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The Interior Upgrade Project

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The Interior Upgrade Project
Old May 16th, 2020, 01:31 AM   #1
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The Interior Upgrade Project

The time has come to focus my attention towards upgrading the interiorÖagain. The initial phase actually started in 2008 when I had Al & Edís Autosound install some major stereo upgrades. As part of that process they also wrapped some of the interior in alcantara and for a time I was happy and life was good.

Here is a quick refresher of where the interior was at before starting this new round of upgrades.





Some 12 years later and parts of the interior were beginning to show their age with wear spots, soft-touch coatings rubbing off, stress cracks on plastics, etc. I wanted to address these in some spectacular fashion, but the task seemed so daunting I just kept putting it off. I got the prodding I needed when the recall notice for the airbag Occupant Restraint Control Module arrived in the mail. I knew this module was located behind the HVAC controls and under the radio. I also realized how much wiring/cabling the service tech would have to disconnect just to get the head-unit out of the way. I figured I would just pull the head-unit and interior pieces for him as that would shorten the time the car sits at the dealer.

The snowball begins. When I had the car up on the lift a month or 2 prior I saw that the rubber shifter boot was pretty torn up and knew it had to be replaced. Well since I was already pulling some interior parts for the recall why not just remove the center console and also replace the shifter boot. For the guys needing to do this the part number for the boot is 5038653AA. It also looks to be a new design since the old one was always prone to tearing.

This is how the interior looked rolling into the dealer. Also note the new design of the shifter boot.




The dealer only had the car for a couple of hours and she was back home. By this point, I had removed enough of the interior that it just made sense to go all in and getíer doneÖcurse you efficiency! Here is the list of items to tackle:
  1. LED Interior lights.
  2. Leather wrap center console with contrasting double stitch. Also leather wrap underside of dash on driver and passenger side. New leather for shifter and parking brake boots.
  3. Hydro-dip main gauge cluster bezel, radio/HVAC bezel, shifter/parking brake bezel, and steering column shroud.
  4. Wrap driver and passenger plastic sills and foot-well side covers with a high grade vinyl.
  5. New steering wheel with flat bottom, carbon fiber top and bottom, and leather on the sides with contrast stitching.
  6. Re-do door panels with double stitch diamond pattern.
  7. New seat covers in leather with double stitch diamond pattern.

This will be a long road and will probably span some months before it is totally done. Some of the work has already begun and some items are already completed. I will post those as soon as I get the pics sorted and the write ups done. Any further updates will be posted when they are worthwhile and as time permits.

In the meantime, I will leave you with some more shots of the interior pieces removed.






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Old May 16th, 2020, 10:07 AM   #2
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Looks like a fun project. Too bad youíre just starting it in driving season! I did the same last year when my heads & cam install dragged through the Summer due to work.

Iíve been elbow deep in my interior over the Winter, removing my previous GEN5 and GEN4 parts installs and going back with recovered factory (GEN2) pieces after lining the entire interior with BoomMat and their mass-loaded vinyl in the hatch area. Interior work is very tedious. Good luck with the project!


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Old May 16th, 2020, 03:52 PM   #3
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Thanks! Any pics on how your project turned out?

One of the few good things about being in So Cal is that the driving season is pretty much year round

I am hoping to get the majority of things done by early/mid June so at least the car is more driveable while I wait for the longer lead items. Right now it looks like the longest lead items will be the new custom seat covers. I was looking into LeatherSeats.com since they have the Gen 3 Viper seat pattern and have done some custom seats in the past through their LS Prime division. Unfortunately, their LS Prime Division is currently shutdown due to the Chinese Virus and they are not sure when it will reopen.

So I am on the search again for a company that can provide custom seat covers delivered to me. Then I can take them to my local upholstery guy and have him take off the old and install the new. This avoids me having to ship my seats. Any suggestions?
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Old May 16th, 2020, 04:06 PM   #4
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These parts were removed and sent off for Hydro-Dipping a few weeks ago. Hope to get them back within the next 2 weeks.

Main Cluster Bezel- some of the soft touch was wearing off and peeling in areas. Radio/HVAC
Bezel was modified by Al & Ed's to fit the double DIN Kenwood. They had painted it a matte black, but it never really matched perfectly. The Shifter/Parking Brake Bezel is actually a new piece I ordered since my old one was cracked.


Steering Column Shroud
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Old May 16th, 2020, 07:39 PM   #5
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My project is just about finished. Had to relocated the recline lever bracket on my factory seat frame due to my passenger seat bottom cover being made incorrectly. It was faster to do that than wait on a replacement.

Regarding covers for your seats, I had good luck with LeatherSeats.com for the cover on my GEN4 seat conversion, which I just removed. The materials were very nice and the covers fit well. Install is a PITA... upholstery professionals donít get paid enough!




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Old May 16th, 2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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I got my latest GEN2 replacement covers from Lseat.com. Itís the only place that I could find making GEN2 covers, and that was only recent that they started. Aside from the error on making the passenger seat bottom, the covers are very nice and fit very well.




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Old May 17th, 2020, 01:38 AM   #7
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Cool. Thanks for the pics. Can't wait to get my seats done! When I spoke to Leatherseats.com last week they noted that FCA no longer licenses out the Viper logo so Leatherseats.com can no longer stitch the Viper logo into any custom seats.
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Old May 17th, 2020, 02:11 AM   #8
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Some interior pieces back from my local upholstery shop.

Plastic sills and side footwell covers wrapped in vinyl. Went with vinyl since it was thinner than leather for door clearance and should have higher wear tolerance.


Underdash pieces. They added a double stitching line in the corner that is notorious for pulling away.




The comparison of the new leather to the stock leather is no contest. The new leather is soft and supple while the stock leather feels like cheap bonded leather or vinyl.


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Old May 17th, 2020, 03:49 AM   #9
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Replaced all interior lights with white LEDs. I decided to go with Dan Lesser @ Viper Specialty Performance for my LED bulbs. I trust Dan's knowledge and support. Knowing that he had put together an LED interior package it was a no-brainer.

Here is what came in Dan's LED package along with detailed instructions


Separately I also bought 3 packs of Sylvania 194 White LEDs (2 bulbs per pack) to cover the rest of the interior bulbs.
-2 for Footwells
-2 for Rearview mirror
-1 for Glovebox
-1 for Trunk

Passenger Footwell before LED


After LED




Side by side comparison. In the photo the LEDs look more blueish, but in real life they are more of a cool white.


Again, in the photo the LEDs look more blueish, but in real life they are more of a cool white.


Very happy with the results!
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Old May 17th, 2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Super_Villain View Post
Cool. Thanks for the pics. Can't wait to get my seats done! When I spoke to Leatherseats.com last week they noted that FCA no longer licenses out the Viper logo so Leatherseats.com can no longer stitch the Viper logo into any custom seats.

Mine are for sale...


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Old May 17th, 2020, 08:53 PM   #11
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Hmmm...tempting, but I would have to do a lot of modifications to it like Leather Double Diamond stitching on down the whole middle area and seat, change stitching color and replace the back carpet with a leather or vinyl material. Might be more trouble than its worth. However PM me your price and I can think about it.

-Overall condition? Looked pretty nice in the one photo
-What leather option did you go with standard or their Ecstasy leather?
-Looking more closely... does your seat back stick with the carpet or did you do something else there?

Thanks.
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The Interior Upgrade Project
Old May 19th, 2020, 09:10 PM   #12
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The Interior Upgrade Project

https://www.viperalley.com/classifie...2&cat=5&page=1

Completely understand you might want to go an entirely different route. Just figured Iíd mention since you are looking. To answer your questions:

1 - with such limited mileage, theyíre practically new
2 - itís the upgraded leather and alcantara
3 - seat back is carpet like factory



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Old May 19th, 2020, 09:27 PM   #13
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Just saw your classified listing. The seats do look brand new. And that is an amazing price for the covers AND the seats! You should list that they are from LeatherSeats.com and that you went with their Ecstasy Leather. Those are good selling points.

I think I will need to do too many modifications to fit my interior design. Good luck with the sale man! Whoever picks them up is getting a super great deal!
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Old May 21st, 2020, 08:03 PM   #14
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No worries at all. Iíll add the info you suggested. As you likely know, Iím asking less than just the covers cost!


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Old May 21st, 2020, 08:15 PM   #15
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Yea that is a hell of a deal! Normally a set of just covers from LeatherSeats.com in their Ecstasy Leather runs almost $1300. For hundreds less than that you are also including the seats too! Used Gen 3/4 seats with OEM covers typically go for $800-$1,000 for the pair. So someone would be getting a killer deal if the color and options fit their design.
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Old May 28th, 2020, 04:07 PM   #16
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I just received a preview pic of how the steering wheel is coming along.



They have more polishing to do in the carbon fiber areas, but so far it is looking great.

I did quite a bit of research when it came to finding a company to build my custom steering wheel.

In the end, I selected Aza Auto Wheel https://www.facebook.com/azaautowheel

I always had a good feeling when dealing with Aza Auto Wheel and their responses regularly instilled me with confidence. I still had to do my due diligence reviewing and comparing them against other companies. Aza Auto Wheel came out on top for several reasons:

  1. While a number of vendors were very diligent in responding to my emails and going through my questions (even over a weekend), Aza Auto Wheel was just that little bit more thorough in addressing each question. Also on some of my questions I could see that they were already coming up with design solutions and options.
  2. Their pricing tiers made the most sense. Some other vendors were charging the same price whether I selected leather or carbon fiber. I also appreciated that their charges for certain upgrades were very reasonable.
  3. All the finalists on my list produced what looked like excellent work. However, I felt that Aza Auto Wheel would be easier to work with and would be more on top of every custom detail that I had in my long list.
  4. They have a US footprint based in Washington. The work on the steering wheel is done at their factory in the Ukraine. Other vendors have their wheels built in China or Taiwan. The quality of work looked fine and everyone uses OEM cores, but I prefer to limit the amount of China or Taiwan stuff in the Viper.
  5. I did not need to send in my wheel. They already had a core and were able to get started quickly. This steering wheel project started on April 28th and now 30 days later, May 28th, you can see the current pic of where we are at. Once I receive the new wheel and install it I send them back my old wheel for a core credit.

So far the process of working with Aza Auto Wheel has been incredibly smooth and easy. They even provide me with updates before I have to ask.

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Old June 1st, 2020, 09:48 PM   #17
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Door panel materials finally arrived today.

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Old June 5th, 2020, 11:32 PM   #18
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Finished Steering Wheel! So purdy!







Work done by Aza Auto Wheel https://www.facebook.com/azaautowheel

I have been super impressed by their work and customer service.
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Old June 8th, 2020, 10:33 AM   #19
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That wheel looks great!


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Old June 8th, 2020, 09:45 PM   #20
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Thanks! Yea I had the same reaction when Aza Auto Wheel showed it to me.

Door panel is coming along. Here is a rough mockup of it...



Still sorting out some fitment and clearance issues.
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