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).
I finally got around to indexing the MINI DIY projects we’ve written about over the last 13 years or so. The list is located in the menu bar at the top of the page. Look for BMW E30 projects and Porsche 996 some time soon.
As we’ve shown on this site before, the front mounted radiators of the 996 collect all kinds of debris over time. We bought this kit from Rennline many months ago, but never got around to putting it on. Since we had the bumper cover off this weekend for some other work, we thought we’d try it out (and clean out the debris again).
The install process is fairly easy. The hardest part is getting to all of the appropriate screws to remove the bumper cover. Put your car on jack stands and remove the front wheels. Start by removing the screws under the cover-plate for the trunk release. Pop out the side-markers and remove the two screws there. Pop the two closest quick-releases to the side markers, and remove the screw that mounts up into the side-marker. Shift to the bottom of the bumper cover. Remove the five torx screws. The cover should slide forward and off of the bumper.
We’ll be working from the back side of the bumper cover to install the grilles. We don’t have a third radiator in the middle of our bumper. There’s a blanking plate that covers this space. You could remove the plate to add a grille, but we just skipped that step. The grill is included in the kit.
Fit the grilles and bend them to conform to the shape of the openings. Use the screws included to the kit to attach the grilles, taking care not to screw anywhere that would be visible from the front. Because the grilles fit between the black housing and the rubber radiator ducts, it takes some finesse to get the bumper cover back in place when finished, just be patient and work both sides evenly.
When finished, it’s a very clean look. But would I still buy the kit today if I had a choice? Probably not.
These grilles are pricey for what you get. If I were doing it again, I would just buy some Gutter Guard at home depot and some short, sell tapping screws. When you buy this kit, you’re really just buying time. How much time would it take you to figure out the right shape, bend and cut the raw material, then figure out where best to attach it. The shape isn’t that complex and the grilles are sandwiched between the bumper cover and radiator housings anyway so they don’t need to be that secure. Save your money and try it the Home Depot way first. If you fail, you’re only out $5. If you succeed, you just saved $270.
Here’s another easy DIY brought to you by Home Depot Racing. If you notice that you’re picking up a lot of debris (klag, cigarette butts, rocks, etc.) then you might want to consider adding a grille between the scoop and the air duct plate that attaches to the underside of the bonnet. That’s the easy way: Just remove your scoop, trace the opening on cardboard, cut the grille to be just a bit larger, and then trap it between the back of the scoop and the forward edge of the air duct. But if you’ve removed the air duct, then it’s just a bit more complicated. But I’m ahead of myself. Start at the beginning.
Go to Home Depot, and get some Gutter Guard material, and a set of heavy-duty wire cutters or tin snips. You’ll also need some cardboard to make a template and some masking tape to transfer the template to the gutter guard material. If you still have the stock air duct on the underside of you bonnet, follow the instructions above. If you have removed the air duct, you’ll need a different method to attach the grille. For this you’ll need some stainless steel fine wire, an electric drill, and a small drill bit.
For this method, you want to cut the grille from the raw stock to be about 1/4 of an inch larger than the cardboard cutout you made so you can bend the material around the back edges of the scoop and have enough material to catch with the wire. Drill 8-10 holes at various locations on the scoop about 1/8 of an inch from the back edge. Cut a 4 inch piece of stainless steel wire for each hole. Carefully feed the wire through each hole and loop through the grille, twisting until tight. Bend the excess wire out of the way.
You can still see the stainless steel wire twists from the front. I though about painting them flat black, but they really aren’t that noticeable, and besides, if I can see them, then they’re still there.