The MGA With An Attitude
CARPET LAYING -- INT-101 - (Page 6 of 6)


Now on to the main floor carpeting. Start again at the back and install the pieces that go under the seats, In addition to being trimmed to fit snugly into the corners around the edges, these pieces will need to be slit to fit around the fixed seat rails. When the seat rails are installed properly they are perfectly parallel to the side frame rails, and also to the center tunnel which is (originally) constant width in this area. Here I recommend finding the centerline of the carpet piece first, then measuring out equal distance on either side of that line to determine where to cut the panel to clear the seat rails. Last thing is to fit the carpet panel in place around the seat rails, and then to trim the edges to fit snugly around the outer edges and at the rear. This carpet panel is nicely nestled between the tunnel and the outer frame rail, also held between the rear bulkhead and the back edge of the seat rails, and also protected from above by the seat cushion when installed. As such, this carpet piece can be left loose without glue, and it will be easily removable from the back at any time for cleaning, or for drying when it gets wet in use (and it will occasionally).

Ah, we're getting down to the last few of pieces, only the front main carpet floor sections to go. First you need to glue in the small carpet pieces that cover the raised portion of the frame just ahead of the seat adjacent to the side frame rails. You may figure out that this is easier if done prior to installing carpet padding (rewind several pages). These small carpet pieces need to be glued securely in place to prevent the edges from coming loose. They will need to be stretch and distorted just a little to conform to the crown on top and still lay flat against all surfaces. Be sure these pieces extend far enough towards the center of the car to overlap (underlap) the cutout in the main carpet floor section so as not to leave any visible gap.

Now is the time to choose if you want glue or snaps to hold the main carpet sections in place. Glued in carpeting will stay put better but will not be removable for cleaning (or for drying, remember?). About eight LTD fasteners for each panel will hold the carpeting in place fairly well without glue. If you find later that you have a problem with the carpet not staying put to your satisfaction you can always glue it down later, or even some staples in a few judiciously chosen spots can work wonders. If you intend to drive the car regularly, particularly in the wet, I highly recommend that the main carpet pieces be installed with LTD fasteners.

These panels are fit into place the same as all the others, lay in place, check the edges, pull out to snip and trim, and repeat as necessary until they fit nicely into the corners without bending the edges and leaving no gaps. If the panel puckers up in the middle it's too tight around the edges and needs a little more trimming. Take the trimming in small steps so not to accidentally cut off too much. Easy to trim a little more later, but not easy to put the trimmings back on. The back end of this main carpet panel extends underneath the front of the seat, and there it needs to be slit appropriately (similar to the rear panel under the seat) to fit around the fixed seat rails. Do consider that there is a (bound) rectangular cutout in each of these panels to fit around the raised portion of the frame rail near the door in front of the seat. To get this to align properly you should start by placing this cutout in proper alignment with this raised frame rail, hold it in place at that point, and then proceed to push the rest of the carpet panel into position in all the corners and crannies as you go. Start the trimming at the back and work your way forward, with the final trimming and fitting to be done in the far top of the foot well. The upper outboard corner fits over a few steps in the frame, while the upper inboard corner extends above the tunnel to the center of the car and lies against the front metal bulkhead panel just below the large square frame cross member. Do not glue or otherwise fasten any part of this panel until it fits correctly all around with no gaps at the edges and no puckering in the middle.

My last remarks pertain to installing LTD fasteners, particularly the required location of these fasteners. Follow the flat surface of the floor near the outer frame rail forwards and upwards to the top edge of the carpet. Install one LDT here with the dot pointing upwards. Where the narrow tip of the carpet extends above the tunnel near the centerline of the car, install another LTD with the dot pointing towards the center of the car. At the top outside corner of the carpet on the rear face of the vertical frame install another LTD with the dot facing upwards. From there go down to the bottom of the same surface and install another LTD with the dot pointing towards the outside of the car (towards the wall). Under the front edge of the seat you should install four LTD fasteners, all with the dots pointing to the rear. Each narrow strip of carpet at the far rear corners of this panel gets a LTD fastener, and the other two go in the remaining corners between the fixed seat rails. Do not skimp on the number of LTDs here, as these fasteners are securing the carpet against forward motion when the passengers dig their heals in and kick forwards. This is especially important if you should ever carry some unsuspecting passenger for a trip around the autocross track. This goes right along with showing them where the grab handle is, and advising them not to leave finger nail marks in your shifter forearm.

Have fun with your new carpet installation. If you should have any problem or any additional comments you might like to see added to these instructions, or maybe just a big grin when it's all finished, feel free to contact with your comments.

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