If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Weekend tinkering. Seats, Locks, and a bangin stereo for me tunes.

Yes, I have cleared the massive bird turd off.

The project to make the MR2 more pleasant continues. This time, replacing the torn seats, cleaning out 17 years of Human Slime, Replacing all the locks and ECU so I can get a spare key and replacing the speakers for some that actually sound better than what I assumed was worn out originals.

The first job was cleaning and swapping the seats. I also swapped the seatback to move the worn bolster over to the passenger side, which was a complete arse of a job, with much swearing. The culprit was the bar that moves the latching mechanism for the tilt. It’s inside the setback, and needs to be correctly aligned with the base. Once that was done it was time to break out the carpet cleaner to spruce the seats up a bit. The red does show the dirt and they’ve not been stored that well. They were either very cheap or thrown in with the wheels that are also now on the car, so I can’t complain too much.

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Before is the dark patch on the left.

They really cleaned up well.

Next up was cleaning out the human slime from the carpets of the car. The seven previous owners have left their marks.

Before:

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And After:

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Much better! Now with clean and bright seats! Still a little damp here.

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Now on to the hard part. The car only came with one key, the Valet key. This is annoying, it won’t lock or unlock the various storage compartments and cant be used to get a spare key. To rectify this involved replacing the ignition barrel and the other six lock barrels in the car. Plus the ECU.

The information for replacing the door barrels is a bit vague, I found a (Russian?) Youtube video which sort of showed how to replace the door handle, which was some help, but omitted a couple of things. First thing first was to get the door card off, which I needed to do to replace what would undoubtedly be the knackered OEM speakers. I’ve had a reasonably priced JBL component set waiting to go in for a while now.

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Oh, someone’s been in here before. Quite an expensive set of Infinitys from the early 2000s, demonstrating why not to use MDF. The speaker wasn’t securely attached, so was just vibrating about. The speaker was delaminating around the edge from the damp, so not worth saving. The crossover was VHB taped to the door skin, and covered with a carrier bag. Quality.

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Let’s have a look at the same setup on the passenger side.

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The more astute viewer may notice some differences. This is exactly how it was when I took the door card off. A completely different speaker, of a different type not mounted to anything at all. And broken. No wonder the sound was dreadful. On to fixing this mess!

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Now that’s more like it. The sound deadening was left over from my brother’s Defender, so it’s mostly offcuts. Instead of some MDF I bought the correct adapters, which cost less than £10 for the pair. Everything screwed right in. The one modification was replacing the standard tweeter grills as the JBL tweeter were too large to fit behind them. The JBL units came apart and fitted snugly into the existing hole in the door panel. If you were being picky then they aren’t on the slight angle to point at the seats that the stock ones were, but they sound fine.

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Overall it’s a little bit of work to make it feel fresher. Combined with the new suspension it’s slowly moving away from the call of the scrapman that it once faced. Now I’m likely to have a commute again I’m going to add some more miles, it’s done very little so far this year. With some actually gainful employment I’ll finally get the roof and engine replaced!

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