|From my Proton
On the VX forum, a couple of people suggested taking it to an automotive upholsterer and one enterprising VX owner went so far as to offer a re-cover with a textured "pleather" material that resembled carbon-fiber (thinking that this would look better with the other faux carbon fiber parts in the interior) - that offer was at $80 plus postage. I decided to ask around to see if I could find someone local, plus I would like to replace it in leather and not the usual vinyl. To me leather just feels better and lasts longer.
First step was deciding whether I wanted to remove mine or to find another as I didn't know what route to take (drop-off or ship) and didn't want the stuff in there exposed. Luckily, a VX forum member offered up some parts and the arm rest was mine. Once I had it in hand I started calling around and visiting local shops. Most of the estimates I got were right around $75 - on a lark, while driving on a nearby road I stopped and went into "Tony's Auto Upholstery and Trim" on Beaver Ruin Road. I showed the proprietor the arm rest and he said "$30" so "...Is that for leather?" and his reply was "$45 in leather" - I made sure they would match the stitching and left it - they said it would be ready the next day. Next day I got a call and this is the result:
|Newly Covered Arm Rest
|Old on left, new on right
|Comparison of the stitching
|Can you smell the leather?
Note the cracks in the underlying plastic - I had noticed that the tension on the plastic was weakening and have found pieces of plastic under the seat. Step two of the project is to either replace the plastic or reinforce it in some way - I'm thinking aluminum plate shaped to the size of the center console. This would attach using the same holes for the latch and hinge. My thinking is that it would raise the arm rest about an eighth of an inch and provide support for everything above. Thoughts?
|See the cracked corners?
|I think adding a plate would work