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How To: Install Molded Carpet

Project Overview

In this video you'll see how to replace the carpet in a 1981-1987 Chevy/GMC pickup. Also, you'll see some great options for thermal and sound insulation. While replacing your truck's carpet, you might like to update or upgrade your kick panels, seat belts, door sill plates and threshold plates.

Project Difficulty
Estimated Project Time
3 hours
Required Tools
  • Basic Hand Tools
  • Allen and Torx Head Drivers
  • Impact Wrench
  • Roller

Video Transcription

Hey guys, I'm Kevin Tetz, working with LMC Truck to bring you some technical information and how-to videos that we hope make your truck restoration project go even better.

In this video we're going to show you how to replace the carpet in a 1981 through 1987 GM pickup and address some of the issues that go along with that. We're also going to give you some great options when it comes to thermal and sound insulation in your truck making it sound even better like brand new one.

Now, not really carpet related there's a bunch of other stuff that you're going to want to replace when you get in there and put brand new carpet and stuff like kick panels, seatbelts, threshold plates, scuffing plates, different versions, different options everything you need is going to be available in the LMC Truck catalog or on LMC Truck's website This stuff looks great sitting on the workbench but we've got some tear down to do before we can install it in our truck. Now on a difficulty scale of one to five, this is about a 2. It's pretty simple it's just carpet you're going to need some basic hand tools as well as some allen and torx headed drivers and you may need an impact wrench for seat belt anchors because they typically have Loctite from the factory. This roller tool comes from the LMC Truck catalog comes in handy for the sound control mat. But really this is not that difficult to pull off. The seat, there's four bolts.

Next we're going to pull the seat belt anchors out. I'm using the impact gun to break the factory thread locker loose, not absolutely necessary, but it makes things easier. The seat belt warning buzzer gets disconnected from the original seat belt retractor. Our truck had aftermarket upholstery in the back of the cab and since it's ratty and no longer matches are interior color it goes away along with the shot 16x9 speakers. The threshold plates are what holds the carpet down on the sides and they'll get replaced as well. The kick panels have some easy to find screws and they have some not so easy to find screws. This is the fiddly have to fiddle. That was time for the carpet.

From the top this all looks good. It looks dry. But when I reach under here, its moisture all of this is coming out I'm not going to trap moisture in here. You shouldn't either. Now it's always a good idea to see the condition of the metal that your piling stuff up on top of, especially in an interior. This allows me to be very secure in this. This sheet metal is perfect. We're ready to move on.

The insulation tiles are super easy to work with and do an amazing job of deadening road noise as well as insulating from the exhaust heat in the cab the roller tool simply smoothes the tiles out faster and more evenly than with your hands...Alright, now listen, drumming is gone. That's why we use this stuff. The second layer is also sound insulation but it's going to enhance the sound of our radio and control road noise too. This layer of installation also helps to retain the heat in the winter and your air conditioned air in the summer. Spray adhesive should be used in a well-ventilated area it’s available in the LMC Truck catalog and is easy to use requiring almost no time. It helps to secure the jute style installation pad and keep it in place.

Now is the time to cut holes so your seatbelts can go back in. Now this stage just cleans up some of the fuzzy edges from that sound deadener. Now we lay the carpet in. Alright, so we've got some messing around with this to make it fit. When you leave the carpet out in the sun just give it an hour so that way it won't get too relaxed and lose its molded shape. As it heats up all of those wrinkles are going to float out of there. You don't want to attack it with the heat gun because this is a thin plastic and the fibers you can melt them easily. Trust me when I say just set it in, get the sides and corners and everything buttoned down. Get it fitting like it's supposed to fit. The wrinkles will come out naturally, it's just going to take a couple of days. So just have a little patience, don't worry about the lumpiness, it'll all float out of there. Its fiddly work getting it to fit properly but there's a really easy way to see how.

This is your seatbelt anchor, this is your seat bolt anchor for the seat frame itself. You trim these out from the backside everything else will fall into place. I'm using a silver marker outline the pre-stamped bolt guides, just so I could see them a little bit better. Then I can carefully cut the holes from the backside of the carpet. Alright, the wrinkles are already smoothing out. Now on the back side of this carpet I had trouble seeing where the seat frame bolt hole is supposed to be cut so here's a way to figure out where not to cut a hole in the wrong spot. I know it's inhere, right about here, so I'm reaching underneath and I find it in the floorboard. And I find where my other finger is, right there use a really sharp screwdriver or an awl. Put the awl in, now I know where my bolt goes and I'm going to make my mark on the top side here so I can either cut it from the top or I can go underneath and cut it from the bottom. Either way that's where it goes. Now I can safely cut, still be careful and there it is. We're home free. Trusty awl....there we are, we're in we don't want to go in all the way make sure it's seated. Yep, there's the hole, put in the screw, make sure we've got a bite, reseat our rubber.

Once you've got all the screws started you can go back and tighten them all. Alright, here's a new kick panel. We're going to transfer our vent valve over, because ours was still in really good shape. There it is...There we go. Throw the button in, there we go....look at that.

We reused the original filler button, because I liked the contrast but LMC Truck does offer a new black replacements in the catalog...That's it. Anytime that you see frayed or torn seat belts you really need to think about replacing them this is the last place that you want to compromise on any restoration project. And this ninety-degree bracket comes in the kit attaches to the retractor and it's sits right here in the same place as the original and I'm going to install some thread locker on my anchor bolt because that's what the factory did and I want to do that too. It's just good safety practice. There we go...there it is...

Alright, we decided to use new hardware from LMC Truck and some thread locker to sandwich our lap belt in with the keeper for the other shoulder harness. While you're installing your belts make sure that they're not in a bind and not twisted when you put them in place. You can always reroute and redo but it's much easier at this stage. The end result is fantastic. And it looks like a brand new truck inside. And with new multiple layers of thermal and acoustic insulation it'll feel as solid and as quiet as any late model truck on the road. Now, you got to admit that looks great and if you look close most of the wrinkles are gone even after just an hour after the installation and they will be on yours too. You just got to kind of let them flow out themselves.

We hope we've passed on some great tips that will allow you to have an easier time insulating your truck and installing new carpet and accessories. And don't forget to look to the LMC Truck catalogs or go to for other ideas on how to make your truck project even better. For now... I'm Kevin Tetz. Thank you for watching.