C10 Builder's Guide TACKLING YOUR INTERIOR WITH TMI
TRANSFORMING THE interior of a C10 truck can be a huge undertaking, and it can also make a huge impact in a classic truck. Really, you have four options when it comes to the inside of the cab: You can leave it original and deal with worn-out seat springs and torn material, you can grab some factory replacement panels and covers from a number of suppliers, you can take your truck to an upholstery shop for a full custom interior, or you can do what we did and turn to TMI Products. The company has been around for more than 20 years and began offering products for street trucks several years ago.
TMI Products is a name that is being heard more and more around the classic truck community. Enthusiasts have really started to appreciate the value of a
company that can custom tailor an interior that will bolt right into their classic truck. TMI has a ton of options and covers all the C10 and F1 trucks. It offers different seat styles, different stitch patterns and a wide variety of materials to transform your blanket covered seat, rotted door panels and cracked dash pad into something completely custom—which is exactly what we intended to do on our project.
Hopefully you’ve been following along on the series of articles we’ve been doing on this 1970 Chevrolet C10. If not, here’s a quick rundown. We started with a project that most would have left for the scrapper. The entire back of the truck was missing, the bed was missing, and the cab had a bunch of rust. All in all, it just needed a lot of work. We’ve highlighted a few of those steps already, and in this installment we are going to tackle a completely new interior from TMI Products. Check out the process in the following photos.
01-02 As stated in the introduction, this truck was pretty far gone when we picked it up, but we are determined to get it back on the road. What was left of the stock interior is nothing but trash. You can see that the radio cut out has been mangled, the dash is pretty much gone, the flooring is non-existent, and the seat is worn beyond repair.
04 Our first order of business was going to be getting all the old parts ripped out of the truck and access the amount of sheet metal repair we needed to get done before installing the new interior. We began by removing the old crusty seat.
05 With the seat out, we began to see some more issues with the floor, but the good news was that there was a used dash piece to fill the cut-up radio hole under the seat.
03 The door panels are actually in decent shape and could be reused, but we are going for a more custom look and feel to the interior of this truck, so the steel door panels have got to go.
6-8 Since we are doing a full interior makeover, the steering column and gauges are coming out as well. We removed the sheet metal trim piece under the instrument cluster first, which then gave us access to remove the bracket holding the column under the dash. After removing the second bracket on the outside of the firewall, we were able to pull the steering column out of the truck.
9-11 Removing the stock instrument cluster was next, and it was as simple as removing the screws around the perimeter of the bezel and disconnecting the few wires and speedo cable that were still attached.
13 Now, let’s flash forward a few weeks. As you saw in the first couple of photos, the floor of this trucks had a bit of rust. Also, common to this body style C10, the rockers and kick panels were pretty much toast. We spent a lot of time replacing floor sections, inner and outer rockers, cowl panel and a lot of the firewall. We also got the new radio piece welded in and all the small dents taken out of the inside of the truck. Then a fresh coat of paint was applied to the dash, doors, door jams, headliner and the pillars.
14-15 Speaking of sound deadener, we reached out to Roy over at Vibro Solutions to help us insulate this
C10. They have a complete package for these C10s that will cover everything from the firewall to the back wall of a standard C10 cab. We opted for the PRO package, which also includes some extra acoustical foam.
17 On the back wall of the cab we installed the 15 mm, open cell, acoustical foam.
16 We began installing the 2mm vibrodamping mats. These have an adhesive back, so it is as simple as rolling the mats to fit them to the contours of the sheet metal.
12 A razor blade was used to remove the brittle weather seals. This was probably the most timeconsuming part of the removal of all of the interior.
21-22 Next, we installed each side piece of carpet, which overlaps the center piece of carpet with a binded edge on the side pieces.
26-27 A couple pieces we fixed and painted were the radio opening, ash tray, and glove box. These are all painted to match the new color we applied to the dash. The exposed sheet metal of this truck’s interior is all treated to a satin finish.
28-29 Of course, with the brand-new interior, we had to make sure the truck cab is sealed tightly. In place of the old crusty glue on door seals, we installed a new set of press on door seals from Precision Replacement Parts. These go on exactly as the name states... they simply press on. There is only one hard corner on the seals, so that is where we started with the installation.
18 Covering the entire floor area and continuing up the firewall a bit is the 6mm insulator foam, which is also as easy as just trimming to fit, peeling the back off, and adhering it over the top of the 2 mm mats.
20 To begin the installation of the new interior, the TMI carpet kit goes in. This is a three-piece kit that starts with the center of the cab.
19 It was now finally time to really start throwing some parts at this truck’s interior! We ordered the complete interior package from TMI. We also ordered a new set of gauges from Dakota Digital, and a steering column from Ididit. A few miscellaneous pieces were also ordered from Classic Industries to help us complete the interior.
23 With all three sections down, you can see how much of a transformation carpet can make. We chose to go with black carpet for this truck because it will hide plenty of dirt, plus it will make our seats and door panels pop!
24-25 The carpet kit also included a piece of carpet for the back wall and carpet for the kick panels, which will both be held in place with spray adhesive.
33 Here’s a look at our new carpet kit, fully secured with new seals and sill plates, and ready for our new seat.
35 For gauges, we ordered a set of Dakota Digital’s HDX series with a black alloy face. The HDX series is a completely digital gauge set that has two display screens that can be programmed in a number of different ways, to display anything from trans temp to boost level.
30 A new set of sill plates from Classic Industries will hold down both the new carpet and the new door seals.
We attached the gauges to the new bezel that we picked up from Classic Industries. A couple of #6 screws is all it took to install the two pieces together.
34 Before we get to the seat, we wanted to take care of a couple other items that would be a bit easier with the seat still removed. One of those items is the brake pedal bracket, which also secures the steering column. We also wanted to install this before the gauges, since one of the mounting locations is directly behind them.
32 After cutting holes in the new carpet kit for the seat mounting holes, we ran a tap through the threads to clean the junk that has been caught in the stock seat mounting bolt locations.
31 To secure the sill plates, we had to drill some new holes through the floor of the truck. We made sure to go slow with this step so we didn’t pull the carpet with the bit.
47 Another really cool part that we ordered from Ididit was their ID Push button ignition system. We were also super impressed that the button threaded right into the stock ignition trim ring. Just like the gauges, we’ll wire this up at a later time.
46 We chose to go with the black powder coated steering column, but
Ididit also offers them in machined and polished finishes. This is a tilt column that also has a built in neutral safety switch, column mounted shifter, and all the levers and knobs for turn signals and hazard lights.
48 Finally, we are ready to start installing the TMI parts, beginning with their replacement sun visors.
43 A couple other new parts from Classic Industries went in at this time as well, like the new headlight switch and all of its pieces.
40-42 After securing the gauges to the trim bezel, we installed them with some #10 screws. The gauges needed to be installed before we turned our attention to the steering column because it’s much easier with the column out of the way.
44-45 The new Ididit direct fit column was installed next. Since the column is a direct replacement, it uses all the same mounts that the factory column did. So we installed the under dash bracket and the firewall bracket to secure it in place.
39 We’ll wire up the gauges later on, so for now we just plugged in the cables that connect the gauges to the main module so we could secure them into our newly painted dash.
49 The sun visors can be a bit difficult to install over the new rods, which we got from Classic Industries, but we took our time and got it done.
59 Here’s a look at the completed seat assembly before it went into the truck. The bucket seats are TMI’S Pro Classic with their VXR stitch pattern with a custom orange color material. The nice thing about the new buddy console is that if you already had their waterfall console, this will directly replace that. It will be as easy as drilling the four holes we just did.
50-52 After we had the sun visors assembled, we installed them in the factory location with some new hardware. We also installed the clips that the visors lock into when closed.
53-54 Moving along to the biggest piece of the interior puzzle, we began assembling the seats. The new seats come with adjustable sliders that attach to the bottom of the seats with the provided hardware, and an Allen head wrench.
60 Installing the assembly is a breeze, other than the weight. But the two of us were able to simply carry the seat into the truck and bolt it down in the factory bench seat location.
62 The molded sport series dash was next to be installed. There are several attachments on the underside of the dash pad that will secure it to the sheet metal dash.
55-56 The seats then attach to the provided seat bracket, again with the provided hardware.
61 Here’s a look at the new TMI seat completely installed. The color sure does pop against the teal colored paint and black carpet!
57 A brand new product from TMI is their new center “buddy console.” Since it is so new, we needed to drill our own holes in the seat bracket. It did come with the slider already installed it, so we just need to line it up between the buckets and mark our holes.
58 Using the studs on the sliders as a guide, we drilled the four mounting holes for the new buddy bucket.
70 TMI provides a template, which we used, to mark the holes that need to be drilled in the bottom of the door. These holes will accept the push in fasteners that come attached to the new TMI door panels.
66 Wrapping up the dash area are the levers and knobs for the Ididit column. The shifter is held on by an Allen head set screw, the blinker arm installs with the provided phillips head screw, and the tilt and hazard knobs thread right in.
67 Another piece to the interior puzzle is our new TMI Products door panel. We started the installation of these by holding the plastic template for the new door pull bracket against the door.
63-65 Installing the dash is pretty easy too. It slides right in place and is secured from underneath with the mounting studs and some washers and nuts.
68-69 We used the template to mark the mounting holes, then drilled them out and installed the screws that secure the bracket to the door panel.
71 We used the appropriate sized drill bit that was called out in the instructions, and drilled the 5 mounting holes.
75 All that is left to finish off the door panels is the installation of the factory window and door cranks, which snap right back onto the regulators.
72 The door panel was then held in place on the door and we found where the door and window actuators poked through. We used a sharp razor blade to carefully slice holes in the material, allowing the actuators to come through and the door panel to sit flush against the door.
79 The new steering wheel can then be installed with the provided Allen head hardware, and that’s it!
80 In one day, in your own garage, with minimal tools... you can transform your boring stock interior or your dilapidated old interior... to this! We threw the whole line of TMI parts at this interior and it came out great. The color of the TMI interior offsets the paint color perfectly and we couldn’t be happier.
76 The last part of the interior to go on is the steering wheel. Since we have an Ididit steering column and a TMI Products steering wheel, we actually received two different adapters... one from each company.
Either one is compatible with the combination of parts.
78 We chose to go with the Ididit steering wheel adapter, which is simply installed with the center nut. One thing to pay close attention to is the location of the turn signal cancellation switch. It should be positioned with the horn button wire at about 11 o’clock.
77 Here’s a look at the TMI steering wheel.
It came wrapped in matching material, and it’s a full wrap so it’s super comfortable.
73-74 With the door panel in place, we installed the door pulls to our previously installed brackets with the provided hardware.