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Jaguartvr 30th December 2019 22:25

Not many Tributes have had full interiors done, I now know why.
We are doing a California and a 250swb.
We bought all the interior panels from various sources, the only thing that they have in common is that they don't fit. (except the Tribute dashboard)


If you want the easy route then I would suggest Tributes dashboard, it also has the big advantage of having a useable glovebox (the original BMW one). We bought one and it would be the easiest route, where's the fun in that. So we decided to go with the more authentic DNA version, we thought this would be an easy route as may have been fitted. It fits where it touches, which isn't in many places. Fit, cut up, fit, cut up and repeat. After the 5th go you want to top yourself. However, the end result almost makes it worthwhile.
Nearly there, just placed in position for the photo. The panel holding speedo and rev counter still to be made and trimmed. Centre panel is 3d printed but unhappy with the finish so a new one has been made from billet aluminium and polished, looks superb. A flat 3d printed section will be made and covered in leather to match the dash/interior. Switches still to be fitted. The cowls over the speedo and rev counter have been lengthened and the angle that the instruments sit has altered to make them more upright. This will be more apparent when the dash plate is fitted.


We have gone for MGB recliner seats, these have been fitted with early 70's hump foams, new diaphragms and backs. Plates have been made so that the seats attach to the electric Z3 bases. The existing Z3 plastic side fit the seats perfectly. The seats move back and forward and up and down electrically but recline has to be done manually on the original MGB mechanism.
The red seat is tuck and roll seams, the black seat has sewn seams, obviously, the sewn seams are much cheaper but the red seat obviously looks far nicer. Most seats that I have seen have creases somewhere, we told the trimmer that this would not be acceptable and he has done a superb job, but then again for the cost so it should be.
Just placed in position
Rear bulkhead panel is just about the only panel that didn't need remaking.

Door cards
F****** screws the door panels in place, even Ford in this era used hidden clips to fit the door cards. We didn't want visible door card fixings as it was felt that they looked cheap. Will we never learn?
Door cards , put on measure holes, drill and refit. Remove, filling holes with GRP and re-drill, repeat many times. Door opener modified so that it opens the door (easiest bit so far). Modifing the window switch, not so easy. Managed to use the existing wiring through the door plug, this way the doors can be removed for painting without disturbing the wiring, extra window switch on the dash so the passenger widow can be operated by the driver.

Centre console

The 2 parts containing the handbrake and gear lever are quite straight forward although both panels were quite modified. The forward bulkhead panel was much trickier. We wanted to use the existing heater controls but they are operated by short bowden cables so the options are limited. We managed ro modify the heater control panel and mount it behind the front bulkhead. `the knobs weren't quite long enough so we have had to have some new ones printed (still awaiting version 3).
This is why so few have been done, add the cost of a Tribute kit to the cost of painting and you will be getting close to the cost of the interior. This does not, of course, include the cost of the instruments, wiring or fitting. Having studied hundreds of pictures of replica (and original) interiors I am pretty sure that this will be among the best (down to the trimmer, not me), Everything including the dashboard has been covered in the finest quality leather, no vinyl here!

If you fancy losing the will to live, go on have a go!

Munky 30th December 2019 23:35

Another amazing car on the forum - it’s getting to be a bit of a thing!
The work (and cash) sure seems to have paid off.

Jaguartvr 30th December 2019 23:39

Thanks, Munky, can you give me a small loan?

WorldClassAccident 31st December 2019 09:14

It will be worth a small fortune when complete...

...shame it has cost a large fortune to get it there.

Looks great so far

Jaguartvr 31st December 2019 10:46

The cost and time taken was a big surprise. The wiring has taken forever and then the instruments are very expensive.

aofb 31st December 2019 15:00

Nice job. Trimming can be a huge faff!

molleur 31st December 2019 16:18

Very nice indeed!

I'm using Pleather for mine. Big DIY project.
Creating moulds for parcel shelf and cheek panels as well as the windscreen header.

Munky 31st December 2019 18:20


Originally Posted by Jaguartvr (Post 103117)
Thanks, Munky, can you give me a small loan?

Ha ha ha. Wish I could!

It does look pretty amazing though!

WorldClassAccident 31st December 2019 21:09


Originally Posted by molleur (Post 103125)
Very nice indeed!

I'm using Pleather for mine. Big DIY project.
Creating moulds for parcel shelf and cheek panels as well as the windscreen header.

Have you considered buying second hand leather home furniture. Big leather sofa can be stripped and re purposed for not muchg ore than buying a roll of plastic leather and will always look and feel better

smash 31st December 2019 22:35

When I retrimmed my cobra one large hide did the seats (Hoods Galore) with enough left to do the dash and door cards (me!).

Steve did you trim the lugs off the torsion bar behind the dash? You have to do that for the DNA dash to fit but must leave enough on to bolt back on. A mate of mine built one and the dash went in fine once the lugs were trimmed. He did say it was the most challenging part of the build! The wiring looked fun - he sent me loads of photos.
Edit - when I say fun I mean it looked a complete another word beginning with f lol!

Really smart way of dealing with the heater controls - very cool!

Looks brilliant btw

Jaguartvr 1st January 2020 12:20

Thanks Smash.
All the brackets were removed from the bracing strut (but still in place in this photo), none of them apart from the steering support are needed. We also heavily trimmed the mounting brackets where they attach just in front of the doors.
If you were doing one dashboard you could probably cut it about and get it to fit, as we were doing two we decided to make the dash sacrificial and then when it was right take a mould.
The dash is only held on by the 3 screws at the front of the dash. The screen demister vents that sit on the heater box are very solid and almost hod the dash on its own. The centre front bulkhead panel has been made lager and after many goes is a very tight exact fit. The combination of the 3 screws, vent mounts and the bulkhead panel make the whole dash very rigid. We have also removed the steering column section, to use the original tou have to remove the stalks which is a pain, you wouldn't want to do it twice. We are using the existing BMW steering cowl covers. Looks very neat and not so bulky.
can see from the picture how complicated the wiring is. All the lugs on the support bar have been removed. You can see the 2 vents that supply air to the screen. We were going to cap the centre vent which used to supply air to the face vents but decided against it as it would probably interfere with the flap as it a couple of inches above the rim. The demister vents should be very effective, the other 2 settings, face and cabin will just vent behind the dash. The is a 4" gap all along the back lower edge so the cabin should still warm up nicely.

IanA 5th January 2020 17:49


Originally Posted by WorldClassAccident (Post 103128)
Have you considered buying second hand leather home furniture. Big leather sofa can be stripped and re purposed for not much more than buying a roll of plastic leather and will always look and feel better

I did moot this with a trimmer I'd approached about seats for my Z300S but he demurred, saying that the leather tends to be too thin for car seats. He does a lot of work on classics so maybe once bitten...
The leather I've chosen (from another trimmer) is nominally 1 mm thick.

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