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after removing the old carpet, and its underliner form my 67', i came across some old rotting material (looks and feels like old worn-out leather- we wont even mention the smell!!!) that sits right on the surface of the metal floor. most on the passenger side was damp & rotted, so i stipped it. found some rust (because it had trapped moisture for all these years) -cleaned and treated it. my question/s are what was that material? should it be replicated/replaced? most of it (on the drivers side) is dry and intact -should i leave it, and what about those oval metal plates (4 of them) that were not screwed down or welded, just held in place by the "leather " underliner? does anyone have experience w/ this? thanx for any help. -tetonchef
 

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It's sound deadening material, also known as carpet underlayment. You can get it reproduction, or install the new carpet without it for a weight reduction.

The oval patches cover the tooling holes in the floorboards. They were originally bonded in place with seam sealer.
 
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