Dino the Dinosaur, Part 4: Interior Refresh

    Dino Every Day

    Verne SimonsPhotographer, Writer

    Dino, this 1970 Chevrolet Suburban 4x4, has lots of history. Many, many folks have relied on Dino over the years, using him for all manner of geological and paleontological research both from the original owners, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and subsequently people from institutions all over the world. The years of use haven’t always been good for Dino. Some areas are getting worn pretty thin and it’s time to clean a few things up and check Dino’s health for the millennia to come.

    One area that has seen its share of use is Dino’s interior. The seat cushions are collapsed, the springs broken, and the vinyl dried, abraded, and cracked. Rat city. Not to mention the windows rattle in their channels as you drive down the road, the weather stripping on the doors is cracked, rotten, and in some places missing. And with plenty of places for water to get inside the Suburban, we need to be concerned about rust.

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    Our plan for Dino has and will be to refresh the vehicle with an eye to using more modern parts when they can offer reliability, improvement, and longevity without changing the flavor of what Dino is, was, and will be. Dino’s interior rattles, clanks, and worn-out seats made longer drives tiring. Our hand was forced, slightly, when we had to access some areas underneath Dino’s factory vinyl flooring. Upon lifting, the flooring crumbled and tore in our hands, and underneath we found some evidence of rust. With the flooring falling apart an interior refresh just makes sense. The seats would have to come out, so it would make for a great time to refinish them. Then we could address any corrosion we found under the flooring, clean things up, and reassemble Dino. We knew that without much change, just refreshment of some worn-out parts, and a bit of work, Dino would easily be better than new.

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    As usual, our go-to place for factory-spec replacement parts that fit, function, and look just like the originals was LMC Truck. The company’s catalog is impressive. We bet we could pretty much build a new 1970 Suburban using mostly LMC parts. But for now we settled on some high-quality interior parts that vastly improved the feel and function of Dino without harshing the vintage vibe. Now Dino is a pleasure to hop in and drive, whether it’s merely a run to the store for milk or taking the family and dog to the lake.