Moving forward to the driver's compartment, we once again opted fortailoring several pieces to each surface rather than trying to cover theentire footwell. We began with the vertical pieces along the outer edgeof the footwell, followed by the sides of the transmission tunnel. Welearned the hard way that unlike the back of the car, the left and rightfootwells are not a mirror image of each other. The dimmer switch,accelerator peddle, seat mounts, and seatbelt attaching points were allcut with the scissors prior to the mat installation.
By now, we had our system down, and we were able to work veryefficiently--measure, rough cut, dry fit, trim to the exact size, andapply a small amount of adhesive for final fitment prior to completelyattaching the piece.
Once the footwells were completed, we used the scraps to fill in aroundthe shifter and ashtray, under the center armrest, and on top of thetransmission tunnel behind the radio. We even covered the jack and toolstowage areas.
The next step was the carpet installation. The molded carpet from ZIPProducts is very nice, and each section we installed made the interiorlook much better. The molded carpet isn't as forgiving as theinsulation, and a wrong cut can be very difficult to hide, so take yourtime, measure twice and cut once.
When we unpacked the carpet, we noticed that some of the pieces hadfinished bound edges, and some were rough cut. We installed therough-cut pieces first and trimmed them to fit. We found that exposingthe back side of the carpet to the sun softened the molded areas andmade the carpet much easier to work with.
Again, we started in the rear of the car, but this time the wheelhousewas covered first. The molded carpet was oversized, allowing a perfecttrim-to-fit installation. After several attempts, we decided to affixthe carpet to the framerail relief first. Working vertically up thecenter of the wheelhouse, we fitted the carpet over each surface,trimming and fitting the top edge last. Once the majority of thewheelhouse was covered, we focused our attention rearward, trimming andfitting the carpet around the cowl-support springs. Moving forward, wethen cut a relief for the rear trim panel attaching bracket. Bystretching the carpet over the bracket and rapping the carpet with aclean rubber mallet, we were able to make an exact cut in the perfectlocation. The carpet slipped down around the bracket with no wrinkles orbumps. Once we trimmed and glued the carpet around the jack-stowagearea, the wheelhouse was completed and looked original. The cargo floorcarpet was cut to fit from Zip Products and fit perfectly, with nothingmore than minor trimming around the jack-stowage compartment.
Next, the center bulkhead, separating the seats from the rear, receivedcarpet. As simple as this piece looks, it actually took some finesse toget the carpet to lie properly on both sides. We began on the frontside, working up over the top and down the back side into thejack-stowage area. Spray contact adhesive is the key for attaching thecarpet to the rear side of the bulkhead. Allowing the adhesive to tackwill allow you to press and smooth the carpet exactly where you want it.Work from the top down to avoid wrinkles.
The footwells were pretty straightforward. We found that using the sillplates as an anchor for the footwell carpet gave us a good place tostart. We were able to attach the carpet here without using adhesive. Aword of caution--when trimming around the console, trim as little carpetas possible because the console doesn't cover as much carpet as youmight think. As before, the molded carpet needed a little finesse toconform to all the angles and surfaces, but with patience, a perfect fitwas achieved.
The kick panels and jack-stowage cover were a piece of cake, justposition and glue. With the seats now in place, and the arm rest andconsole installed, our Corvette interior looks original, but withexcessive heat and road noise a thing of the past.