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" Auric " the odyssey ........

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olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:36 pm

Haven't posted for a while on this because , well , because I haven't had to do anything to it since fitting the RC090's . :D

However ....ever since my first drive in the car it was impossible not to notice how utterly uncomfortable the " comfort " seats were.
I tried a couple of times to rectify this but after close inspection it was apparent that the design of these seats makes it impossible to modify to introduce some contoured foam between the top covers and the coil spring matt below and retain the smooth profile of the leather facings on the squab.
Such a shame really as the seats in my car are in superb condition .
I put up with this but each time I drove it ... :x
So I embarked on looking for a solution . I searched on and off for a pair of E24 Recaros or sports seat but couldn't find anything that was within reasonable distance to courier , in decent or salvageable condition ,and most importantly Parchment or Pearl Beige in colour.
E36 / 46 seats were considered but after consulting with those that had fitted and mod'd the seat frames they were considered to be too high for my 6'4" frame to fit without scrubbing the roof .
I even considered early pre facelift Jaguar XJS sports seats which were remarkably similer in shape , dimension and colour for my requirements . Unfortunatly all that I found were in a very poor condition with severe cracking on the leather surfaces suggesting that the leather was of a poorer quality to the BMW equivelant.
Until... \:D/
Looking through some old photos I came across a photo of a beautiful M6 that had been purchased by an enthusiast over here in Ireland . In the background was a sports seat exactly as I was looking for . A few calls revealed that he had sold them but would pass on my details to the new owner of the parts car that were in . I wasn't optimistic but three days later the new owner called , photos exchanged and a deal was done ... :D
Two hour drive and I collected them .
They are exactly as described and as I expected . Grubby from storage but with no tears or holes, the leather is in sound condition with some surface cracking , some quite severe , but all eminently restorable . All fittings ,except one fore/aft pull handle intact and in place .
Faults are broken and split beading on the two side bolsters of the RH drivers seat due to normal use over their 35 year life . The worst of the cracks on the leather are also on these sections ofthe seats .
So my plans are to restore these seats over the winter period copying the work that has been done by several posters on here already .
This will entail partial dismantling of the seats to replace the broken piping and recover the worst of the bolster leathers , thorough cleaning ,feeding ,crack /surface repairs , removal of the seat faces to allow 100% dying from PB to Parchment and full overhall and re paint of the runners and frames.
I'll photo and document each stage ( hopefully ) to help anyone contemplating the same work listing materials and suppliers used .
Looking at what others on here have achieved I'm quietly confident that these can be brought back to a good useable condition.
The original comfort seats will be safely stored to kept along with all the other items I have changed from stock on the car for any future owner to decide what they prefer .
So , as bought in their dirty ,dirty state ....
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First step will be a thorough deep clean and inspection.
1981 635 series 1

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by rhanley 635csi89 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:48 am

Congrats Don, the effort we all use to find "just the right item is enormous" if you need anything from the states let me know. Roger
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by zinnocoupe » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:37 pm

Don, Great find on the e24 seats . Its a good story on how you eagled eyed the seats in someones pic and tracked them down. Thats a new an innovative way to source parts :D I was in a similar situation with my car. The uncomfort seats were in great shape but I got a sore back every time I drove. I tried to put extra padding in the drivers seat but it didnt help. I was lucky enough to find a Pearlbeige set of e30 sport seats, so right color but seams going the wrong way. Lots of cleaning and bolster replacement. I also replaced the shocks, so the seats function properly. They are the most comfortable supportive seat , it feels like driving a completely different car. I've had a few sets of sportseats completely apart a few times and they really are made to come apart and be worked on, so well designed. Good luck with the rebuild
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olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:35 pm

Thanks for the encouragement lads ..
Spent several hours thoroughly cleaning them, and they were dirty !
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No nasty unexpected surprises, leather is dry but will condition up OK. Tried all sorts of home receipe deep cleaners using vinegar ,olive oil or washing liquid but found I had to resort to a strong 5 to 1 mix of APC ( all purpose cleaner ) used with a selection of soft to fairly aggressive brushes to get into all the grain. Drivers seat is worst, down to to lack of cleaning and never being conditioned.Plastic components came up like new after a vigerous application of oven cleaner paste . This pleased me as I thought they would require plastic painting.
The drivers seat bolsters will be replaced with new leather and I have already found a trimmer locally known for quality motorcycle work who is willing
to do them for me . Passenger seat (LH) has a few shallow cracks but easily filled .
I'll be sourcing the materials from these guys https://bespokeleathering.com/ and after speaking to the owner ,John , he has advised me the way to do it all. he supplied all the materials used to dye the comfort seats and they have stood the test of time well.
Having sat in them now they do seem to be very comfortable . :D
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Next stage will be to fully dismantle the seats to component form and if you are considering the same job you will find this video invaluable .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrdwCoTy1i0
Parts that have to be sourced so far are gas struts and one fore / aft adjust handle .
Last edited by olympia57 on Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by zinnocoupe » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:39 pm

Seats are looking great. After reading your last post it reminded me that I found a great product that I have no idea if its available in Ireland or UK. Its actually a bathtub cleaner called Vim. Its an abrasive that did fantastic job cleaning my dirty junkyard e30 seats. Maybe theres a similar product where you are. It rally works well to get the dirt out of the textured surface of the leather. I bought the bolster covers from zomzoomzooming on ebay. They are in California . Sorry for the thread Hijack i just thought this would help and show what can be done with some really dirty beat up old seats.

Heres one of my seats with the outer bolster replaced but before being cleaned with VIM
ImageUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27a2 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr]
Back panel partway cleaned
ImageUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27a0 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr

Three new bolsters and all cleaned ready to go back
ImageUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2867 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr
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1979 Euro 635ci no longer a basketcase, just a running rust bucket!
1977 530i New addition ( nonrunner)
1987 635csi 60K KM Garage Queen

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:52 pm

Well, no going back now.
Dismantled the drivers seat removing the three sections that I am going to recover . I have to say that the process was much simpler than I anticipated and that the method of disassembly was exactly as shown in the video I attached earlier.
All the remaining leather that was tucked down in between the sections was thoroughly cleaned and all exposed foam is in remarkably good condition for being 35 years old .
I took Dave's advice ( good tip Sir =D> ) and did a second clean on them using the Irish equivelent of his Vim ,a product called Cif . This removed much more deeper ingrained dirt and left the leather feeling much cleaner . I used a sponge and fairly stiff brush to get into the grain .
I had watched many videos on how to clean leather but after feeling the thickness of the leather when removed it was apparent that harsher cleaning would do no harm to it and as it was being redyed any dye that came off made no difference anyway.
One thing I would say is that when looking at cracks on the surface of the remaining leather although they look quite bad the depth of even the deepest did not come anywhere near penetrating the thicknness of the leather , it really is quite thick. The filler I propose to use https://bespokeleathering.com/product/d ... ss-filler/
is specifically for areas that have heavier flexing so applied properly should do the job. Like most passenger seats the cracks are minimal on it though .
The remaining sections of leather ,base , back ,squab and headrest were degreased and then given their first coat of conditioner .
https://bespokeleathering.com/product/b ... nditioner/
Smells like an old wet cow in a byre over winter ........but it has already soaked in and seems to be softening the leather . This will be redone several times .
The seat runners have been derusted and are currently in primer . A replacement new handle for the fore / aft adjustment has been sought and bought .
The bolsters to be remade are to be given to the trimmer tomorrow .
I'll remove the other seat base and backrest to allow cleaning and conditioning next .
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1981 635 series 1

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:16 pm

New side window scraper seals arrived from Australia , Thanks Ric .
That's the next job over winter .
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1981 635 series 1

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:24 pm

The bolsters were given to the trimmer who tried to get some suitable leather from his supplier in London over Xmas. Unfortunately the said supplier no longer sold ,or had, smaller sections and only supplied full hides. I decided against buying a full hide due to cost , waste and more importantly after speaking with Bespoke Leathering , the supplier of all material used.
I did get the trimmer to split the bolsters and insert new leather piping to replace the damaged and broken originals.
John, from Bespoke Leathering , explained that the method he used to remove the cracks and damaged leather surface was to machine sand using a detail sander .
Now I have to admit that this needed a giant leap of faith to adopt the same approach to the seats but after he sent me several photos of the before, during and after of the process and more importantly the results , I was prepared to at least try it .
From the start of this project I was very unsure of the robustness of the filler used , sometines extensively , on the worn and damaged sections of seats being refurbished or restored hence my preferance in replacing the leather on the drivers bolsters , with the machine sanding it seemed to remove the need for such large amounts of filler .
I decided to try it as if it failed the leather sections could be replaced . John from BL said he used 80 grit but I'm afraid that my acute fear factor would not allow me to go that rough .... :shock:
Gentle and limited use of 120 pads seen the rough damage removed but still not completely through into the sub fibre of the leather . Further, careful , machine sanding using 240 and then 800 by hand removed the vast majority of the damage with only a few very shallow cracks requiring final attention. I was very pleased with the results .
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When ordering the materials I elected to get the most expensive filler listed which was a Dutch Liquid stress filler . This is as described , a liquid , and has to be applied using a tooth pick which was quite difficult.
It dries to a supple finish but is the very devil to sand smooth . Maybe it was me being too heavy with it's application but it took some time to " invisibilise " :-k it on the surface of the leather. On the plus side though I do believe that it will be the right filler for these stress areas of repair.
The gauge of leather on these seats is surprisingly thick so I had little fear of actually abrading it to a point where it would be too thin.
So this is the only filler used on the seat bolsters , and to be honest not all used was really required .
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The actual seat and rear pads plus headrests are in very good condition so no filler will be required on them .
Next will be the prep and spray dying of the seats .
1981 635 series 1

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:29 pm

Dying leather is like painting a car slowly ,slowly and check every step.
I initially started off using an airbrush ,as I had used before ,but this was going to take a decade to complete . I then tried a 1.0mm needle gun that I have but this was too big and wouldn't atomise the mix properly so I sourced a ( very inexpensive ) 0.5mm gun which turned out to be the perfect weapon of choice ...
Here are the materials used , all from Bespoke Leathering UK , the dye was mixed to a sample of leather I removed from the underside of the rear seats .
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Process consisted of two coats of adhesion promoter then 3 x double coats of dye with each coat being dried using a hair dryer . I waited three hours between stages to allow the dye to fully cure although it dried very quickly with the HD. The dye mix was as recommended which was 70% dye to 30/40% water . This mixture went on perfectly using the new gun. To give an idea of quantity each coat of mixed dye at every application was circa 8 to 10 ml 's . This quantity gave a good build up of colour without being too heavy . The manufacturers of the dye recommend many light coats .
I left the finished items for two days to fully dry and cure before applying threecoats of matt sealer 70/30 mix with a little raw dye to prevent any " milkyness " in the final finish .
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I used about 300Ml's of dye ,175Ml's of matt sealer and 100Ml's of EP2 adhesion promoter . I should have used less dye but redid a couple of bolsters early on as I was unhappy with the finish of the Dutch Liq. filler.
1981 635 series 1

olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:30 pm

I decided not to fill the seat bases as the creases were natural and would only return , besides I wanted the end result to look like well maintained seats rather than new ones .
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I have checked the colour match on the original seats comparing the finished headrests with them , and it looks very good indeed .
When I reassemble the seats I'll fit the original RHS seat base to the LHS and vice versa to try to even out the wear pattern when they are being used again. The original drivers side base has more "Patina ".
One thing to consider if doing this is the amount of space required to store the items during and after dying and before re assembly couple this with the refurbishment of all the mechanical components I found space at a premium .
One other bit of advice is to wear a mask when spraying all materials . I found any dye that got onto my fingers during mixing difficult to remove so I wouldn't want it getting into my lungs . No advice is given on any of the products .
So next will be the re assembly . :D
1981 635 series 1

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by wattsmonkey » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:05 pm

That is looking amazing, great work!
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:49 pm

Right , a couple of important bits of advice .

Be very aware of how sharp the retaining barbs are for the leather covers under and around the edges of the frame . Once embedded under the skin they are nigh on impossible to painlessly remove and they will make you bleed profusely .
Blood and freshly dyed leather have an attraction to each other greater than a neodymium magnet to mild steel, best to read above again ....
Spouses take great offence to finding partially reconstructed ,blood stained seats and tools on their dining table when they unexpectedly return home early , especially when confronted with a foul tempered partner who has had no success in finding suitable medical plasters .
Cats with extended claws are strangely attracted to freshly dyed leather .
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The rebuild went slowly , as I said I swopped the drivers seat cushion to the passengers side to even up the wear in the future . The finish of the dyed leather is supple and even , I'm quite happy with it . The colour match is very good to the original leather rear seats but I'll clean ,feed and then matt coat them to match the finish of the fronts .
The leather dye is suitable for refinishing the vinyl clam shell covers on the rear of the seats .
If you ever do this job and have to purchase hog ring pliers get long nose ones as the short angled items I purchased were not the best for getting into all the sections .
When the seats are disassembled check the hinge mechanisms of both seats . I didn't and when the drivers seats was fully rebuilt I found that both mechanisms were seized . The seat had to be broken down to component level again and the parts freed .
I haven't replaced the gas struts on either seats , there is some resistence in them but ideally they need renewing . I trawled the 'net but was unwilling to pay the sums being asked for these very small rams . I have since found a supplier of struts used on kitchen cabinets that should be compatible . I'll confirm once I have a sample .
The machine sanding method used to remove the damage on the seats leaves the surface smooth whereas the original leather of the seat and back cushions retain their mild graining . A concours judge would spot this but frankly very close inspection is required .
The cost of the dying materials purchased was circa € 90 but only half was used , so all in all a reasonable figure . Due to the quantities purchased I have enough left over to retouch and refinish several times if required.
I would have no qualms about recommending this process if you have seats that are complete with no rips or tears but do bear in mind the time and space required to do it .
Due to the dreadful weather here these are the only photos I have of the finished seats but hopefully it lets you see what can be acheived.
Once in the car I'll post some more .
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1981 635 series 1

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Re:

Post by Gregorydarcy » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:20 am

olympia57 wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:14 pm
Thanks or all your replies especially your Vinny .

.
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Nearly there now.... [-o<
what steering wheel is that with the holes and the timber? thanks G
Last edited by Gregorydarcy on Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by zinnocoupe » Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:34 am

Those seats look amazing. And they are actual e24 seats with the seams going the correct way. Nice work. The best is yet to come when you sit in them for that first long drive and you don't get that comfort seat slouch and old man backache getting out. Congrats. Its got to make your car that much more valuable as well. Everyone wants sport seats. I did the same thing by jamming my thumb nail right through one of those spikey leather holders. Blood everywhere. Luckily the seat cleaned right up. Enjoy the seats
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1979 Euro 635ci no longer a basketcase, just a running rust bucket!
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olympia57
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:20 am

what steering wheel is that with the holes and the timber? thanks G

It's a very early Moto lita .
1981 635 series 1

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:48 am

zinnocoupe wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:34 am
Those seats look amazing. And they are actual e24 seats with the seams going the correct way. Nice work. The best is yet to come when you sit in them for that first long drive and you don't get that comfort seat slouch and old man backache getting out. Congrats. Its got to make your car that much more valuable as well. Everyone wants sport seats. I did the same thing by jamming my thumb nail right through one of those spikey leather holders. Blood everywhere. Luckily the seat cleaned right up. Enjoy the seats
Thanks Dave .You and I can wear our scars with pride and boast that you're not a real E24 owner until you've been impaled by a sports seat ...... :lol:
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by Gregorydarcy » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:17 am

olympia57 wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:20 am
what steering wheel is that with the holes and the timber? thanks G

It's a very early Moto lita .
thanks

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:54 pm

Got the seats fitted , colour shade is very good and they are exceptionally comfortable in comparison to the " comforts " .....
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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:07 am

I mentioned earlier that I had got a set of window scraper seals from 635SYD on the site.
I’ve never seen a fitting report on these so thought I’d add mine to this project thread.
It’s a straightforward process but there are a couple of points I found that may help anyone doing the same job.
Fronts.
The front alloy trim with rubber is attached to the top of the door with two self-tapping screws and four spring grab clips.
The screws are position at the front of the door just ahead of the mirror and at the rear of door about one inch in.
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Best to soak these in penetrating oil ( NOT WD 40 …) for as long as you can prior to attempting to remove.
The interior door capping has to be removed by unscrewing three screw one front , one rear and one under the chrome door pull cap ( Series one ) . Rubber mouldings at the front and rear of the door can then be removed. The full length alloy channel is next removed by unscrewing the five screws. The plastic triangle on the door mirror mount has one screw on the top edge and then is pulled rearward to unclip. This exposes the three screws that, once removed, releases the door mirror. The mirror can be secured out of the way without having to remove entirely.
Once the two screws have been removed the whole alloy trim can be gently and slowly prized upwards from the front. The spring grab clips may be tight or rusted so be gentle.
Remove the four clips from the underside of the trim, this will allow the alloy channel to be teased apart.
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I found that the best way to loosen he clamp of the channel to rubber was to place the trim into a groove that I had routed into a section of MDF board. This held the trim much more securely whilst the separation took place.
My method to release the rubber was to gently prize the two sections of the alloy trim apart using a woodworking chisel. I strongly advise you use a stout leather glove on your other hand when doing this as the chisel WILL jump out and stab you.
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It’s not necessary to part the channel by much, only a couple of mm, and this will allow you to remove the OE trim.
1981 635 series 1

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:11 am

The original is then used as a template to cut the new section which is done with a sharp box cutting blade
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To refit and clamp the new rubber to the original alloy trim I found that a pinch weld clamp was ideal. I applied several layers of tape to the jaws to protect the alloy surfaces. The two sides of the channel only have to be tight enough to retain the new rubber and not squeezed beyond retrieval.
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Fitting, as always, is the reverse of above.
One point I’d make is that when doing this thoroughly inspect the area around the leading edge of the door in front of the mirror mount. I found both doors were quietly rusting away in this area under the rubber moulding and would have started to show beyond the trim very soon. This was cleaned with a dremel and stone, treated,filled, primed and then three coats of paint applied with a thick coat of lacquer on top.
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1981 635 series 1

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Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:19 am

Once refitted the fit and finish of the front seals was exceptional. Well worth the effort.
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Rears.
The rear trim with rubber is held in place with the plastic louvres on the B pillar and four grab spring clips.
Access to the retaining screws of the louvres is gained by removing two screws at the bottom of the internal B pillar moulding and two screws that hold the grab handle / coat hook at the top.
Once pulled away this allows the door seal to be set aside exposing the three screws that hold the louvres on.
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The alloy trim must then be very gently prized up from the front (door side) edge. Take great care here as I found that the grab clips were tight and that the trim could be easily distorted and bent.
Once the trim is loose ensure you remove and save the joining piece between it and the next adjoining trim.
The alloy channel is prized apart as per the front using the same method.
Once apart you will see the slits that were cut into the original trim at manufacture to allow it to curve accurately. Using the old plastic trim as a template cut the new rubber trim to replicate the original length and shape with the slits also.
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Last edited by olympia57 on Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
1981 635 series 1

olympia57
Platinum Member
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Posts: 1280
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:25 am

I had a small problem when I initially fitted these rear rubbers in that they refused to sit flush with the trim when clamped and refitted back onto the car.
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Ric (635syd) was very helpful with this and between us we eventually solved the issue. My belief is that the rear trims were stored in my garage over the winter in an ambient of no greater than 10 deg C.
I then fitted them straight from storage on a cold Irish day ……
It became apparent that they are better fitted when they are at a uniform temp above that figure, probably nearer 20 deg C. Now that should be no problem for the vast majority of y’all but for those in the cold Northern hemisphere I’d suggest that you warm them up to increase their malleability.
Fitting is as the fronts only whilst clamping the alloy channel apply a little stretch to the rubber just in front of the clamp area. This will help the profile of the rubber to seat better on the alloy trim.
I found that fitting another two additional spring grab clips to the rear curved area helped the trim seat better.
All spring clips were greased to assist fitting, rust prevention and removal in the future if necessary.
Refitting the rear trim was a little more awkward than the front in aligning the rearmost join with join cover and getting it evenly secured along the body edge. I had to very carefully tap it down with a rubber mallet to get it to seat properly. This had to be done several times due to the small problem we had that I mentioned earlier.
Refit the louvres, door seal and interior trim and the job is done.
There is no question that the fit and finish of these trims is excellent. The glass to rubber seal is also very good as tested by sliding a thin paint scraper down between the two, and if your rubbers were as perished as mine then the difference is well worth the effort.
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These trims do what they are supposed to do and I found Ric responsive, very helpful and a pleasure to deal with.
Get them while you can ...... :D
PS . No resposibility will be accepted for any injury , loss or breakage as a result of this " how to " .
Any notifications of such will be forwarded to my Lawyer , The honourable J Noble Dagget .
Yeah , that one .......
1981 635 series 1

SleeplessKnight
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 1:13 am
Location: Isle of Man

Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by SleeplessKnight » Wed May 13, 2020 11:21 am

I've just caught up with this project now and wow, what a ride! So happy to see you decided to keep the car even after discovering so much rot, and what a gorgeous car it turned out to be =D>

Bravo!

olympia57
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: " Auric " the odyssey ........

Post by olympia57 » Wed May 13, 2020 3:44 pm

SleeplessKnight wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:21 am
I've just caught up with this project now and wow, what a ride! So happy to see you decided to keep the car even after discovering so much rot, and what a gorgeous car it turned out to be =D>

Bravo!
Thank you , that's very kind of you to say .
I have to say though that it was only possible with the help, encouragement and knowledge of the members of BC .
Don
1981 635 series 1

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