Monday, April 06, 2020

New Carpet for the Miata

One of the bigger projects for this makeover was to install new carpet. The 28 year old original carpet was just in really bad shape, and the insulation underneath it had gotten wet one too many times.

I started out, obviously, by pulling out all the old carpet. It had been wet a few times in the last couple years while this car sat in my driveway waiting for me to get serious about it. There were a few very small spots of surface rust starting, mostly on factory spot welds, so I hit them with a sanding disk and then coated most of the floor area on the driver side with POR-15.
The carpet kit I bought is the basic one from Moss Motors. It comes with insulation (shown) and it's a loop carpet very similar to the original 1994 carpet. That said, this is not a molded carpet kit, meaning the carpet pieces are not formed to conform to the curves and angles of the chassis floor. Instead, it comes in several pieces. There are separate pieces that fit along the transmission tunnel and door sill, and then a piece for the floor that overlaps the side pieces.
As I was installing this carpet I was starting to think I'd made the wrong decision. This kit is significantly cheaper than the fully molded kit, but I wasn't convinced that this was going to turn out looking decent. There are some holes pre-made in sort-of the right places, but there are still some holes you have to make yourself, and some minor trimming here and there.
In the end, though, I feel like it turned out pretty well. You can certainly see the different pieces where the sections overlap, but it doesn't really look bad.
I don't have a soft-top at the moment so the rear shelf came out looking quite clean! This actually works better than the factory carpet did here.
I'm going to get floor mats anyway, so this is fine and doesn't matter.
On this piece, though, I didn't think the kit was good. I actually re-used the factory piece behind the seats. As you can see the factory piece (top) was in decent shape anyway, but the kit piece is completely the wrong size. I just couldn't make it work so happily put the factory piece back in and it's fine.

This is the kit I bought and I do recommend it. A molded kit might be better but it might also be poorly fitting and difficult to install and is a couple hundred dollars more expensive. For this price ($289 at the time of this writing), I can just install new carpet every few years and be happy.

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