The decision on whether or not to pull the carpet from your Jeep is a tough one. There is no doubt that doing so will increase the sound and heat levels observed by the occupants, but it only takes a few trail rides with the doors and/or top off and you will be looking for easier post trail clean-up techniques. The removal of the carpet is an excellent way of doing just this.
When most people decide to pull the carpet, they also remove the sound deadening and thermal “dope” that the factory puts on the floor in an effort to smooth the floor. Often times in preparation of a paint or truck-bed liner finish. The problem with removing the dope makes the increased sound and heat issue worse. Furthermore, truck-bed liner finishes seem to be hit-or-miss when it comes to durability and, due to the texture, are often as difficult to clean as the carpet that was removed.
An alternative we prefer is to leave the factory dope and run floor mats to cover it. Most floor mats have small spikes to grip the carpet and these spikes create an air gap which helps the heat issue greatly.
For those of us who own JKUs there is one other issue with pulling the carpet in the rear. Both the driver and passenger door entries have a wire loom that runs along the floor and once the carpet is removed the wiring is left open and vulnerable. Sure, split wire loom would mildly help this, but being that it is split there really is no help for crush resistance. Since the carpet was extremely muddy in that section, I knew it was a common place for passengers to step.
My fix was to make a little kick panel. In the end, it was so easy to make and worked so well that I thought I would share it as others might find it useful.
What you need:
- 20” of 2x2” square tube. (I used 0.120” wall because it’s what I had. Thinner would still work just as well and be easier to cut)
- A way of cutting metal. (I have a Milwaukee metal circular saw. I used it in conjunction with a pneumatic cut-off tool and hacksaw.)
- 5/16” drill bit suitable for drilling metal.
- Buddy to make two small welds or a welder. (Optional solution later)
- Files and/or metal sanding tools.
Now let’s get started!
1- Cut the tube into two equal lengths of 10”.
2- Then, make two cuts in each tube lengthwise to remove one corner, leaving ¾” on the two cut sides. One of the ¾” sides will rest on the floor and the other will sit on a lip inside the bottom of the jamb.
3- Cut an angle starting 2 ¼” from the rear of the tube to relieve where the door jamb starts to curve up at the rear.
4- Cut a second angle off of the top to allow the guard to better align with the stock plastic trim that is at the front of the rear jamb. I found a 1/2” to be about the perfect amount.
Once done the pieces should look like this:
Sorry this is a little out of focus but this is how it should fit in the door. (Note: This is the passenger side)
You may have noticed two small center-drilled dimples or holes in the top of my guard. I’ll talk more about that later….
For now, let’s focus on securing the guard.
I made a small tab that had a 5/16” slot in it. I then welded the tab to the bottom inside of the guard. The slot goes over a stud that was in place for the factory harness loom. This stud isn’t really threaded for a nut but I found a ¼-20 Nut worked really well on it! If you are unable to weld or find a buddy who can, you could make a thicker block or L shaped bracket and use it to wedge the guard into place. It won’t take much as the ¾” lip locks into the inside track very well.
My guard is now painted and secured in place.
If I have lost you, here is some help! Here is a drawing detail of the kick-guard and the bracket I made.
NOTE: The location of the tab is only a rough measurement. My passenger side was 3” and the driver’s side was 3.25” So you need to check and measure your Jeep for this. It’s seems there may be some variance.
This drawing is for the passenger side ONLY. A mirrored version will be needed for the driver’s side.
Now, let’s chat about those small holes you are seeing on the top. Well, I ditched the factory mats and went for some AEV ones. This was for a couple of reasons that really aren’t important here but one thing I really like about the rear is the coverage they have for this area. Now that I have this guard, I have a place to attach the mat. This will help keep it located and from flopping out in the wind when on the highway naked. I used two ¼” push pins (or a name I recently heard them called and liked “Christmas Tree Pins”)
This is what the finished project looked like.
I still have a little clean up to do. I have some split loom on order. We plan to leave the sound deadening dope the factory puts on to keep the resonance down and help with heat transmission. So, even though we pulled the carpet, we plan to always run mats. We haven’t decided if we are going to coat the floor. The paint cleans easier than just about any liner so time will tell. To be honest, this whole thing is a test. The carpet may go back in but so far so good. The heat and sound hasn’t really been that bad, only marginal differences, but time will tell. None-the-less, I know many of you have committed to running carpetless and I thought this might help.