Tuesday, July 10, 2018

MGB - carpeting (part 1)

Today's post covers getting the carpets into the little British car. Like so many of my posts, this got a little long, so I'm going to cut it into 2 pieces. At least there are lots of pictures this time.

How Did We Get Here
With a top now keeping out the elements, I was ready to install the carpet I had intended to install over a year ago. Recall Winter before last... I had a willing volunteer in K2 wanting to help on the little car. I was up to my elbows in front-end rebuild and couldn't fit a second pair of hands into what I was doing. I thought he could pull the front seats and the carpets (so we could replace them) while I finished the front end. The seller said that the floors were good but just the carpets needed to be replaced. At the time of purchase, I couldn't really see the floors because of shadows or whatever. So, when K2 pulled the carpets out and we saw a rust hole, it lead to a lost Summer of driving the roadster. Instead, we spent weekends cutting and prepping the floors, had a welding party and sealed in the floors. We added paint and noise reducer. Now, we were ready to lay some carpet, so I ordered "standard" set of carpets (versus the expensive wool or deep-pile ones on the market).

Noise and Temperature Containment First
In my years of working on the bus, there has been a steady drumbeat of containing noise. Driving an empty bus is like sitting in a metal shed through a thunderstorm. Its crazy loud. Lots of MG owners like the loud, so what I did at this point may not sit well with them. I don't care. It's my car, so I'll do what I please.

I know from driving this car around that the heat from the engine bay and exhaust heat up the interior, even without a top. While this might be nice in the winter, it's not so great in mid-Summer. To reduce heat, I chose to put closed cell foil-sided insulation (like this) behind the carpet sections in the footwells as well as under the driver and passenger seats. This should reduce both heat and noise. But I didn't stop there.

Except for the carpet over the rear shelf and the carpet on the main floor, the carpet is supposed to be glued directly to the steel. This includes the very front of the footwells, the sills, the rear wheel arches, etc. As I said earlier, I put that closed cell foil-backed insulation in the footwells and under the floor carpets. I wanted to add some additional soft to the other carpeted areas both for noise and for carpet depth when touched. The foil-sided insulation was too thick in the other areas, and I wasn't looking for temperature containment anyway, so I got some 3/32" closed-cell packing sheets from UHaul (like this). You wouldn't think it would make much of a difference, but simply tapping the steel with and without the foam was significantly different. These sheets are closed foam, so they don't absorb water and are very malleable.

Whether I was using the foil-backed or the UHaul foam, I used the carpet piece as a guide, traced it onto the planned under-layment and then cut with sharp shears. In some cases, I further trimmed the insulation to it wouldn't be visible after carpet was on top of it. I put some form of insulation under every piece of carpet except the transmission tunnel. I know the tunnel gets warm and I didn't know how the packing foam was going to perform with the heat. I wasn't sure how the carpet would appear on top of the foil-backed insulation, and whether the console would sit properly on top of it. Since that is the most visible section of carpet, and I'm not sure if I'm even going to install the full center console, I installed that section of carpet as directed: directly on top of the steel.

That's it for this part of the post. As you can see from the picture below, the cat continues to prove that he's a real shop-kitty, getting into whatever project we have going on. Of course, his help comes in the form of bringing work to a complete stop, but he's a cat. That's about all you can expect. Well, he could sit down right in the middle of the work; yes, he does that too. Thanks for following along, and I'll finish this up next time-

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