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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, it's been a long time since I have posted. This pic below is probably the last time the my car looked decent and clean (taken in 2012 lol).
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The Altima has unfortunately been abused and neglected as I've used it for my adventures to the mountain and transporting my German Shepherd around for the last few years. Out of the blue, my dog decided to act up and while I was picking things up in the store, she tore up my door panels and center console armrest. Back in 2007, I spent quite a bit of time customizing my interior, transforming it from the stock cloth light grey to a two tone black and silver with leather seat (original interior thread Complete interior painting project) so it was a bit to bite having my dog wreck it but it was my decision to use the car that way.
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Since then my family has picked up a Subaru Outback, more suitable for mountain adventures and dog transportation... So I've begun the process of attempting to clean out all the dog hair and repair the interior. Since the door cloth section was ripped up by my dog, I was torn on finding replacement door from the junk yard or trying to salvage my existing door panel. I decided to repair my existing door and live with having some deep claw marks.

Here I've started ripping off the rest of the cloth inserts to prepare to repaint and install black door inserts on the panel. So rough sanding to even out some of the marks from my dog clawing at the door with her paws.
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Half chewed up foam from center console armrest
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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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Discussion Starter #2
More stuff that'll get repainted that's gotten scuffed up over time
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Freshly painted
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I got a few more pieces to finish up painting, then will be installing the leather inserts on the door panels.
 
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shot_calla .Wow, nice work in there , I might have something alike to do when I will try to get my freakin back doors to open on my ride.

Keep it on.
 

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Bookmarked for future refs.
 
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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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2,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
shot_calla .Wow, nice work in there , I might have something alike to do when I will try to get my freakin back doors to open on my ride.

Keep it on.
Thanks man, for some weird reason there's something calming and relaxing about painting to me. I got a big crack in my rear bumper and a whole bunch of rock chips around the front end that I should touch up and repair. Finding the time to work on the car is hard with a 8 month baby, those naps aren't lasting as long anymore!
 

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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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Discussion Starter #6
Here's one of the repainted doors after it's aired out enough. I'm glad I still kept my roll of leather I never used when I changed the seats to leather and can plug it into the area of cloth that my dog ripped up. I decided to paint the power window panel piece from silver to black to match with the black leather now.
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Rough cut of the leather insert
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Thanks man, for some weird reason there's something calming and relaxing about painting to me. I got a big crack in my rear bumper and a whole bunch of rock chips around the front end that I should touch up and repair. Finding the time to work on the car is hard with a 8 month baby, those naps aren't lasting as long anymore!
Yeop, that must be some job with a little mousse ! lol

I ll keep an eye on the project, keep it on.
 

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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
This restoration project has been sidetracked a bit and I finally got around to working on it again. At first I was trying to glue the leather right on to the panels and try to tuck the edges under but it wasn't going well so I ended up removing the panels. I knew it'd be a pain and was trying to avoid it. There are about 15-20 plastic clips that you have to break off to remove the insert panel. I used my dog's nail dremel :) To reinstall, I used a combination of a glue gun and some small screws to secure the panel back on the door backing.
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Insert removed
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For the center armrest, I couldn't find a foam that was similar to the thin and dense OEM padding. Anything that was the same thickness was not firm very firm and wouldn't provide much cushion. I got some oversized thick foam that I put on and with the cover was able to condense it a little. With these interior pieces, I've used a variety of different adhesive products depending on what material was involved and had some that worked out and some not so well. This DAP Rapidfuse quick setting glue worked very well to bond the foam to the plastic.
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After using some of the Rapidfuse to pull the leather into the plastic piece, I used my clamps to hold it place and added staples to keep it secure.
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Center console foam and leather cover all attached. Looks nice and simple but took me a decent amount of time to get it all back together with all the pulling. Protip, use some pliers to help grab the cover and pull. I was pulling so hard with my index finger and thumbs my fingers have felt raw for the last few days. You may never have this problem if you find some foam that is the same thickness as the OEM and don't have to pull on the insert so much.
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Installed back in the car. It's much more round and fat looking but provides decent cushioning (see the worn out painted e-brake)
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Center console armrest view from the rear. Also painted the rear cover panel that my dog had scratched up. After some light sanding to scuff and repaint, you can still clearly see scratch marks and some spots look unpainted in photos but the paint is there...
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Frst door panel insert I used some 3M photo adhesive and after installing it, you can see some of the leather didn't stick very well and started to bubble already in some spots where it curves. Below is the door reinstalled along with the freshly black painted window control panel and door pull.
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In the pic below, I switched loctite spray adhesive and it worked a lot better. I also changed my process instead of spraying the whole panel at once, I only sprayed glue on a 4-5 inch section at a time going side to side to make sure I firmly press the leather on to the panel and was able to get a much more even and smooth install on the leather.
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I still have to finish up the 2nd insert panel, cut out the leather sections with holes on the panel, reinstall and put it back on the car. Getting closed to being done and finishing the restoration.
 

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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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Discussion Starter #9
I had plans to fix up the Altima and keep driving it until it died and run it into the ground. But I had a decent deal drop in my lap, my brother in law works at a car dealer and gave me a heads up over a month ago that his dealership was getting rid of their used inventory at cost. Sales had been quite dead and apparently dealerships pay daily fees for used cars that sit on their lots, so they were selling used cars at cost. For some time now I had been loosely looking for a G35 or 3rd gen Acura TL.

My brother in law's dealership had a 2011 (4th gen) Acura TL SH-AWD 5AT tech w/ 80k miles for a steal (at cost was $4,500 under the dealer's original list price) The dealer really ripped the prev owner on the trade in transaction. I know these models had oil consumption issues, this was tested and no issues on my car. I had always disliked the 4th gen styling, and it's still taking some time on me. The rear end looks pretty nice to me but the front end big ole grill is not well done.

Shortly after getting it I threw some white vinyl wrap on the grill to help take away attention from the big beak. I knew the color would be a bit off but I figured it'd look a little better than the stock grey grill. I also painted a grey trim piece around the fog light in the lower grill. I'll eventually color match paint the grill so it all matches. The front has a clear bra that's probably been on there since the car was new and some spots it's yellowed and edges are pealing or dirty, so may consider pulling it off. It's a super fun car to drive, the SH-AWD works so well and it handles really nice for a stock car. Extremely peppy with the 3.7L, especially comparing to the 2.5L Altima I've been driving.

Some immediate plans for the TL are to get tint, update some of the lighting and look for a lip kit, which has been discontinued and may be hard to get a hold of. I also want to white out all the emblems and chrome delete the window trim.

So now the Altima restoration has transitioned into prepping to sell mode. Selling the Altima for whatever I can get it for with ~141,000 miles is going to fund some of the TL upgrades

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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That's quite the upgrade! Well done!
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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w00t
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Nice upgrade, I was thinking of going 4th gen TL for a while now, wife always said, "I can see you in a black Honda or Acura..." lol... I said, "Oh no, NOT THE ENEMY!" lol.. I looked around and saw some nice (to me) grills you might consider to lessen the blow on how the stock one stands out. I'm with you the beak-like grill doesn't add anything to the front besides bulk and it's not an attractive feature.

This one is smoother but it still has a lot of bulk by the hood and an aftermarket feel.


I personally like the refreshed version of the TL's grill... hides well/flushed but you might have to swap out the bumper and fog/blinkers (they sort of look similar).


 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lol too funny, not the enemy! Yeah I never imagined myself driving a 4th gen TL but its grown on me a lot. If you get one, try to hold out to find a 6MT, they're quite hard to find esp if you pair it with a SH-AWD. Yeah first thing I did when I saw the deal for the TL, was go look at aftermarket grill options lol. Even the first pic you shared below doesn't look balanced with the thicker top and thin piece above the bumper section. I wonder if that's a custom one as I've not seen it before.

The refresh for 2012-2014 grills look a lot better, especially if color matched or black wrapped/painted like the two you shared. I think I'll be happy with the grill once I color match it.

Nice upgrade, I was thinking of going 4th gen TL for a while now, wife always said, "I can see you in a black Honda or Acura..." lol... I said, "Oh no, NOT THE ENEMY!" lol.. I looked around and saw some nice (to me) grills you might consider to lessen the blow on how the stock one stands out. I'm with you the beak-like grill doesn't add anything to the front besides bulk and it's not an attractive feature.

This one is smoother but it still has a lot of bulk by the hood and an aftermarket feel.


I personally like the refreshed version of the TL's grill... hides well/flushed but you might have to swap out the bumper and fog/blinkers (they sort of look similar).


 

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2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s
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Discussion Starter #14
Here's a pic of a color matched white like mine, except they didn't do the whole grill and left some of the chrome. Also the lip kit I'd like to get.
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Discussion Starter #15
Finished all the interior repair work. Here's the back of the door panel being reassembled with screws and hot glue gun.

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I lost one of the pieces that cover up the bottom of the hand pull slot in the doors. I just cut out a piece of card board and used some of my left over leather to wrap it.
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Bottom of my makeshift door pull cover
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Looks decent enough
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Rear passenger door completed and reassembled
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Freshly painted rear door sill
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Back seats
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Discussion Starter #16
Got the Altima cleaned up and took some pics to have for my for sale listing
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I ran over some road debris a few winters ago and it rattled around under the car and eventually exited and tore through my bumper leaving a big crack. Put a few zip ties just to keep it it it's form and not flap around.
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Front Stillen lip is pretty beat up from rock chips and scraping
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