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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured I would start a new thread for this... Anyone changed their V8 interior color?

Basically I would be looking at taking a light tan interior (magnolia) and changing it to "charcoal" gray, leaving any black bits as they are.

Anyone done this? If you dye the leather seats, panels, and dash, how does it come out? Can you tell it has been changed? Does it last?

I'd also appreciate any tips on cost and procedure. I know I can take out the seats and door panels pretty easily, but I'm not sure about the dash area and the columns.

Fortunately the left area of the dash is black (and would stay black), but on the right there is some tan. Here's a pic:


Finally, any recommendations for a shop to do the dyeing would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help!
 

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I have always heard that it is easier to go darker when dyeing...magnolia to black or grey should be the easiest unlike the other way around where you will experience problems with even coverage.

The door panels should be an easy swap if you can source them from someone parting out an Esprit...shouldn't be too hard to find.

Although I personally have not done it yet, I have seen that the windshield pillar trim comes out in one piece on each side. With half the dash already black from the factory, if you source door cards (panels) and seats in the right color, it's not as daunting as one might initially believe as there isn't a whole lot of area left to dye.

High wear areas would be of greatest concern (door cards and seats) so although one could dye them, I would opt to replace if it were me.

There is a forum member here with a red V8 for sale (sorry, forgot the avatar name) in which he changed his black interior to magnolia, except for the seats. Perhaps he might have some helpful input on this for you.

Roy
 

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If it were me, I would not dye the seat, but rather look into some trick aftermarket seats in the color that I desire. Depending on how deep your pockets are, you can go from mild to wild. I saw a $2,000 carbon fiber (you need two...LOL) Cobra Misano seat a while ago that was pure sex!

COBRA SEATS USA | Sports | Cobra Misano 30th Anniversary

Naturally, Corbeau and Recaro also have some awesome choices.

Since you are dyeing the interior, you no longer need the existing seats and can sell them to help finance the purchase of some trick new ones. As an added plus, if you shop carefully for the right seat, less weight!!! :)

Here's some pics I found off the internet and had saved last year since I liked them so much. Naturally, in your case, you would get grey or other color for the center section. Anyway, just a thought....
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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I've seen Esprits with dyed leather. The '86 formerly owned by Reja had new factory leather covers, dyed to match, installed by the owner previous to him. (That was Bryan, the creator of the TurboEsprit list)

The dye-work was done in 1998-1999 IIRC, and I last saw the car last year (2013). The color was holding up well for the most part but there was lighter color leather showing where the hides had surface cracks. Don't know if regular care (Saddle Soap/Hide Food) would have prevented the cracks.

Here are pics (starting half way down) of the leather in 2005.
1986 Lotus Turbo Esprit HCI 50k Miles, Fully Serviced - Sold Vehicles - RonSusser.com


+++++++++++++

Another factor is that the hides in newer cars are "coated" so there might be other obstacles to a factory looking result.

I know of some "pros" in NJ that do interiors. Perhaps you can find one in CT to ask about feasibility and cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've seen Esprits with dyed leather. The '86 formerly owned by Reja had new factory leather covers, dyed to match, installed by the owner previous to him. (That was Bryan, the creator of the TurboEsprit list)

The dye-work was done in 1998-1999 IIRC, and I last saw the car last year (2013). The color was holding up well for the most part but there was lighter color leather showing where the hides had surface cracks. Don't know if regular care (Saddle Soap/Hide Food) would have prevented the cracks.

Here are pics (starting half way down) of the leather in 2005.
1986 Lotus Turbo Esprit HCI 50k Miles, Fully Serviced - Sold Vehicles - RonSusser.com


+++++++++++++

Another factor is that the hides in newer cars are "coated" so there might be other obstacles to a factory looking result.

I know of some "pros" in NJ that do interiors. Perhaps you can find one in CT to ask about feasibility and cost.
Thank you for the info. I wonder if regular use of a product like leatherique (dye) would stop the light leather from showing through when it cracks.

If you could pass along the info for the shop in New Jersey I would appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If it were me, I would not dye the seat, but rather look into some trick aftermarket seats in the color that I desire. Depending on how deep your pockets are, you can go from mild to wild. I saw a $2,000 carbon fiber (you need two...LOL) Cobra Misano seat a while ago that was pure sex!..
Thanks for the idea! I'd like to keep it original, but this is a good backup in case it doesn't work out.
 

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You can do it yourself with the products from Leatherique. Easy to go darker but difficult to go lighter. You may have to touch it up from time-to-time to keep it looking great (have to do it with ANY interior). The rejuvinator will keep it from cracking but wear from your clothing, especially when getting in and out, will wear the edges. You will have to dye the carpets too and they won't come out so good. Makes it feel very stiff and not soft anymore. If you do not do it well you can affect the resale value. To do it well you will have to disassemble the interior and take the parts out so you can do it all over and get it even. Probably best to replace the carpets and floor mats in charcoal if you can. You may be able to sell your old carpet and mats if they are in good shape.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Cal H
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We have a number of club members that dye seats. The magnolia seats from the recent V8 ebay sale will be dyed black. They also sold the S4s interior bits and pieces with carpet set which was black not too long ago.

I think any carpet exposed to water and/or cleaning products will come out stiff. Even my home carpet came out stiff when they were cleaned an area to lift out a spot. But it relaxed over time.

Unless you have experience with interior dyes take it to a shop. It's one thing to try and dye a tired and worn interior, but to dye an otherwise nice interior to another color might not be the candidate for an experimental project for a novice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, David and Cal.
I'm checking with JAE to see if the seats and carpet are available, so then I would only have to dye the columns, door panels, ceiling trim, etc.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Thanks, David and Cal.
I'm checking with JAE to see if the seats and carpet are available, so then I would only have to dye the columns, door panels, ceiling trim, etc.
:coolnana:


FWIW an upholstery shop could make you a set of carpets also....

:nanner:
 

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I have a set of 2001 black seats w/ yellow piping I am selling out of my car. The car only has 6k miles and has not driven or out of the hanger for six years, so almost new. I will sent pics if interested, or post in for sale section soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a set of 2001 black seats w/ yellow piping I am selling out of my car. The car only has 6k miles and has not driven or out of the hanger for six years, so almost new. I will sent pics if interested, or post in for sale section soon.
Thanks for the offer, but I think if I change the color I would go for gray.
 
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