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1974 Jensen Healey MKII (Green)

Interior Panel Restoration

It's very likely that your restoration will be similar to mine, and the interior panels on the car are either damaged beyond use from age or not even present! In a previous article we covered how to build door panels for your Jensen Healey. We will use a similar process and skills to put together the rest of the interior panels. Your jensen Healey has three panels across the rear parcel shelf and two panels down in the foot wells.

You could try to make everything from scratch, and try to make your own templates and such. I thought about it, and then thought better of it and stopped by Delta Motorsports for a visit. They sell both the boards and the vinyl for the interior pre-cut. This saves a lot of time and effort during the restoration process.

Here you can see the main rear finisher. I just removed it from a test fit in the vehicle.

It's always important to test fit your panels before assembly. This panel in particular (and it's mate for the other side) is the most complex piece in the set.

This is one of the footwell panels. Note the large diameter hole. One board will have this hole, the other won't! That hole is for the cross support for the glove box assembly. ensure that you assemble things correctly otherwise you'll wind up with the wrong board prepared for the passenger side.

Here's the two rear side finishers laid out on 1/4" foam. They've been sprayed with contact cement and set on the foam waiting for the glue to set.

Here I've done the same for the footwell panels.

Finally, the large rear finisher is laid out and glue to the 1/4" foam.

Once the glue has had an opportunity to set a bit the white foam needs to be cut down to the correct size. I use a sharp razorblade run around the edges to trim the foam.

The pair of rear finishers have also been trimmed down.

Finally the full rear finisher is trimmed down. You'll note that every board is labelled with sharpie. I do this so that I don't inadvertently confuse things. Once everything is installed it will never be visible, so I recommend doing this on your panels.

Here you can see the vinyl laid out on the main rear finisher ready to be glued down.

The trick to getting smooth vinyl is to get one half glued and pressed first, and then lay down the other half.

Here you can see the vinyl applied across the entirety of the rear finisher.

Now we repeat the process for the footwell panels.

Here it's laid down in its entirety.

I've flipped the panel over in this photo so that you can see how the vinyl is laid out on the panel with enough material to overlap all the edges.

Finally we apply the vinyl to the rear side finishers.

Placement on this piece is very important. You need to ensure that it's properly located in the center of the vinyl.

Getting the vinyl to dry flat is very important for these pieces. Here you can see a secondary use for all those coffee table car books you've acquired over the years.

The full rear finisher is much larger and requires a good sized surface to lay it out to dry.

Here's a trick. If you scratch/etch the edge of the finished side of the panel it will give the glue much more purchase to the finished surface.

Glue the longest edges of the wheel well panels first. Hold the glued edges down with blue painters tape while they are drying.

For the rear side finishers you're going to need to make minor cuts in the arched portion at roughly two inch intervals to allow the vinyl to be correctly wrapped and glued across the curve.

Again, glue down the longest surfaces first. This is the top and the curved section on this part.

Finally, the large rear finisher gets a similar treatment across its longest surfaces

As with the door panel article you'll want to recursively glue down the remaining edges. Take care to fold all the corners such that they do not expose vinyl edges (and sometimes this is easier said than done. Also, it appears that I forgot to photograph the rest of the gluing process for all panels.

Now, there are two oddly shaped pieces of vinyl that come in the finisher kit that do not have associated boards. They are rectangularly shaped pieces with a half circle sticking out from the middle of one of the long sides. These pieces, as you can see here, are applied directly to the body of the car over where the convertible top frame attaches to the body.

To say these shapes are inexact is a gross understatement. You will need to do a fair bit of careful trimming on these two pieces to get them to fit correctly. The trick I found is to release the door seal, press the vinyl up to the edge of the door opening and then replace the seal to hold the piece in place while fitting and gluing.

Once the piece is properly clued you'll need to cut holes with a razor blade for the bolt points on the convertible top frame mounting plate. Use the converible top mounting plate as a guide, and then set the side finisher panel in place. Use self tapping screws with integrated washer caps to hold the panel in place (I found these screws at Ace Hardware).

Then finally bolt the convertible top mounting plate in place (I'd already restored the convertible top frame which is why the part is all nice and pretty looking.

Repear the steps for the opposite side. Als an alternative to the method above you can install (loosely) the convertible top frame mount first before adding the panel.

Finally you need to set the rear finisher main panel in place, and then use two more self tapping screws.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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