Converting the Duke - Phase 5: Carpeting the Panels


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April 26th 2008
Published: January 28th 2009
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Upholstering the Walls


At this point I had the choice of paying about £600 to get a T4 Conversions place to upholster the van for me, or pay around £100 for the carpet & glue and do it myself. No brainer.

I started with an easy bit, the side door panel. To make sure the upholstered panel still fit snugly into the van, I took about 2mil off the edges of each panel before applying the carpet. The key was to cut the carpet with about 2 inches of overlap (to fold over), spray both the carpet and the ply, and stretch the carpet flat as you glue it. (Do you like the way I casually flip from metric to imperial like its the same thing?). I realised after the first panel that you could spray the whole panel and simply lay the board on the outstretched carpet to get a clean fit.

Having applied the carpet to the face, wrapping the folds over was also pretty straightforward - just making sure that there were no overlaps, and leaving the glue to dry for a minute or so (with something heavy on it - this is where my butt came in good use) before moving to the next section. I also cut out the folds where the screw holes were to help in finding them from the other side. At this point I realised that it was easier to make the holes after applying the carpet, rather than search for the old holes, but a minor point really.

Having developed a bit of confidence with the wall panels, I'd made my open lay-up, I'd sank my 1 foot gimme, I'd caught my routine pop-fly - it was now time to shoot the 3, in traffic, and falling out of bounds - chip in from the bunker from 80 yards - and hit the home run over the green monster in the bottom of the ninth with Roger Clemens chucking some ungodly breaking shit - the wheel arches...

Upholstering the Wheel Arches


The key here apparently was to start from the middle, work outwards, be prepared for lots of nips and tucks and be patient. At the risk of leaving my wheel arches looking like Jackie Stalone and Michael Jackson I ventured forth. I think you'll agree much more like an Anna Kournakova than a Joan Rivers. Nice n tight. Or as the Stokey described the bike course Steve competed in - tart n twesty - AKA tight & twisty.


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Mark your holesMark your holes
Mark your holes

In this case I already had the holes so I had to find them and mark em up. It ended up easier making new holes in some instances.
The rear door panel ready for glueingThe rear door panel ready for glueing
The rear door panel ready for glueing

I was careful to allow for the extra thickness of the carpet - particularly around the door handle and hole for the release catch.


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