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2001 Insight Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all. Yesterday I picked up my first G1, a red 2001 manual with 192k miles. The previous owner mentioned he browsed these forums, so if you're here: Hello, and thank you for selling me your car!

I've spent today cleaning, waxing, and taking care of a couple odds and ends. I figured I'd share my process on one of these little fixes as an introduction to the forum.

Browsing other threads, it seems that this car has one of the "King's" armrests, but it was in pretty bad shape:
Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tire Finger Rim

In the long term, I'll probably put in the sixth gen Civic arm rest. For now, though, I decided to use some materials I already had around the house to do a quick re-covering. Using some polyester stuffing, black marine vinyl, and a staple gun I was able to get this end result:
Comfort Automotive design Car seat cover Grey Car


To start I went ahead and removed the whole arm rest assembly from the car. After that, I undid the three hinge screws to detach the top lid from the rest of the storage compartment. Originally I was hoping to remove the velvet-y inner tray, but it seems that it's glued in and I was afraid it would break. I then took a large section of my vinyl (about triple the width of the armrest and 50% greater length) and used a staple gun to make my first attachment point at the rear of the armrest. At this point the vinyl is still a bit tricky to work with, so I settled for a partially inserted staple. I'll come back to it later.
Automotive tire Bicycle part Rim Tints and shades Bumper


It takes some work to get the staples to attach well. I had to push the lid against the face of the stapler while also operating it. There were plenty of failed attempts. Usually the staple points would push through too far, so I had to bend them down through the vinyl.

Hand Insect Arthropod Fluid Finger


I then worked my way around the lid, leaving a bit of slack in the material for the filling later. I think in the end there was about 3-4 staples in each side. Doing this, I end up with a tube of sorts that I can then fill with stuffing before finishing up the end. I used a long flathead screwdriver to pack the stuffing.

Waist Automotive tire Bag Glove Electric blue
Automotive tail & brake light White Hood Leg Automotive tire


Once happy with the stuffing, I folded the ends in like gift wrap, stapled them down, and trimmed the excess.

Electric blue Foot Nail Thumb Human leg
Sleeve Grey Street fashion Denim Automotive tire


Returning to the back side, I again fold up the ends and use a couple staples to hold them down.

Human body Sleeve Automotive tire Sunglasses Thumb


Then the lid is re-assembled to the storage compartment and everything goes back in the car. I'm decently happy with the end result, and if I need to I can pull the staples and re-do this later. I'm by no means a master of fabrics, so I imagine someone more experienced would have a better end result (and would probably remove the old material first).

Some things I would do differently:
  • Use a different colored material. I'm sure I could find a gray that would match the interior well.
  • Consider using cloth instead of marine vinyl. The vinyl gets sticky if you're sweating, yuck.
  • Use smaller staples. I used a staple gun intended for attaching wires to studs, and the staples were a bit long. I imagine there's staple guns designed for upholstery.
Hopefully this idea is helpful for someone else with a worn-out arm rest, or at least interesting. I'm not sure how long it will last, but it's at least much more comfortable than resting my elbow on the bare foam.

Also, here's a picture of little red (no name yet) all cleaned up:
Automotive parking light Car Wheel Tire Automotive side marker light
 

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Greetings all. Yesterday I picked up my first G1, a red 2001 manual with 192k miles. The previous owner mentioned he browsed these forums, so if you're here: Hello, and thank you for selling me your car!

I've spent today cleaning, waxing, and taking care of a couple odds and ends. I figured I'd share my process on one of these little fixes as an introduction to the forum.

Browsing other threads, it seems that this car has one of the "King's" armrests, but it was in pretty bad shape:
View attachment 97065
In the long term, I'll probably put in the sixth gen Civic arm rest. For now, though, I decided to use some materials I already had around the house to do a quick re-covering. Using some polyester stuffing, black marine vinyl, and a staple gun I was able to get this end result:
View attachment 97066

To start I went ahead and removed the whole arm rest assembly from the car. After that, I undid the three hinge screws to detach the top lid from the rest of the storage compartment. Originally I was hoping to remove the velvet-y inner tray, but it seems that it's glued in and I was afraid it would break. I then took a large section of my vinyl (about triple the width of the armrest and 50% greater length) and used a staple gun to make my first attachment point at the rear of the armrest. At this point the vinyl is still a bit tricky to work with, so I settled for a partially inserted staple. I'll come back to it later.
View attachment 97067

It takes some work to get the staples to attach well. I had to push the lid against the face of the stapler while also operating it. There were plenty of failed attempts. Usually the staple points would push through too far, so I had to bend them down through the vinyl.

View attachment 97074

I then worked my way around the lid, leaving a bit of slack in the material for the filling later. I think in the end there was about 3-4 staples in each side. Doing this, I end up with a tube of sorts that I can then fill with stuffing before finishing up the end. I used a long flathead screwdriver to pack the stuffing.

View attachment 97068 View attachment 97069

Once happy with the stuffing, I folded the ends in like gift wrap, stapled them down, and trimmed the excess.

View attachment 97070 View attachment 97075

Returning to the back side, I again fold up the ends and use a couple staples to hold them down.

View attachment 97073

Then the lid is re-assembled to the storage compartment and everything goes back in the car. I'm decently happy with the end result, and if I need to I can pull the staples and re-do this later. I'm by no means a master of fabrics, so I imagine someone more experienced would have a better end result (and would probably remove the old material first).

Some things I would do differently:
  • Use a different colored material. I'm sure I could find a gray that would match the interior well.
  • Consider using cloth instead of marine vinyl. The vinyl gets sticky if you're sweating, yuck.
  • Use smaller staples. I used a staple gun intended for attaching wires to studs, and the staples were a bit long. I imagine there's staple guns designed for upholstery.
Hopefully this idea is helpful for someone else with a worn-out arm rest, or at least interesting. I'm not sure how long it will last, but it's at least much more comfortable than resting my elbow on the bare foam.

Also, here's a picture of little red (no name yet) all cleaned up:
View attachment 97076
Nice looking car! And nice restoration, welcome to the G1 owners club, there may not be a lot of us, but we all try to help each other out as much as possible.
 

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Registered
2001 Insight Manual
Joined
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the welcome, Balto!

I've got a couple of other bits and pieces to make right (door locks are iffy and it needs new brake pads) but other than that I'm impressed how little needs done considering the mileage, and the issues I have seem to be either well-documented or very straight-forward.
 
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