Carpeting Discussion

Please also see our Carpeting Procedure.


Dave wrote to Rob - I have a great video from Southern California Imports that shows step-by-step how to install all the interior carpeting. It looks like its going to be a lot of fun. I'm going to get new carpeting (the premium kind -- $175 for the set -- "Premium Loop, Cloth Bound."

Rob responded - That will look nice. I will probably stick with the rubber floor mat for practical reasons, but the carpet set for around the edges needs replacing.

The front floor pieces are different to our type -- left-hand drive (LHD) of course, so the shape for fitting around the pedal cluster is different. On mine, the front right side piece has a rubber kick panel in it -- does the LHD models have one of these on the left front side piece? My guess is no, since on the RHD models the right foot on the throttle rubs against the right side panel constantly, where on yours the left pedal is the "occasional use" clutch pedal -- less need for protection of the carpet.

It's interesting how little change VW needed to get both right-hand drive (RHD) and LHD models. On the bare shell you can see the indentation where the opposite side steering column would protrude through the front bulkhead, and the non-super fuel tank has two indentations under it to clear a steering column either side, and there is a steering box cover plate on both sides of the spare wheel well, and so on. VERY clever design work by VW in my opinion.

Later, after finishing recarpeting the interior of his '73 Super Beetle, Dave reported - It only took a day and a half and a gallon and a half of contact cement (the Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) solvent nearly gassed me! :-) The new carpet is really gorgeous, but what a job!


Contact Cement Safety Precautions

(Of particular concern is the solvent, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)

  • The main hazard associated with MEK is flammability. It has a flash point of -3C, which means it is very flammable. The vapor pressure of MEK is 95mm Hg @ 25C, which means it is also volatile. Smoking or open flames must NOT be permitted in the work area.
  • Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to MEK may result in irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat and central nervous system depression (in other words, it's an anesthetic).
  • MEK (and materials in which it is used as a solvent, such as contact cement) must be used only in a well-ventilated space.


An installation tip for installing things like center consoles - Drilling through the carpet to make holes for the screws that attach such things as center consoles can be a real pain and can do serious damage to the carpet. Strands of carpet may become entangled around the drill bit and then pull a long strand out of the carpet. I learned a neat trick to keep this from happening: after marking the location of the hole with chalk, I took my big old-fashioned clunky soldering iron and melted a quarter-inch spot in the carpet (made of synthetic material). After the spot cools, there is a nice solid little button that you can drill through with ease without tangling the carpet around the drill bit.


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