UPDATE8_Avant Resto Project

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So a few weeks ago we offered a teaser on the interior update for our Avant Resto project. As we piece together the final parts of our wagon project, the interior was the last big ticket item. We opted to swap over the interior to a two tone black and tan. The project is not fully complete, as we are still hunting for the last bits here and there. Overall the swap is on the more difficult side of the DIY spectrum, as there are a lot of bolts and screws to keep track of, the swap involves a high level of tear down, and it requires the handling of air bags and their firing components. We would caution anyone attempting this sort of swap to plan carefully, as our total time was just over 18 hours, split up over two days. Consider things like the weather, and lighting, as it is highly probable that you will have to work into the night. Airbags are another area of concern, always remove power to the car before working on them. (We disconnected the battery) Overall the execution is not difficult, but there are many bolts to keep track of, so consider labeling all parts removed in order to preserve your sanity later. We are going to post the DIYs we used at the bottom of the article, and give a brief overview of the process. We started the process by removing the mats and the rear seat bench. Next up we removed the front seats and the upper part of the rear seats. Once the seats we out of the way, we were able to focus on the center console. This is a two piece part. The rear covers the hand brake, while the front is the shifter and control surround. The rear is secured with three nuts and two bolts. The front is secured with six bolts, and snaps into or out of place. You must remove the radio to get the front part of the console off. Once the center console is out of the way, and all its connections unplugged, the glove box can be removed. Four bolts are used to secure the glove box into the dash. Once out of way, the kick panel on the driver side is next. Remove the side fuse panel and pull the four bolts holding the kick panel. The dash board is the hardest part, the passenger side air bag must be disconnected and the six bolts holding the assembly in place must be removed. There are also four bolts holding the center part of the dash in, as well as duct nut all the way at the back. On the driver’s side, there are two bolts holding the cluster in place, there are four bolts holding the steering wheel trim in place. The steering wheel column surround must be pulled off. The steering wheel and air bag must be removed as well as the clock spring and stock assembly. Once all that is out of the way, the four bolts holding up the column can be removed. The column will be free to fall, so watch out for that. Then the remaining bolts on the side and around the column can be removed. The sensor plug at the top of the dash and the plugs for lights in the dash must be removed. The dash will then slide out, it weighs about 25 pounds, so a helping hand may be necessary to prevent the delicate dash skin from being damaged. Once you have gotten to this point the carpet can be removed. Note: we also had to remove the lower trim around the doors, as well as the kick panels. (We did it sooner, but we realized that it would have been easier to wait.) We had to cut the carpet towards the top of the car, because we didn’t want to remove the HVAC and duct work to get it out. (It made near as no difference). The install is the same as removal, however getting to some of the plugs can be tricky. The results are worth it, as out old interior was shot, and the two tone looks great in our opinion. We will do a full interior shoot once the little parts are finished. Until then, happy wrenching.

-CA Staff




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