How to install carpet

in your

1964-1966 Imperial LeBaron or Crown Sedan

Chris Hawkins (©1996, Internet published March 3, 1999)

 

Contents: How to install carpet in a LeBaron or Crown Sedan (just below!)

LeBaron and Crown Sedans - Preparing and installing carpeting on kick panels, door panels and seat bottoms

How to install carpet in a Crown Coupe or Convertible

Crown Coupe & Convertible - Preparing and installing carpeting on front kick panels and rear armrest panels

LeBaron or Crown Sedan - Carpet Installation

Lay out the new carpet, bottom up, on the driveway or hood & trunk of car and allow to warm in the sun for greatest pliability. If working in cold temperatures, lay out carpet indoors for at least 24 hours so that packing creases can smooth out. A warm carpet will lay flatter for a more precise fit.

Remove all sill plates. (Consider a serious polishing prior to reinstallation.)

Unscrew all retaining screws for center pillar cover. This piece is alarmingly fragile and will shatter with the least provocation. The top of this piece is often anchored with a pliable mastic substance and you will have to carefully ease the top away from its grip or risk snapping the top off. A few minutes under a hot hair dryer might speed the process. Once the top portion is loose, CAREFULLY lift the center pillar cover straight up and out of the car. Store in a safe place until it is re-installed.

CAREFULLY unscrew and remove plastic trim that goes along rear door pillar next to rear seat cushion, from sill plate up to C-pillar chrome moulding. (Note: you may have to loosen chrome moulding a bit to dislodge plastic trim.) This piece is also dangerously fragile so handle gently or it could shatter into a dozen pieces.

Remove lower cushion of rear seat by pushing cushion towards rear of car, releasing it from retaining hooks. Lift out.

Unscrew and remove all front seat belts. Note their location for later installation.

Move front seat(s) all the way forward and all the way up. Unplug red power lead to seat motor(s). Remove front seat(s) by unbolting seat from underneath car. You will need a deep socket to do this. (There is also an equalizing bar beneath the passenger side of some 1964-65 bench seats. Unbolt it at the floorboard mounting point.) Lift seat out of anchoring holes AND WITH A HELPER carefully remove bench seat from passenger side of car. The seats are incredibly heavy. Note: have a table nearby and turn seat upside down with the lower cushion on the table top and the upper cushion hanging along the side - now is a great time to clean and lubricate entire seat track mechanism before you reinstall seat.

Remove front kick panels These are held in by 2-3 screws hidden in the carpet.

Unscrew the two bolts on the back of accelerator pedal and remove pedal. Tip: screw bolts back onto pedal so they wonít be lost. Remove old carpet from car.

If jute soundproofing padding is stuck to back of old carpet, carefully peel it away. If it is still in good condition it can be re-used, or used as a pattern for cutting new padding. Position padding in its original location in car and secure it with a spray adhesive.

If you lay out the old carpet on top of the new carpet you will see that there is a considerable amount of extra new carpet that will need to be trimmed away for installation. If trimmed carefully, these remnants will provide ample yardage to re-do the lower door carpet and the kick panels. (See separate installation instructions.)

Install the rear carpet first. Position carefully so that moulded contours align with contours of floorboard. . (Note: to get carpet to lay correctly it will likely be necessary to trim the portion of the carpet that goes over the portion of the hump concealed beneath the rear seat cushion.) Pay close attention to the contours in the area from the floorboard up to the door sills. Make sure carpet is aligned properly and pressed into all the cavities before trimming any excess. If you trim carefully, the yardage under the rear seat is ample enough to be used for covering the front kick panels,.

Take particular care fitting carpet around the center pillar area. The carpet will not lay properly until the excess is in this area is trimmed. However, it is very easy to trim too deeply. The center pillar cover does not extend any lower than the level of the sill plates, so carpet needs to go up the center pillar only to a level 1" above level of sill plates. Trim carpet from behind with razor knife. Allow a 3-4 inches of carpet to extend over door sill area. (You will trim this area last, after seats and seatbelts are installed.)

Once rear carpet is in place, peel it back and note location of seat belt holes, marking the carpet above with a piece of masking tape.

Using the old carpet and heel pad as a guide, cut a two inch slit across the upper right hand edge of new heel pad on the front carpet. Cut a thick enough slit to allow accellerator pedal bracket to come through opening. It will be your reference point for positioning the front carpet. The only trick to installing the front carpet is to trim enough of the leading edge of the carpet so it will fit under the heater ducts while hugging the contour of the transmission tunnel. It will be helpful to lay the old carpet over the new, marking outline with tape to get an approximate idea of how much will be trimmed. Beware of trimming too much.

Once you have trimmed enough to allow the front carpet to be positioned as far forward as possible, trim the excess from the sides of the carpet. You can trim closely at kick panel area, but allow at least 3 inches to extend out across sill area. This will give you plenty of lattitide to fine-tune the final trimming of the carpet after it is properly aligned under the steering wheel, heater ducts and seat.

Once in place, mark the position of the dimmer and radio floor switches, cut holes and install provided grommets. Re-attach gas pedal to bracket.

Install rear seat. To install front seats, push long screwdriver up from below car through mounting holes. Cut 50 cent-sized holes where screwdriver hits carpet. Install front seat and plug in seat motor. Run seat to ends of travel to distribute the grease you have just applied on the tracks and gears.

Install inner front seat belts. Verify hole location by pushing a screwdriver through marked area of carpet into mounting hole. Trim 1" circle of carpet from area and install belts. Note: As you screw in the seat belt bolt it might start to pull carpet slightly. Make sure hole in carpet is large enough to allow some leeway for you to pull carpet back into position as needed.

CAREFULLY install center pillar cover, trimming carpet as needed . Be careful!! Once secured, locate the outer seatbelt bolt holes, cut carpet, and screw in outer seatbelts. Be careful not to allow carpet to be pulled up off the floorboard as you screw in the seat belt anchoring bolt.

Re-check that carpets are laying flat against all floor surfaces and contours, especially in the rear. Loosen seatbelt bolts and adjust if necessary.. Push carpet to edge of sills and up under lip. Trim carefully - better to leave extra and trim a second time than to trim too much.

CAREFULLY install rear door pillar covers. Install sill plates.

Enjoy your new carpet!


1964-1966 Imperial LeBaron and Crown Sedans

Preparing and installing carpeting

on kick panels, door panels and seat bottoms

Chris Hawkins 1996

If you wish to carpet your kick panels and door panels you might simply take them to an upholsterer, along with your leftover carpet yardage.

Or you may do them yourself quite easily -- all you need is rudimentary knowledge on how to use an ordinary sewing machine, plus an iron and ironing board.

To re-carpet the kick panels, peel vinyl edging from behind kick panel and remove carpeted trim. Carefully cut away stitching and detach vinyl edging from old carpet section , noting how it was originally attached. Use old carpet as a template for cutting new carpet section. The old vinyl edging can be flattened and made pliable again by running a warm iron over it. (Note: place iron only on the fabric backing of the vinyl, not directly on the vinyl!) Lay vinyl edging face down against new carpet along outer edges of carpet section. Use straight pins or masking tape to hold edging in place. Stitch carpet to edging 3/8" in from outer edge of the carpet all the way around the carpet section. Fold back vinyl and re-install edged carpet section on metal kickpanel, using contact cement.

Door carpet is done in an identical manner. Remove door panels. From back of door panel, remove lower stainless trim plate by bending up metal prongs and pulling trim plate straight out. Remove lower carpet panel plate in same manner. Follow above directions and install new carpet onto plate. Straighten all prongs with pliers prior to installing carpet panel plate and stainless trim onto door panel.

On 1964-65 models with bench seat, the lower portion of the front seat back has small carpeted sections. Cut appropriate sized pieces of new carpet and place over old carpet. Glue into place, leaving a 3/8" overlap that can be pushed under upholstery panel and seat side shield with a putty knife. Attach edges under seat with hog rings, screws or glue.

Some Imperials have carpet along the front portion of the lower rear seat cushion and at the back of the front center armrest cushion (on 1965 models with buckets.). You will need to order extra yardage and go to an upholsterer if you want to replace this portion of carpet. However, this section is often in very good shape and likely to be only a bit faded at worst.. If so, you might want to consider taking a sample of the new carpet to your local auto parts store and match it with an automotive LACQUER paint. Then spray your old carpet to make it match the new. (Note: do not use a hardware store-type enamel. It will be hard and gummy when dry. Automotive lacquers, on the other hand, will not significantly change the texture or feel of the carpet - just give it a rich new color. Just spray on and rub in with a stiff bristle brush.

Note: If you have trimmed too much carpet from any section, it is possible to patch on additional portions. Just trim a piece of carpet that will exactly butt up against the area to be repaired - itís best to use a straight edge on both portions. Secure from behind with carpet tape or good quality duct tape. The resulting repair should be almost invisible.


How to install carpet

in the

1964-1966 Imperial Crown Coupe or Convertible

Chris Hawkins, 1996

Lay out the new carpet, bottom up, on the driveway or hood & trunk of car and allow to warm in the sun for greatest pliability. If working in cold temperatures, lay out carpet indoors for at least 24 hours so that packing creases can smooth out. A warm carpet will lay flatter for a more precise fit..

Remove aluminum sill plates. (Consider a serious polishing prior to reinstallation.)

Remove rear seat first. Remove lower cushion by pushing cushion towards rear of car to release it from retaining hooks. Lift out. Locate hooks and retaining bolts for upper cushion that have been exposed by removal of lower cushion. Remove bolts and lift cushion up then out, making sure you have unplugged the rear speaker wire in the process. (Convertibles have additional retaining screws at upper, outer corners of the seat/speaker moulded panel)

To remove front seats, move seats all the way forward and all the way up. Unplug red power leads to seat motors. Unbolt seats from underneath car. There are 4 bolts anchoring each seat - you will need a deep socket to do this. (Convertible owners will find one bolt positioned above a resonator, so a cold exhaust system, a box end wrench, a couple of jack stands and lots of patience are needed for this task.) Lift seat out of anchoring holes AND WITH A HELPER carefully remove seats The seats are incredibly heavy.. Have a table nearby and turn seats upside down with the lower cushion face down on the table top and the upper cushion hanging on the side - now is a great time to clean and lubricate entire seat track mechanism before you reinstall seat.

Remove center armrest assembly

Unscrew and remove all front seat belts.

Remove front kick panels These are held in by 2-3 screws hidden in the carpet.

Remove both rear compartment armrest panels. (Convertible owners must first remove folding top cover panel prior to removing armrest panel.) Note: This is an excellent time to thoroughly lubricate rear window tracks, pivots and gears.

Unscrew the two bolts on the back of accelerator pedal and remove pedal. (Tip: screw bolts back onto pedal so they wonít be lost.)

The old carpet can now be removed.

If jute soundproofing padding is stuck to back of old carpet, carefully peel it away - if it is still in good condition it can be re-used. (Or used as a pattern for cutting new padding.) Position padding in its original location in car and secure it with a spray adhesive.

If you spread out the old carpet on top of the new carpet you will see that there is a considerable amount of extra new carpet that will need to be trimmed away for installation. If trimmed carefully, these remnants will provide ample yardage to re-do the rear armrest panel carpet and the front kick panels. (See separate installation instructions.) All trimming of carpet should be done from behind using a razor knife.

Install the rear carpet first. Position carefully so that moulded contours align with contours of floorboard. (Note: to get carpet to lay correctly it will likely be necessary to trim the portion of the carpet over the hump that will be concealed beneath the rear seat cushion.) Pay close attention to the contours in the area from the floorboard sides up to the sill area. Make sure carpet is aligned properly and pressed into all the cavities before trimming any excess. The yardage under the rear seat is ample enough to be used for the front kick panels, so trim carefully. Trim along the outer edges allowing a couple of inches to extend over door sill area. (You will do a final trimming of this area last after seats and seatbelts are installed.)

Once rear carpet is in place, peel it back and note location of seat belt holes, marking the carpet above with a piece of masking tape.

Using the old carpet and heel pad as a guide, cut a two inch slit across the upper right hand edge of new heel pad on the front carpet. Cut a thick enough slit to allow accellerator pedal bracket to come through opening. It will be your reference point for positioning the front carpet. The only trick to installing the front carpet is to trim enough of the leading edge of the carpet so it will fit under the heater ducts while hugging the contour of the transmission tunnel. It will be helpful to lay the old carpet over the new, marking outline with tape to get an approximate idea of how much will be trimmed. Beware of trimming too much.

Once you have trimmed enough to allow the front carpet to be positioned as far forward as possible, cut holes for center armrest brackets and lay carpet out flat. Trim the excess from outer edges. You can trim closely at kick panel area, but allow about 3 inches to extend out across door sill area. This will give you plenty of lattitide to fine-tune the final laying and trimming of the carpet after it is properly aligned under the steering column and the heater ducts.

Once in place, mark the position of the dimmer and radio floor switches, cut holes and install provided grommets.

Adjust gas pedal bracket opening in heel pad, cutting as necessary and re-attach gas pedal.

Install center armrest assembly

To install front seats, push long screwdriver up from below car through mounting holes. Cut 50-cent sized holes where screwdriver hits carpet. Install front seats and plug in seat motors. Check for correct operation and run seats to both ends of travel to work in all the grease you have applied to seat tracks..

Install inner front seat belts. Verify hole location by pushing a screwdriver into mounting hole. through marked area of carpet. Trim 1" circle of carpet from area and install belts. Note: As you screw in the seat belt bolt it might start to pull carpet slightly. Make sure hole in carpet is large enough to allow some leeway for you to pull carpet back into position as needed.

Locate the position of outer seatbelt bolt holes, cut holes in carpet, and screw in outer belts. Be careful not to allow carpet to be pulled up off the floorboard as you screw in the seat belt anchoring bolt.

Re-check that carpets are laying flat against all floor surfaces and contours, especially in the rear. Loosen seatbelt bolts and adjust if necessary.. Push carpet to edge of sills and up under lip. Trim carefully - better to leave extra and trim a second time than to trim too much.

Install front kick panels (See separate instructions for installing new carpet on panels)

Install sill plates. (Do this before installing rear armrest panels)

Install rear armrest panels, being careful to hook up all wires. Test them before final securing of panel. Convertible owners: install folding top cover panels. (See separate instructions for installing new carpet on armrest panels)

Install rear seat, being sure to hook up rear speaker.

Enjoy your new carpets!


1964-1966 Imperial Crown Coupe & Convertible

Preparing and installing carpeting

on front kick panels and rear armrest panels

by Chris Hawkins, 1996

If you wish to carpet your kick panels and rear armrest panels you may simply take them to an upholsterer, along with your leftover carpet yardage.

Or you may do them yourself quite easily! All you need is rudimentary knowledge on how to use an ordinary sewing machine, plus an iron and ironing board.

To re-carpet the kick panels, peel vinyl edging from behind metal kick panel and remove carpeted trim. Carefully cut away stitching and detach vinyl edging from old carpet section, noting where and how it was originally attached. Use old carpet as a template for cutting new carpet section. The old vinyl edging can be flattened and made pliable again by running a warm iron over it. (Note: place iron only on the fabric backing of the vinyl, not directly on the vinyl!) Lay vinyl edging face down against new carpet along outer edges of carpet section. Use straight pins or masking tape to hold edging in place. Stitch carpet to edging 3/8" in from outer edge of the carpet all the way around the carpet section. Fold back vinyl and re-install edged carpet section on metal kickpanel, using contact cement.

Rear armrest panel carpet is done in an identical manner. Carefully cut stitching and remove carpet from armrest panels . Remove vinyl edging from carpet pieces and proceed as above. Note: to get carpet to conform to the sharp contours of lower armrest panel, lay new carpet (complete with sewn-in vinyl edging) face down on ironing board. Place thin cloth - such as an old undershirt - over backing of carpet. Heat area to be moulded with medium steam iron until, hot, soft, and pliable. Immediately press carpet against armrest panel and hold tightly against contoured area until cooled. It should now conform to contours of panel. If not, repeat process. When satisfied, attach carpet to armrest panel with contact cement.

Some Imperials have carpet along the lower portions of the front and rear seat cushions. You may have to order extra yardage and go to an upholsterer if you want to replace these portions of carpet. However, this section is often in very good shape and is only a bit faded at worst.. If so, you might want to consider taking a sample of the new carpet to your local auto parts store and match it with an automotive LACQUER paint. Then spray your old carpet to make it match the new. (Note: do not use a hardware store-type enamel. It will be hard and gummy when dry. Automotive lacquers, on the other hand, will not significantly change the texture or feel of the carpet - just give it a rich new color.) Spray on and rub in with a stiff bristle brush.

Note: If you have trimmed too much carpet from any section, it is possible to patch on additional portions. Just trim a piece of carpet that will exactly butt up against the area to be repaired - itís best to use a straight edge on both portions. Secure from behind with carpet tape or good quality duct tape. The resulting repair should be almost invisible.

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