Removing carpet glue

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Removing carpet glue

Post by beejay » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:44 pm

I'm stripping out the interior from my SE5a and after pulling the carpets and other bits of trim am left with a fair bit of glue residue on the body interior.
what can safely be used on the fibreglass to help remove all this residue?
I started using an expanding foam remover aerosol to soften up the glue and wipe/scrape it off, as it was all I had to hand, but stopped as I wasn't sure if was safe to use.
I'm assuming I need to be careful about what solvents I'm using, I don't have a lot of experience with fibreglass!

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Removing carpet glue

Post by drcdb15 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:38 pm

Given that you are likely to lay new carpet, my first question would be, why bother? Any well-set-in adhesive will simply aid location of the new material you fit. If you have merely thin patches, less than 1mm thick, I'd say leave well alone.

If you have great dollops of stuff (a dollop is anything over 1mm and up to about 3 or 4mm thick :lol: ) then these lend themselves to physical scraping. Benefit of scraping is no chemical damage to the GRP. If the adhesive dollop is soft and gooey, then gentle warming with a hair dryer or CAREFUL use of a paint stripper heat gun will soften the dollop more and the bulk of it can be scraped off. I advise using a wooden scraper. SWMBO has a steady supply of wooden or nylon cooking spatulas (for non-stick pans) and these are ideal for damage-free scraping of valued car surfaces. Have a supply of newspaper handy to wipe off the spatula and keep it clean or you'll end up simply re-distributing the goo.

If the adhesive is of the set hard, brittle variety, then this can be removed by very judicious use of a harder scraper, such as a metal paint/wallpaper scraper. Heating has no benefit here as the adhesive is fully set and rigid (similarly solvents will be no help either), and all you can do is carefully chip away at the edges. The aim is to lay the (thin) scraper blade as flat as possible to the bodywork and try to drive it between the bodywork and the underside of the adhesive 'slab', which can often be split away in large pieces. As before, if the residue is only sub-mm then I wouldn't try to be too fussy about it as it will be covered within the thickness of any adhesive you use to stick on the replacement materials.

If you find the adhesive residue is so well attached to the GRP that removing it brings off the top layers of the GRP material with it, then I'd be inclined to stop and just leave the residue in place. In extremis, you can always put on a layer of sound-proofing matting first which will accomodate the thickness of the old residues, and then fit your new carpet/trim on top of this.

Remember that the original materials have been in place undisturbed for maybe 30-40 years, and whatever you put in afresh will have a similar lifetime, so it's unlikely that whatever you do will have any downside provided of course that the new trim fits neatly over the top of it.

MB61; formerly 1978 SE6A 3.5 V8; 1986 SE6B 2.9 EFi.

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Old and Slow
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Removing carpet glue

Post by Old and Slow » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:00 am

If it is thick, and set hard and well stuck down you might be able to grind it flat with those little abrasive cylinders that come with your Dremel. Might need to wear a mask though.
Just an idea, never tried it myself.

Philip Needham
Ashley-bodied TR3; '54 Ford Consul; '55 AC 2-Litre Saloon;'65 850 Mini; '70 Ford Zodiac MkIV; XR3i
'81 911SC Targa, '64 Sabre Six

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Removing carpet glue

Post by TrevorG » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:13 am

I second what Chris has said. Recently redid my carpets and the new spray adhesive actually combines with the old....hey presto!

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Removing carpet glue

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:58 pm

Also worth bearing in mind that AFAIK 5-series cars like the OP's have the smooth gell-coat side of the floor on the inside, and the rough GRP underneath, whereas the 6-series cars have the gell-coat on the underside, and the rough GRP side facing the carpet.


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Removing carpet glue

Post by beejay » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:36 pm

drcdb15 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:38 pm
Given that you are likely to lay new carpet, my first question would be, why bother?
that is the sort of reality check I need sometimes :D
I had a little garage time tonight and looking again at what I'm dealing with you're quite right, most of the gluey bits don't need touching as the new carpet will cover it up.
There are a few areas where I have some thicker carpet/underlay remnants to deal with (in particular under the rear seats). I tried a gasket scraper on that and it does take it off better than the wallpaper scraper I was using before (which in fairness is probably a bit blunt now).
Thanks for the replies everyone.

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Removing carpet glue

Post by scimar » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:05 pm

I took the trouble to completely remove the glue.
I used a rotating wire brush on a drill, relatively quick and easy.
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