First off I just want to let anyone reading this that I am trying to keep my Monte as close to factory as possible with a few modern conveniences. I am in the process of restoring the interior of my 71 Monte and I just wanted to share what I’m doing so hopefully it may help out someone else. First off I removed the entire interior with the exception of the headliner and rear sail panels. Over the winter I had the front bucket seats recovered using black vinyl covers and foam pads I bought from OPG. The covers were a good match to the factory covers but the foam was way off compared to the original. The upholster had to work his magic and add in more foam to make them work. Once the seats were taken apart I noticed the drivers seat had 3 broken springs so I ordered a new bottleneck spring set from OPG and it is pretty stiff. I am 6’1” and my head will touch the headliner now and my legs rub on the bottom the the steering wheel. Hopefully the springs will lose some tension after a while. The back seat was fine so I didn’t do anything with that. Years ago I got in an accident with the car and my knee hit the original dash and cracked it so I replaced it with an aftermarket one. I removed the aftermarket one since it never fit right, the screw holes to hold the dash pad on didn’t line up and it just didn’t look right to me. I fixed the crack on the original dash and filled in various holes that were drilled into the bottom of the dash that were for an aftermarket AC until that was installed back in the mid 70’s. Now I just need to paint the dash. Since the speedometer never worked that well since I’ve owned the car I had it rebuilt. I did install an aftermarket OER quartz clock for it in 2006 but the numbers were a little different then original and the hands on the clock are plastic so they didn’t look the same at night when the dash was lit up. Factory hands have a different size hole so they will not work on the quartz mechanism. For the most authentic look I found a NOS clock face and painted the plastic hands with white primer and then painted them with fluorescent red needle paint to make them look like the others. I also had a refurbished factory am/fm radio in it so I removed that and bought a new retro style radio from Vintage audio radio. Looks really close to the original, just hope it receives better then the original, and if not it has Bluetooth. I also bought new cables for the dash and kick panel vents and they were perfect to the originals and new vent flaps and they fit great too, first time to have functional vents! I got a roll of butyl tape from Napa to apply around the vents to seal them up to prevent water from getting in.
Removed the carpet i purchased from ACC that I put in the car back in 2006. As for the carpet it seemed to wear ok but I wasn’t overly impressed with the jute padding on the back. It was by far thinner and covered less of the carpet then what came on the factory carpet, which brings me to the main reason why I’m redoing the interior. I did a dB test of the interior sound and at idle it was 73db, 40mph was 83db, and at 70mph was 89 dB. Not sure if it’s me getting older or what but I wanted to get the sound levels down. I decided to remove all the factory sound deadener that is like a thick tar paper that’s under the carpet and install Rockmat sound and heat bearior. It’s like dynamat but a lot cheaper and came in 50 sq ft roles so I’m hoping for fewer seams. The sound deadener is a butyl rubber and there is no smell to it at all. I plan I starting behind the dash and going all the way back up to the packaging tray. The factory divider board on my car was the same thick tar paper sound deadener that was found under the carpet and was sagging and falling apart. I ordered a new one which is more of a cardboard material. I plan on putting that in and putting the Rockmat over it for more sound deadening. Since the jute paring is subpar under the carpet and let’s face it jute doesn’t do much anyway so I am adding another layer of dyna pad under the carpet. The dyna pad does not have any adhesive on it so it will be used on the floor pans. In areas like under the dash and behind the door panels I am using a Dynapad since that is available in different thicknesses. I ran into a little problem when I removed the factory sound deadener from the floor pans and under the rear seat. Apparently water was leaking in from the side windows and getting pass the water Shields. Over time it managed to rust and create a few small holes on the floor pans. The car is going into the body shop in two weeks to have that taken care off. I will do another DB sound test when I drive it there to see what the sound level is with no interior.
When the previous owner sprayed the truck with spatter paint he didn’t clear coat over it so when it got wet the paint came right up. I bought a can of aqua/black to freshen the splatter paint up and wow I was surprised how little it actually covers. I ended up ordering 2 more cans today. I would recommend painting the truck gray first and then applying the splatter paint. I’m going to matte clear it when I’m done. For the rear speakers I put in new pioneer 6x9s to go with the new radio. Since I want the car to look as close as I can how it left the factory I’m installing the jute insulation boxes over the speakers, problem is the new speakers do not have mounting stud like the originals did. I epoxy glued 1/4” elevator bolts to the speaker magnets. That way it will look the same once the speaker is mounted and the cover is on and I’m using the factory style spring clip on the elevator bolt to hold the box on. I also had a guy make up a radio and speaker harness that will work with the new stereo system that looks identical to the original, I know once installed it will never be visible but I know it looks correct. I have a bunch of pictures, if I can figure out how to post them on here I will. I will also post updates after I get the car back from the body shop and continue with the interior.
I figured how to add the pictures. I added some of the factory sound deadener. I have many more and if anyone wants me to upload one of anything specific let me know. One thing too I found a third build sheet for the car when I pulled the back of the rear seat out. It was under the springs. One other one was attached to the inside of the front fender but was rustproofed over and the first was given to me in a folder when I bought the car so not sure where that one was found.
Well it’s been a few months but I got my Monte back from the shop with new floor pan sections and they did a wonderful job, they made everything line up perfect and it’s hard to tell that the pans were ever repaired. I also put new front springs and shocks in. Along with that I put new oem style rear control arms in with a sway bar and correct hardware, the car rides really nice. The new seat springs and covers help too! Prior to putting the interior in I cover the floor with POR15 and rockmat sound deadener. On top of the rockmat I put a layer of dynapad and/or dynaliner depending on the location. It dropped the interior road noise by about 20 dBs! I also repaired and put the original dash back in with fits so much better then the aftermarket one that I took out. A rebuilt speedometer and new vent cables mean I now can tell how fast I’m going and able to have the vents open which I’ve never been able to do since I bought the car in 2005! I put in a repro original style radio that has Bluetooth. It was really spendy but it was worth it, radio stations come in great. I couldn’t be any happier with the outcome of the car.