From Grey to Black:
Interior Swap


In order to remove the front carpet you’ll have to remove the gas pedal by disconnecting it from its arm.


Behind the pedal, you’ll see a tab that needs to be pushed in and then the pedal pulled up to be removed. Odds are it’s going to have a bunch of junk and dirt in there so it may require a slight cleaning if you’re having difficulty removing the pedal.



Mine was an absolute nightmare and took a hell of a lot of prying and pulling before the tabs inside the pedal released. This was actually one of the more frustrating parts of the job that took the longest! The trick is to pry the pedal towards the back of the car and that forces the tabs to release. If that doesn’t work then you can always go in with small screwdrivers and pry the tabs back manually.


The front carpet is sandwiched under the dash’s HVAC and I’m usually not one to cut corners but when it will save me from having to remove a dash and the contents behind it then I’m taking the easy way out. Especially when it’s not something anyone will see or affect functionality.

Using a sharp utility knife I cut along carpet as close to the center tunnel as possible on both driver and passenger sides. That allows the carpet to be removed as two separate pieces and more importantly without ever touching anything behind the dash.


There are a few plastic side trim pieces that I didn’t show being removed but at this point remove anything that is touching or interfering with the carpet’s removal.


Since I was lucky enough to source a lower portion of the dash in black, I also removed the wood trim, stereo, and glove box before taking out the complete lower dash piece.

With that completed, I slid the black carpet into place, trimmed it around the center tunnel area and began to install all the smaller items like the gas pedal.


Thankfully, the carpet fit without any issues or deformations. I also cleaned it before installation so it looks like new!


Another minor but pressing detail was the grey seat belts. They just wouldn’t look right on the black seats so I swapped them out for the black ones I sourced.

There are a few tabs that hold the upper trim piece in place and after you pop it off there’s access to the seatbelt mounting bracket.


One large bolt holds the lower seatbelt retracting device in place and with it out the entire unit can now be removed.


Then its simply a matter of bolting in the black belt and repeating on the other side and throwing on the black trim that covers it and we’re almost done with the front portion of this swap.


After installing the lower dash piece and bolting everything back up, I slid the rear carpet in place and put the black center console on.

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7 Comments on "From Grey to Black:
Interior Swap"

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Santiago Gomez

Looks much better with the black interior. Diggin’ the detailed write up!


Santiago Gomez Thanks! It’s a million times better. Now to get around to putting the 2JZ into it.


How did you attach the carpet?

Hey Pete! I’ve been watching you guys on youtube for awhile now and I love the content, I personally own an E39 530iA that I swapped to a 5 speed manual. So I guess you could say I’m a bit of a fan of the E39, so when I saw your video of your E39 touring I was hoping to see more, I hope to see more videos on your potential 2JZ swap on it, that sounds legit! Also I love your detailed write ups on the E39 DIY’s the one you posted on the twisted seat fix helped me… Read more »
Greg Childs

Wish I’d had my wagon back then, I’d have bought ALL the light grey stuff!
(I have tan interior and want to swap it out). Great writeup, definitely saving this one!