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1999 Ford F-150 Lightning - Project Stealth Fighter Part 5

Updating the Interior of Our Street Slayer

Maxwell Matthewson
Jul 18, 2014
Photographers: Maxwell Matthewson
Leading up to this story, all the upgrades to our 1999 Ford F-150 Lightning project, dubbed Project Stealth Fighter, have been performance based. Going fast is fun, but doing so in a beat-up interior is no fun at all. This time, we address the comfort and good-looks side of things. This truck had been through the wringer. Its last three years have been spent sitting in a paint shop, collecting untold amounts of sanding dust, rainwater from sitting outside, and paint fumes. It goes without saying the interior was thrashed.
The only answer to this predicament was to gut the interior and start over. Our first call was to ACC. One of the leaders in replacement auto carpets, ACC provides drop-in, direct-fit carpet kits for just about every car and truck on the road. Next, we called Roadwire and ordered new truck seat covers in elegant black perforated leather with yellow stitching to match our yellow Baer calipers. We figured this would also be the perfect opportunity to dress up the interior with some billet accent pieces. All Sales Manufacturing was the go-to manufacturer, and we ordered all the billet parts the company makes for the 1997 to 2003 Ford trucks. The last step was to take our headliner and beat-up steering wheel over to 714 Motorsports in Westminster, California, to have the headliner wrapped in suede and the steering wheel in matching black leather. Continue reading to see how easy it was to transform a flogged interior into one that is the perfect combination of comfort and aesthetics.
Photo 2/25   |   01.
1. The interior not only looked outdated, but the seats were also worn out, the carpet was stained, and there was a lingering odor of sweat, dust, and broken dreams.
Photo 3/25   |   02.
2. After pulling the seats out, we ripped out the carpet and threw it in the dumpster.
Photo 4/25   |   03.
3. To help quiet the interior and keep radiant heat to a minimum, we laid down a nice layer of Hushmat over the entire floor, door panels, roof, and back of the cab.
Photo 5/25   |   04.
4. Laying the carpet out was a no-frills affair. ACC makes sure all the holes are pre-cut and the carpet is pre-molded to the floor pan.
Photo 6/25   |   05.
5. The next goal was to update the look of the factory seats. The talented team at Roadwire handled this and made our seats look and feel better.
Photo 7/25   |   06.
6. The seat bolsters were worn out from years of guys climbing in and out of the truck. As you can see, the fabric had also seen better days.
Photo 8/25   |   07.
7. To begin disassembly, all the plastic base pieces had to be removed in order to access the metal seat base.
Photo 9/25   |   08.
8. The back was separated from the bottom and set aside for later.
Photo 10/25   |   09.
9. Finally, the old fabric could be pulled off the seats to assess the damage to the foam underneath.
Photo 11/25   |   10.
10. We kind of figured, but the foam in the seat was pretty destroyed. There were several tears that were sealed with glue to prevent further tearing.
Photo 12/25   |   11.
11. Next, extra foam was glued to the bolsters to give the seat a renewed feel.
Photo 13/25   |   12.
12. The install of the new covers began with the seat base. The fabric was stretched over the foam and secured with plastic clips.
Photo 14/25   |   13.
13. With the base complete, the back was next up. Just like before, the old, worn-out fabric was removed and scrapped.
Photo 15/25   |   14.
14. Here you can see the difference in the old vs. new. We went with black since we will have the headliner wrapped in black suede and the carpet will be black. The yellow ties in to the yellow Baer brake calipers.
Photo 16/25   |   15.
15. To help soften up the foam, steam was pumped into it, making it more pliable and easier to slip the cover onto.
Photo 17/25   |   16.
16. The back was a bit harder to get into the cover since you have to slip it all the way in and zip up the back.
Photo 18/25   |   17.
17. With one seat done, you can see how much better the new covers look. The seat also smells less like a wet dog. The passenger seat went together just like the driver side, and we were on our way to bolt them back in.
Photo 19/25   |   18.
18. Next, we wanted to add a bit of bling to the dark expanse. This was handled by a slew of billet parts. To start, we simply bolted the pedal covers over the pedals.There was no drilling required.
Photo 20/25   |   19.
19-22. We also ordered door lock replacements, a shifter knob cover, a tilt arm replacement, and A/C control covers. Each piece went on with very minimal effort and helped to completely change the look of the interior.
Photo 24/25   |   23.
23. The final piece was to install custom floor mats from Lloyd’s Mats. We picked these up from Auto Anything. They matched the black carpet, and the custom-stitched Truckin logo really popped in the dark foot wells.
Photo 25/25   |   1999 Ford Lightning Project Stealth Fighter Rendering


Auto Anything
San Diego, CA 92123
Lexena, KS 66215
Commerce, CA 90040
714 Motorsports
Westminster, CA 92683
ACC Mats
Anniston, AL 36202
Lloyds Mats
All Sales Manufacturing



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