Fire Extinguisher Cover

Last summer in (Please Don’t) Burn Baby Burn, I purchased a fire extinguisher to keep in the car. I just left it awkwardly laying under the edge of the passenger side floor mat. My plan is to mount the bracket that came with it to the tunnel under the dash.

I was visiting my mom for the week and packed up the remaining blank vinyl (from Wrapping the Dash Pad Take 2 Day 1) and my sewing supplies, thinking I could make a nice cover and have a project to do in my down time.

I cut out template pieces from junk mail sheets I had kept around to use as masking paper.

I cut the vinyl into the template shapes and then pinned the pieces together for sewing.

I used my mom’s old Morse sewing machine to put it together. I had blue upholstery thread that was left over from when I made a couch cover a few years ago.

It’s not perfect, as you can see. The stitches were jumping around a little, but it’s fine. If it doesn’t look good, it was really easy to make and I have lots of remaining material, so I can try again later.

Turn Signal Lenses (again)

I replaced these turn signal lenses shortly after I bought the car. The lens covers quickly went milky in the sun and the rubber seals perished in no time.

The areas of the lenses are covered by the fake plastic chrome cover still look immaculate.

The Sprayway glass cleaner did a great job of cleaning them up, but the exposed areas were still rough and sun baked.

I questioned whether or not to just put the old assemblies back in. The lenses are clear and still fully amber, but are crazed and cracked all over, which is why I replaced them in the first place.

I have used this Kit Scratch Out in the past to clean up foggy plastic headlight covers.

It did polish the roughness away, they are now slick and shiny, but still cloudy.

Did I mention the rubber seals are perished? Either way, the lenses look 40% better than they did a few minutes ago.

New Battery and Seat Cover Repair

After sitting through the winter, the battery in the beetlebug was dead. After having the car for two years, this is only the third time the battery has gone flat. The first time was actually not from a lack of use at all. I was in the habit of starting the car up and letting it run every couple of weeks. I would let it heat up, then drive it back and forth in the driveway a few times to keep all the moving parts lubricated.

After one of those sessions, I found the battery was dead a couple of days later. It turns out the old style generators don’t charge at idle like more modern alternators. Letting the car sit and idle will actually run the battery down.

The battery is under the back seat. So, I flipped the passenger seat back forward and heard the terrible sound of seat cover ripping. One of the upholstery spikes on the bottom rail was fully extended. It tore a long gouge in the seat cover and new foam padding I installed last spring.

I connected jumper cables to my truck and started the car. I left the cables connected, hoping to get a better charge off the truck’s alternator. After letting it run for ten or fifteen minutes, I disconnected the jumper cables and turned off the car. When I turned the key, the battery was still completely dead.

I was curious about the old battery. When I pulled it out, I noticed all of the labels/stickers/branding was gone. It has top and side posts and a handle, which is convenient.

Something else caught my eye, it had condensation all over. I’m assuming that’s what happened to all the stickers.

Next, I took the passenger seat out to repair the seat cover.

I carried the seat up to the porch to have a more stable place to work on it. I separated the two halves of the seat and found the offending article.

So, I pounded that one flat. The others in the area hadn’t found daylight through the seat cover, but they weren’t exactly out of harm’s way, so I flattened them as well.

Taking inventory of the situation…

First, I glued the chunks of foam back into place with some Scotch Maximum Strength Adhesive I had laying around. In my experience, this stuff doesn’t hold up well over time. To be fair, none of the others that I have tried to either. Also, the nozzle broke in half, glued to the cap, so at least it sticks to its own packaging.

While I let that dry in the sun, I headed out to the parts store.

I haven’t purchased a battery in a few years and was surprised to find that prices have doubled. It was $194.99 for a Super Start Size 42 T5 – 42PRM (O’Reilly link).

I sprayed the anti-corrosion stuff on the terminals and installed the new battery.

Back to the front (YOU WILL DO WHAT I SAY WHEN I SAY). Sorry.


…seat, I cut an oversized piece of the black vinyl that I used to recover the dash pad last year. Because the patch piece was so much bigger than the hole in the seat cover, it took some creative contortion and origami to get it in there and laying flat.

I used the rest of the tube of glue in between the vinyl patch and the shreds of seat cover to hold it in place. I thought about trying to stitch those edges together, pulling them tight. However, these old seat covers are so brittle, I knew the upholstery thread would have just pulled through.

It doesn’t look great as is, but luckily, the damage is at the back of the seat pad, right below the seat back. It’s not noticeable until you flip the seat back forward.