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Aftermarket leather interior is done

Old 02-01-2004, 12:10 PM
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Aftermarket leather interior is done

Since Mazda forced me to get a sport package equipped car instead of the GT (I didn't want the moonroof), I planned on getting the interior re-done with leather. The fact is that the stock cloth material is of quite good quality, so after taking delivery of the 8, I had second thoughts - but I always wanted leather and then I realized that despite the cloth being nice, it picks up lints and other dirt rather quickly. So I decided to go with the original plan and brought the car to Classic Soft Trim. They ususally work with dealers, but are apparently willing to take walk-in customers too. It worked out quite well, let alone the fact that I saved a few hundred dollars by going directly to them and avoiding the dealer's markup
They charge $900 for single color and $1050 for two-tone interior. Yes, it's expensive - but I started to realize that I'm actually quite happy about not getting the GT package since this is cheaper than that, and besides, I have the base stereo that's a lot easier to upgrade than the Bose

I liked the two-tone style of the stock interior, so I wanted to mimick that. The stock black/red was a good combo, even though the red was too bright for me - so I settled to a color called 'medium red' and the black. Despite the fact that the included pictures don't show this really well, it is indeed less bright than the stock red...
I was very tempted to go with their 'brick' color instead of the red (which is somewhat like the stock chaparral interior, only the brown is a tad darker) but then the red won me over

Before I brought the car to CST, I took apart the entire interior myself, to ensure that no fastener or tab is broken when taking off the panels. I just don't trust anyone (especially not a car mechanic or an upholstery place) to take the same care not to butcher anything... call me crazy or what you will
Having the factory service manual has greatly helped me since I knew exactly where and what kind the fasteners are - so that told me where to pull or where is a tab that needs to be lifted etc.

The upholstery place didn't even take a day to complete the car. I dropped off the 8 in the morning and got it at 5 PM - and again, I was the one who put the panels back on, not them.
By the way, the stock cloth seat covers came off very easily (held in place with just hooks), so now I have the cloth covers in excellent condition too - have to figure out what to do with them.

OK, after this long-winded talk, here are a few pictures about the result:
Attached Thumbnails Aftermarket leather interior is done-image001.jpg  

Last edited by Tamas; 03-05-2006 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:10 PM
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From the side...
Attached Thumbnails Aftermarket leather interior is done-image003.jpg  
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:11 PM
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Closeup of the driver's seat...
Attached Thumbnails Aftermarket leather interior is done-image007.jpg  
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:12 PM
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Driver's side door...
Attached Thumbnails Aftermarket leather interior is done-image012.jpg  
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:12 PM
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Closeup of the passenger's seat...
Attached Thumbnails Aftermarket leather interior is done-image014.jpg  
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:17 PM
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I like it! Looks like you have ALL leather as well, instead of our vinyl/leather combo. Good job.
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:26 PM
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Dude...

I have to say it looks very, very nice. I'm curious why you did not go with the rubber side pieces that the oem ones have. If you look at the history of leather seats (miata, rx-7) the areas where mazda put the rubber stuff usually start to crack and split when it was leather in the rx-7, miata, etc. I thought that was the reason for the rubber.

I admit though it looks amazing. I plan on getting mine done with blue, I'll have the same theme as you but blue to match my exterior.
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Old 02-01-2004, 01:20 PM
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Looks good. I wanted leather but without all the extra stuff so I decided on the sports package also.
Can you make the insert any color you want or is there only a few color options. Didn't see it on they're site. I'd also get the rx8 logo embroided on the seats.
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Old 02-01-2004, 01:29 PM
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beautiful
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Old 02-01-2004, 02:58 PM
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that looks pretty clean...they did a clean job...
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Old 02-01-2004, 03:08 PM
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wow, that looks very nice

and I like the leather on the doors and edges of the seats

great idea
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Old 02-01-2004, 03:13 PM
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That looks outstanding. I am planning on the SP, so that could be a very real option for me too.

I know most upholstery places can do seat heaters at the same time too, so I might look into that as well.

What do the front seatbacks look like from the rear? Is there a map pocket or anything?
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Old 02-01-2004, 03:28 PM
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Tamas,

You didn't like what Mazda provided so you fixed/customized it until it was to your liking. No fault i can find there. Not to mention it looks great!
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:00 PM
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that looks great man.
where did you get the factory service manual from? sounds like it may come in useful
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:06 PM
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Only $1050?? Thats apretty good deal. I thought it would cost at least $2000 forthe whole thing.
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:12 PM
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gReat Stuff... look better than mine installed from Mazda Hiroshima factory.

I noticed the door handle is not clean. I found it is a bugger to clean them after I had a kick to it once when I tried to get out
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Old 02-01-2004, 07:25 PM
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Thanks for the compliments, folks

One word of caution with CST: even though they DO have the correct pattern for the RX-8, their drawings call for the door panel inserts to be the same color as the edge of the seats (so in my case black). I didn't realize this first and had to make a change after they ordered the covers already. Luckily, they had enough material in the store to re-cut those pieces, so I was good to go.

I like it! Looks like you have ALL leather as well, instead of our vinyl/leather combo. Good job.
Actually, not everything is real leather. All the seating surfaces are, yes. But the back of the seat and the door panels are vinyl - they match perfectly though.

I'm curious why you did not go with the rubber side pieces that the oem ones have. If you look at the history of leather seats (miata, rx-7) the areas where mazda put the rubber stuff usually start to crack and split when it was leather in the rx-7, miata, etc. I thought that was the reason for the rubber.
I hope it won't crack... if it does, I will be pissed off. I'll try to use some good leather conditioner to keep it in good shape - and CST gives a 3 or 4 years warranty on the leather.

I'll have the same theme as you but blue to match my exterior.
I was thinking of trying to match the titanium color of the car as the insert - but then I realized it would look too dull with gray/black interior, so what's the point?
I really think that the other good combo with the titanium is that black/brick I mentioned.
If you do yours with matching blue, it will look amazing. Since you already have the leather interior, you might just get the inserts swapped for blue and keep the rest, that would be a lot less money too. I'm sure the stock leather is held in place the same way the cloth is - which means it'll be easy to remove it without damage.

Can you make the insert any color you want or is there only a few color options. Didn't see it on they're site. I'd also get the rx8 logo embroided on the seats.
You can have almost any color you want... they have a shitload of colors to choose from. The leather hides they use are of very good quality. As for the logo, that's probably the single one thing I'd do otherwise if I'd do this again. I wish I'd have been aware that they can do that - they never mentioned it and I didn't check their Web site beforehand.
I was also thinking that maybe I should get the stitchin in red instead of the black - but then I thought that would only look good if the steering wheel and the shifter boot would have red stitching too. So I just opted for the black to keep it consistent.

I know most upholstery places can do seat heaters at the same time too, so I might look into that as well.
I'm sure they can do that too - I just wasn't interested in getting them.

What do the front seatbacks look like from the rear? Is there a map pocket or anything?
Yes, there is. Actually, there was only one map pocket on the cloth seats (on the passenger side), now I have a map pocket on both sides. The material looks just like the black leather on the front, and there is a little Classic Soft Trim logo pressed into the map pockets.

where did you get the factory service manual from? sounds like it may come in useful
PM or email Maniac (a member of this forum). He'll hook you up :D

I noticed the door handle is not clean. I found it is a bugger to clean them after I had a kick to it once when I tried to get out
Yeah, same here. The material they used for that piece isn't too great from this viewpoint - it's easy to get some dirt on it and it's hard to keep it clean
Plus, I think it won't wear too well either - it'll look rather ugly as the time passes.
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Old 02-01-2004, 07:45 PM
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Looks awesome, pricing is not too bad like you said...its what you wanted, well done.
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:33 PM
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Just awesome, Tamas!!! Especially for $1050!!!!!

Better than factory IMO. The leather on the edges of the seats is what we should have had from the beginning.

Mazda will probably do that next year.
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:46 PM
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Well, after seeing G35 seats (admittidly not a Mazda) with 20k miles, I think there was some validity to Mazda placing vinyl where they did. The G's seats were all wrinkly and creased and didn't look good. With 20k, that's way too early for that.

But hopefully the aftermarket ones will behave nicely with some proper conditioning.
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:50 PM
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That looks incredible, man... I'm impressed. It looks so much better than that rubbery vinyl crap the OEM leather seats get around the ***-support area. If they used good quality leather, those areas will last fine for a long time. Mazda has been using some cheezy cheap leather in the Miatas since '99, but prior to that they used nice thick stuff that held up well (just sold my '96 with 100k+ miles and most of those years in South Florida sunshine, and they held up great.

I also love the idea of more realistic (leather, or even leather-like vinyl) door inserts- the hard plastic stuff they use to simulate the leather color in the OEM is a little on the cheap side.
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:25 AM
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success07, Dude this would look AWSOME in....... YELLOW!
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:06 AM
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Really nice!!!!
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:32 PM
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Freehk - Agree 100%

Tamas - Are they able to do the steering wheel and shift **** also? At what additional price?
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:37 PM
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According to their Web site, they do certain steering wheels. Not sure about the RX-8 wheel.
I suppose they should be able to do both, but have no idea about the cost. Just call them up and ask.
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