Replacing your 02's interior - Carpet Kit & Front Seats
- July 2001
Though it may seem like a big job, it really isn't that difficult. Anyone who's handy and has some good resources - 2002 Message Board - can take on this task and save some money that can be applied to other areas of your 02 that need some TLC. First, order a carpet kit. I went with the Bimmer Parts Co. sectional carpet kit ($195 + tax/shipping) in salt and pepper - like my original carpet.

Second, you might want to consider getting some new front seats. We all know how uncomfortable and messy the stock horsehair bench seats can be. But some nostalgic owners prefer keeping it stock and I respect that - just do your back a favor and have them repadded. In my opinion, when it comes to seats it's a no brainer - RECAROS!! Recaros can cost anywhere from $20 (thrashed) to $1200 (leather). If you are looking for Recaros, I recommend that you contact Mr. Recaro (Edgar Butler) - I am extremely pleased with the set I got from him.

Before going on with these directions, I would like to express my thanks Kerry D. Scott - the author of the instructions that were included with my carpet kit. Kerry, if it were not for your initiative and patience taking the time to write out these installation instructions it would have taken me twice as long to finish the job. THANKS! Now on to the installation.

The first step is to remove everything: Front and rear seats (how to remove seats), front seat belts, rocker panel covers, shifter and emergency brake boots, center console, inner door frame trim, hood latch mechanism, gas pedal, AC (if you have it - you will need to loosen some bolts but you won't have to take it out completely). Now remove all the old carpeting and padding that sticks to the floorboard or cardboard - you might consider removing all the cardboard padding stuck to the floorboard. I found that it was very hard to floor the gas pedal and clutch with the old cardboard and new padding installed, so I took all the cardboard out.

Seat Belt Latch Removal

Center Console

Rocker Panel Covers

Seat Belt Strap Removal

Cleaning time: Now's your chance to do that spring cleaning job you've always wanted to do. If your 02 is like mine, you will find enough horsehair under your backseat to cover a Clydesdale. I guess that stuff was on sale in the 70's. Take this opportunity to really give the interior a good vacuuming and cleaning. I also used compressed air to get the horsehairs out of those hard to reach areas. Make sure it's all clear.

Rear Seat Base

Rear Seat Base

Floor Board

Rear Seat Out

Trim Adhesive: I took Kerry's wise advice and used glue only where necessary. I bought some 3M 90 Trim Adhesive spray at the local Hardware store - in the paint section. It dries pretty fast but not so fast as to not give you a chance to adjust pieces. One word of caution - DO NOT GLUE UNTIL YOU ARE SURE ABOUT IT! Like Kerry says in his instructions, only a few pieces need gluing - the face of the rear seat base, rocker panels and kick panels - gravity, weight and a little elbow grease will take care of the rest.

Start securing the carpet sections: I decided to keep with Kerry's directions and I started from the rear and moved forward. The back seat base panel is a little tricky, make sure there is only vinyl in the top of the seat base. If any carpet is on this section, the back seat bench will not latch into place. Once the vinyl is secured on the base, proceed to gluing the carpet back to the base. You may need to make little slits along the rounded center section that goes around the tranny tunnel to get a good fit. But always cut with caution!

The rocker panels are the hardest part of the installation. Like Kerry says, "you might want to have a beer at this point!" It needs to be positioned perfectly! The thing to remember is that the vinyl edging on these carpet sections need to butt up against the vertical tip of the rocker panel. If it goes over, the rocker panel cover will not fit. You will also need to make a cut in this piece that's big enough to get the seat adjustment handle through - be careful. You will also need to make sure that no carpet is on the seat mounts - the seats will not fit or operate properly if there is carpet on base. You will also have to cut and trim some vinyl so the slider latch does not catch onto it. I suggest not using glue on this section until you are completely satisfied with its position and placement.

The worst of it's over now! If you made it this far, you'll breeze through the rest of this. The next pieces are the one's in front of the rocker panels and at the base of the kick panels. These just need to be positioned so the inner door molding holds a section closest to the seat. The rest of it will be held on with glue. Don't worry about the piece having no vinyl trim on 3 of its 4 sides - those parts will be covered by the kick panel and floor panel pieces.

Rear Seat Base Carpet Install

Rear Seat Base Carpet Install

Rocker Panel

Kick Panel

Move on to the kick panels now. Do the passenger side first - the hood latch is a bit tricky; save it for later. The most important thing to remember is that the vinyl needs to be flush against the edge of the door jam. Once you've got it flush, run the inner door molding along the edge and secure it in place. If you like what you see, start gluing! The driver's side has the hood latch, so you've got to be patient. I did it the way Kerry recommended and secured the two screws with out the latch, got the edges flush and secured the molding. I then glued the lower half of the carpet to the kick panel and held the upper portion against the panel with my free hand. At this point, feel for the 2 screws and use a utility knife to cut small holes. Now you can remove the screws, position the hood release latch and secure it with the screws.

Now you can install the big tranny tunnel piece. Start from the back and work it around the brake lever grommet and shifter. Do your best to work the wrinkles out. The seat base vinyl for this piece will need some trimming, too, but you should wait until it's been secured to do this. Now you can reinstall the seat belt receivers. They use bolts and have holes that are much easier to find. Once you've got the rear section worked out to your liking start working the carpet forward over the shifter and under the center console. If you have AC (like I do) this will be an adventure - but be patient. Like Kerry says, "have another beer!"

The rest of the pieces require no glue whatsoever - in mine and Kerry's opinions. The driver's side floorboard piece has vinyl trim that you can use as a cutting guide for your clutch and brake. You will have to wait to make the small cuts for the clips at the foot of the gas pedal until the carpet is in place - like the hood latch. Slide the clutch, brake pedal and accelerator hook through the holes and reposition the floorboard carpet. Once it's set, make small cuts for the accelerator clips and make a small cut for the accelerator stop so that there is no carpet obstructing the accelerator pedal and stop - that way you will still be able to push the pedal to the metal. The driver's side is done.

The passenger side floorboard carpet should not be a problem. If you have AC, you will have to make a small slice in the top of the carpet to accomodate the hose going through the firewall. Position the passenger floorboard carpet and two rear floorboard carpets. Now you can start putting everything back together in this order; rear seat, center console, brake and shift boots, door trim, rocker panel covers, and front seats. BAM, you're done! Congratulations, you just saved a few hundred dollars that you can blow on more 02 parts!

Installing Recaros: First, you will have to remove the existing seats. Move the seats all the way forward and you will see two 10mm bolts securing the sliders, unscrew these. Now move the seat all the way back and remove the two 10mm bolts in the front of the sliders. Lean the seat back and take it out of the car.

Front Seat Bolts - behind seat

Front Seat Bolts - front of seat

Rear Bench Seat Removal

Rear Bench Seat Screws

In case you were wondering, removing the rear seat is really easy. Simply grab the seat bench and lift it up - the clips will release and the bench can be removed. To get the rear seat back rest out, all you have to do is remove two screws that hold the back rest. Then lift it up and towards you to unlatch the upper clips.

If your Recaros already have 2002 sliders installed, just go ahead and bolt those bad boys in. If your Recaros don't have 320i sliders or no sliders at all, you will need to remove and use your old seat's sliders. If you expose the seat's underside, you will see that the sliders are secured to the seat with the same 10mm bolts. Slide the insert all the way in either direction so that the bolts are exposed and remove them. Once you've got the sliders removed, install them to the base of your Recaros and the seats are ready to go in. The seats go in the same way they came out.

Thank You Keith - 74tii for all your help with my seat sliders!





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