1. You can see that the rubber mat was cracking, the old granny low four-speed shifter is now gone, and the door panels are held on with four trim screws. There are also no kick panels or lower door panel trim in this base truck.
"Custom Look" title image
Ford F-100 Dentside Interior Upgrade
BY Don LindforsPhotography BY THE AUTHOR

hen we got this ’76 F-100 the interior was a bit of a mishmash, between old parts, some upgrades, and some backyard hacks. The truck is an F-100 “Custom,” so it wasn’t loaded with frills, just a basic Flareside work truck. The floor had an original rubber mat that got tossed when we did the TREMEC TR3550 five-speed swap (CTP Mar. ’22 issue) as it was cracking and falling apart. The headliner was the original cardboard-like material that was deteriorating and got thrown out early on. The original bench seat had been rebuilt and upholstered by the original owner and, while rather plain, it is in great shape and fairly comfy. The door panels had been replaced, but whoever did it apparently didn’t know that these are held in with snap-in clips and just drilled holes through the new panels and used trim screws. It looked terrible and they rattled. The dashpad and gauge bezel were replaced with LMC parts when we did the Dakota Digital gauge install (CTP Nov. ’21 issue) and Vintage Air A/C conversion (CTP Oct. ’21 issue).

With the headliner and floormat gone, and the door panels rattling due to the questionable installation, it was kind of like riding in a tin can—hot and noisy. I wanted to upgrade it but stay fairly true to the original style, not some wild custom since this truck is a daily driver that doubles as a tow vehicle for my hot rod and will end up as an ’80s-style prerunner. With that in mind, a stock-style headliner, original door panels, and carpeting was on the agenda. A quick call to LMC Truck was all it took to get the necessary parts on the way for our desired upgrades. Follow along with the installation photos to see how you can do this to your own truck.

With the installation finished during Southern California’s extreme heat wave, the truck is much more comfortable to drive, quieter, and the Vintage A/C system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the occupants cool. This is an upgrade that is well worth the time and effort toward making your classic Ford more enjoyable.

Old deteriorating headliner from F-100
2. This is the original headliner. You can see it is deteriorating; why Ford put an off-white headliner and trim in a dark green truck I’ll never understand.
New insulation glued to interior roof
3. To insulate the roof a bit we used some universal insulation from LMC and glued it to the roof.
Peeling off double sided tape on insulation
4. The LMC headliner comes with the double-sided sticky center strip that will hold the headliner in place.
New headliner installed
5. The LMC headliner is a pebble-grained plastic that looks much better than the Ford cardboard. I had the trim pieces powdercoated satin black to match. We have since dyed the sunvisors dark green.
Bare painted metal kick panels
6. The kick panels in this truck were just the painted metal, so we opted for the LMC carpeted versions as an upgrade.
New carpet on kick panel
7. The carpeted kick panels come fitted for trucks without the fresh air vent. Since our truck had the vent, we trimmed the kick panel and glued it in place.
Previously replaced door panel
8. The door panels had been replaced, but you can see the trim screws that someone used to install them.
Unscrewing window crank handle
9. The window crank is held on with a single Phillips screw. We got new ones from LMC when we first picked up the truck.
Unscrewing armrest finger cup
10. The armrest finger cup has two small screws that hold them in place. These were also replaced at the same time as the window cranks.
Unscrewing interior door handle
11. The inside door handle has one large screw retaining it. The door panel will now pop off.
Unscrewing armrest pad
12. The armrest pad is held to the door panel with two screws. We will reuse these on the new door panels. They are available new, but not in our rare green color.
Comparison of old and new LMC door panels
13. The door panels had been replaced, but they were inferior quality to the LMC pieces. You can see that the LMC pieces have foam around the speaker slots and supports for the finger pulls that are missing from the inferior replacements.
Plastic clips for door panel
14. These little plastic clips attach to the door panel and then snap into holes in the door to hold the panel in place; they come with the door panels.
Plastic clips inserted into door panel
15. This is the back of the door panel with the supplied clips in place.
New panel installed onto door
16. The door panel snaps in place and the finger cups, window cranks, and door handles all install the opposite of the removal.
DIY carpeted lower door panels
17. Our “Custom” model didn’t come with lower carpeted door panels, so we decided to add them. We installed them using Velcro (seen here).
Carpeted lower panel installed onto door
18. You can see how the carpeted lower really finished off the inside door trim.
Sheet of sound deadening material
19. It was now time for the floor. The first step was to lay out the LMC EVA Sound Deadener material to get any shipping wrinkles out it. This is an OE-type, 1/16-inch-thick Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA), which is an asphalt-based material that will both dampen sound and insulate against both heat and cold.
Bare metal floor of footwell
20. The floor was in pretty good shape with only a little surface rust that we coated with some rust preventative. We did find that the rubber boot for the clutch cable (or rod on a stock manual transmission truck) was shot and allowing noise, heat, and oil smells into the cab.
Replacement clutch cable boot
21. LMC had the replacement boot in stock, complete with new adjusting nuts.
New boot installed
22. After unbolting the cable, the boot slipped right in place.
Removing shifter for carpet installation
23. In order to make installation of the carpet and sound deadener products easier, the shifter for the TREMEC five-speed was removed. You can see the cover plate where the old four-speed shifter was located.
Exposed shifter linkage
24. With the shifter out of the way it will be much easier to work on the floor.
Removing seats for installation
25. Next the seat needed to come out as the carpet goes all the way under the seat. Removing six bolts and help from a friend were all that was needed to get the seat out.
Removing seatbelts
26. With the seat out, the seatbelts were next to remove using a #50 Torx bit.
EVA sheet into interior
27. After cleaning out the cab floor, the EVA was laid in the approximate place.
Spraying adhesive onto floor
28. Due to the high hump floor of this truck we decided it would be better to cut the material into pieces to install as it didn’t conform perfectly to our floor. We glued it in place using the LMC-supplied Loctite MR 5416 All Purpose Spray Adhesive.
Holes cut in EVA for bolt openings
29. You must cut holes in the material for the seat and seatbelt holes. I used a gasket punch for this.
EVA fully installed
30. Here is what it looks like with all the pieces of the EVA material glued in place. I trimmed it around the transmission cover so that I could remove it in the future if transmission service is needed.
LMC Heat Shield laid into interior
31. Next came the LMC Heat Shield Kit. It is 1/4-inch thick and has 24-ounce needle punched jute padding on one side that insulates against heat and cold. The other side has two layers of fiber-reinforced aluminum foil reflecting up to 97 percent of radiant heat, which helps to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Installation was the same as the EVA and made for a great companion to really cut the noise and heat.
Hole cut in carpet for shifter
32. The carpet was laid in next; the same way as the other materials and the first thing was to cut out the hole for the shifter. You can see that the carpet has its own heavy 36-ounce jute padding for more insulation.
Shifter and seatbelts reinstalled
33. After transferring the holes through the carpet, we bolted the shifter, seatbelts, and original jack parts all in place.
Carpet hole for dimmer switch
34. The carpet comes with this plastic ring for the dimmer switch. Cut a hole and the ring has a lip on both sides to hold it neatly in place.
Finished updated interior
35. With the seat back in and everything buttoned up, our ’76 F-100 “Custom” now truly looks custom! Not bad for a weekend’s work.
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