Archive for June, 2011

More Interior

The interior is coming along nicely and almost complete. It’s taking me longer than I anticipated, but what else is new. The console is done as are the door panels.

The next step was the rear panels. As the Pacer is now a pickup the back must be all new to fit the Volvo wagon hatch window and surrounding area. So out comes the cardboard and it’s template time again. Templates are not difficult to do they just take a little time, thought and a utility knife. I needed to make one main panel that would handle the area below the window and two side sections that would extend to the headliner, as they would need to be angled forward a bit.

I use tape to fill in areas where to much of the template has been cut out. It is a process of cut and fit several times until you’ve got the shape you want. Once the main template shape is done it’s time to measure the speaker, courtesy light and wiring cutouts.

Once the temlate is done I set it over the 1/4″ plywood sheet and mark and cut it out. Check one more time to make sure the cut panel fits, make a few adjustments and it’s ready to be covered. First I glued a 1/4″ piece of foam to the front side and then a piece of black vinyl over the foam using a spray on upholstery glue you can buy at any parts or hardware store. Make sure you leave plenty of extra material at the edges so you can glue and or staple it to the rear side.

Once done it looks great and is ready for install. I will do that next week along with the building the side panels. I will also be building a subwoofer box at the center of the main panel, over the hump. The amp will set on top of the subwoofer box.


Dashboard and interior

I haven’t had time to do“any” work on the pacer since I brought it home four months ago. Other home projects took precedent and when you remove yourself from a project for that long it’s always hard to jump back in and get started. I couldn’t finish the electrical system without installing the dash so I decided to go ahead. The dash was pretty much completed two years ago and has just been sitting on my counter. After months of delay, from the point of installing new electrical wiring for this and that and moving things around to fit the “custom” part, I got started. Throw into the mix moving the car and all it’s parts to a new location, wondering if you’ll be able to find everything again and if you can remember “What in the heck” all those wires go to and fear begins to set in.

Thanks to my parts Pacer I was able to find parts to do the install that I had packed up and couldn’t find. For now I’m using the stock Pacer speedo but added a VDO tachometer, a Pacer Ralley pack gauge pod and moved the fuel gauge and clock just aboze the pod, with the help of a spare ralley pack pod. The tach had a flat surround and didn’t really match the other gauges so I cut out a gauge pod surround from a 67 Rambler American and fit it over the top. There were several wires, once the dash was installed, that I had no idea what they went to. One was new radio wiring, which I had already reinstalled, another was wiring for the fog lights and the other was a set of dash lights that went into the fuel gauge and clock. You can see them hanging by the gas pedal. No room to get them in so I had to remove the rally pak to get access.

Once all the new wiring was in place and the dash installed I wanted to finish out all the trim( which I also had finished and had been sitting on a shelf.. Well, it installs from the floor pan up so the carpet was next. I had gotten a tip from a local AMC buddy that Lowe’s carried some stuff called “Peel and Seal”, that was used in roofing applications but was virtually the same sound deadner products on the market but at a much cheaper price.

It was pretty easy to install and stayed put, even to an old floor pan. Be carfull! Once you overlap the seams they are very difficult to undo. I purchased an ACC carpet from Ebay and was a little worried about the fit. I had purchased a “molded carpet” for a 1979 AMX several years ago and if the heel pad had not been installed I would have had no idea which way it went in. It was a terrible fit and never did get it to fit very well at all.

Much to my surprise it was a perfect fit! I haven’t had custom sewn carpets by my local Upholstery guy fit this well.

The rear carpet also extended about 12″-14″ further back than the factory carpet under the rear seat so it worked out great with the pick up design.

In the middle of all this my son surprised me with a custom made leather wrapped steering wheel he had made from a three spoke AMC sport wheel. I wondered were it had gone. It was awesome! We worked together on the center design and he made if to fit.




I wanted to use a Hornet hood emblem base I had so I cut a hole in the center and routed the edges so once the leather was installed I could cinch the base down into the center.


It turned out great!

I had a console from an early ’71 AMX that I knew would fit well under the gauge pod but once the dash was installed it just didn’t match the interior.

So now I had to hit the wrcking yard, and with a few measurements started searching for a console that would both work with my dash set up and half way match the interior. After some searching I came accross a console from an “Olds Acheiva S” and figured with some cutting and lowering it would work. You never know if it will and sometimes it takes a few tries but it turned out pretty nice. My son, Eric, is also making the custom leather seats, door panel inserts and shift boot for the console. I’ll have them early next week and get them in. Headliner and trim is all in, door panels are next and then the final touches on the rear window/truck bed wall, speakers, subwoofer and Amp.