JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Front Carpet Installation:

Video Overview:

Now that we’ve got our speaker kick panels mounted, all of our stereo wiring run and the carpet padding is in, we can install a front carpet kit in our 1971 Super Beetle Restoration. Adding new carpet is one of the surest ways to spruce up your VW Interior. We’re going to install a Premium kit which has precut holes for the shifter, the parking brake, and rear seat belt holes. It also has a scuff pad on the tunnel next to the accelerator pedal. Follow along as we cover some tips and tricks we used to install a new carpet kit.

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Trim Tool
Rubber Mallet
Razor Blade
Pocket Knife
Impact Driver with Philips Screwdriver Bit
Grinder with Cut-off Disc
Philips Screwdriver

Video Transcript:

00:00 Hi! I'm Sam with JBugs.com
00:02 We're going to give you the low down, on laying down carpet.
00:10 We're going to be installing a premium carpet kit which has pre-cut and trimmed shifter, parking brake, and seatbelt holes, as well as a scuff pad next to the pedal assembly.
00:19 Standard carpet kits wont have these additional trim pieces but are otherwise identical.
00:25 We've already laid the carpet pieces in our car and checked the fit.
00:29 Now, we have them all laid our here to give you an idea of how they will fit in the car
00:33 and we can show you how to identify what order to install the carpet pieces, regardless of instructions.
00:40 Some of the edged of the carpet are bound and have a finished edge, others do not have a bound edge.
00:45 Looking at the heater channel piece, the unbound edge here will be covered by the rear floor carpet.
00:51 Looking at the rear floor carpet, the front edge is unbound as it will be covered by the front floor carpet.
00:58 The front kick panels are unbound at the bottom edge, so they will be covered by the front floor carpet.
01:04 The same goes for the front firewall carpet.
01:09 Looking back to the kick panel and heater channel pieces, overlapping the kick panel piece over the heater channel looks cleaner.
01:17 So, we'll install the heater channel pieces first, followed by the front kick panels, and the front firewall, then the rear floor piece will go in and finally the front.
01:29 Moving into the car with the heater channel piece, we'll get it test fit.
01:33 Setting this piece in place, the shorter edge will go forward towards the A-Pillar and the longer edge will go towards the B-Pillar.
01:43 Rolling the carpet down the heater channel towards the floor, we can see the cut out for the seat rail will have to be cut back more just a bit.
01:50 This is normal and the cut edge isn't very visible under the seat rail so it isn't a big issue.
01:56 Pulling the carpet back and looking at the sewn on trim, we can see a rolled edge or lip.
02:02 1969 and later carpet kits have this trim, earlier models do not.
02:08 The lip will tuck into the metal strip at the door sill.
02:11 So, we use a trim tool to pry open the metal
02:15 and we run the trim tool along the trim in the carpet to make sure the plastic lip isn't sealed or stuck to itself.
02:24 Then, we can set the carpet piece in place and press the lip of the trim into the channel on the door sill.
02:31 With the lip in place, we pull the carpet into the car and use a mallet to close the metal strip down onto the trim, along the door opening.
02:40 Now, we can do the minor trimming needed to get the carpet to lie in flat at the back edge of the seat rail.
02:46 Moving back and fitting the carpet along the body, we can trim the back edge so the carpet can fit around the heater duct.
02:54 This area will be behind the rear kick panels and won't be visible later.
02:59 Now, so we can get a cleaner look when the rear floor carpet overlaps the heater channel carpet,
03:04 we'll trim the floor padding so we get a flat floor for the next piece of carpet.
03:10 Moving towards the front, the carpet is tucked in next to the seat rail and we trim the carpet front edge so the carpet can lay flat at the front floor.
03:20 The carpet pad is trimmed back like we did in the rear portion.
03:24 Then, we pull back the carpet and spray glue along the door sill, the floor, and the back of the carpet.
03:31 Note that any time you use a spray glue, the glue will need time to set or tack up before setting the carpet down and sticking the two surfaces together.
03:43 Working the carpet from the outside in and down, we work the carpet into the car and down to the floor.
03:50 A trim tool can help level out any rolls or wrinkles.
03:55 With both heater channel carpet pieces in place, we can cut the opening for the font floor heater vents, with a razor blade.
04:02 Be cautious whenever you're cutting loop carpet.
04:04 Never pull a loose thread, cut it with a pair of scissors otherwise you risk having a bare line in your carpet.
04:12 Once the rectangular openings are cut, we can set our heater channel vent covers in place and screw them in.
04:19 I use a self tapping screw to drill a new hole and then swap the silver screws out for black screws so they don't stand out against the black vent cover.
04:28 We recommend starting in reverse so there's less chance of snagging the carpet and then switching forward to drill the hole.
04:35 Now, we can move forward to the front kick panel carpet pieces.
04:38 We do have speaker kick panels installed, but the installation of the carpet doesn't change.
04:43 After test fitting the carpet, we spray glue the panel and the back side of the carpet and set the carpet in place,
04:51 concentrating on the fit at the door jamb and the top edge.
04:56 We work the carpet down the panel, into the heater channel, and forward towards the firewall smoothing out all the edges.
05:04 At the bottom edge, where the carpet lies on the floor, we cut back the carpet padding
05:09 Once both kick panels are installed, we can test fit the firewall piece.
05:15 After cutting a hole for the brake push rod, we test the fit again.
05:20 Once we're happy with the fit, we spray glue the back of the carpet and the firewall.
05:26 We don't glue the areas near the pedal assembly on the firewall or the carpet
05:29 so that is any maintenance needs to be done later,
05:32 the carpet can be pulled up easily without any damage.
05:37 The carpet is set in place, lining the carpet up against the top of the firewall and then working it down from there.
05:45 When needed, we recommend WD-40 and a rag to clean up over sprayed glue.
05:52 Once the firewall carpet piece is in place, we trim the bottom of the passenger side, for the footrest tab, and then set our metal footrest in place.
06:02 Now we can start to work on the rear carpet piece which will go over the parking brake, after we install the parking brake boot.
06:09 Before we install the boot, we cut the excessive length of the parking brake cable threads, so they wont poke through our boot.
06:16 We install a screw clip at the back side of the mount.
06:20 We remove the foam inserts from the boot and slide them over the heater levers.
06:25 We spray the handle and the boot with silicone.
06:29 [We] slide the boot in place over the handle, the heater levers, and back over the rear edge.
06:37 We test that all the levers work smoothly and make sure that the knobs are in place, before installing the screw at the rear of the boot to hold it in place.
06:48 The rear floor carpet can be set in place to test the fit, over the parking brake boot, down the tunnel, and into the rear floor areas.
06:56 We note, that like the heater channel piece, we'll have to cut the back at the seat rails but otherwise the fit on both sides is good.
07:05 We check that both seat belt holes line up.
07:08 With the carpet test fit on both sides, we pull it out so we can glue the areas at the tunnel, the chassis, and the carpet.
07:16 The carpet is laid back into place, fit over the boot, then we thread in some seat belt bolts to center the carpet piece onto the tunnel.
07:25 We work the carpet into place on the tunnel, the pan, in between the seat rails, and along the tunnel towards the front and back along both sides of the tunnel.
07:37 Again, a trim tool helps to smooth out any wrinkles.
07:41 We pull back and spray glue the back sides of the carpet and the floors.
07:45 Then work the carpet down to the floor from the tunnel out and then forward in between the seat rails.
07:52 Note that there will almost always be a gap between the carpet and outer seat rail but this will be under the seat and is not very visible.
08:00 Once both sides are in place, we can test fit our front floor carpet.
08:05 All the edges of the carpet are bound and there shouldn't be any trimming necessary.
08:09 We want to make sure the cut out for the shifter is correct and the carpet fits well over the tunnel, on the passenger side footrest, and around the pedal assembly.
08:20 With the fit confirmed, we spray the tunnel and the back of the carpet at the tunnel area.
08:26 The carpet is set in place, lining up the shifter, and then we work it forward and down either side of the tunnel to the floors.
08:34 Then, the floor areas are pulled up, we glue the back sides and floors, and lay the carpets into place, and press them down working from the inside out.
08:45 All the glue overspray is cleaned up with WD-40 and a rag.
08:49 Then, to protect our carpet during the rest of the install and later down the line, we install a set of carpeted floor mats.
08:56 We ordered them in a matching black loop to tie in with our carpet kit.
09:00 Once all four pieces are in place, we can move on to the next part of our restoration.
09:05 Thanks for watching!
09:06 Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
09:08 Click like, if you haven't already, click subscribe.
09:11 And when you need parts or accessories for your vintage VW, click on the links to JBugs.com