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1,188 Posts
Discussion Starter #105
I still want to make it Agate (or Dark Slate) over Taupe. Also the dash needs replacing. I'm missing 2 door panels and the weatherstripping to make the swap happen.

1,188 Posts
Discussion Starter #106
I've been wanting to do this for nine years now, ever since I got the car: replace the carpet. The hole by the dead pedal has always been a thorn in my side. I came close to getting a carpet some time ago, but after stripping most of the interior out I found it to be sopping wet and gave up.

While in the yard getting parts for the `01, I came across a 300M with several interior pieces already removed. That and the fact the its been dry lately and the doors were closed led me to take the plunge and finally get myself a carpet. Took about 2 hours to move in 95 degree weather but I got it. Luckily I brought my jump pack with me and the car still has its engine and harness intact so I could move the seat forward to access the bolts!

It was a bit wet but didn't smell despite being quite dirty and it wasn't moldy or anything. I gave it a good cleaning and let it dry in the sun for a couple days until it was totally dry.

Upon arrival.

After vacuuming:

After cleaning:

The last photo of the interior with its original carpet...notice the hole.

Carpet removed:

"New" carpet in and most of the trim pieces put back in:

Took some time to repaint the seat mounting brackets as well as the bolts.

All back together!

I have the `01 my new, generic front floor mats for its OEM ones. I pressure washed and dried them. They are solid but kind of faded, I'm going to dry VHT vinyl/carpet dye on them soon.


1,188 Posts
Discussion Starter #109 (Edited)
Its fun to look back and see how far things have come since I've had the car.

November will be ten years I've had her.

So what's new?

Well, since last Spring, the trunk lid has come down with a case of Chrysler clear coat peel. Started out with just a couple small spots, but quickly got worse to the point where it became very unsightly. Even was enough, so over my vacation I took a couple days to correct this.

Here's the problem:

Here's the solution:

I used SEM high build primer, sealer, Diamont base coat, mixed to the paint code, and cleared it with 2k Glamour clear coat.

SEM primer is superior to Duplicolor primer.

Likewise, Diamont is a high quality base, like Chroma-base, which are better quality than Nason base.

The clear coat is special. Unlike any other clear coat product in a spray can, this contains hardener. This stuff is more on par with what a body shop would actually use. Once you activate it (pressing the plunger at the bottom of the can in), you get 48 hours to use it. This stuff means business, so I got a respirator for applying the chemicals.

I removed the trunk lid to make it easier to work on and not have to mask off surrounding areas. This worked out, because it got cool that night, so I brought the lid inside to cure overnight.

Sanded down. Really wish I had a DA sander (and a compressor). Had to make do with a drill and 3M Stikit attachment. Better then hand sanding, because even this method took a couple hours, but I couldn't it perfectly smooth because of the radial action and difficulty keeping it stable on a drill.

In the garage for paint.

Finally, clear.

One thing I learned while experimenting with the left ever clear I had, is that this, unlike most paints, like to go on heavy. I did medium coats and got noticeable orange peel. Being that I really only had one shot at this, I didn't want to make runs and hadn't used the product before. However, I used it on an old Matchbox (1988) I had test painted, and applied it heavily. very glossy.

Learning experience for when I do the Prizm's roof. Also not doing that project without a DA sander.

The lid needed to dry overnight, so the Intrepid slept with no trunk. Luckily the rain held off.

A few days later, I wet sanded starting at 1000 grit, then moving to 1500 > 2000 > 2500 and finally 3000 before buffing it with 3M rubbing compound and 3M polishing compound with my radial buffer.

Like a mirror. Until I get to buff the rest of the car, its currently a better finish than the factory paint (its due for a good detailing).

There is a hue difference up close, no doubt due to the 16 year difference in paints. However, from a few feet away its hardly noticeable, which is impressive considering I didn't blend any panels.

So from start to finish:

While not perfect, I'm very happy with the results. Its a damn sight better than it was, and it keeps the car presentable until such time as I can have the whole thing repainted.
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