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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm trying to remove the one-piece carpet in my Alfa to help to trace some wires. I purchased the car this summer and have found all kinds of cut wires, new retro wiring, and the occasional mystery wire. I'm hoping to connect some non-functional items, and do a general inspection and cleaning of floors, wires, grounds etc. I'm not replacing the carpet as its in decent shape, but I'm stymied by how to loosen the carpet from around the forward shift boot area. It seems to be glued down quite extensively in that area, and I'm afraid to force or pry it up. Anyone had that experience before? Also, the thick tar-like layer beneath the driver's side foot has dried up and is crumbling into small pieces as I lift the carpet in that area. Is there a replacement 'goop' that is used to provide moisture protection?
I've pretty much stripped the interior, but am not sure how to loosen the carpet around the shifter.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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I don't recall the carpet being glued down in our '84 Spider. Perhaps something a previous owner did? I'd try a heat gun on low setting (aimed under the carpet if possible) to see if it'll loosen the glue's grip.

The tar-like stuff was Alfa's attempt at sound deadening. There are better options - sheets of sticky-back material. Good luck getting the tar stuff cleaned up. The heat gun will soften it so you can scrape out as much as possible. A solvent like paint thinner will help wash up the remnants. I've read that CO2 blasting will get rid of tar based undercoating. The [email protected] freezes the stuff making it brittle and the CO2 pellets knock it off. But I've never tried it.
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the quick reply, and photos. Did you remove the heater box to facilitate the carpet removal? I haven't done that yet, but may have to. Heat gun sounds like a good idea. There does seem to be some tar-like dried goop around where the carpet meets the shifter boot housing. And the foot well tar is quite easy to pop off the surface using a putty knife. The only mishap I had today during the work was snapping off the accelerator pedal limiter thingy, that's on the floor under the pedal, while attempting to spin if off. Ugh! Hoping I can get the broken stud out now. Thanks again!
 

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I don't think I removed the heater at that time. Notice that the dash is still in place. The shop manual instructions to R/R the heater begins with 'remove dash'. I did later remove the dash & the heater. And even later I removed the lower half of the heater (without removing the whole unit or the dash) when the blower motor seized up. See: https://www.alfabb.com/threads/s3-heater-fan-r-r-drain-holes.132059/#post-662702
 

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Its just stuck to the backing on the padding that Alfa used from 86 on. You should just be able to pull it up slowly working it loose.

Heat gun might help. Just be careful not to melt the carpet with it.
 

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1603947
This adhesive-backed product from 3M (still available from auto body and paint supply shops) is identical to the black sound deadening material used under the jute carpet pad on our Spiders. If you desire to keep your car as close to original as possible, this is the product I recommend.
 

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on the S4 the underlay carpet was also a one piece formed piece, just like the carpet...was the S3 so different?...nothing glued down there as far as I was aware. Under the seats a felt material, and in the footwells the felt was sprayed in a black tar- like substance...but it was all a one piece underlay.
Although one piece carpets are a moisture trap (you can't just lift up the carpet to dry things out, you need to rip the whole interior apart!) someone out there needs to reproduce the one piece carpet again.

spider floor no carpet.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got the carpet out. Just took a bit of prying around the forward tunnel near the shifter, revealing a shockingly wet and moldy layer of rotting jute carpet padding. The tar sound proofing in the drivers footwell was in a thousand pieces, but the floor pan beneath looks better than I expected it would, just a bit of surface rust. Thank you Norseman for the underlayment info - that's exactly what I was looking for! Had thought I might use some roofing weather shield bituthane, but hated the idea of having to buy an entire, very expensive roll when I only need about 10 sqf. Spiderserie4 - yes the S3 also has a monolithic tar/jute layer combo in the foot well areas (in the photo it looks like debris from a plane crash, but that's what 30 years of moisture will do I guess). Its a thick layer of tar, a layer of jute, another thick tar layer, and finally the carpet I think I'll try to mimic that construction, but use a synthetic jute instead of the real thing. Thank you all for the advice - it really is helpful.
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Now we can see why checking under the carpet is such a good idea. You probably caught that rust before it really did damage.
Worst part is always the corner, near the big drain hole where it meets the rocker.

just as a matter of interest, did your S3 also have that big hard plastic cover just in front of the park brake? (like the S4 photo shows)
 

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Yes, I have that cover. Going to clean it up a bit before reinstalling. One curious thing about those drain hole covers you mentioned - each one, which is a big metal disc, has a small rubber plug in the middle. Can't understand why a drain port would be plugged like that. I'm going to leave those out to give water some sort of chance to drain.
 

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Spiderserie4 - I see you're from Germany. As my wife is from Duesseldorf, I'm not sure its proper that we should be communicating.....;)
 

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just as a matter of interest, did your S3 also have that big hard plastic cover just in front of the park brake? (like the S4 photo shows)
Yes Dom, My 1988 S3 has that flat-topped plastic cover over the drive tunnel between the ashtray and the park brake lever. Not really sure what's it's purpose is, other than to provide a flat surface for the rear console section to sit on. Those plastic covers are pretty fragile too. Once you remove the console tray, if you accidentally put some weight on that piece, it teand to crack or break.
 

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Spiderserie4 - I see you're from Germany. As my wife is from Duesseldorf, I'm not sure its proper that we should be communicating.....;)
no worries, I'm Irish in any case!
But she will know there is a 'healthy' rivalry between Düsseldorfers and Kölner when it comes to Karneval;)

As for the big drain holes, my idea would be a big flat rubber plug that fits that hole nicely, one that you can remove from underneath...would make much more sense than a plug you remove once the carpet is removed.
(iirc. They are not actually there to drain water, they were there to drain when the chassis was painted or dipped...something like that. ....they should have dipped it longer if you ask me!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ah, an Irish ex-pat? I've spent lots of time in D-dorf, and a bit in Koeln. You're getting into Weihnachtsmarkt season now - I miss that.
 
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