Author Topic: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets  (Read 367 times)

Jack the Knife

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Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« on: January 24, 2023, 18:56:34 »
I used dry ice to get 90% of what's on the floor off. I'll attach some nice pictures below showing the general state of things before and after. The dry ice was extremely effective -- I had tried a heat gun (worthless) + scraping with a putty knife as well as acetone. I'm still running into issues particularly around the edges as well as on the transmission tunnel. It appears some kind of glue was used that makes it especially difficult to remove in those areas. Happy to say I have some pretty clean floor panels, though!

Does anyone have any advice for the remainder of this? I'd like to take it to a dry ice place but it's a bit tough in this condition and they're around two and a half hours away.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT

Jack the Knife

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2023, 19:00:36 »
Going to reuse those jute mats, by the way. Flawless condition on both sides.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT

Pinder

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2023, 23:43:57 »
Floors look to be in great shape. Nice work!
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Rahul

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2023, 01:42:05 »
If you don't mind me asking, why have you chosen to remove that layer?

I was looking at sound deadening solutions, and through some miscommunication with the shop I used, they stripped that layer off and replaced with modern Dynamat... Always wonder whether I might regret not keeping it original!

Floors do look very clean though!
1971 280SL auto #571 over parchment

Jack the Knife

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2023, 02:38:53 »
Floors look to be in great shape. Nice work!
Thank you, Pinder! I am still having trouble with that other stuff on the transmission column, though. I have read many posts from other forums whose contemporary cars had similar material and I've tried many methods, now -- WD40, Goo Gone, more acetone (do not do this at this stage, in my opinion), and two kinds of engine degreaser. This glue is so pernicious that I'm reminded of rabbit skin glue that was historically used to seal the canvases of paintings. That stuff is a pain to remove, too, and one works inch by inch... one nasty thing is one or multiple of these has rendered the remnants of the insulation on part of the column into a sort of horrible sludge. If I only had a dry ice washer, I'm sure it would all be off in an instant.

If you don't mind me asking, why have you chosen to remove that layer?

I was looking at sound deadening solutions, and through some miscommunication with the shop I used, they stripped that layer off and replaced with modern Dynamat... Always wonder whether I might regret not keeping it original!

Floors do look very clean though!

Well Rahul, when I removed the original carpets which were quite ratty, I noticed the layer had partially melted. It was also filled with bits of debris that naturally get caught in sticky material like that. This disgusted me. Under the carpets were amusing 1960s-70s artifacts, like sticks of gum that turned to dust in your hand, or bits of old receipts, and lots of pocket change... all lodged in the tar. Having this stuff there, to me, is like knowing how filthy the rear side of the fridge is, and I can't deal with it. Just as well, as I do plan on actually driving this car, I was concerned about moisture potentially getting in especially on the passenger side, as the tar layer was warped to the point that it split in an area. I believe that is from the heat of the exhaust. I could just imagine water getting there and being trapped, somehow.

Some hall monitor on here might get his pocket protector in a twist about the originality of the solids in the gas tank or the ashes in the ashtray or the asbestos covering your floor pan. But in reality, I don't think anyone cares that you have replaced your insulation with a more stable material. However, one can risk water getting trapped beneath the dynamat. Not sure how serious of a risk that is. I know of many E9 owners in Florida who have it in their car, and those guys sure know rust, and everyone seems very happy with the product. That said, I am looking at a product called VBLOK, which has a layer of lead, as well as Lizardskin, which is a spray-on solution. Haven't decided yet.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT

rwmastel

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2023, 18:39:08 »
JTK,

What's the color code for your interior?  It looks a lot like my 219.  Years back when I thought I might replace my interior, the few companies I talked with didn't have that code in their inventory/records.
Rodd
Pagoda Technical Manual, please contribute: http://www.sl113.org/wiki/pmwiki.php
1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

Jack the Knife

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2023, 19:24:51 »
JTK,

What's the color code for your interior?  It looks a lot like my 219.  Years back when I thought I might replace my interior, the few companies I talked with didn't have that code in their inventory/records.

Howdy Rodd, the color code is 216, which corresponds to cognac leather. Just barely darker than “natural” 219. If it helps, this car lived in a carriage house in Indiana and had been driven only 5000 miles since 1977, and doesn’t seem to have been exposed to the elements much. I am happy to take closer pictures of an under dash bit of trim I removed if it helps.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT

rwmastel

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2023, 20:59:28 »
Thanks, but no need.  Interior is not in budget any time soon.  Thanks for the info, though.
Rodd
Pagoda Technical Manual, please contribute: http://www.sl113.org/wiki/pmwiki.php
1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

Jack the Knife

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2023, 23:57:10 »
Alright, I went back at it when I got home today just around 1PM and worked on it for a few hours. I tried another helping of dry ice on the glue, but this time I mixed it with rubbing alcohol to try to get more contact. Didn't help, sadly. So I chiselled every bit of insulation off that I could that was stuck to the trans. Be mindful that this stuff has asbestos in it. Wear a mask!

I then had nothing but nasty glue left, as well as some tar especially on the passenger side that had been melted by the exhaust. I tried Goo Gone on this stuff again. It worked very well. One has to put a lot of elbow grease into the edges, which is quite thick with the tar. You can still see some dark bits in the photos I will upload. That comes off layer by layer. Spray, wait a few moments, wipe, over and over. But if you're an intrepid DIYer, you'll save a few thousand bucks over dragging it down to a dry ice detail place, which would make short work of this! But they have minimums. Can't wait for them to get the cosmoline off the underside, though!

One can also use engine degreaser, but that stuff is a lot more harsh on you than the Goo Gone is. I'd opt for the latter, if you can. I only quit for the day when I ran out. Will get some more tomorrow. Have done about 90% of three of the pans. Transmission tunnel has some additional glue on it which doesn't come off well with anything, but it is gradually eroding with some effort. I will have more comprehensive photos tomorrow when I have it well-enough detailed.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT

Jack the Knife

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Re: Removing bitumen-like insulation under carpets
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2023, 20:15:53 »
Showing off my nicely cleaned-up floor and firewall. There is still one section way up behind the heater. This seems like it will be a bear to get to. I suppose I will have to take the heater out to properly do it.

Vile stuff. Probably 20 total hours of work in the evenings. If you have the ability to use a dry ice machine, I would strongly urge that instead of messing around with solvents.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT