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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '68 Mustang project car. It's going to a relatively low budget project. This won't be an award-winning show car, but I'd lime it to be a respectable looking weekend car. Due to my limited budget, I'm going to have to do a lot myself. The interior needs to be COMPLETELY restored.

I found some packages that include seat covers, door panels, carpet, dash pad, headliner, etc. Also, I'm going to need to repaint the metal part of the dash and doors, replace the gauges and plastic parts of the dash (due to aging) and might have to replace the steering column (it's loose).

Has anyone hired someone else to redo their interior? If so, any ideas what a general cost would be? This will be one of the more time-consuming parts of the project, so if I could save myself weeks of time by paying someone a reasonable/affordable fee, I'd do it.
 

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I guess you could pay someone, however it is not that bad to do. I have a 68 convertible and did all that you mentioned on my own. The dash pad screws are a pain and took some time to get out. I had to back them out from underneath and get a small 90 degree screwdriver to get them out. The gauge cluster is relatively easy to disassemble and clean up. The metal dash can easily be sanded with steel wool, primed and painted once everything is out. The doors took some time since the paint on mine was chipping but it was not more han a few hours of prep. Reupholstering is actually easier than I thought. The carpet was a little tricky just beacuse I was not sure where to end it and I actually cut mine a little short. I bought my Mustang in July of 2010 and had the interior complete in about 3 or 4 weeks. I worked on it a couple hours each day since I was not working at the time. If it was me, I would save my money and do it myself.
 

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Lastly, I had never done this before with any car and I feel that I am pretty handy with things. I looked everything up online to find out how to do it. ALso, I live right by CJ Pony Parts and they charge $75 an hour for labor. You would probably pay a few grand to have it done through them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, my concern is that I'll only have a few hours per week to work on it, as opposed to a few hours per day. For me, it's a mix of having the time to do it and having the ability/confidence/knowledge to do it. If labor were to cost me $75/HR, I certainly couldn't afford to pay someone to do the entire interior, but I might be able to split the difference and pay to have some of the work done.
 

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Another thing to think about is that any shop you take it to now will probably be quite busy and not be able to touch your car until mid or end of summer at the earliest. I took mine in to get a safety check and weather stripping. It took 8 weeks to get it back because they were waiting on parts to come in how busy they were. That was in March. They also did my leaf springs and my e-brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the links. And you brought up a good point that didn't even occur to me, regarding how soon and how fast a shop would get to it. :frustrated:
 

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I did all my reupholstering on my own, including all the seats, carpet, repainting the doors, all that. I was able to finish a seat in a couple hours, including installing head rests. Most of the work may end up being trying to fit the carpet. All in all, I think it took roughly 20-30 man hours to finish the interior.
 

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You can also do some and pay some. I took my seats out, took them apart, welded and painted the frames, then took them to an upholstery shop to put the new foam and covers on. It was about $200 or $250 for front and rear.

I put the carpet about 75% in. I had the same upholstery shop do the finishing touches. For less than $100 he and a helper came to my house and finished it up, giving it that professional look that I couldn't get in several places.

Gauges, dash, dash pad, door panels, etc, etc, in the interior was all doable myself. This method lets you control the time it takes, the money it costs, and how involved you want to get.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For you guys saying the carpet was an issue, were you using a length of carpet and then cutting it to fit, or were you using a carpet designed for your year Mustang? I'm just wondering because I'm assuming the package I'm planning on getting for my '68 would have a carpet that is mostly pre-formed for my car, as opposed to having a roll of carpeting that would need to be taylored to my car's measurements. Maybe I'm wrong.
 

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You can get carpet pre-formed and that is the only way to go. Still, it will not be perfect and will need a little tweaking here and there. As for the rest of the interior I think you could tackle it yourself. Go ahead and send the upholstery job out as that is probably the most challenging, but the rest is doable in-house. Yes, it will take some time but in the end you will be proud you did the work every time you get in the car - a great feeling. You will also know where all the skeletons are buried - those little signatures:gringreen Go to Mustang Monthy's website. They have tech articles on just about every part of the interior you can think of. There are also a few good books out there. You can always come to this forum for help too. A great resource all its own. One more piece of advice is to buy as much of the interior parts (especially upholstery, headliner, door panes, visors) from a single vendor. They will often work hard to be sure all the parts match. Speaking of the headliner, that may be another part you will want to farm out. That is a b&tch to do well.
 

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I redid my interior myself. Taking off the panels, removing the old carpet and putting the new carpet in. PRetty much everything was taking out. It definitely is time consuming, but not really hard to do.
 

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I replaced the carpet in my coupe & it was pretty easy. But make sure to measure twice & cut once. I had the carpet all the way forward and as i moved back & got it to fit, the front slipped back some. Maybe a helper to make sure it doesnt slip on your car. The carpet is preformed. Takes it awhile to get into shape after being in that small box, but it will take shape (with some help) but there is still some cutting. I also read that you should do the rear carpet first, but i did front first & dont see what the difference would of been.

The seats are gonna be re-done shortly i hope. Looks hard but i might try doing them. I read that the rear seat is easiest, so start your practice there. I got 2 estimates, both said $100 per seat. $300 that could go elsewhere.

Yes, its very cool to get in & know that you did it yourself! At least try it. :yup:
 

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I also bought the book "1968 Mustang Interior Assembly Manual" by Jim Osborn Reproductions. It was only $17 and was an invaluable resource, especially on the seats. I was able to see how many hogrings were used and exactly where they were placed. The seats take a little time and you have to keep checking as you go but it is not a hard task. I too did the rear seat first then the front seats. I have a convertible and did not need to worry about the headliner. Since my interior was completely out when I bought mine, I needed a reference to see how everything fit together. This was a big help. I refered to it many times throughout the interior restoration.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll have to track down a copy of that. Sounds like a smart purchase. Thanks.
 

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Yes, do the rear seats first. Very easy compared with the front seats and it will boost your confidence. Summer is the best time to do upholstery since you will want to lay everything out in the sun and get it good and pliable. If you already have the old seats still covered then just take lots of pictures and notes as your remove the old covers. Then just repeat that with the new ones in reverse. There may be subtle little differences depending on the brand of cover you get - TMI, Distinctive Indus, but the basic rules are the same. The toughest part on the front seats are the listing wires - just be prepared to put in and take out lots of hog rings until you get it right. Good luck and keep up posted.
 

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Agreed. This is about a 30 hour job, but really satisfying and not too difficult.

The carpet is the biggest challenge. ACC replacements are the most popular, but I find their quality control is poor. The first set I got from them had the backing applied so crooked that the carpet didn't lay right. The second set had only about an inch of extra material on one side and about a foot on the other. Very little margin for error. 6 inches on both sides would be much better. Centering the front piece and cutting the shifter hole is the hardest part.

So.... if you buy ACC, make sure you do a thorough inspection before you cut it and send it back if anything looks out.

Do this job yourself! You'll enjoy it.

I have some pics in my profile. Feel free to PM if you have Q's.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lots of good advice here. I'm thinking I may farm out the seats, but do the rest myself. If nothing else, it'll save time. But, I may even decide to tackle that myself.
 
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