XK8 ‘A’ pillar issues

As many owners will know, the ‘A’ pillars on an XK8 are covered with a nylon-backed material, glued on at the factory. After time, this glue disintegrates and the nylon begins to lift off the plastic-fronted ‘A’ pillar posts, obviously looking unsightly. I decided to replace the nylon on my XK8 with faux leather in ivory.

I managed to get some white (ivory)-coloured faux leather through eBay. They sent me a sample within two days of requesting a piece and it was a near enough match for my car’s ivory interior, apart from having a sheen. I ordered half a metre for just £6.50. In fact, this was enough for twice as many ‘A’ pillars as I had, so lots over if you make a mistake!

The ‘A’ pillars actually detach quite easily using either brute force or with a plastic spatula. Don’t forget to unclip the ultrasonic sensor for the airbag system inside both sides of the ‘A’ pillars. They do come out easily; the nearside with the cover has a single screw holding it in place. Remove the screw before attempting to wriggle the fitting out of the ‘A’ Pillar. It has to be twiddled a bit but it will come out; just be careful.

Once off, one can remove the nylon trim by pulling off the material and then clean up the remaining glue using something like Evostik adhesive remover. Once the plastic is clean, they should look like this:

Then it’s a case of using the old nylon material as a template to cut out the faux leather.

I’m sure that a proficient person can spray the whole ‘A’ pillar with glue then curl the faux leather around the post, but I found it easier to glue one side first and let it dry before attempting to continue curling the remaining faux leather around the post. Cut off any excess.

One issue to note is that, at the bottom of the ‘A’ pillar, there is a recess. The faux leather needs to be kneaded carefully into the groove to prevent bulges. If you cannot avoid a bulge or wrinkle, try to make sure that it is below the recess so that it will be covered by the dash once refitted and will not be seen.

The end result will be better than before, by a mile.

Doug Warren