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Old 16-07-2019   #1
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Advice on interior repairs

Hey! I got myself a 99 Multipla 1.6. Mechanically it's damn near perfect, but most of the interior's plastics are literally falling apart.

I've been having trouble finding replacement parts, specially the interior door handles, so I'm now thinking of attempting to do some repairing myself.

Anyone here have any advice working with these plastics / places to buy them? I really wanna restore this the best way possible, and it's causing me more trouble than I originally predicted.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 16-07-2019   #2
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

When you find the answer let me know! There is something on here were someone has painted the interior handles - think it might be one the Shedenvy/Double Ugly thread next to this.
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Last edited by Longprest; 16-07-2019 at 21:21.
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Old 16-07-2019   #3
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

Show us some pics......This may help
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Old 16-07-2019   #4
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

A '99 model petrol will be a rare beast these days. Worth looking after the very early ones, especially if in good condition.

I bought new interior handles (the big part, with the loop that comes up above window line, not the little handles that open the doors) a few years ago to replace the originals, because they were being degraded by UV. The surface of the plastic literally starts to crumble. Is that the kind of damage you mean?

It would be worth checking with a Fiat dealer to see if they are still available. I'd wager that there won't be many used ones around that aren't starting to suffer with UV degradation, so trying to find new ones might be the best option. I have a funny feeling though that they went west when Fiat Europe had a big clear out of spare parts for the Multipla back in 2015/16.

Those handle panels are moulded by an unusual process. I remember looking at them when I replaced mine an being a bit confused as to how they'd been made (moulding design is part of my job, so I get a bit anal about such things at times ). Some of the wall sections are very thick - far thicker than a normal injection moulding. The Multipla is littered with such manufacturing novelties. That's. Part of the reason I love it. Take a look at the door window frames, for example. They're very skinny, but made of steel, so unlikely to be an extrusion. So how were they made?

Anyway, back to the door handles: Now that 3D printer build envelopes are starting to grow, they might be a good candidate for replicating by that means, especially the ones on the rear doors which are quite a bit smaller than the fronts. Or it may be possible to make some moulds from a cleaned up original, but I'm not sure what material would be suitable for the part itself. Some sort of glass filled resin, perhaps.
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Last edited by widemouthfrog; 17-07-2019 at 00:00.
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Old 17-07-2019   #5
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

Mine's from March of 1999, so I believe it is one of the very early ones! I wasn't expecting to buy one so early in life, but it was very very cheap to buy. My objective is to make it as close to new as possible! I've already sourced an original radio. Right now there's a kenwood rattling around the radio slot.


All of the metalwork is in top shape. It maybe needs the roof repainted, but I haven't had the time to polish it yet to assess what needs to be done. The door handles' rubber have completely crumbled (although I've found those new for 20 apiece) and one of the headlight washers has vanished into the bumper (it still works though, which makes the car look like it's crying).

I'll try to post some pictures at a later time, but yeah, on the interior it has crumbling plastics (specially on the A pillars), handle bars that look like they have melted, almost destroyed ignition furnishing and, as is very common in many cars from the 90's, sticky plastics on the dashboard.

I've tried sanding one of the rear handles but soon realized it was not a good idea (I know, bit naive).


Do most (if not all) interior bits and pieces from the newer Multiplas fit the earlier ones? I've seen a few of them around in junkyards, but wasn't sure if the handles are exactly the same! That would probably make it easier to find plastics in better shape.
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Old 17-07-2019   #6
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

March '99 is very early. I think they went on sale in Italy in November 1998, but I'm not sure when the first cars were delivered.

Yes, as far as I know all of the interior trim from the later models will fit. If it's anything like the UK models, you'll probably find that the hard trims from later cars are darker though, especially on and around the doors.

The 'soft touch' plastics are a bit of a nightmare, but that's not a problem that the Multipla is alone in having. I bought brand new cup holders and some other dash parts when Fiat had their stock clearance, but even those bits (which have never even been fitted to a car!) have now gone sticky. I think the best thing to do with those is concede defeat, clean them back to bare plastic and respray them with a conventional paint of the same colour.

It'll be interesting to see some photos of your car, especially as it's an early one. I think you need to make 5(?) posts on the forum before it will let you upload pictures.
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Last edited by widemouthfrog; 17-07-2019 at 12:44.
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Old 17-07-2019   #7
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

Regarding door handles, I was considering whether a fibreglass resin could be used to 'seal' the crusty/crumbly bits and also build up the surface. It could then be sanded and painted with Halfords bumper trim spray which is a shade that blends in pretty well with the interior plastics. Anyway as WMF says, show us some pics! Especially the front sports bra with the 90's Fiat emblem!
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Last edited by shedenvy; 17-07-2019 at 11:49.
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Old 13-12-2019   #8
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

Heya again, sorry for the delay! Since I last posted I was involved in my first ever serious-ish accident, so unfortunately my Multipla did need some repairs. It doesn't look too bad for a 60kph crash into an electricity pole (lucky for it to not to fall over the car) and most of the damage was mechanical.

She's fine now though, got the roof repainted as well.
I've put the aftermath of the accident and how she's now down in the attachments since yeah, I can't post images yet.


There's still loads to be done though. Since my last post the only interior bits I've managed to find were A pillars plastic fairings in a fairly good state...unfortunately all of the cars I've seen for parts have their interior as bad or worse than mine. Less than ideal, but I'm still hopeful I'll find a solution to all this.

Cheers
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Old 14-12-2019   #9
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The same colour as my 1999 JTD ELX aka 'The Frog' mine also needs the roof painting due to peeling lacquer, had the bonnet done already but the rest of the paint is like new...
Same issue with interior door handles too.
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Old 02-01-2020   #10
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Re: Advice on interior repairs

I sanded and painted the front handles. Came out ok but needed lots of sanding prep. Plastic primer and coach enamel paint which I had spare. Brushed on and finished with a gloss mini roller. Its faired quite well with kids in the car.

The rear handles are ok on our 2004 car. Front were crumbly and horrid. Dash is tough, thinners removes the sticky soft finish but also the paint if you rub too hard.
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Last edited by purf; 02-01-2020 at 14:59.
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