I really enjoy working on interiors. Probably because it means I'm towards the end of my build. My 20+ year old interior with 140k miles desperately needed work. I wanted to keep it simple.
The Rx7 lacks headroom. If I could go back in time I probably buy an R1 so that I didn't have the sunroof. However it was too late for that. Initially I attempted to modify my seat rails so that the seat could sit lower. After hacking one up I realized it wouldn't work as I wouldn't have access to get all of the bolts in. Fortunately I was able to find someone else selling just the rails. Next I studied the floor board. With some careful cutting I was able to modify the floor boards to lower the seats about 1" in the back and 1.5" in the front. Basically I cut the front cross section out, trimmed it, and welded it back in. For the rear mounts I cut a section out and installed some plates with a grade 8 bolt sticking up as studs. The bolt heads are tacked to the back side of the plate.
The leather on my seats was a little worn. Honestly it wasn't horrible, but I wanted it to look new. Initially I ordered new covers from Interior Innovations but I was not happy with them. They didn't fit right and I noticed that some of the patterns were sewn on in reverse. Fortunately they were easy to work with and gave me a refund after I sent them some pictures.
Then I decided to go with LeatherSeats.com. I have bought from them in the past. I should have just went with them to begin with but I was trying to save a few hundred bucks after spending so much on the rest of the car. The covers came and the material is great. However after installing them I still wasn't 100% satisfied. You can see in the first few pictures that there was excess leather between the bottom center and side sections. I couldn't seem to tuck it anywhere.
So I emailed LeatherSeats.com some pictures. They were a big help. They initially thought it was just an install problem, but told me if I shipped them the bottoms they would install them correctly for me. I did this. A week later I received an email from them saying that they were not able to get them to fit right. They basically admitted it was a flaw in their patterns, but they were going to make it right. They sent the covers through their design team again, made new patterns and sent them back looking perfect! Notice the NoRotor floor mats I also purchased from a seller on the forums.
My gauge cluster works fine so I decided to keep the factory gauges. The factory chrome rings that surround the gauges though are nothing fancy. It's just black plastic with chrome paint. The chrome paint starts to flake and look awful. The chrome rings can be fixed by simply buying a new clear panel from Mazda. But I decided I didn't need the chrome rings. I used some clear plastic polish I had and rubbed the chrome paint with some light pressure until it was all removed. Now the rings are black which I think looks better.
Because my car is a 94 it has the nicer textured plastic trim. The 93 years had a plastic trim with a rubbery surface that rubs/peals off and looks awful. I installed a new shift/e-brake boot from RedLine Goods. I got rid of the factory ash tray too since I don't smoke. I bought a new JDM pad/pocket to replace it. It's basically a mini arm rest pad that opens up for a small storage area. The 2 colored red/orange warning lights are factory. One is for the exhaust temp warning light, and the other is for the alarm. The white text on each light was worn in spots. I used some acetone and lightly rub the rest of the text off. I figured it looks better this way. Also the main armrest portion on my rx7 (the piece this snaps into) would creek when I rested my arm. The plastic underside was cracked. I used 3 mixture tubes of plastic epoxy on the backside to fix the cracks and re-enforce it. It feels a lot more solid now. I haven't figured out what I'm doing yet for the e-brake handle but I do want to eventually replace it. I'm running a Mustang Cobra shift knob as it fits the MGW short shifter and has an oem look to it.
The drivers door has a storage cubby with a thin flimsy lid. It came broken on mine. Normally it's the pins on the lid that are broken. There are some aftermarket aluminum lids. However on mine the actual outer piece that the pin slides into was broken. I figured I wouldn't use it even if it works so I turned it into an armrest pad. I used a piece of foam and some 4 way stretch vinyl to do this. I started by using silicone to glue the cover on. Once it dried I used contact cement to attach the foam. THe vinyl was installed on top of it. I used hot glue on the edges to secure it.
The factory steering wheel looked too retro to me. After searching eBay and the forums I was able to find a JDM Efini steering wheel that someone on the forums has recovered and used red stitching. The nice thing about this wheel is that it's 10mm shorter in diameter. This gives me 5mm more space between my legs and the wheel. It's not a lot but every bit helps. I could have gone with an aftermarket wheel that detaches or has a flat bottom, but I wanted to maintain the airbag.
The car came with some Kicker rear speakers and kicker front speakers. One of the fronts was blow so I ended up buying a new pair. I'm running an old school CDA-9886 head unit. It's probably my favorite head unit. I own 2 of them currently in different vehicles. The car still lacks bass. I went with a simple JL 8w3v3 sub and amplifier. Eventually I want to make my own box that takes up less trunk space. But it was only $20 more to get the JL sub box with the sub. I figure I'll use the box for now.
The passenger side door panel has a grip section that you grab to close the door. It's made entirely of plastic. It's not uncommon for this piece to crack or tear out of the door card. Aftermarket billet aluminum handles are available for $100+. You can also get a new OEM one for about the same price. Mine was cracked to the point where you could feel it flex when pulling the door shut. It was only a matter of time... I fixed it with some plumbers hanger tape as shown in this YouTube video. I can't take credit for this idea. Someone else mentioned doing it a long time ago on the forums. But I think I'm the only one to ever take pictures or a video of how it's done.
My factory hatch shocks would no longer hold the hatch up. Mazda wants $200+ for new shocks which I didn't want to pay. I ended up buying some from RockAuto (Sachs part# SG227005) for $33 shipped. I had to do I little bit of work to make them fit right which I've outlined in this YouTube Video: