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DIY Carpet Review

Contributed By: Jon E.

I recently put new DIY carpet in my '79 WT, and I thought I'd run through it for anyone else who is considering this procedure.

1) At this point (without seeing the alternative) I don't really recommend this procedure. I probably saved $100 over JCW, but the amount of work wasn't worth it. I'm pretty patient and careful, but I don't know anything about auto interiors--some of you might know a lot more (but then, you don't need this guide).

2) Obviously, take out the seats and seatbelts and old carpet. I Also pulled the A/C blower, which was in the way.

3) I ordered carpet from http://www.atrim.com/. I ordered the van (largest) size carpet, which was TOO SHORT for my chief. You get a gap on the firewall or in the back. The people at Atrim were very pleasant, they might send you a piece of carpet that was 10-12" longer. Remember my truck is shorter than most, too. The carpet itself was pretty good, but not as "stretchy" as implied. Definately "utility grade".

4) I used 3/8" fiber padding from the local carpet store. $40 was more than enough. I also got a gallon multi-purpose glue from them, as well. It wasn't mulit-purpose enough. If I did this again (which I wouldn't) I would search harder for a glue with more "grab".

5) I used the old rubber underlay as a pattern for the pad. I made sure that fit, then all the holes, then used the pad as a pattern for the carpet. GO SLOW. Really sharp scissors help, and I used them more than the carpet knife. BE CAREFUL cutting carpet with a knife.

6) Slather the glue on, then lay the pad. I made a notched spreader out of a cheap plastic trowel. Glue the carpet to the pad. The carpet instructions imply that you can whack the carpet into shape over the tranny hump with a mallet. I found that the glue I used didn't hold well enough, and I ended up holding down the carpet with my foot and stretching it by hand. The padding sheds--after gluing it down, you will look like you were wrestling a sticky yak (unless you are really hairy already).

I have some pictures and can find out the brand of glue and pad I used for anyone who cares.

Good Luck,

Jon
'79 Chief

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