How To For Those Looking for Tips on Carpet Install

  1. Dusterdude72
    Well.... Before I started installing my carpet , I had looked around and there really isnt any carpet install guides here on fabo for our cars. I also had another member show interest in tips on installing carpet in our cars.

    SO, I figured I would document my install a bit and share some of the techniques I used and share with you all the process I went through.

    so here goes.

    about a year ago I stripped the floors down in my 72 duster with a wire wheel,grinder and sand paper until it was all bare metal. I then went through and primed the floor and then pained it black.

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    a couple months back I picked up a set of power leather bucket seats and I had to make custom seat brackets to get those seats to work with my floor pan, I utilized my stock bench seat mounting holes and I made riser brackets for the other side of the seat to meet the flat part of the floor pan. in doing so, I wanted to "beef up" the mounting area on the 4 inner mounting bolts for each bucket seat so that " IF " ever there were some sort of collision there would be added support and bolts would not rip out...also I didnt want years of driving to beat the brackets into the floor pan and rip the steel or anything. So I welded in some 16th" thick 3"x3" square plates for the 4 inner mounting bolts.

    seat risers i made

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    mounting plates i welded in
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    after seam sealing them just for the heck of it

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    and then last week I went ahead and insulated my interior so I could keep the noise/heat down a bit more.......now, I did not want to spend the kind of money involved with going with dynomat and so on....and being the budget minded person that I am, I went to my local menards ( lowes, home depot....same stuff basically) and I picked up a 25 ft x 2 ft roll of insulation used for attics and under siding and many other uses ....it cost $15.00 for the roll, then I bought a can of contact cement ($5.00) and a roll of aluminum tape ($5.00) ($25.00 for all of it about).

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    I then made some rough measurements and cut pieces to general size and layed it out in the car....I then trimmed it all up to fit to my liking ( I did the ceiling as well) .

    then I brushed my floors with the contact cement and I brushed the back side of the insulation also. I then let it "tack up" for about 5 minutes and then laid out each piece where I originally had it almost like a puzzle.

    some spots such as in rounded corners of the floor pan required a bit of persuasion ( punching at the material to get it to conform to the shape lol).

    after that I took the aluminum tape and I tape all my edges and all my seams. I then taped my power seat wiring down to the floor ( for those of you running power seats).

    for the seat mounting holes and seat belt holes and so on....I got underneath the car with a seal pick tool ( DSCI1310-1.jpg ) and I poked through all the holes so I could visibly see where the holes were from inside the car, I then took a razor blade and cut the holes out large enough for bolts to go back in them.

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    floor
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    now onto the carpet.

    as for tools, I used some basic tools like screw drivers and what not for taking off sill plates and kick panels and what not. And I also used carpet hook razor blades that work great for cutting the carpet, I used the seal pick again to help in locating holes, I used a hair dryer ( ill explain later lol) and i used a soldering iron ( I will also explain later lol)

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    now ....as for measurements.... I didn't really take any that would be of use to anyone doing this job as all these carpet kits vary and not all of them are formed exactly the same and I don't have factory seats or a factory shift and there was just to many variables that I would probably throw people off by giving them my measurements more so than helping them with them.

    what I basically did was let the carpet sit out in the sun for awhile and then I moved it into the car and let it sit over night ( not necessary ) ...I then punched the carpet a bunch to try to get it to get into the contours a bit more and what not .

    I made sure to get both the front and rear sections of the carpet roughly where i thought they fit somewhat comfortably ( being aftermarket it was far from a perfect fit.....but not too shabby).

    after I was sure i was CLOSE to where I wanted to be, I started on the FRONT section of the carpet first ( some guys like to start from the back but i guess i think out of the box? lol ) I first pushed the carpet forward as far as it could go....and until the foot rest padding was almost under my pedals. the carpet was hitting the bottom of the column, the bottom of the gas pedal bracket and it was hitting in the corner of the passenger side firewall.

    So I busted out my carpet hook razor blade and I by eye just kind of freehand cut little half circles into the carpet directly below the column and gas pedal...and in the corner of the passenger side firewall I just cut off the very corner of the carpet. I then slid the carpet forward and it made for a good fit!. (also , I have a trunk mounted battery so I zip tied my battery cables together and comfortably routed them along the firewall and behind the kick panel and down along the rocker panel into the trunk...I then used a rubber lined clamp and put it around the two cables and I drilled a hole in the firewall which exited into the wheel well on the drivers side and I nut and bolted the cables up out of the way so they would not drop down under my carpet.)

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    I then located where my shifter mounting plate is that I welded to the trans tunnel and I put a slice in the carpet about 4" long, I then pulled my carpet up high enough to slip the shifter in and bolt it down. then dropped the slice in the carpet over the top of the shifter.
    I then removed little by little pieces of carpet around the shifter until it fit comfortably ( cut it piece by piece in small portions until you get to where you want to be! you can always cut off more but if you cut off to much......you are SOL )....I cut mine so that the hole in my carpet overlapped over the top of my shifter mounting bolts...I just folded the carpet back to tighten the bolts and then folded the carpet back over the bolts after they were tight. which made for a very clean look with no visible cut carpet showing from under the shifter cover.

    as for the shifter cable, about an inch in front of my shifter I put a half in long horizontal slice in the carpet and slid my cable into the shifter housing....almost impossible to see it when everything is installed because the shifter housing overhangs over the front of the shifter and cable.

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    ok, now the reason i said to start at the center was to keep the carpet on the transmission tunnel tight and work your way to the sides of the carpet.

    now at this point I put bricks and any other semi heavy objects on the carpet in any contoured areas or places that felt loose. Then I flattened the carpet out and kind of pushed it into all the contours with my fingers.

    by the time I got to the door sills on both sides i had quite a bit of excess carpet, so I took out my carpet hook knife again and I cut the carpet about a half of an inch above where the metal of the sill stops......that way you have enough carpet under the sill plates to hold the carpet firmly in place. ( again, cut little by little and keep test fitting the sill plates.....you can always cut more off but you can't put more back on!).

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    when it all felt comfortable where I had it...I screwed the sill plates down in place to keep the carpet in place while I moved onto the next step.....the kick panels......there was only minor trimming I had to do to get the carpet to work under the kick panels but it is pretty easy to see what needs done while your actually looking at it.

    then came the high beam dimmer switch.
    for this, I pulled the carpet up to locate the switch, I then put the carpet back down and felt where the dimmer was at the carpet.....I then pulled out my soldering iron and got it heated up and i burned a hole into the carpet just large enough for the inside diameter of the dimmer grommet to pass through ( burning the carpet versus cutting with scissors or something in an area like this will prevent from getting frays in the carpet or pulling a runner of the carpet if you were to use a drill). I then popped the flexible grommet through the hole and layed it over the dimmer switch.

    I then installed my kick panels.

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    started working on the rear carpet which was pretty easy other than the mold the factory used was not the greatest and the carpet was not a perfect fit.....so this is where the blow dryer came to a bit of use.

    I heated the carpet up with the hair dryer until it was a bit more flexible and I continued to punch the contours and push them until they formed a bit better.

    I then layed the excess carpet over the rear seat hump (hidden under the rear seat when in place) and i cut out little square notches in the carpet where the bottom seat attaching points are....also, as much as I tried with this less than perfect fit...I had to put slight folds in the corners of the rear floor pans up by the seat and I then heated them with the hair dryer and pressed them down so they would hold the folded form, I then put on the rear carpet retaining trim and held the folded section permanently in place. its not bad looking at all and is barely noticeable that its folded over....I just wanted to mention it in case anyone else runs into such a problem and needs to know an alternative solution.

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    I then got under the car with my soldering iron and I poked it through all the holes that could be access such as inner seat belt mounting hole and all seat mounting point holes and i burned the holed into the carpet.

    for the outer (rocker side) seat belt mounting holes I had to pull the sill plates off and pull the carpet forward far enough to locate the holes and I then burned the holes into the carpet after locating them.

    I also peeled my carpet up far enough to locate my power seat wire I ran and I poked the soldering iron through in that location and I then fed my wire through the carpet.

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    after doing all that....the seats and trim were pretty much ready to go back in the car!....I am still in the middle of restoring my car so I have yet to polish and reinstall all my trim and I have not got my back seat in yet and I am getting ready to put door panels, sail panels, speaker shelf and headliners and everything in the car. if your interested in any of that stuff be sure to keep tabs on my 72 duster build progress thread ( link in my signature below).

    I hope I was able to help someone out even just a little bit and sorry for SUCH A LONG POST...I just wanted to try and cover as much as I could......here are some pictures of the " finished " product.

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