-resistant spray adhesive.
As the headliner goes in, trim any excess fabric before the assembly is glued into place. When the fabric portion has been installed, reconnect any electronics and reinstall clips and trim pieces.
In Closing While vehicle headliner replacement may seem like an easy do-it-yourself job, an auto restoration and interior repair specialist can do the job more efficiently. With professional installation, you’ll ensure a snug, smooth fit and a lasting installation. Visit our website for additional details or call us today to schedule an auto interior or headliner repair.
5 Things You Need to Know About Car Upholstery Repair
If you are interested in DIY car upholstery repair, it is important to know that the Internet may not be the best resource. Instead, you want to learn more about how to get the job done right. Here are a few tips to get you started.
The first thing you are going to want to do is to find the cause of the problem. Figure out what type of upholstery you will be working with. Figure out whether it be a hole or perhaps a spot that was rubbed too much. Maybe it was a burn from a cigarette. If you can figure out why the area is damaged, you can hopefully come up with a solution so that it doesn't happen again. For example, perhaps you have a wallet that rubs the wrong way on the car seat. If this is the case, take the wallet out of the pocket to avoid that problem from happening again.
Think about the history of the car. If this is a used vehicle, there is a strong possibility that the dealership tried to cover up defective seats. If this is the case, you can bet that the solution was not a long-term solution. Basically, they just wanted to cover up the problem long enough to sell the car. If you have discovered a damaged area in the vehicle, you can likely bet that there is another area that needs to be repaired. You may want to use a soft sponge with a very gentle cleaner to clean the inside of the car. Take the opportunity to look closely for any defects.
Determine the extent of the problem. Depending on the situation, it may need to be repaired by a professional. Otherwise, you may be able to purchase a DIY repair kit. Of course, you will want to check for frayed fabric and make sure it is not going to fray any further. Depending on the size of the problem, you may want to take it to a car upholstery professional.
Of course, you may think it sounds easy to patch a small hole. Keep in mind, when you purchase a DIY repair kit, it is not going to guarantee the best results. Unless this is something that you have experience with, it will not always work the way you are expecting. Of course, it is going to be difficult to match the specific color of the upholstery. Keep in mind, there may be some fading from sun damage. You may be better off to replace to replace the entire seat panel rather than trying to fix a simple hole.
Don't be one of those people that didn't want to wait for the adhesive to cure. You may be tempted to try to sit on the seat because you have someplace to go. Always wait the recommended amount of time and use the right amount of adhesive and follow the directions exactly. If it still seems as though it is too much to handle, take the vehicle to a car upholstery repairman. They will offer their professional opinion and help you to know more about what needs to be done. A professional can match any type of cloth, leather and vinyl to make sure the car looks as good as new.
If you are doing a simple household chore, you can probably follow step-by-step instructions and everything will turn out great. However, when it comes to something as important as your vehicle, you definitely want to hire someone who knows how to make sure the end result is perfect.
Improving Your Riding Experience with Motorcycle Seat Customization
Customizing a motorcycle to your exact specifications can be a rewarding and incredibly satisfying experience. You'll find dozens of ways to personalize a bike from unique paint jobs and added chrome to customized handlebars and improved suspension. All those elements can certainly enhance the appearance of a bike and make the ride a little more enjoyable, but many bikers overlook the importance of their motorcycle seats. Seats can make all the difference when it comes to riding whether you use your motorcycle for running errands and short commutes to and from work or for frequent long trips.
Factors to Consider When Customizing a Motorcycle Seat One of the most important factors to keep in mind when customizing your motorcycle seat is that no two bikes or riders are the same. There's no universal solution for everyone. That means we can't simply tell you which changes need to be made to improve your riding experience.
Your unique measurements are crucial points to consider. This includes your height, weight, and inseam to name a few. These measurements go a long way toward helping us recommend the best modifications for you and carrying out those changes. Of course, the way you sit while riding is important as well.
For the most part, finding the right seat measurements to suit your needs is the most important part of the process. From there, it's a matter of spreading your size and weight over the maximum area possible without making the seat so large that it detracts from your comfort. Then, there are vibrations and impacts from bumps and other road obstacles to consider, so the types of rides you most often go on should be taken into account as well. Do you stick mainly to the highways or prefer the back roads?
Popular Types of Motorcycle Seat Modifications Traditional foam is a popular motorcycle seat padding alternative. It comes in several varieties ranging from extra soft to extra firm. Numerous densities are available as well. At the same time, you can choose open- or closed-cell versions or visco-elastic memory foam. Open-cell foam offers a little more give and take than closed-cell. Memory foam, as you probably already know, conforms to your shape but doesn't lose its bounce quite as easily as other varieties.
Gel padding inserts are likewise available with several options to choose from. Some absorb vibrations while others reduce shock and offer added support. Certain types of gel inserts provide both advantages.
Making the Most of Your Motorcycle Seat Though many modifications can improve the looks of your bike and make it ride better, the seat is one of the most important factors in the customization equation. Choosing the right padding and fit is crucial to the process. Materials make a difference as well. Some work against the padding whereas others seem to work against it. Certain materials also hold up better against the elements and repeated use than others. If you're looking to customize your motorcycle seat, we can help. We know exactly which questions to ask and aspects to consider to ensure your seat serves you well through any ride. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a consultation. Find out for yourself how we can improve your riding experience.