Posts Tagged ‘Custom Trim’

In part 3 I will discuss what I did with the S-AFC. The only place it could go at this point was the center area where the climate controls use to live. The opening was damn near perfect as far as height…. we are talking a 1/32″ too small. I simply sanded the upper and lower edge with 80 grit and that was enough. Again, I wanted it to look as OEM as possible. So I counter sunk the unit back about 1/4″. I then used 1/16″ ABS sheet to make small fillers on either side.

I rough cut a couple pieces and marked where the angles would be to conform to the profile of the S-AFC:

This is after rough cutting, then test fitting and re-cutting until I got the exact shape I needed:

I then super glue those in place for a semi-permanent bond:

I rough sanded the entire area with 80-grit, then used texture coat to act as a filler and see where I’m at as far as finish grade. I then sand that down with 80, 120, 180 then 240 to see how close I am to doing my final texture coating:

I didn’t take any pictures, but I also used the 3M Duramix on the back side of the panels for a permanent bond. Superglue is not permanent enough and is very brittle. So the superglue will give way under flexing… the Duramix laughs in the face of flexing. I only use the superglue for a very easy bonding to hold it in place. I use a very high grade CA super glue and use an accelerant to instantly cure it. So I glue the pieces in place then use this accelerant out of an aerosol can to “kick” it.

I make sure everything still fits as intended…. very close to doing my final texture and paint. Probably another texture coat and sand it down. Then a final texture coat for the actual texture and then final paint:

Part 4 will be the finishing work!

In part 2 of the series, I will discuss what I did with the Greddy Profec B boost controller. The customer wanted it in the middle replacing the rear defrost button and hazard button. Now this is nothing new, I have seen it done before. However, I’m going to 1-up “them” by giving it what I consider a completed look. Everyone that does it pulls the two middle buttons and drops the Greddy piece in there…. and that’s it. It looks alright for sure, but I want it to look like it came from Nissan that way. Also, my customer wanted to maintain the hazard switch and ditch the security light on the right side. Which meant I simply needed to slide the hazard switch over one spot to the right. The only problem with this is that the center buttons don’t have the exterior rounded corner like the outer buttons… we’ll fix that in a bit.

Here is a picture to illustrate the gaps around the Greddy piece and where he wanted the hazard button:

This will show the difference between the corners on the right side. I need to shave the right, upper corner of the hazard switch a little, to better mimic the corner of the security light:

Some careful grinding to get it closer to the correct radius. I couldn’t get it the same, but close. If I would have went any further it would have ground all the way through the plastic and made a hole. Test fitted and it works perfect. I then took some Graphite Gray SEM paint and touched it up:

Next is filling in the gaps and making it all look OEM. I used some 1/4″ ABS to fill on each side and along the bottom between the sides:

Then made a center lower piece to match the contour of the sides:

Glued it all in place then test fit it for final inspection:

Rough sanded the entire thing down to make sure it was going to finish off the way I wanted. Note: there is obviously a ton of finishing work to be done… filling little seams, texture, paint etc.

Next up will be the S-AFC mounting in the middle where the climate controls previously called home.

Getting close on finishing up a S14 Climate control panel for a customer. He wanted a very OEM look, which is always my style. This one however I wanted to look ultra OEM and I went to extra lengths to accomplish it. Originally he wanted the three Stack gauges in place of the climate controls, a S-AFC in the location of the vents and a Greddy boost controller mounted in place of two of the buttons along the bottom. However, he got back to me before I started and had me swap the location of the gauges and S-AFC.

So here is what we are starting with:

Unfortunately a friend was borrowing my camera when I did the first few steps of this project. So I’ll try to explain a little since there was a lot of work that went into it, that you would never know I did, by simply looking at the finished pictures. I obviously popped the vents out and hacked out the center support to make one large opening up top for the gauges. Keep in mind “ultra” OEM look here… so I wanted a “flush” look for the gauges and I also wanted to keep the natural contours of the OEM piece. I think most in this case would simply just mold over/fill the top opening in the OEM panel and cut out holes to drop in the gauges. Grant it, it would look nice… but not OEM. If you look at the first pic, you can see how the opening rolls over and fades back to the original vents. If I simply molded over the hole, these contours would be gone. So I ground away all the extra crap on the backside of the opening so I could rear mount a plate of 1/4″ ABS. This would be my new mount for the gauges. However, the original opening was not tall enough to flush the gauges in. So I enlarged the opening on the top side to make room. This in turn made the contour disappear along the topside edge of the opening. I was left with just a flat edge… which meant I would have to go back later and reform the edge to a nice roll over to mimic the original one… FUN! Also, the opening is not flat on the backside even after grinding… the piece has a nice slight convex shape left to right. So when I butt up my ABS to the back side, it only touched on the outside corners. I was left with a 3/16″ gap along the top, bottom and even a little on the sides. So I killed two birds with one magical 3M product. It’s a glue I use from time-to-time that bonds to plastic and can be sanded, painted etc. So I super glued the panel in the corners to keep it in place and then used the 3M stuff to fill in the gaps and provide a “filler” that I would later sand down to help in the aid of re-forming the contour along the top side.

As stated earlier, this is where I started taking pictures. Here are a couple of pics of the 3M glue and the backside of the panel:

I then rough sanded the 3M glue on the front side and finsished off the contour with Kitty Hair and standard bondo. You can also see in the pic that I already used a hole saw to cut out the holes. Unfortunately a hole saw does not exist to get the right size for flushing the gauges. So I had to use a drum sander on a die grinder to get it perfect.

This picture shows the finished contour on the front side along with the finished sizing for the holes:

I can’t wait to see this thing with final sanding, texture and final paint. Stay tuned for part 2… the lower section with Greddy boost controller.