We're always impressed by the cars we run into at shows, events, and outings. More often than not, the interiors look great and smell factory-new. Sometimes it still seems a bit odd considering the age of our street machines. Then again it's probably just us; most of us on staff haven't replaced the carpet for any of our vehicles. Matter of fact, the concept seemed a bit foreign-at least until now.
We recently installed a complete Classic Motorsports Group five-speed conversion in our '73 Camaro ("5-Deep," Sept. '08). We had to cut the carpet for the new transmission shifter and ended up with a decent-sized hole as a result of that minor surgery. Sure, we'd intended to replace the carpet from the get-go, so we weren't really concerned about ruining the 35-year-old rug.
To freshen up the cockpit, we went to Year One and ordered a two-piece 80/20 loop-pile carpet along with all-new pedal assembly pads and OEM doorsills. But before even snugging the carpet into place, we spent some time ripping out the factory sound-deadener from the floorpan. While this in itself can be labor-intensive, it was relatively easy to remove and happened pretty quickly. We replaced it with a single layer of Dynamat's Xtreme to help eliminate any potential sheetmetal rattle and road noise.
All said and done, it proved be an eight-hour gig, give or take 20 minutes for a lunch break. And now that the base of the shifter handle is just as aesthetically pleasing as its surrounding components, the new office has never felt so good. It didn't take much, and with a few easy modifications and bolt-ons, our '73 is starting to smell fresh and look closer to the street machines we're constantly drooling over. We still have a way to go, but for now we are definitely cruising in comfort.
What we did
New Year One carpet with a layer of Dynamat Xtreme
Get ready for a little sweat equity.
To begin, we removed the seats...
To begin, we removed the seats and tossed out the old carpet, diving straight into the factory deadener. Having someone help by taking one side while you work on the other will expedite the process, not to mention relieve some of the boredom while you're rowing through the monotonous motions with a scraper.
Luckily for us, the old deadener...
Luckily for us, the old deadener came out in fairly large chunks. The most stubborn sections were the trans tunnel hump and toward the foot area of the floorboard.
With the old material out,...
With the old material out, we used a good amount of acetone to clean the entire floor. A word of caution: While it sounds fairly obvious, be sure to be in a well-ventilated area and take a break between wipe-up rounds.
Once the floor dried, we opened...
Once the floor dried, we opened up our Dynamat Xtreme Bulk Pak, which comes with nine 18x32-inch sheets (for 36 square feet). We started by laying it out for fitment and ended up using full sheets near the footwell and most of the floorboard. After positioning it, we simply removed the release liner from the back of the Dynamat in sections and continued to peel back slowly until reaching the end. We then applied pressure on every square inch to eliminate any air pockets for maximum damping effect.
We worked our way across the...
We worked our way across the floorboard, laying the Dynamat in the largest portions possible. Don't worry about the gaps between the sections; they'll eventually be filled in. We strongly recommend the optional Professional Roller, which you can see (circled). At $25, the 2-inch-wide roller will save your fingers from going raw when applying pressure to smooth out the sections.
We were able to use scissors...
We were able to use scissors to cut and shape the Dynamat as needed; however, you'll want to use a sharp razor to trim the areas for the seatbelt bolts and mounts.