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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This summer I picked up a 1989 Dodge W250- just the ticket for a good work truck for around the shop. The truck was in great shape- one owner, garaged, super low miles, 360 V-8, auto, bed liner- but the interior was a bit beastie. It was equipped with air and cruise, but unlike fancier models the truck did not have kick panels, sound deadening, or carpet. The original seat was stained and had a rip, so the previous owner put in a seat cover, but it did not fit quite right. The factory rubber floor mat smelled, and made the truck feel dirty, so it was time to upgrade.

My budget was $250. I ordered a carpet set from JC Whitney ($169). The local auto parts store yielded some Dodge logo carpet floor mats ($30), some semi-flat spray paint ($5), and a replacement window crank handle ($6). With the remaining $40 I got a cheap AM/ FM/ Cassette and a steering wheel cover. You will need a ½ socket, 9/16 socket, ratchet with extension, Philips screwdriver, 9/16 wrench, 13/16 socket, and a good razor knife (I got a 3 pack of the break-away ones at the dollar store).

The first step is to remove the bench seat. The brackets each have two studs, which slip through holes in the floorpan and are held in place from the bottom with ½ inch nuts. Remove the nuts, and lift the seat up and out. The cab was pretty gross under that seat.

The seat belts are held in place with 13/16 inch coarse threat bolts. Just unscrew them, and give the seat belts a good scrubbing. The entry sill plates are held in place with 4 Philips head screws, as is the shifter boot. Unscrew and remove, giving these items a good cleaning and maybe a coat of epoxy paint (not the cheap stuff, which will come right off rapidly). The transfer case shifter is held in place with two 9/16 nuts and bolts- after removing it the base will stick up about 2 inches.

Once everything is out of the way, grab the mat and pull it out. Mine ripped into several pieces, and the backing stuck to the floor. I also got 20 years' worth of junk- 6 pens, $4.70 in loose change, three screw drivers, a tow hook, and some tweezers. A putty knife, wire brush, and shop vac are your best friends here.

This is the floorpan once everything was out- a little surface rust but no holes. Use a wire brush, sandpaper, or naval jelly to remove the rust, and cover any bare metal with paint (not primer, paint). Make sure all the rubber plugs are still there, and if any are not real tight put a glob of silicon sealer on them so they stay in place. Use rubber plugs, duct tape, and/or silicone sealer to seal up any holes in the firewall.

Lay the carpet out in the cab. Put the rear edge up against the rear of the cab so you know everything is lined up and square. Roll the carpet out, making sure there are no wrinkles. When you get to the shifter, make a slit in the carpet and slide it over the handle base. Push the front edge of the carpet up under the heater and up the firewall- I had to trim about and inch and a half off the area over the transmission tunnel to make it go up far enough to take all the wrinkles out of the carpet.

Take your razor knife and trace around the oval shaped hole for the shifter. This is not as easy as it sounds, as this part of the carpet has an inch of tough insulation under it. But this is the hardest cut you will make.

The carpet is slightly oversized, so it will be 3-5 inches too wide on each side. Push the carpet so it sits flat against the floor, and run your razor knife along the corner where the floor meets the side of the cab. Start at the fire wall and work your way to the back- there is no backing here, so a nice sharp knife cuts right through the carpet. Now that one side fits perfectly, put the entry sill plate on to hold it in place. Screwing the shifter boot back on will hold the center in place while you trim the other side, and screwing the seatbelts back in will hold the back in place (just peel back the edge of the carpet to locate the holes, then put a little slit in the carpet for the bolt). Now get all the wrinkles out and trim the other side, putting in the other sill plate to hold it.

Locating the holes for the seat can be a challenge from the top, so locate the holes from the bottom. Stick an awl or pointy Philips screwdriver through the carpet from the bottom, and then cut a small hole around it for the seat studs.

I flipped the seat over and re-laced the seat cover, pulling the wrinkles out of it and making it nice and tight so it would not move around anymore. This is REAL easy when you can reach the bottom of the seat.

Get a friend to help you lift the seat up and put it in the truck. It will not slide on the carpet, so one of you will have to hold the seat while you crawl backwards from one side of the cab and out the other. Line up the holes and drop the seat into place, and then put the four nuts back on from the bottom.

Done! I dropped in the floor mats, and the window crank swapped easily using the Allen wrench that came with the new one. Because I did not have kick panels, I just painted those areas with semi-flat paint to make them vanish to the eye. The same paint touched up the seat brackets also. ow I just need to give the door panels and dash a good scrubbing.

The truck looks great now, and is a LOT quieter going down the road. It feels clean for the first time, there is a lot less dust in the interior of the truck, and it is a lot warmer in the cold weather. I get a lot of compliments on it, as people just don’t expect an 19 year old truck to have an interior this nice.

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