6/26/03 My latest ebay purchase (I guess I have an unoffical goal of getting mod materials/products only off of ebay) is a full hide of "Dark Graphite" Katzkin leather. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with this but at the very least want to redo the e-brake cover and cover the e-brake handle itself along with the center armrest, the shifter and steering wheel. I looked at Wheelskins and yawned...not a good enough fit. I'd rather learn how do the whole thing myself and have it look factory and not look like it was an add-on. Plans so far include finishing up with my tilting headrest project (miss those from my 3rd gen.) I bought a pair of 3rd gen headrests off ebay for cheap and I'm using those and covering them with the '97 fabric. I need to do some altering here and there as the 3rd gen headrests are taller and the 4th gens are shorter and fatter. Other plans include some kind of different headliner. Looking at mohair maybe. I swore I'd never do another headliner over again but this car doesn't have a moonroof so that makes it tons easier to contend with. Guess we'll see. Oh...I also got some chrome gauge rings (ebay as well thank you) and whoever said it's easy musta had some different rings. I need to reinstall the speedo as it slipped a tad out of position. Oh well, they do look good though. More updates as I start and finish stuff! 7/22/03 More updated stuff...console and E-brake recovered...hope to get to the shifter this coming weekend. This is the E-Brake handle covered with leather. I30's have the seam on top but it was a tad easier with getting a pattern together with the seam on the bottom. Construction notes: I used a fork (I saw on a Bentley page somewhere where the guy that does their steering wheels uses the same instrument!) to mark the location for the stitches. Make sure all your stitches are the same distance from the edge of the leather otherwise it looks crappy. After the sewing was done (Baseball stitch using 2 needles and nylon upholstery thread) I carved the inside tip wider with an exacto knife so that that I could roll the leather around the edge where the e-brake button is...this provided clearance needed for the button to fit. Relief cuts (more like notches, really, every 1/8") were used so that it wasn't all bunched together once folded under. Fast set expoxy used to make sure nothing moves at the tip. Here's me sewing the armrest cover. Notes: I used those big paper pincher clips to hold the pieces together around the curve so that everything stayed in place when I sewed. I took the old cover off and took it apart to get my pattern. Sketched pattern then used a rotary cutter to get the absolute cleanest edge. Follow the factory marker notches so everything aligns. Half of the (inside out) armrest cover done. After the sewing was done, I used 2 layers of 1/8" foam I had to layer the top of the armrest form. When you remove the OEM cover, you learn it's attached to some foam with some adhesive. I used my foam to make sure the pulled-off bits didn't telegraph thru the finished top. I also used a bit of spray adhesive to get the finished seams on the underside going and staying in the same orientation...all mine face inward towards each other. This provides a very neat, factory look so you don't have unsightly areas where the seams are going in different directions, IE, seam starts out laying on top then shifts to the sides. E-brake boot cover. OK, this was more difficult and begins to show the limit of a home sewing machine. I knew the long edges would sew around the metal wire frame OK (and also show) so this was my starting point. The ends that tuck under wouldn't be seen so it didn't have to be as neatly sewn...and it wasn't due to the shape of the wire frame. You can get snap fasteners at a hobby/craft store (I hate going to those places cuz you're the only guy and everyone looks at you, but I digress) and those provided a factory look. I suspect the shifter will take 2 days. Need to remove it, carve around areas so that the leather can tuck around areas, figure out my pattern (Nissan uses butt seams where raw edge meets raw edge--nice looking but tricky--unlike some aftermarket add-ons which use 2 folded seams which adds bulk and look different) and then the sewing. Pics later for that. 8/22/03 Shifter is finally done! I put this off because I knew this one wasn't going to be easy. But, the results are actually pretty good if I say so myself. =D The crapo-cam doesn't do it justice. The whole leather effect really looks good with the remade E-brake boot and handle coverings and the armrest. Feels really good too. Process follows... First, I had to remove the shifter itself. I was having difficulty getting the connector off its little perch so I just ended up cutting the wires. Next, I carved (using an exacto knife...the shifter is made of a soft rubber-type material and cuts like butta) around the shifter button and overdrive button. This was necessary so that I could tuck the leather into the recesses to look more professional. The little pieces that were carved out are visible though I wish I hadn't carved out as much around the overdrive button. Getting a pattern together. I had some scrap hanging around and used those to come up with a rough pattern. I marked where I wanted the bottom of the covering to start on the shifter and also a centerline marking on each piece of scrap. I pretty much followed the factory mold parting line to get the pattern for the 2 halves. After about an hour of fine tuning, I traced my patterns onto the good leather and used my rotary cutter to get my pieces. Before I started stitching, I glued and folded the very bottom of the pieces about a 1/4"...this gave a finished bottom. I marked a few stitches on both pieces with my trusty fork and then started sewing the 2 pieces together all at once--4 needles and thread. I got a couple stitches done per side (keeping them loose) and slipped the pieces over the shifter, tightened the stitches and continued to work about an inch at a time per side. Completed shifter. I stopped sewing the "buttons" side when I reached the overdrive button. I then secured the leather to the shifter with some leather cement so that I could make any final trimming prior to the last of the sewing (my pattern was a little off). I kept sewing the long side until I reached the top edge of the shifter button. Here's where the most time consuming part happened with getting the final fitting and trimming done so I could tuck the edges into the recesses I carved out. After the cutting was done, I cemented the parts into the recesses. The final bit of sewing was the little 1/4" between the two buttons and cementing those edges in. I cut my holes for the 2 screws in back and then worked on getting the car back together. You'll notice I covered the "OVERDRIVE" writing..I originally planned on having that showing but I knew this detail would make it a 2 day project instead of a very long one day project. It was simply easier to cover it.