When I went to go check on the gauge cluster surround’s progress, the continuing trend thus far prevailed once again – it needed yet another repaint. The small paint inconsistencies from prior had been remedied, but this time there was a new problem. Since the panel had been repainted so many times, the old paint was hard to strip off and the layers had accumulated to the point of distorting the turn signal holes. The “arrows” were no longer a defined shape with so much paint.
Luckily, I had previously purchased a brand new cluster surround and hood from Mazda in the smooth, ’93 finish. I planned on using only the black hood in place of the painted hood to prevent glare. In a last ditch effort, I delivered the new cluster to the body shop and asked them to repaint that one instead. We were close to finalizing this ordeal so I pressured the body shop to focus on this last piece. The gamble paid off and a few days later, I finally had the last piece to the interior puzzle in my hands and in a satisfactory finish.
The painter originally mixed over 3 times the amount of paint needed for the base coat. Throughout this whole process, that paint was used to the last drop.
I reassembled the gauges and peripheral components on to the panel on my bed, for fear of damaging the paint in any way.
Bringing this whole interior project to a full circle, I topped everything off by installing my new steering wheel assembly: a Works Bell Short Boss hub to a Rothsport Quick Release (had this thing collecting dust on my desk since August…) to a Sparco Ring steering wheel.
Changing the steering wheel was one of the inciting desires that gave impetus to the interior project. As nice as the rewrapped ’99 Nardi wheel was, it still felt too clumsy to steer with. Plus, although slightly smaller than the stock wheel, it would touch my thighs when driving occasionally. The 330mm D-shaped Sparco wheel addresses all these issues fantastically, I love the rawer driving experience it offers.
With the interior now looking like an actual interior, I can step back a little and take a breath of relief.