New Carpet

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It's really hard to take a good picture of BLACK carpet, but here it is, for what it's worth. This is a BRAND NEW moulded carpet. 

I picked it up on eBay for a really reasonable price. Turns out they don't even make it until you place the order. I had originally planned to just go with maroon carpet like the truck had from the factory, but I just don't like that color interior. So I went with black. Black goes with everything. Before I could install the carpet, I needed to take care of some serious water leaks, and the minor rust those leaks had caused with the old carpet.

Leaks on these vehicles is caused by the body seams. The factory put some state of the art (for 1984) body seam glue where each piece of sheet metal overlapped. This saved them having to weld the whole seam. Instead they spot welded, and then just ran a big fat bead of glue over the whole thing.

Well give it 15-20 years and the stuff dries out. When it dries out, it's no longer flexible, so when the car is driven, the body does flex, and this stuff starts cracking. Cracks let water in. The most common place for this water to leak in is the (wait for it…) rain tray under the hood. heh.. So that's where I started with the fix.

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I find a chisel works best for getting this stuff up. You can see some of it is still in place, in the above picture, and you can even see the crack running down the center of the remaining sealer.

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Here it is all cleaned out. The big square hole is where the rainwater runs out into the fender to drain away. The gap between the two pieces of sheet metal leads into the cabin. Exactly where we DON'T want the water to go. :)

Not the best picture, and I made a mess of it, but there it is covering the whole area up. Hit that with a coat of red paint and you'll hardly know I had to go there.

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The above picture is the passenger's foot area. Driver's area looked about the same. This is another seam, as well as where the water was puddling up under the carpet and remaining damp for a very long time. Caused a little bit of rust. I hit it with the angle grinder.

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Takes it back down to some pretty much new metal again. After all of the surface rust had been ground off, it got a nice thick coat of POR-15.

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This seems to be the only picture I got of the POR-15 paint over the cleaned up rusty patches. I managed to catch this rust problem in time, it hadn't rusted through anywhere, and thanks to past oil leaks, the underside of the truck is impeccable.

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Here's another body seam that had dried and cracked filler that I had to remove. I spent several hours inside the truck with the entire interior removed (notice there's no dashboard in this picture), chiseling away at the filler. 

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I didn't get any other pictures of the back of the cabin, behind the seats, but the joint where the bed meets the cab was a SERIOUS water leakage area. That's the upper seam in the picture on the right. Then there was another seam below it, and then down at the floor, there was yet another seam. I ended up using two full tubes of that filler on this truck.

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This is the stuff I used. Was priced well, and my local parts store had it. So that's why I used it. :) The caulking gun tho, utter crap. Don't buy a "Performance Tool" brand caulking gun. The trigger was very thin stamped sheet metal and ended up collapsing. I had to get a real "Heavy Duty" caulking gun at the hardware store. Worked great.

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Here's today's WTF picture.. So while I was waiting for the seam sealer to dry, I figured that since I already had the dash out of the truck, why not refurbish my heater box. It's never really put out good heat, and it's drafty even when it's off. I didn't get any other pictures of the process, unfortunately, but I can tell you that I found a mouse had lived in it at one point. He had eaten half the "VENT" flap in his attempt to escape (or he was simply living off the rubber). I decided to run the whole heaterbox, disassembled, through the dishwasher to get it properly cleaned.

I also decided it'd be nice to put a fresh heater core in there. I scored a brand new one for $20 shipped on eBay.

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At first, it appears that it's too small and won't fit. But by the time you get done putting adhesive backed foam pads all over it, it's a very snug fit. Again, I didn't get any pictures of that. 

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And here's a good shot of my ass.. err, I mean.. hehe.. When I removed the dash, the factory sound deadening was still on the firewall, but it was falling apart from all the water damage, and being 30 years old. I went to the local fabric store and picked up some new sound deadener material. This stuff isn't rubber backed like the factory stuff, but I think it'll be fine. It's certainly a heck of a lot lighter than the original stuff. Oh, and so is the carpet. The new carpet might weigh 10lbs, if that. The old carpet must have weighed 35lbs+, even when it was dry. It was rubber backed as well. 

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This stuff is incredibly hard to cut through with scissors. I eventually got a clue and started using a utility knife. But anyways, here I am trimming the vent duct hole.

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You can see the can of spray adhesive I used, this stuff is glued to the firewall, that stuff works wonders. I don't think this stuff is coming off for another 30 years. The original sound deader had been glued on as well, but the glue had all but completely failed along with what it was holding.

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Here it is with the whole firewall padded up. I brought it down roughly as far as the factory had brought it down. I'd also put the heater box back in place before taking this picture.

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I had some left over, so I went ahead and did the back of the cab as well.

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Now I can finally install the carpet. I'd cut one hole in it so far, the hole for the shifter. I should mention that before I put the carpet it, I ran the shopvac across the bare metal floor to get all the last of the dirt/debris up. Then I throughly scrubbed the floor with a bottle of windex and a rag. It was rather clean and shiny by the time I was done. :)

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You can see I've completely trimmed around the shifter, the center console mounting bracket, and the parking brake in this shot. I was just getting ready to do the seatbelt bolt holes at this point.

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And the seat belts are back in. Also a view from a different angle. Like I said, this was moulded carpet, so it was shaped perfectly to fit the floorpan of this truck. It's just a matter of setting it down and centering it on the big lumps.

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Time to get the dashboard back in, finally. I was snaking the wiring harness back through the dash during this picture.

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The steering column is back up and in place now.This is where I ended the day at. Tomorrow I need to do the headliner, recarpet and reinstall the rear wall, put the seats back in, and finally get the new stereo installed. Should be another busy busy day!

© Una 2011