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RX-7 1st Gen Specific (1979-85) RX-7 1979-85 Discussion including performance modifications and technical support sections

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Old 01-13-2017, 01:04 PM   #1
t_g_farrell
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Default SA cargo cover

I'm sure not many here have seen a cargo cover for the SA. They seem to be
more common down under but even there they look different than the one I had.

You see when I first bought my car out of college, it had a cargoe cover that
draped over an installed rail above the area where the floor starts for the back
cargo area. It snapped in using snaps on the floor, rail, and the rear. It also had
elastic hooks that fastened it to the hatch so it opened when the hatch opened.
It was very 80s and I always liked it.

In 2007 I moved to NC and realized I lost it in the move. For 9 years I have been
on the look out for one of these covers. I couldn't even post a picture of what I
was looking for, I've never seen any and I didn't have any. Then I got a visitor
message from someone on the site asking if I was interested in a cover.

Imagine my surprise. User mazdamikes sent me this vistor message:
Quote:
mazdamikes
Awhile back weren't you looking for a soft cargo cover for a 1st gen? I believe I have one just need a picture if you have one
We got on email and traded phone contacts and he sent me this picture of the
cover:



I saw that picture and I recognized exactly what it was. It looked in amazing
shape and Mike is asking if I want it, you bet! It took a few weeks because of the
holidays (tday) but we struck a deal and he shipped it to me. This is what the
rotary community is all about. Out of the blue Mike had somehow heard I was
looking for this. We may have met at an OGTA meet or DGRR, neither of us could
remember any details. What matters is Mike knew I was looking for this and
offered it to me before going public with it. Thank you Mike!

Now that I had the cover in my hands, it spawned not only a project to
rejuvenate the cover and remount it in my car but also made me repaint the
rear plastic trim. Well you can't have a cover this nice looking and
then have bleached white/gray black trim under it, now can you. Ah the life of
an SA owner. The rolling restoration never ends.

So looking at the cover I could see it needed some work to look like new. The
snaps in areas where kind of corroded and had lost their shine, the hooks on the
elastic fasteners were also pretty rusty as well. The cover had hard plastic
reinforement inserted on the wings and across the rear whcih had crumbled into
a pile of plastic shards in the cover, I could feel them in there. The back of the
cover was the canvas backing of the vinyl that made up the cover and it was
various shades of brown and green, likely sun and moisture damage from being
stored for years. So I had my work cut out for me.

These are some of the pics I have showing the cover before I attacked it.

The hooks and cords to attach to the hatch glass.



The underside of the cover.



The next post I will go through the details of restoring the cover.






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Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:31 PM   #2
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Default Restoration of the cover

First I cleaned the cover with warm soapy water on the bottom side and covered it
with Goop hand cleaner on the top side. I used a soft bristle brush and some
water to scrub and rinse both sides. Then let it dry for a week or so in my garage
while I collected what I needed to do the rest.

I decided I would replace all the snaps and got 2 of these snap kits at Lowes
that are meant for repairing boat covers and such. It contains tools to install the
female part of the snap in the canvas and a male snap piece with a sheet metal
screw to allow for easy installation. These are almost identical as the old ones
I removed from my car when I realized I had lost the cover.



I also got some stainless steel S hooks of the right size to replace the 3 hooks
at the rear and I bought 2 cans of Duplicolor flat black vinyl paint to use on the
bottom side. To fix the crumbled plastic reinforcement in the cover I picked up
a sheet of plastic ceiling tile at Lowes.

Heres the bottom side painted with the flat black. Makes a world of difference and
will look nice when the hatch is opened. I had replaced the snaps at this poing as well.



Doing the snaps



Slit open the wings and dumped out what was left of the reinforcing plastic.





I cut out the plastic sheet to fit the wings and inserted it into the wings using the
slit I cut to empty it. I then slipped some duct tape upsidedown under slit to
keep it closed. A more permanent solution will be to use some iron-on patches from
a sewing store but I wasn't thrilled with the way the platsic worked out and will
be replacing it with some thick vinyl sheet which won't crack or crumble when
bent.
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1980 GS stockport, Fat Nikki, RB Dual Facetfuel pumps, Holley regulator, RB Street port exhaust, 2GDFIS, MR2 MK I electric fans, 2G strut bar, relayed fans, lights and fuel pump, LEDs

Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:45 PM   #3
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Default Finish cover restoration

Heres the plastic being cut for the wings



Inserting the plastic in the wings



And sealing up the slits



Next I took a look at the rear hatch attachment hooks and elastic bands.
Each wing has an imbedded aluminium tube that had a long elastic cord that ran
the length of the tube imbedded in the wing. These were fastened by being sewn
into the back edgd of the wing as part of the assembly. Mr. Murphy struck and
made these old elastic cords break loose. So I pulled the tubes out and cut the
cords to a short length of good cord. I then crimped a loop on one end and
inserted it into the tube and achored it with a screw run through the width of the
tube. I then reinserted the tubes into the wings and replaced the 3 hooks with
new stainless steel (this is the center hook):



Ok, cleaned both sides and painted bottom of cover, replaced snaps, restored
wing reinforcment, restored attaching cords and hooks. All thats left is
installation.
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1980 GS stockport, Fat Nikki, RB Dual Facetfuel pumps, Holley regulator, RB Street port exhaust, 2GDFIS, MR2 MK I electric fans, 2G strut bar, relayed fans, lights and fuel pump, LEDs

Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:59 PM   #4
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Default Installation of the cover

This cover and my old cover differed slightly in the number of mount snaps
on the bar and on the lower valance that drapped over the front of the bar.
Original cover had 2 snaps on the bar and only 3 on the lower valance. This
cover has 3 on the bar and 7 on the lower valance. The rear snaps were the
same (one on the end of each wing) but didn't line up exactly where the old
holes were.

So I got my drilled and proceeded to install all 12 snaps in the car. While doing
this there was a lot of installing/deinstalling the cover to make sure I had good
snap placement and tension once it was all installed.

Theres a bit of glass glare but this is the installed cover



Heres a picture from the inside driver side door



And when its opened



I know the picture are kind of poor but I'll get some better ones later with a real
camera instead of my cell phone.

Of course its not complete. I want to redo the wings and rear reinforcement and
I want to hit it with some pledge polish to make the vinyl shine like new.

Most of all I want to thank Mike for contacting me and making this possible.

My SA is whole again.
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1980 GS stockport, Fat Nikki, RB Dual Facetfuel pumps, Holley regulator, RB Street port exhaust, 2GDFIS, MR2 MK I electric fans, 2G strut bar, relayed fans, lights and fuel pump, LEDs

Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00

Last edited by t_g_farrell; 01-13-2017 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:04 AM   #5
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Default

For anyone having issues with the pics, heres a link to the google album containing them.

Thank google for this advanced imaging service.

https://goo.gl/photos/EQDyxB3CuC8EzpWeA
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Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00
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Old 01-18-2017, 07:54 AM   #6
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Ha, this couldn't have been timed better. I was thinking about making the restoration of my cargo cover a Winter project and this just may be the inspiration I need!

Mine looks to be in a little better condition than the one you started with. Looks like the biggest issue I'm going to have is finding replacements for the aluminum support rods for the middle piece since one is broken and the other two are bent. The internal plastic support is a little crunchy but looks to be intact overall. The elastic string and hook on the driver's side is also missing. Do you have any pictures showing where all the hooks connect to the hatch? That's something I've yet to figure out.

Last edited by infernosg; 01-18-2017 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:09 AM   #7
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Default

Yours sounds a bit different from mine. I only have 2 aluminum supports rods, one on each
side by the wings. If the driver side elastic is broke the other will be soon as well. Do
yourself a favor and address both while you are in there. Mine were run through the rods
and anchored (sewed in) at the other end. They both broke after I washed and then let
things dry. I ended up cutting them into shorter pieces and attaching then near the back
end of each rod by running a screw through the rod into a loop I had made in the cord.
I then attached the hook to the loop on the end hanging out. I made the loops by
crimping the ends with some modified spark plugs ends I had laying about.

The middle hook just goes right on the latch D of the glass. There is room for it to be on
there even with the hatch closed and latched. The two side hooks I just hooked into the
hinge for each of the struts. I'll work on getting some more pics of this if you need it.
I have some pic issues at the moment I am working through thanks to google.
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1980 GS stockport, Fat Nikki, RB Dual Facetfuel pumps, Holley regulator, RB Street port exhaust, 2GDFIS, MR2 MK I electric fans, 2G strut bar, relayed fans, lights and fuel pump, LEDs

Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00

Last edited by t_g_farrell; 01-18-2017 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:41 AM   #8
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Weird. Yeah mine has an aluminum rod that runs across the cover from side to side. It looks like yours has the provision for it in the 3rd picture in your first post. The ends of the sleeve are open but they're covered by the excess sleeve material for the sides.

I'm probably going to have to completely replace the elastic pieces. The passenger's side is intact but is definitely showing signs of UV breakdown. The one in the middle has completely lost all of its elasticity. I like your idea of securing the cord to the rod but I'll have to figure something else out for the middle support.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infernosg View Post
Weird. Yeah mine has an aluminum rod that runs across the cover from side to side. It looks like yours has the provision for it in the 3rd picture in your first post. The ends of the sleeve are open but they're covered by the excess sleeve material for the sides.

I'm probably going to have to completely replace the elastic pieces. The passenger's side is intact but is definitely showing signs of UV breakdown. The one in the middle has completely lost all of its elasticity. I like your idea of securing the cord to the rod but I'll have to figure something else out for the middle support.
You may be right. Mine had plastic support in the tail flap closest to the rear of
the hatch which I didn't fix yet. I wondered if a support was in that middle
part before the flap. I may look into it further. I even thought about putting
support at a couple of places across the middle section just to make it sit
straighter. Or maybe attach a stiffer backing to it. Of course I don't want to
make it so heavy it sinks down further.

You should start a thread or show your cover here in this one or both.
Amazing how many folks have come forward since I posted this that also
have one of these. Not so rare as I thought but also not that popular I guess.
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1980 GS stockport, Fat Nikki, RB Dual Facetfuel pumps, Holley regulator, RB Street port exhaust, 2GDFIS, MR2 MK I electric fans, 2G strut bar, relayed fans, lights and fuel pump, LEDs

Project Fat Nikki Budget 12A rebuild Video setup < $30.00
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