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Author Topic: Rear Deck Carpet Replacement  (Read 2487 times)
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Fifth Gear
Posts: 1553

Southeastern Connecticut

« on: May 24, 2012, 11:37:18 PM »

The Workshop Manual calls this “Rear Package Trim Removal/Installation” found on page 09-17-7.
Several of the snaps that hold the fabric tonneau cover over my folded convertible top had ripped out of the  deck fabric.  Originally, I thought they could be easily replaced with similar snaps.  I had no luck sourcing those snaps, either through Mazda or through aftermarket suppliers.  I know, just know that several vendors, and forum members will now point to multiple sources for these snaps, sigh.

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Anyway replacement of the carpet is not too difficult a task.  It’s done completely from above or inside the car.  No need for jackstands or lifting the car, nor is there any need to even pop the hood.  You might want to disconnect the battery, as the workshop manual recommends.  The only reason for this is that the windblocker (Aeroboard, per the workshop manual!!) speakers have an electrical connection that must be unplugged to remove the carpet.  By the way….I love having a car that’s fast enough to have an Aeroboard stock!!
The job does require some flexibility.  You’ll be working in back of the seats, with the top alternately up and down, to get access to the various fasteners.  I’d rate the job overall, a 2 for mechanical difficulty, a 3 for access (both on a 10 most difficult scale).

Tools Needed:
Medium Phillips Screwdriver
Small Flat Screwdriver
Medium Flat Screwdriver
Rubber Faced Hammer – Optional, but nice if you have one.
Large Kitchen Fork….The kind you’d use to hold down a Turkey while carving it for Thanksgiving.  (Be careful to wash it BEFORE sneaking it back into the kitchen).
Several sandwich bags to hold parts, and a Sharpie to label the bags.

First, the obligatory where is the rear carpet deck photo.

Rear Deck Carpet Overall Edited

Plastic Fasteners
The rear carpet is fastened down using several (eighteen, by my count) plastic fasteners.  

The fasteners either get brittle with age, or are easily broken to begin with.  It would not hurt to have a few spares, likely available at your local NAPA, Autozone, Advance, etc.  Your friendly local Mazda dealer could also have some expensive ones in stock.
The simplest way to remove them is using the large kitchen fork.  


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Wedge it under the large head of the plastic fastener, and pry gently up.  The fastener will eventually pop out of its sheet metal socket.  I did this on a warm day, when the cars rear deck had been in the sun for several hours.  If you’re doing this in cold weather, consider using a hair dryer to warm the shank of the plastic fastener.
Electrical Connector
Per the Workshop Manual, since the electrical connector to the windblocker speakers must be disconnected, the battery should be disconnected also.

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Near the middle, on the backside of the windblocker there is a small plate set into the surface of the windblocker.  This covers some of the electrical components for the windblocker speakers.  This panel can be removed by placing the small flat screwdriver in the VERY obscure hole for the screwdriver near the middle of the top of the panel.

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For me, it came out very easily.  As with all plastic parts, be gentle, the connectors can break easily, and I suspect these pieces cost dearly at the dealer!!
The white connector has a small tab that must be pushed in to release the connector latch.  The tab faces the rear of the car.  This is best done with the top in the down position, to ease access to the connector and the windblocker up.  Once disconnected, the tab end of the connector can be threaded out of the rear deck carpet.   Releasing that tab is likely the most difficult part of this task.

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Carpet Removal from the Windblocker
On my car one side of the windblocker was installed high enough that the rear deck carpet could be slid under the windblocker.  On the other side, the base of the windblocker clamped down on the rear deck carpet necessitating removal of the mounting nuts for the windblocker.  These are carefully hidden.  Naked bolts are simply not permitted in the passenger cabin.  You might not need to detach the windblocker, or you might need to detach both sides on your car.

To detach the windblocker, two covers must be removed.  On the front side of the windblocker, at each end, there is a plastic cover (Belt Cover, per the Workshop Manual).  This must be carefully pried outward, using a small flat screwdriver, or a popsicle stick.

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It has several molded in clips on the back side of the belt cover.  It came off fairly easy, but be warned the plastic is relatively soft, compared to the screwdriver.  Try not to mar the sides of the cover.

Once its off, you’ll see two nuts on studs.  Remove both brass colored nuts, they’re literally finger tight.  Remember that when tightening them.  Its going to be easy to overtorque them.

On the rear face of the end of the Windblocker,  the rear corner panel must be removed.  The rear panel again, has a service hole into which your small flat blade screwdriver can be inserted, to release the cover.  Pry the cover such that the cover will pop out onto the rear deck carpet.

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Finally, you can slide the windblocker forward, off the two studs

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This will let you slide the carpet, its insulation, and the rubber flashing all out from under the Windblocker.

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Off to the sides of the rear carpet deck, on the narrow arms that always seem to catch anything carried on the rear deck are two bumpstops (one on each side of the car) that keep the folded top from descending too far.  These also must be removed.  A stubby medium Philipp’s screwdriver is required here.

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Once removed they look like this.

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Finally, the rear deck carpet can be completely removed.  Simply slide it up, over the windblocker.  Obviously, the convertible top must be up to do this.
If you’re replacing the carpet, I suggest carefully cleaning the carpet before you install it, it’s easier that way.  If you’re going further in, to replace the fuel pump or for other games, the access panel is now available to you.

Oh..Installation of the carpet is the reverse of its removal.  A rubber faced hammer is helpful to reinstall the plastic fasteners.  You’ll likely have to tug the carpet this way and that as you adjust it’s location to match your cars fastener locations, so don’t tighten it down until you’re sure its in the right location.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 01:20:03 AM by CharlesE » Logged

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