By Rick Drewry, American Modern
Replacing the carpet in a restoration can make a big difference when it comes to look of the car’s interior. Carpet easily wears out, gets dirty, shrinks, and can fade, but installing a new molded carpet is a great way to freshen up the interior. By following these simple steps, you will be “cutting a rug” in no time.
Step 1- Ordering the correct carpet is first on the list. It isn’t one-size-fits-all. The big difference is whether the car is an automatic or a stick shift. When you are placing your order, you need to account for the shifter hump in a manual shifter.
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Step 2- Remove the old carpet. First, you have to unbolt and remove all the seats, kick panels, and scuff plates. At this point, you can remove the old carpet.
Step 3- Prepping the floor. Take the time to vacuum up all dirt and debris. Check the sound deadening material. If it is in bad shape, replace it. Also, inspect any wiring that runs under the carpet and repair if necessary.
Step 4- Wherever you need to cut a hole for the seat belt mounting bolts or seat mount, install a bolt in the hole and leave it sticking up about 1 inch. When the carpet is laid in place, you will be able to feel the bolts.
Step 5- Lay the carpet in place. Align the carpet over the transmission tunnel. Once aligned, use a carpenter knife and cut a small ‘X’ on top of each of the bolts that are sticking up and push the carpet down over each bolt. Cut for access to the shifter if you have a manual shifter.
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Step 6- Install the scuff plates on the top of the rocker panels. If the carpet extends past the scuff plate, trim the carpet to fit. You want the scuff plate screws to go through the carpet if possible. That helps secure the carpet in place.
Step 7– Re-install the seats and kick panels.
If you liked this article on carpet installation, you might be interested in our other restoration products:
- Old Cars Guide to Auto Restoration CD Volume 2
- Eddie Paul’s Paint & Bodywork Handbook
- The Collector Car Restoration Home Video Library DVD Set
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