Pedal Pad: What to Consider When Buying One
All of us dreamed of driving about in a powerful fully customized racing machine. Unfortunately, most of us have neither the cash nor moxie to actually own the real deal-still, the dream persists stubbornly. Among all the customs that get you closer, the pedal pad is the least potent, but is also the most affordable.
Fit for all around
There is nothing worse than getting your foot stuck under the pedals at the critical moment when you have to engage them. That's why it's important to make sure that the pedals that you get are not too small for your feet!
Another consideration is, of course, whether they fit well with each other and the space that they have to be installed in. It would be extremely awkward-not to mention a waste of good money-be so excited for a new pad set only to find that it won't fit!
Ain't no mount-ain high enough
This still kind of falls under the purview of "fit" but is distinct enough to get its own section. Check your own manual and currently installed pedals for reference and note how wide a space you have to mount a new pedal set on.
Many custom and/or replacement pedal pads are attached via adhesive tapes, but others require some drilling. Even if the pedal pad you want is perfect for your feet and the space you're installing it in, it won't be much use to you if you cannot mount it onto the pedal anyway.
A material question
Truth be told, there are far too many designs to cover to make it feasible to write them all up. There are, however, just a few materials used that can be covered:
- Metallic: These all-metal, often chromed pads are gorgeous to look at, and give you a solid feel underfoot. The downside is that they provide little to no traction when you step on them and your feet are wet.
- Rubber: Rubber rates high in terms of safety. No matter how wet your shoes can get, they provide excellent grip and there's very little chance of your foot slipping off when you engage the pedals in a pinch. The only real downer is that they are rather dull to look at.
- "Hybrids": Combining the "best of both worlds", they incorporate some degree of rubber to cover traction and shiny metallic borders to add some shine and style. Still, the rubber covers too much of the surface to show off any real design.
Pedal Pad: Pushing Design to the Limit (and How to Install Them)
Pedal pads can be as plainly functional or stylishly fabulous as you want them to be-so long as they're there. Not only do they provide a wide "target" for your feet to hit, they also provide traction to keep your foot there. Whether you simply want to replace your old stock pads or want to upgrade to shiny, new "racing" pedal pads, this guide will help you through.
Replacing worn rubber or plastic pedal pads
Difficulty level: Easy
Stuff you'll need:
- New rubber/plastic pedal pads-for the accelerator, clutch, and/or brakes
- Sharp razor blade
- Adhesive remover-acetone should do fine
- Towel or rag
Step 1: Carefully slice through the adhesive holding the pedal pad to the metallic arm it's attached onto, and gently peel the old pad off the pedal.
Step 2: Thoroughly wipe of the remaining adhesive off using acetone and make sure to get all of it off.
Step 3: Dry-fit the new pad so you don't get it wrong with the actual installation.
Step 4: Peel off the backing of the adhesive on your new pedal pad and carefully place the pad onto the just-cleaned attachment surface. Press it firmly in place to fully secure the installation.
Installing a custom pad
Difficulty level: Moderate
Stuff you'll need:
- Sharp razor blade
- Philips screwdriver
- Wrench set
- 3/16" and 1/16" drill bits
- Center punch
- New custom pedals
- Masking tape
Step 1: Carefully remove any stock rubber/plastic pedal pads that are currently installed by slicing through the adhesive with a sharp razor blade. If yours is the type secured by rivets, these must be drilled out.
*NOTE* Do not drill through the pedal just yet.
Step 2: Use masking tape to mark the mounting holes on the pedal you want to customize-use the new pedal pads as templates.
*NOTE* Make sure to note where the solid rod of the pedal is relative to the holes on the pad you want to install. This is absolutely critical to guaranteeing a good fit.
*NOTE 2* Align the pad so that there is room in the back to install and hold nuts on the rear of the pedals.
Step 3: Use the center punch and a hammer to punch the mounting holes that you marked earlier. Beas precise as you can with this as you could end up punching a hole you won't use!
Step 4: Use the 1/16" drill bit to punch pilot holes, and follow up with the 3/16" bit.
Step 5: Mount your new custom pads and secure them tight with screws. Tighten the screws and wiggle the pad to make sure you have a good, secure fit.
- Always test the pedals while the car is parked-see if it has enough of a grip on your feet!
- Check that there is adequate clearance between the adjacent pedals and the floor.