Making of a 308 interior

Clark

True Classic
Now that winter is here and the dash has been removed I should probably create a thread dedicated to the interior remodel. I'll state from the beginning that I have never attempted anything like this before. I've worked with fiberglass to create a custom snowmobile seat in the past but I get the feeling that this is going to be in another league altogether. The main reason I started this project was the feeble state of my 76 dash, the horrid web of previous owner re-wires that left a tangled mess everywhere, and the fact that as a kid the 308 was my dream car that took me away to places only Tom Selleck would dare to go.(Corny I know, but true. There's an 8 year old inside of me still.)


The Project - what I want from this...

Ultimately I'm looking for something that mostly resembles the theme of the Ferrari 308 gts interior. I've seen what other people have done and it makes me believe that "I can do this too!" but I hesitate because I don't want a botch job that takes away from the good looks of the X itself. I can remember walking past conversions that make you want to puke and I definiately don't want that. I am not looking for a "posh" interior all tricked out with the latest gauges or gadgets either. In fact I'm not even looking to put in a stereo. I may put in a small shelf that can house a bluetooth speaker or something along those lines but that's about it.

I've spent the past few days scouring the internet for similar projects and found that this is more common than I first anticipated, which makes the task less daunting (in my mind anyway). From what I can see the Fiero boys have the corner on the interior kit market (probably because it is used so often as a platform for kit cars I guess?) but that helps give me a better idea of what will be required here. (As one example ... http://www.pisafierohq.com/interiors/fiero_3-08/). There are also a number of threads on the actual 308 dash itself so that should help with determining slopes, angles, attachment points, etc. (One example ... http://308restoration.com/2013/12/refitting-the-dashboard/).



The various pieces I'll be attempting....

1) The dash
2) Instrument cluster
3) Center console
4) Door panels and armrests

Timeframe: It would be nice to do this over the course of the winter and be driving by late spring / early summer. Not sure if that is do-able but we'll see.....

Finally....

It goes without saying that I will need as many suggestions and as much help as you can provide. I'll be looking for new gauges, a steering wheel, fabric etc. Any experiences would be most appreciated.
 

twincam69

True Classic
Take a look at a 1987 or newer Alfa Spider instrument pod. Even the gauges may work since both the X and Alfa are 4 cyl. Also the pod style is similar to the 308.
 

carl

True Classic
I don't know about the Alfa gauges but 124 spider gauges will work just fine and have the correct look. Also, if you want to move the heater controls down to the center console, look at the 124 spider set up as the control sliders are on the center console and the cables have the correct ends and should be long enough. This project will be fun to watch.

By the way, what seats are in your car, they don't look stock but I can't tell.
 

X1/9Cruiser

True Classic
This should be an interesting project...count me in as subscribed. Hope you find a place for a glove box as places to store stuff inside the cockpit are limited as we all know.
 

Clark

True Classic
I don't know about the Alfa gauges but 124 spider gauges will work just fine and have the correct look. Also, if you want to move the heater controls down to the center console, look at the 124 spider set up as the control sliders are on the center console and the cables have the correct ends and should be long enough. This project will be fun to watch.

By the way, what seats are in your car, they don't look stock but I can't tell.
Hey Carl, the seats that are in the car now are from a Honda S2000. They are quite a bit taller than the stock or 308 seats from back in the day when no one was thinking about whiplash. I still have my original seats but they would require a complete tear down themselves. The gauges from the spider do look really close to what would be required. I wonder if the wires would just plug straight in?
Image1.jpg
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Looks like an interesting project.

Do keep in mind that the triangular frames going from the cross beam to the floor structure is in fact structural and should not be cut away.

A Miata IP and hood might be worth looking at. A 1993 instrument panel or earlier has a proper fully functional oil pressure gauge and would be preferred.

So it looks like you are using a piece of expanded polystyrene insulation as the first part of your base buck, what process of turning this into a finished assembly are you looking to proceed with?
 

Clark

True Classic
Looks like an interesting project.
...
So it looks like you are using a piece of expanded polystyrene insulation as the first part of your base buck, what process of turning this into a finished assembly are you looking to proceed with?
Hey Karl, I'm going to glue multiple pieces of polystyrene together for the binnacle then shape with knife and sandpaper to suit. After it is shaped I will be applying a parting agent then laying some fiberglass over top. That may be sufficient as I plan on covering the fiberglass pieces with a thin layer of foam and leatherette of some type.
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Polystyrene foam will melt if the polyester resin touches it. You can use a latex paint as the barrier surface, several coats to ensure there are no pinholes. Alternatively, epoxy resin can be used directly on the surface of polystyrene. It requires you wear a respirator and ensure you don’t get it on your skin to avoid getting a reaction to the material (usually over time).

The way we made 1/5th scale car models when I was at Art Center, was to get the foam as close to what we wanted first (we used urethane foam instead of a styrene or propylene foam), using lightwieght wall spackle (I used setting spackle ie it cures in 30 minutes) to fill in low spots as it sands much like the foam. Do not use bondo on the bare foam before it has been resined, as it is much harder than the foam and you will end up sanding the foam away around the filler before getting the filler down to the height of what you want.

Then just a layer of resin with no fabric, sanding it to get rid of unseen or new raised surfaces. Then resin again with a very thin open fabric (it was like pantyhose) then a light sanding before applying more standard fabric/resin layers.

Good luck and please post pics along the way.

Karl
 
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carl

True Classic
The gauges from the spider do look really close to what would be required. I wonder if the wires would just plug straight in?
View attachment 7095
You have to remove the ganged plugs from the back of the X instrument panel and make individual smaller plugs to match the spider gauges. Not all that hard to do since you can remove wires from those plastic connectors with a small screw driver and reinsert them in smaller connectors. You just need wiring diagrams to figure out what wire goes where.....a nice winter project on the dining room table....done it a million times.
 

carl

True Classic
This is like dealing with my kids. No, I did it a million times because I put spider gauges in my 128s, 124 sedan and several Xs......so maybe it was just six or seven times.
 

Clark

True Classic
Do keep in mind that the triangular frames going from the cross beam to the floor structure is in fact structural and should not be cut away.
I am thinking about cutting the center console metal out and welding new pieces that support forward toward the frunk. Do we know if this structural member is specifically for top to bottom rigidity or is it used to stop flexing the body longitudinally? I agree it looks structural but I would like to know why and if I can work around its current placement any.
 

motoTrooper

True Classic
I am guessing that it strengthens the floorpan rigidity and imparts strength in many vectors. As the X is a fairly rigid open top car that was made so entry and egress isn't a pain (climbing over high sill structures), a lot of strength was engineered into the center of the car. That is my seat of the pants evaluation.
 

DanielForest

True Classic
I would guess, cutting the center console would weaken the windshield strucural integrity. I have seen (owned) car with rust around the windshield and it finally collapsed Inside the car.
 

Clark

True Classic
I would guess, cutting the center console would weaken the windshield strucural integrity. I have seen (owned) car with rust around the windshield and it finally collapsed Inside the car.
Hey Daniel, that's quite the thing. Thanks for sharing. I'm amazed that the cross member did not support it enough to keep the windshield inside the car because there is a lot of beef in that area but maybe there was just too much rust?

Perhaps I should have been clearer about my intentions. I would like to keep the support in the center of the car just move it about 8 inches or so forward or maybe just go straight down from the dash edge. If the center support could be moved up then that would allow a more reclined seating position and give the knees a bit more room to the right. I don't know about you guys but I sometimes feel a bit cramped in the cabin. Perhaps I can reinforce the tunnel by the same amount that I move the support forward? That way the net change could be minimized and even possibly be negligible?
308-2.jpg
 
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DanielForest

True Classic
I'm not sure about the link between the center console and the windshiel, it's just a guess. I'm no engineer.

Before I fitted a race seat, I used to wear a knee pad to protect my right knee while autocrossing. So yes, it's a little tight... On the other hand, it you want a lot of space, you are not in the right car...
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
Hey Daniel, that's quite the thing. Thanks for sharing. I'm amazed that the cross member did not support it enough to keep the windshield inside the car because there is a lot of beef in that area but maybe there was just too much rust?

Perhaps I should have been clearer about my intentions. I would like to keep the support in the center of the car just move it about 8 inches or so forward or maybe just go straight down from the dash edge. If the center support could be moved up then that would allow a more reclined seating position and give the knees a bit more room to the right. I don't know about you guys but I sometimes feel a bit cramped in the cabin. Perhaps I can reinforce the tunnel by the same amount that I move the support forward? That way the net change could be minimized and even possibly be negligible?
View attachment 7111
Couldn't you even keep a similar form factor, just move the whole support forward so it sits more under the cross brace vs. behind it? That way you would keep the load bearing spread (in the event of an accident ?) similar to what's there. I wouldn't trust a vertical brace to respond the same way. I'd like to open up that center area, and remove most of the center console. I agree, it's pretty cramped with how far back it sits.

 
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carl

True Classic
That is a major piece of bracing, clearly much heavier than is what's needed to just support a center console. I would leave it in place, even racing Xs have it in place. You are customizing an X, not recreating a 308 so a little diversion is just fine. You climb into an X and wear it like a worn pair if jeans, a spider you jump into like hopping onto your favorite couch.

Having spouted all that, I'm willing to bet that in normal day to day street driving you wouldn't notice the brace missing but who wants to take the chance.
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Agreed it is much stouter than it would need to be for a console. Plenty of forms there and double walled. It is doing much more than just holding up a few switches and shortens the structural link across the cockpit as the doors extend much farther forward.

but who wants to take the chance.
Not I
 
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