Spent some time working on the good old Hardbody today. Replaced the wornout steering wheel with a used unit from a 240SX (direct bolt-on with some minor trimming on the plastic on the back). One advantage of these being still popular in Asia is, some parts, that would otherwise be unavailable and only found in the salvage yard, are avaiable on eBay with about a 2 weeks wait. That being said, I also replaced the outer side window weatherstripping and the A/C vents, as all were well past their sell by date.
Were we started on the inside.
The steering wheel was particularly not great. This spot at the top was worn down to the steel and in the summer would get so hot you couldn't hold on to it in the summer. Which, interestingly enough, is what you do with a steering wheel to steer the vehicle.
Not sure why these vents do this, but not only were they melty, they were extremely brittle. Looking at them wrong they turned to explosive dust.
While the inner vents just needed three screws removed to release them from the dash, the outer vents required me to make some tools out of 040"/1mm aluminum to release them from the depths of the dash. The shorter tools were to wedge into the tabs that held the vents in, while I pulled on the longer tools to remove the vent.
On the left is the old left outer vent and on the right is the new right outer vent. Looks much better, but I did lose the vent shutoff in the process.
The new center vents look much better, but don't fit 100% right.
Overall the dash looks much better and I love the new steering wheel, but the carpeted dash cover will need some further fettling to fit right.
The weatherstrip looks much better too (upper - old/lower - new). Especially on the right side, not pictured, where the rubber was gone and was just rust.