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Warning: Neither this website or the author will be responsible for any problems, issues or consequences from the reader utilizing the information provided in this article. The magnets mentioned in this article are extremely strong, and may cause damage or injury to people and equipment if not safely handled. If the dead pedal is not securely installed, it may become loose, and cause an accident. Proceed at your own risk.

Decades ago (1985 to be specific), I bought a Dodge Lancer ES Turbo sedan. Although it was far from perfect, it did have a desirable feature, a “dead pedal”. If you are not familiar with a dead pedal, it is a fixed ‘pedal’ mounted on the left side of the driver’s foot well that provides a convenient place to set your left foot when driving. The third generation Durangos have a nicely shaped form to rest your left foot on, but it is carpeted, and is not covered by the floor mat. I have a tendency to keep my vehicles for a long period of time, and I am sure that years of my left shoe resting there would eventually cause significant wear in the carpet. So not that long ago, I decided to add a dead pedal to my 2014 Durango.

The first two items to be addressed were:
1) Where do you get a dead pedal for a vehicle that never had one? And
2) How do you install it?

The first item was the easiest to resolve. It turns out that there were multiple dead pedals available on Ebay for a BMW X5 SUV. These are 3” wide by 13” long. I measured the available space in the Durango, and decided to cut the dead pedal down to a length of 10”.

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This provided a very good fit that (in my opinion) is neither too big or too small (see the last photo with the dead pedal installed). The BMW pedal did require a little trimming, as it had some “tabs” that I had to cut off to make it fit flat to the floor. These tabs were originally designed to hold the pedal in place in the X5.

Installation turned out to be more of an issue than planned. I could have installed flat head sheet metal screws through the pedal and carpet into the foot well below, but I did not want to permanently modify anything. I wanted to be able to remove the dead pedal if it did not work out, or if the wife made me take it out, but keep the carpeting without holes and tears in it. My initial thought was to use industrial strength Velcro tape installed on the backside of the pedal to grab the carpet. Two problems quickly arose. The first is that the carpeting does not allow Velcro to grab on to it. The second is that the backside of the BMW pedal is not flat, but a raised honeycomb design that you can’t glue the Velcro tape to. Back to the drawing board!

Next came the idea of magnets (yes, magnets). Today, there are “super magnets” available that are very powerful yet small. The BMW dead pedal has three recesses built into it that are roughly 3” wide by ½” deep and ¼” high. [By the way, the backside of the dead pedal looks weird because I attempted to fill in the voids early on with a plastic compound to allow use of the Velcro tape.]

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Based upon this, I bought a Neodymium magnet 3” x ½” x ¼” bar from Amazon. Evidently the strength of these super magnets is rated using a system with an “N” and a number. The highest number (and strongest magnet) is apparently 52, so I ordered a N52 strength magnet. Needless to say, the more powerful the magnet, the more they charge for it. Once I got the first magnet, I rushed to the Durango to place it in the foot well. Much to my surprise, it did not hold to the floor hardly at all. I knew the thickness of the carpet would reduce the magnet holding power, but there was very little attraction between the magnet and the foot well. Either Dodge has a lot of material under that carpet, or the foot well is not made of steel.

On the other hand, I knew the magnet was extremely powerful, as once it grabbed on to a piece of steel, and I had to use pliers to pull it off. [Side note: do not let two of these magnets grab each other as it will be very difficult to get them apart. Also keep away from things like hard drives and audio tapes that can be erased.] As an alternative, I realized that I could slip a thin metal plate under the carpet for the magnets to grab. I purchased a 3” wide metal plate used in deck construction for this purpose from my local hardware store. The length fortunately matched up perfectly with the location of the magnets.

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As shown below, you can pull enough of the carpet out from the side wall to slide the metal plate into the correct position without taking the trim apart. When I tested the magnet with this metal plate installed, it had no problem grabbing and holding on to the plate, even though the carpet was between them.

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As noted earlier, the BMW dead pedal already had 3 recessed areas, so I purchased two more of the N52 magnets, and then used some ‘super glue’ that was specifically rated to attach metal to plastic to glue all 3 magnets to the dead pedal.

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After waiting a full day for a complete cure of the glue, I slid the metal plate behind the carpet and into position. Then I carefully positioned the dead pedal and its magnets over the area of the metal plate, and voila, it snapped cleanly and firmly into place. The final result is shown in the photo below. I was worried about the possibility of the dead pedal sliding off or being loose (a definite safety hazard), but after a few days of driving this has not been the case. In my opinion, the dead pedal looks and feels like OEM and matches well with the brake and accelerator pedals, and does not interfere with the carpet mat. Note that although you can see the top of the dead pedal in this photo, one cannot see it when sitting in the driver’s or front passenger seats.

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In conclusion, this article presents one way to add a dead pedal to a third generation Dodge Durango (as well as potentially any other vehicle that you are willing to do measurements, design and modifications on). It is not the only way, and it certainly is not the cheapest way to add a dead pedal. But it can be removed without punching holes or damaging the foot well carpeting. Plus it prevents long term wear and tear on that area of the carpeting.

As noted in the opening paragraph, neither the website or author are responsible for the consequences of the reader installing a dead pedal following this article, as the reader’s skills and abilities to design, fabricate and install a dead pedal are not known. And having a loose dead pedal in the driver’s foot well while driving would be a very dangerous event, so proceed at your own risk.
 
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