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How to Install a New Carpet in Your Classic Mustang


There’s a lot of work involved with replacing the carpet in your classic Mustang. The seats, the console, and all other items have to be removed. The floor pans need to be in good shape as well. If there are any rusted areas on the floor, the floor will need to be replaced, or it could eventually collapse, and the new carpet could be ruined. In addition, you may need to consider sound deadening material or cushioning. Needless to say, there’s a lot to think about. Here’s how to install a new carpet into your classic Mustang.

  1. Remove the carpet.

After you’ve gone through the process of removing the seats, console, and any other items in the way, you should remove the original carpet. If there are rusted floors underneath the carpet, you’ll have to replace that first. If you get a classic Mustang to work on that’s in decent condition, there may be a chance the floor will still look good, and you’ll save money you’d have spent having to replace it. The floor should be clean, and rust spots should be sealed. If you plan on using sound deadening material in your car, you should install it on the floor now. Any extra matting you want to use should be placed on top of the sound-deadening material. You don’t necessarily have to add additional matting, as the sound deadening material will be sufficient enough for heat insulation and noise reduction. The matting may even make fitting the carpet on the floor more difficult.

  1. Steam the carpet.

The carpet will be able to fit much easier on your car floor if you steam it. You can rent or purchase a carpet steamer and steam it before you add it to your Mustang’s floor. It will make the carpet less stiff and move less as you’re installing it. You can even use the steamer in the process of installing the carpet, and also after you’ve installed it. The steam will help the carpet conform more to the shape of your floor.

  1. Start at the rear.

When installing your carpet, you should always start at the rear of your car. Make sure the carpet is as centered as possible. Sufficient material should be left to overlap the sills and the ledge of the rear seat. Additionally, you don’t need to be concerned too much about getting the front edge to the edge of the seat pedestals. The front carpet section will cover these areas.

  1. Anchor the middle of the carpet.

When you’re inputting your carpet, you should anchor down the middle of the carpet and work your way out to the edges. In addition, cut the holes of the inner seat belt bolts. You can locate the bolt hole using an awl, then use a razor blade to cut away the carpet and move back from the area. It’s important to have a clean, neat hole created.

  1. Install inner seat belts.

Next, you’ll need to install the inner seat belts on each side of the transmission tunnel. Once you’ve done that, get the carpet smoothed out and properly position it before installing the bolts. The belt buckles will rest on the shoulder of the bolts. The buckles resting there will allow them to still be able to rotate once the bolts are tightened.

  1. Spray adhesive.

As you’ve steamed the carpet to help it conform to the shape of the floor plan, you should spray adhesives on the back of the carpet. Specifically, you should spray it at the sill area before you place it on your floor. Putting on the adhesive will help prevent the carpet from moving around while you’re installing it and while it’s being used. Be careful not to spray too much, as you want to avoid the adhesive seeping through the back and onto the carpet.

  1. Remove the excess carpet.

When you’ve successfully installed the retractor and the seat belt, cut off the excess carpet. A good way to prevent gaps after the sill plates are installed is to make sure the edge of the carpet is slightly overlapping the metal flange. The carpet should be molded to the shape of your car’s floor pan before you cut it.

  1. Install the front section of the carpet.

Once the rear part of the carpet has been cut and glued down, the front section of the carpet can be installed. The front section length should be cut according to the floor pan and the position of the edge of the rear carpet. The carpet should go all the way up to the footwells and transmission tunnel.  

  1. Use sheet metal screws to hold the seat belt bolts down.

Some classic Mustangs don’t have any seat belt bolts. These bolts would normally be what holds down the front section of the carpet in place. Instead, you can have the carpet held down by sheet metal screws. You can locate these screws at the rear edge of the carpet on each side of the transmission tunnel. Make a starter hole, and then input a sheet metal screw to keep the carpet in place. It’s important to check the panel’s backside to ensure there are no wires or fluid lines where you’ll input the screws. If you happen to live in wetter climates, use a waterproof sealant on the screws. Additionally, you don’t have to use screws on the front edge of the carpet. Instead, you can use adhesive.

  1. Install screws at the rear edge of the carpet.

After you’ve installed the screws at the front of the carpet, you should install them at the rear edge of the carpet. Follow similar precautions as detailed in the previous step. The most important thing in completing this final step is to make sure the carpet is held tight in place by the screws. Lastly, be sure to have enough of the carpet overlapping the sill to have coverage.

Following these steps will help you have your carpet looking nice and smooth in your classic Mustang. Always make sure that the Mustang floor is clean and rust-free before installing a new carpet. If you’re upgrading other parts of your Mustang, it might be useful to consider getting a coyote swap kit. You can learn more about it at this link: https://shop.revologycars.com/collections/coyote-swap-kit