Early A carpets.....

Mopar Interiors

  1. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    Attempting to install a set of replacement carpets in my '65 Valiant 2 door post car. The carpets that came out of the car were a custom fit, 1 piece set of loop pile that were 100% glued to the padding and that was 100% glued to the floor. Long story short, they got destroyed getting them out of the car due to dry rot as much as the ubber glue job. So, I have a two piece set from a reputable aftermarket supplier and am not happy with the fit around the transmission tunnel. They are loose to say the least. Can anything be done (heat gun or steam) to tighten up the fit or do I have to live with it? Does the front section overlap the rear section or the other way around? The set has jute felt insulation/padding bonded to the back side.
    Bob
     
  2. bamacuda

    bamacuda Well-Known Member

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    Rear in first, front in second..on top. Good luck with the looseness.
     
  3. MOPAR4Me

    MOPAR4Me Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about the poor fitment. I am almost certain the front should overlap the rear. I have purchased two 2pc Trim Parts brand carpets, but have not had an opportunity to install them, hoping I have some luck.
     
  4. MOPAR4Me

    MOPAR4Me Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I stand corrected, thanks for letting us know bamacuda.
     
  5. 66Dvert

    66Dvert speaker kick panels for my dart are good to go! FABO Gold Member

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    I did my first set by putting the carpet out in the sun for a couple of hours (florida 90's weather )I put in the back first. Starting at the tunnel and working out, I used a heat gun to help form it to the floor pan. and trimmed the carpet AFTER I did the front. I did the front the same way folding it in 1/2 to make sure I got the shifter and whatnot where it was supposed to go and still have room to move it a little and be even on both sides at the door. The heat gun (wife's hair drier worked better than the heat gun since it didn't get as hot as the heat gun) and I didn't "almost melt the backing like I "almost" did in the back carpet. I had one of those 2" paint rollers that helped me roll the carpet down in hard to reach areas when I used the heat to help set the carpet. it came out great considering that I had about 2 inches of pinch in the tunnel area when I started.

    jute backing is good IF you don't have any leaks in the cowl/wiper pivot area, I did mt wiper piot area since it only cost about 15-30 bucks to do and I had the seats out so I could reach up there to remove the pivots. no leaks 4 years later :cheers:
     
  6. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    66Dvert and others.....thanks for your replies. Wish April Michigan weather would allow for the sun bath thing but 55° just does not do it like 90° does. Makes me miss the sun in Phoenix. I had thought about the hair dryer thing but thought there would not be enough heat. I almost went to Harbor Freight this morning, too. Back carpet fit great, no issues there. 66, did you edge glue your carpets where there is no felt? Glue the rest of the carpet set down? Spot glue? There is also a small cut-out that "almost" lands at the steering column/mast but if I line that up with the column it throws everything off about 2". I had installed carpet and/or rubber mats when I was in fleet repair but they were OEM replacements and fit like a glove.
    Bob
     
  7. 66Dvert

    66Dvert speaker kick panels for my dart are good to go! FABO Gold Member

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    yeah I hear you on Michigan weather. I lived in Taylor for 30+years and then moved down here to stay warm! In Michigan I'd use a heat gun (HF works pretty good) but you have to keep it moving.(don't bother asking me how I know, since I already admitted to "almost" melting the carpet!) aftermarket carpets are a gamble. I've had both awesome and bad ones come from Year One and legendary. but so far the most reliable place I have found is stockinteriors.com for fit and function. but they don't always have the color/carpet style that the car restoration needs.
    on the rear I just used double sided tape in a couple of spots to hold things down until I got the seats and console in to lock things down. for the rears I put the tape near where the side panels go and right on the rear seat section, since I was doing a convertible I also add a piece on the tail strip that goes between the seat and convertible side panels. that piece wanted to move .
    for the front I put one small piece by the gas pedal/ firewall join (just to hold it till it forms from me pushing the later model floating gas pedal) and by each sill plate/side panel but on the floor not on the side and that was just to hold it until I put on the trim. my carpets usually were not glued into place.
    but I have only done about 10 or so early dodges. I spray glue the crap out of the chevy's because they never fit the tunnels right. and fords get the side pieces lightly glued where the sill plate goes to hold them down, that sops the wrinkling as it transitions from the floorboard to the sill plate.
    hope this helps some.
     
  8. 65Valiant310

    65Valiant310 Well-Known Member

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    I am guessing you used the heat gun on the bottom of the carpet right?
    I have a 65 and have the same tunnel looseness too.
     
  9. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    Hate to burst your bubble 66Dvert but Stockinteriors.com is where I got my carpet.
    I have a heated shop (wood burner and well insulated) so I might just punish the wife's hair dryer a bit. I had them laying on the floor in the spare bedroom for nearly a month and they still stayed stiff.
    Bob
     
  10. 66Dvert

    66Dvert speaker kick panels for my dart are good to go! FABO Gold Member

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    if your in Michigan you might as well use the heat gun, you'll need the heat. the hair drier won't have enough for the Michigan weather. I lived there 40+ years in Belleville,West Willow subdivision in Ypsilanti and Taylor Mi. so I can feel for ya. my garage was as well insulated as I could get it and I still had to wait for a good HOT day so I could get those carpets in and fitted right.

    that's where I got mine also. Like I said I had 2 inch pinch in the tunnel when I started, I had to use the heat gun on the underside of the carpet after laying it outside in the sun(90 degree plus) for a couple of hours and the car was outside to help keep the heat! The tunnel area is the hardest to fit on any carpet. some are better than others. the 65 satellite carpet was the worst I have ever seen in fit, I could have and did run my arm all the way up the tunnel AFTER it got put in by some one else. darn car took another 6 hours worth of heating with the heat gun to get close. it never got perfect. and the 70 challenger was the best one I've done. that thing fit like a glove. that spoiled me for fitting carpets. I have seen more expensive ones fit a little better but it's a mixed bag. ya takes your chances and see what shakes out. I bought a quality interior carpet for double the price and it was worse that the stock interior one. it looked like a pop/soda 2 liter bottle was in the tunnel. We used a heat gun and a steamer and it took 8 hours of fighting to get that one to fit. here's a few pic's of the challenger,charger and satellite sorry bout the dirty carpet (in between shows when they were taken). he drives the crap out of his cars and only cleans them for shows

    70 challenger done 7 years ago. still looking good and fits great!
    View attachment IMAG0185.jpg
    69 Charger done 3 years ago. a little worse fit but still pretty (dang, I still haven't fixed that seat button,well another thing to finish up this year when I go up to Michigan to work on his cars for the Woodward Dream Cruise)
    View attachment IMAG0189.jpg
    and the B@#ch 65 Plymouth satellite this thing kicked my butt! it took over 8 hours to remold it to fit as well as it does now. steam wand and heat gun were the only way to get that one to fit. and yeah I double tack tape more than a few areas on that one.
    View attachment IMAG0191.jpg


    heat is your friend when your working on auto carpets the more the better!
    I wouldn't even attempt it in less than 80 degree weather. :)glasses7:I got spoiled with Florida weather) it makes it so much easier to install carpet when it's hot as blazes and even then ya gotta use a heat gun to get them right,or at least I do since I want my carpet tight to the floor.
     
  11. 66Dvert

    66Dvert speaker kick panels for my dart are good to go! FABO Gold Member

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    yup what happens is you heat up the forming substance(looks like thing hot glue) on the backing and it softens so you can mold it to the tunnel and force it out into the floor pan and to the sill plate area. I ended up with about 3 inches more per side on the sides than I started with on one of the cars I've done.
     
  12. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    66Dvert......it actually got up to 60°+ yesterday. Pulled the front section out of the car and laid it in the sun for a good 3 hours and it did help.......some. That front section appears to be a bit long towards the firewall-wants to bunch up at that point so I will trim a half inch at a time away until it fits better there. I think that is throwing off the fit around the tunnel, too.
    Lansing area has the same issues as the Detroit area when it comes to heat. I've been down to Florida a few times but did not care for it. Too humid, too flat, and those damn no-see-ums. Worse then Black Flies.
    Bob
     
  13. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    You and adjust the fit by adding jute or other padding in places. I installed an extra layer of 1/2" jute over my driveline hump and it looked better.
     
  14. 66Dvert

    66Dvert speaker kick panels for my dart are good to go! FABO Gold Member

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    heck I just close the garage door and hide in it until it's time to come out and go into the house. I was a furnace operator for 20+ years (I took the job just to keep warm) so the heat doesn't bother me. darn love bugs do though. on really hot days I get a lot done in the garage.
    I folded/rolled the top of the carpet until I got the side to side fit correct. I still had to trim a little but not as much as I thought I'd have to after I got the floor pan part heated up and molded in.
    I've got a couple more weeks before I have to get going on my carpet in this dart but I know the fit will be off since I modified the rear seat section and front seat mounting points. I'm going to have to deform that carpet pretty much all over.
     
  15. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    Do you heat the carpet from the front (knapp) side or the back side?
    Gary......I have the extra jute backing so I might just try that.
    Bob
     
  16. 66Dvert

    66Dvert speaker kick panels for my dart are good to go! FABO Gold Member

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    back side was heated, there is a coating on it that you can heat up and when you form it and it cools it helps hold the shape.
     
  17. memike

    memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    I am going to wait for a couple 90 degree days to lay mine out in the sun if not 3 days.
    I did this before and I hope I have a young gun here to help me remove the seats :happy8:( MemikeJr and Creed) :glasses7:
    hush matt first on each side of the hump and trial fit, if it has plenty of carpet then I will put hush matt on the top of my hump, this made my 70 barracuda carpet fit snug so I will see how the 66 sedan does when the temperature raises (stay tuned).. Thank you for the info here :thumleft:
     
  18. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    Finally finished the install and am severely unhappy. Never did get what I call a good fit around the transmission tunnel.
    Thanks to all who tried to assist.....
    Bob
     
  19. ESP47

    ESP47 Well-Known Member

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    I never do a total carpet install in a day. What I do is get the carpet in where I want it and I lay bricks down. First I do the rear. Lay some bricks at the back of the carpet right before it goes over that hump that the back seat sits on. Then lay bricks on both sides of the transmission tunnel. After that, throw in the front carpet and get it aligned right. Then place the bricks along the transmission tunnel and anywhere else the carpet isn't laying on as flat as you want it.

    Wait until the next weekend and remove the bricks and you'll see that the carpet has formed nicely. After that the carpet will continue to contour around the hump as the interior of the car heats up and loosens the carpet.
     
  20. BlackBrick

    BlackBrick The Cult Mechanicus

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    Man, glad I was on here snooping around - I am planning to do some interior work this weekend, possibly including laying down floor pan insulation and new carpet. This thread has all sorts of helpful hints......and so glad I live in AZ (I think that is the first time I have said that!)
     
  21. rgp266

    rgp266 Well-Known Member

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    EPS47........I used weights to try to help this deal along. It still did not go well.
    BlackBrick.......I lived in Chandler for 22+ years and, yeah, in terms of weather I kind of wish I still did. Sure is quiet out here in the country..........
    Bob
     
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