Last updated: January 18, 2015

Project "Ultimate 1983 Rabbit GTI"
Interior ...

 

Index of Project web pages

Project Overview, Goals & Initial design specs
Project car initial condition
Chassis development
Bodywork & Paint
Suspension, Wheels, Tires & Braking System
Engine & Transmission

Electrical & Fuel System
Interior
Performance validation
VW Vortex Thread on this project
Videos
My original 1983 Rabbit GTI (owned 1983-1987)

 

While the original GTI midnight blue seat fabric was in generally good shape, I took the approach of getting SMS Fabrics to custom make all new OEM spec GTI seat fabric material and I am getting the seats, front and rear, completely re-built with new bushings, foam and fabric. I will also install deluxe new OEM looking carpet and headliner. The dash looks pretty good but I will take care to make sure every inch of the interior looks stock and mint. That said, there will be some minor trick additions: a hidden (in the 1 DIN stereo location) Clarion VZ401 flip out 7" LCD monitor audio control unit and a killer audio system using Boston Acoustics speakers, hidden in the stock speaker locations, with the addition of larger drivers under the dash and in the trunk area. Gotta have state-of-the-art sound and Bluetooth smarkphone calls and wireless audio streaming capabilities ...

 

SMS supplied original OEM VW Rabbit GTI Midnight Blue fabric (so much nicer than the old faded/worn material - it turns out I got the last of it. Oh my!) ...

 

 

Clarion VZ401 Audio Head Unit, Boston Acoustics S35, S75 Speakers mounted in stock locations, 6x9" speakers hidden under dash and in the rear, and a 10" sub-woofer hidden in spare tire well with amplifiers (I will keep the LCD hidden unless I need to program it) ...

 

I have been working on the rear suspension system over the past week at the same time that I have been working on the seat frames and replacement foam. I have a great seat guy that has already cut all of the midnight blue fabric and sewn in the 1/4" foam on the backs of each of the 'panels' while I have been welding up the seat frames where they are weak and tend to flex and crack around the tops of the front seat frames. I also custom cut some extra firm foam for the seat bottoms - a tough, delicate process when shaping the side bolsters. I will finish painting the seat frames when my black SPI epoxy arrives and then my seat guy will finish them off. BTW, I was able to purchase new plastic replacement parts from VW Air Heads and will color match them soon. - April 14, 2014

Starting the dying process ...

Starting the foam cutting process ...

Welding up the tops of the seats ...

 

The rear seats are now complete and the fronts are 80% done - July 20, 2014

 

The front seats are also now complete - August 5, 2014

 

I got the steering wheel back from Custom Craft today: they re-wrapped the wheel with 1mm of foam and then soft leather. I am very pleased with the end result: a very nice feel to it, not too soft, not too firm, just the right diameter, with the stitching where my fingers want to engage it. I will treat the leather to match the soft gloss of the vinyl center section - October 8, 2014

 

While I patiently wait for the new custom radiator and intake runner collars I have started to rebuild the heater box with a new heater core, blower, foam pads and seals - again, I must wait for the parts to arrive before being able to re-assemble it so I am going to have to find other things to do for the next week - January 8, 2015

 

I wire brushed, acid etched and plated the metal h/w for the heater/blower box, and dove into the door assembly/finishing tasks, starting with the reconditioning of the window channel guides which were rotted out on the bottoms and required TIG braising in new metal, filling, sanding and painting, and also got the design for the 2 way component speaker system that will be installed in the doors sorted out (a high end Hertz HSK 165 system with a 6.5" woofer and 1" tweeter - I will also use hertz coax speakers in the stock front/rear locations, plus a Hertz Sub box in the rear that I can remove along with the sub amp when I want less weight for racing, etc). I also got the metal side plates for the front spoiler stripped, acid etched and primed, plus got the mirror bases acid etched and the whole assemblies partially cleaned up prior to painting - January 12, 2015

 

I got the prep and painting of the front window channels, front spoiler side plates, and mirrors completed this weekend. It all turned out very well but I think I will wet sand and polish the black epoxy paint parts as those parts ended up being a bit too shiny for me - I want a semi-gloss look and when you wet sand and polish black epoxy it comes out pretty much exactly semi-gloss (soft gloss) - January 18, 2015

 

 

Index of Project web pages

Project Overview, Goals & Initial design specs
Project car initial condition
Chassis development
Bodywork & Paint
Suspension, Wheels, Tires & Braking System
Engine & Transmission

Electrical & Fuel System
Interior
Performance validation
VW Vortex Thread on this project
Videos
My original 1983 Rabbit GTI (owned 1983-1987)

 

 

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