Install: RedlineGoods armrest cover

During the colder months I tend to pay a little more attention to the interior of the Focus. The outside will constantly be getting dirty so parts to be installed tend to wait.

Last winter I replaced my OEM shift boot with one from RedlineGoods. Since my car has the Sport Package, my seats have silver stitching – but nothing else in the interior does from the factory. The shift boot was replaced with an Alcantara piece with silver stitching; it matched better and the Alcantara was a nice upgrade over the original leather. I would have ordered more at the same time but nothing else was available yet for the Mk3s.

Recently, I found out that an armrest cover was now offered. I placed an order so that I could continue making the interior match better by getting rid of more black stitching.

In just a week it traveled from Poland to my front door and I wasted no time opening the package.

Armrest 1

The silver stitching – the real reason behind doing all of this.

Armrest 2

The OEM parts could all simply be re-stitched and I could call it a day, but I figured that I could use the opportunity to upgrade to higher-quality materials as well, so that’s what I’m doing. Therefore, Alcantara for the shift boot and Nappa leather for the armrest cover.

I initially debated going with Alcantara again but ultimately I selected leather for easier cleaning and its durability.

Armrest 3

I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s made using an elastic band inside to help pull the piece tight over the old armrest. I guess I was expecting just a shaped piece of leather that I’d pull taught myself. This was a welcome feature!

Armrest 4

5 screws and a few clips hold the arm rest cover in place. It took a surprising amount of force but it eventually came free.

Armrest 5

Comparing the old and the new.

Armrest 6

Note the different grains between the two and how much finer the Nappa’s is.

Armrest 7

With the cover slipped on for initial test-fits I was pleased with what I saw. Just the addition of the silver highlights makes it look much better. After some testing and tweaking of the exact alignment of the cover, staples were used on the inside edge to hold it in place. This simply fits over the existing material as it’s a thin cover without its own padding, and the old material gave the staples something to hold on to.

Armrest 8

With the added thickness (though not much) it took a bit of force to get the cover to clip back on, but once on it was snug and the new material was firmly held in position. The screws were reinstalled and that was it.

With both of these pieces in now, that still leaves the e-brake boot on the to-do list. That is being worked on now, as I picked up a brand new OEM boot to send off to another company for the purpose of designing aftermarket pieces for Mk3 owners. More to come on that soon, I hope.

-Bill

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