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Discussion Starter #1
If yours are original, you have likely cursed what used to be the foam backing on the floor mats.

With age, it becomes a truly difficult-to-tolerate crumbly mess which goes freakin' everywhere if you so much as look at it the wrong way.

Sure, you could just replace the mats, but that's $100 you might want to use for something else. Plus, if, like me, you have a low tolerance for replacing items which look/function just fine, but have a minor issue or two, read on.

You're gonna need a few things.

A drill, cordless is nice. Nothing special, but if you have one which is on its last legs, this could do it in because it's going to need to run for between 30-60 minutes.

Go by the local home improvement place and look for a 3-4 inch wire brush wheel. I got the coarse one, as I wanted to make sure it would last for all four mats. I think it was $4.

Now, you need a broom, a clean slab of concrete, and a container for the foam dust.

I suggest doing the rears, first, 'cause they're smaller and are less likely to have wrinkled spots. They're good for practice.

Put the mat carpet side down on the clean concrete, stand on the edges opposite each other, and with the wire brush on the drill, spin that mutha up and gently, at least initially, "buff" the foam off the carpet's foundation. You'll get a feel, quickly, for which edges you want to use and which direction you want the drill to spin. I found the stuff comes off fairly easily, but there are areas on the front mats, the aforementioned wrinkles, which require some creativity. There were times I found putting the drill in 'reverse' allowed less fighting the kickback.

I de-foamed all four of my mats. Took about 45 minutes and two full 18V Skil battery charges. Beware of digging in too hard, 'cause you'll start tearing into the foundation 'weave' of the carpet. I didn't have a choice in some spots, as it was already starting to deteriorate, but after doing this, they look 100% normal from the top, and they're not sliding around like I thought they might.

For an hour's worth of work, I'm pretty happy, as I'm back to having mats which catch more crud than they leave.
 

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Oh, but I do so love my new $100 factory fresh mats. Makes such a difference on such a nice car, it was a shame to have been driving it with the crappy old mats...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, but the thing is, mine still looked like they're a max of three years old. They're in great shape, on the carpet side.

Now the rears look new, the passenger's side looks three months old, the driver's side maybe six months old, now that they're clean and not leaving crumbs.

Plus, this helps my budget for a transmission rebuild so reverse works. Parking on hills or facing nose-out isn't always easy...
 

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I bought my car, 13 years old - 69K, and while the rest of the car looked great, the mats were faded, discolored and very, very ugly. Good job on your penny-tech solution...
 

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rubber backing on mats

I thought about this but my mats have started squinching up when people push on them so the rubber must be doing something useful. It seems as though the real answer would be to find a backing that would not slough off and also hold the mates in place.

What do you think about stitching the mats to a thin rubber mat from Walmart? You have seen those clear rolled up mats with the little rubber teets that stick down and help hold them in place. Your Grandmother probably had them in her car. Maybe stitch with a leather needle in order to push through the thick combination.
 

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When my wagon was new, we went down to the dealer to get rubber mats to protect the carpets. They came with these metal clips that also had sharp barbs (for lack of a better term) that I suppose, were supposed to anchor the rubber to the carpet. I couldn't do that to her...they looked like some Medieval torture device for small mammals. I still have them in a file drawer somewhere and I just lived with the rubber moving around a bit. They feel heavy like steel...I doubt if they are alloy and would have eventually rusted, leaving permanent stains on the carpet.

Kevin
 

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Alright, once you remove the atex rubber from under the carpets, dont the carpets now sag into the footwell? Will not the vibration and noise come through? How do you refoam the backside of the carpet? Is a set of new mats the only answer. Here in Madras, India I have been told that there are shops that will put in new latex foam under the carpets, though not as good as the original.
 

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Use the car wash!

Just lay your mats upside down and blow the old crumbling foam off the mats with the car wash wand. Rinse good and their clean on both sides. Hang outside for a few days and they are good for new foam. I used 3m spray adhesive and 1/4" carpet pad. Cut the pad an inch or so smaller than the floor mat footprint. Spray the mat and the pad lightly, let dry slightly then stick together. Make sure and mask off the floor mat as the spray glue is a real mess.
 

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Excellent tip. Pressure washing the foam backing was easy and worked great. Mixed up some laundry detergent and power washed them too. Nice and new again. Thanks.
 
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