a welcoming environment
Keeping in mind this car is meant to be driven, it was important to ensure the interior looked, and performed, as well as the rest of the build. During the early stages of bodywork, the inside of the floors, firewall and wheelhouses front-to-back were first sanded, zinc-primed and then sprayed with a high-performance sound-deadening material. This coating, DEI Boom Mat, is able to be over-painted and does not have any sticky residue remaining once it has fully dried. It is also very tough and hard-wearing, with added corrosion protection as well; a very well recommended product. The doors and tailgate were painted inside with deadening material at this early stage, too.
In place of the loosely-woven factory insulation up against the firewall, which was pretty much completely detriorated and falling apart, a Dynamat Hoodliner was cut to shape and double-bonded to the original, heavy rubber mat once all the old insulator material had been removed. This 3/4″ thick foam sound absorber is also lined with a heat-absorbing fireproof barrier, perfect for this kind of application.
On top of the Boom Mat, an additional thermo-acoustic material was laid, this being your more typical rubberised, self-adhesive roll that is cut to fit and stuck down. That is exactly what happened for the rear floors and transmission tunnel, with just a couple of smaller strips put down in the front floors since they already have a stiffener structure and are less prone to drumming as plain panels often do. The product used here is Thermo-Tec’s Cool-It mat, but there are lots of different names for what is essentially the same thing. This Cool-It is foil backed to absorb heat as well as control noise. Every other build on the internet is using Dynamat, although is it really far more superior to warrant its cost? Comment below… Whatever brand you choose, be sure to get a proper roller designed for this kind of material; it makes the job a lot easier!
So with the insulation side of things complete, attention was turned to sealing all the holes and getting the interior fitted out. This is a really fun stage since everything comes together and one finally gets an idea of what actually driving this thing is going to look and feel like. An understated luxury whilst maintaining the original period features was the goal for this cabin, so the colour scheme was immediately changed from the drab brownish-grey to black; this included the carpet, dashboard assembly, centre console, door cards and of course seats. Out went the 90’s velour and in came the half-leather and cloth lovelies from a MY04 B4 Legacy, which actually bolted right in.
There are a thousand little details that are hidden behind panels and under the carpet, but every element of this stage of the build has been very carefully thought out with every single area receiving the appropriate attention to minimise rattles, squeaks, wear, dust, rust and rodents! The wiring harness is one such detail that Kramer is very proud of. Being an electronic engineer, he understands that having quality, well-designed and carefully produced electrical systems is not only critical to the proper running and functioning of the vehicle but can also look pretty and be very satisfying to make.
Contrasting the thoroughly black furnishings, all the bracketry has been powder-coated thoroughly white, in the same style of late-model vehicles from European manufacturers. Many custom details can be found in the chrome hinges and strikers in the centre console, glovebox and door jambs, the chrome pedals with the MOMO alloy extensions (complementing the factory-fitted MOMO leather steering wheel), and the carbon-fibre gear lever surround and doorsteps.
Additional features incorporated into this build include Auto-on headlamps, LED tail-lights, stop lamps and turn signals, and door mirror puddle-lights (all of which you will be able to read about in the circuits section of this website), as well as retaining all of the original technology this top-spec car came with from the factory; air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes, power windows all round, cruise control and even a programmable keyless entry system… in 1990!