Keeping mind my past experience with a carpet swap in a BMW E30 some years ago, I finally found a good replacement for the carpet in the 996 and, uttering those infamous words “how hard could it be”, set off to do the carpet swap last weekend. If you’re curious how much of your interior you have to remove to do this swap, here’s your answer: almost all of it.
Pelican parts has an excellent DIY write-up which I won’t duplicate here, but do have a couple of helpful pointers for those who endeavor to follow. Here are the key lessons learned from my experience:
- Just cut. Follow the Pelican Parts top tip and just cut the new one in half down the middle (under the center console.) I didn’t do that, and it would have made it a whole lot easier to maneuver into position in the passenger footwell. You might have to use some extra contact cement along the center tunnel since the two halves aren’t held together any more, but it is totally worth it in reduced aggravation. And you won’t have to remove the shifter cables from the shifter or the e-brake handle mechanism from the tunnel.
- Give yourself the weekend. The two hour estimate is off by a factor of 5 (maybe 10.) It took me 2 hours just to remove the accelerator pedal (and I’ve done that before.)
- Bend don’t remove side panels. To release the rear corner of the carpet on each side, you have to remove the rear-seat side panels from their lower catches. You don’t need to remove the entire panel, just carefully bend the panel as you pull up and you can free it from the slots in the carpet and have enough room to maneuver the new one into place when the time comes.
- Frustration ahead. The accelerator pedal can be a bear to remove and reinstall. To remove, take out the set screw, pull forward by the top (what looks like an old cell phone antenna housing) to release the top catch, then slide up to release the cleat. Expect buckets of frustration when you try to put it back. It’s easier to do if you do put it back before you reinstall the seats.
- Don’t turn the key. Once you disconnect the electrical connections to the seats, you will get an airbag light if you turn the key to the on position (to roll down a window, for example). If you have a reset tool like the Schwaben Professional Scanner (with the right Porsche software module from Foxwell) you can reset it yourself. Otherwise you’re heading to the Dealer and pleading for them not to charge you for the reset.
The photo above will help you visualize what’s going on with the accelerator pedal module. When you remove it, you pull out to release the round peg, then pull up to release the square-ish cleat. To install, slide the cleat in first, then push down and forward to lock the peg. Secure with the screw. Or better yet, upgrade the whole thing to a fully adjustable throttle assembly (though that probably means cutting your new carpet….)
You also learn interesting things by tearing apart your interior, like how unnecessarily complex the center console design really is or that there is in fact a coin tray in the console box (which you have to remove by carefully prying the top to get to one of the screws).