Katit's LX470 2001 restoration/maintenance thread

Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Seriously awesome job @katit . Any idea what kind of wood was on that wheel? Your stain looks great. Doesn't look like it would've benefited much from pre-stain conditioner.
Have no idea. On black/dark spots you can see it's not a wood, but some kind of backing (rubbery/plasticky). Wood is literally paper-thin. Or even thinner than paper. I am serious! So, no conditioner needed, there is nowhere for stain to go. See how I cleaned factory stain?

At the same time my stain went on pretty easy with foam applicator and stayed there.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Project "Heated steering wheel". Donor required - regular (not wood) wheel.
After removing factory leather and fixing "spinning" wheel - I applied heating element. Wires were carefully hidden inside rubber, glued in and routed out next to the spokes. There is 2 elements, right and left. This is how $15 kit from eBay looks.

Then I realized that if I go with leather on top of this - it will show. Those heating wires thin, but they will show through anyway.
So, I applied layer of vinyl. This is auto upholstery grade vinyl. Stretches nicely, so at least I didn't have to fight this one to go over wheel correctly (like leather)!

wh1.jpg


wh2.jpg


wh3.jpg


wh4.jpg


wh5.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Now, after vinyl layer complete - all the same stuff - cover with leather. The only thing about this wheel - I made it with one seam on a bottom so there is no seams over heated element. I hide leather seam into the wheel so it doesn't stick out like factory.

Layer of vinyl is my idea to hide heating element wires better. It also made wheel thicker by 3mm, see on photo. It doesn't sound much, but it feels much different when you grab it. Not sure bad or good. And it's softer. I would compare feel of it to my BMW M3 steering wheel.

wh6.jpg


wh7.jpg


wh8.jpg


wh9.jpg


wh10.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Okkk. Not sure what to do now. Should I finish it somehow or should I just skip idea of "heated" wheel and use my wood wheel (I like wood look anyways)

Here is what happens now. In order for heater to work - I need power. Steering wheel is not like any other place in a car, you can't just run wire to it. All electrical connections go through the "spiral wire" mounted on column. I was hoping from beginning that "I will figure it out".
There is actually many choices. I can always get rid of CC if needed.

Anyways. Today I did find 12V on black wire coming in. Ok, bingo, I will use it for heater. I got it all wired up, tested and installed. You see how switch looks and how wiring inside looks.

2 problems:
1. Because of 2 layers I put over heating element (vinyl which is soft and leather - good insulators) - It takes pretty long time to start feeling warmth. I honestly don't think it will be really useful in short winter trips. It may work as "always on" in a winter, but not to warm up in a morning. Pads install didn't fail. They were heating up fast on a bench. Now with wheel mass and 2 layers - not so much. Resistance is there, they pull same 0.6Amp, so they do work.

2. Now when I turn it on - horn sounds. Ok, that a screw up. That +12V wire when grounded closes horn circuit. AKA I messed up. So, for now it is not usable in a car.

I need to figure out how to get it working. I will have to figure out how to pull one wire through.
This connector I circled in red installed in my wheel but nothing connected to it. I can just disconnect those wires on steering column and use them for power.

Another thing - I am not sure about this switch on a top. I can maybe buy another button like "rear window defrost" and install next to it (there is blank) and make it operate steering wheel.

Any thoughts?

P.S. Or, I can sell this wheel to you so I don't have to deal with it anymore :)

IMG_1785.jpg


IMG_1786.jpg


IMG_1783.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Last time I promise :)
Steering wheel. It's the one original from my 2001 LX. Restored wood. New leather. Leather was dyed using color code matching factory. Leather I had was almost there, but painting it made it just so much closer to original. The only difference - no dimples.

I think I will go with this wheel in my track and call it a day. I bought 2 2003+ donors (with wood) which I will do and sell, but that's it for steering wheels, time to move on and do upholstery. I think I "got it" as far as steering wheels go.

IMG_1796.jpg


IMG_1797.jpg


IMG_1798.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Houston, TX
Installed radio. Right now only OBD2 and phone audio connected. Spent all time doing wiring. All plug N play with TOYO-01 adapter. Sound quality is blah, but good enough for me, will work for sure. Sub works too. At least I have music now.

Trim and mount kit I bought didn't really work, factory mounts worked. Radio need to be tilted down a little and need maybe 1/4 inch spacers to bring it out so this trim plate sits tight behind factory panel.

Also need to route and connect USB, Mic, WiFi, GPS and rear camera. Any suggestions on good spot for USB and nice-looking USB panel?

View attachment 2115095

View attachment 2115096

View attachment 2115097

View attachment 2115098

View attachment 2115099
Does AXXESS toyo-01 work for lx470? I have a 2002 mark levison. Would like to use this with the pre-03 nav delete guide
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Moving onto upholstery. Warning: It is my first interior project. I started working on E34 interior last year but car was totaled and that project never got finished.
I have some practice already. I watched tons and tons of videos. I have probably 4-6hr behind sewing machine. Know enough to be dangerous, have proper equipment. In theory nothing holding me back :)

Sewing is engineering project. You have to understand how parts go together, in which order, have to be able to visualize in 3D, etc. It's very technical thing as there is many of parts going together. You also need to understand how material behaves (i.e. which way leather stretching). Many details that need to be taken care of in order to get good result.

After taking seat apart there is couple of obvious observations:
1. Factory quality is so-so. It should not be a problem for good professional to replicate. There is plenty of non-so-straight seams and so on.
2. Factory covers design is not so simple. It is pretty simple to sew, but there is a lot of parts and I have to keep track of all of the details and order of assembly. I take tons of pictures and notes..
3. Factory covers is not all leather. Only faces. All sides is vinyl and some fabric of different kinds.
4. It would be pretty hard to duplicate factory design in aftermarket. There is many specialized pieces which I am going to reuse. Channels, etc. "Wrinkle" specifically
5. Seats not symmetrical. Tops can be sewn the same, but mirrored. Bottoms different.

Now - secret of factory "wrinkles" unveiled!! :) Those wrinkles look so "symmetrical". How?? I was really wondering, now I know. And I think I know how to make my seats repeat this.

Those felt pads(dark gray) glued to leather. They have pattern cutouts (see pic) which when you make everything will make leather wrinkle into those voids. Simple.
And, at the same time understandable that it's PITA for aftermarket to repeat.

P.S. Why DIY? It is not about money. First of all, whole this car is not about money, just hobby. But mainly I want to learn. And, I didn't see anyone selling acceptable quality covers. I see it from a pictures, don't even want to try and touch those replacements :) I'd rather f..up myself then buy someone's else. This is very time-consuming project. I suspect it will take me full 40-60hr to finish. Will be doing one by one. Currently passenger seat.

IMG_1839.jpg


IMG_1840.jpg


IMG_1866.jpg


IMG_1867.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Color was accidental. I was shopping for leather for steering wheel and seller on eBay sent sample matching wheel. I could not find reasonable match for seat color. Choice was to get $6-800 hides from supplier or get more of this brown. I like color so I got 4 hides @$100 each. Color is nice, matching trim and will make my LX unique
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
Wow that's one of the best seat covers I've seen so far. Looks like an OEM fit.
OEM has plenty of mistakes if you look close enough. What really surprised me is that they didn't use 2-needle machines on those french seams. Weird for the factory not to optimize this step.

Comparing to aftermarket covers - I am sure it's better but because of time spent and because of re-use of many OEM pieces. Like those responsible for "wrinkles" or other plastic pieces.

On my covers everything is leather, factory is only center parts. All sides, etc is vinyl or fabric.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
431
Location
St Louis, MO
You nailed it with that color. Gonna do the second row?
Absolutely. Not a 3rd row though.
Front seats took 1.5 hide and I didn’t do back covers.

I have 2 more hides. I may have to get matching vinyl to cover backs as I afraid I may not have enough for all.

I also have 4 steering wheels to recover which will take some leather as well
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
561
Location
South Florida
 
 
Absolutely. Not a 3rd row though.
Front seats took 1.5 hide and I didn’t do back covers.

I have 2 more hides. I may have to get matching vinyl to cover backs as I afraid I may not have enough for all.

I also have 4 steering wheels to recover which will take some leather as well

I gotcha locked in now...

No way you can refuse my pm's now when I start to do my seats!

:bounce:
 
Top Bottom