Top Tips #1- Carpet Fitting

Courtesy of 'Ghostbuster'

Since the forum has been running many enthusiasts have passed on their experiences to other owners and enthusiasts a lot of which iis too valuable to simply leave in the archives. From time-to-time I'll be resurrecting these tips for inclusion on this site... here's the first of many from Ghostbuster!

Last weekend I completed the replacement of the carpet in the Mighty Triumph. Here are a few hints as to what you can expect:

  1. The carpet I used was made in England and is a felt backed brown nylon that is a premium grade. The center tunnel was in two pieces and this was a blessing. Be sure and use 3M brand aerosol General Trim Adhesive, part # 8088, to glue the carpet to the floor. If this is not available, use the most expensive type you can find that is made for the automotive trades use.
  2. Using a heavy rebond rubber carpet pad under the floor pieces will give an extra level of insulation for road noise abatement.
  3. Due to the added thickness of the new carpet, the allen head bolts that hold the seats to the floor need to be longer by about 1/2" or 10mm, whichever comes first. The local hardware store can sell you these, mine cost $.58US each at a Lowes. (Lowes is like the Super Wal-mart of hardware and building materials.)
  4. Because you will be working in an awkward confined space, your knees will quickly become sore and your back mucsles stiff. I suggest you place a thick foam pad under your knees and rest often. Keep a droplight in place to illuminate the work area.
  5. Be sure and check the condition of the black rubber seat squab under the seats cushions. If deteriorated, now is a good time to replace them.
  6. Clean the living Hell out of everthing you can see. This will freshen the smell of the car interior along with the new carpet. Use your vacuum cleaner and sponges to spiff up the cabin. Remember that cleanliness is next to Godliness, and that is pretty close to what a Triumph should be. Here's an idea...involve your wife or girl-friend in the cleaning as a way to promote togetherness because you care. Tell her that up front. You don't have to necessarily believe it, but this way she can do some of the dirty work. Remind her that she is never sexier than when she is in this car.
  7. You will need to remove the rear trim panel to fit the carpet under it. Consider at this time repainting all the trim panels with vinyl trim paint. All the trim panels come off fairly easily, (doors, parcel shelf, kick panels, and rear trim panel), and painting them is quite simple after masking off the non painted areas. This vinyl trim paint can be found in aerosol cans at local automotive trim suppliers in various colors. Also, the stained headliner can be rejueventated by either painting it or cleaning it with bleach, or both.
  8. Above all, take your time and DO NOT RUSH. Take frequent breaks to rest and think about each step. The things that take the longest are the things you will take the greatest pride in later. The footrest is an example. The factory sliced a hole and fitted the carpet around the footrest. By using longer 10mm bolts, punch two holes thru the carpet and attach the footrest on top of it. This takes longer but the result is just that much more insulating effect. It is these little touches that add an endearing quality to the project, you have improved on the original engineering of the car.
  9. Once the carpet is complete and the interior reinstalled, don't forget to remove the accelerator pedal side rubber pad from the old carpet and, using contact cement, glue the pad onto the new carpet. Be sure and use lots of the contact cement on both the pad and the carpet so it will stick and not fall off.
  10. Your done. Now you have new car smell again. If you ever needed an excuse to quit smoking, this is as good as it gets. I would give most anything to keep this new car smell forever in my Triumph, and so will you!