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Old 10-06-2004, 02:00 AM
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Installing headliner on a '55 Bel Air

Hey guys,

I'm a first time poster who just jumped back into the old car hobby with the recent purchase of a 1955 Bel Air 2 door hardtop.

I'm trying to plan out an order to do things in and actually have a pretty simple question, which I didn't see answered in any previous posts or the knowledge base.

The interior is stripped and the glass is gone. The missing glass (windshield, flat glass, back glass... all of it!) keeps the car off the road and is a high priority but a friend mentioned that on a couple of old cars he owned, you had to take the windshield out to install the headliner! Interior stuff isn't a priority yet, but will be if I cant install a headliner with the windows in. Does anyone have experience with this on a tri-five chevy?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-06-2004, 06:03 AM
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Replaced the headliner in my 56 210 about 30+ years ago, didn't need to pull any glass.

Congrats on your car.

Vince
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Old 10-06-2004, 07:15 AM
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Yeah, that was the case for mostly Fords i believe. Ive done a couple early mustang headliners that needed to have the windshield out to do the headliner.
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:14 PM
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That's great news. Thanks guys.

My buddy who warned me about it was talking about an early 60's valiant, but I didn't know how common it was with earlier cars. I never worked on anything older then a '66 chev.

I've got to say how cool these kinds of communities are. After everything I learned and was able to do to my '95 caprice thanks to the impala ss forum I knew I didn't want to own another car without an online community!

Thanks again guys.
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Old 10-06-2004, 06:36 PM
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Headliner

They are right you can install it without removing the glass. To save you another headache when you get it in and start pulling to get it tight and get the wrinkles out use a heat gun, a hair dryer might work and keep the material real warm it smooths right out.
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:39 PM
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Having the glass out is not required, but makes the job alot easier. I would stongly recommend repairing or replacing the front and rear tackstrips while the glass is out. The tackstrips butt right up against the pinchweld and are only a 1/2 inch wide. They are so close to the glass it's nearly impossible to drill the new holes to mount them.
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Old 06-24-2005, 10:35 PM
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1955 Chevy Headliner

Hi Gang,

I am taking on the task of replacing the headliner in my 1955 Chevy 150 Sedan. The glass is out and the old tack strip has been removed. I am about to put the new tack strip in. Not sure if this is the right thing to do, but I was planning on using weather strip adhesive and flat top sheet metal screws to secure the new tack strip. The old tack strip was secured with some pretty heavy duty staples. Does anyone know if there is supposed to be a tackstrip (other than the metal strip) above the door openings? If not I assume the windlace is held in place by the metal tack strip. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by NateDogg1955; 06-29-2005 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:19 AM
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Headliner update

The headliner is in! I came up with a great solution for attaching the windlace to the windlace retainer. Go to the hardware store and get a screen door repair kit. I used the rubber piping and the roller hold the windlace in place. Just feed the windlace into the retainer, place the piping into the groove of the retainer and roll it in.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:35 AM
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55 210 tack strip

Hey guys, got a 55 Chevy 210 preparing to install ne headliner. took out the old tack strip. ordered new. got it from cars inc. new stuff is too wide to fit in slot behind windshield. should have put it in when the windshield was out. looks like only option now is to cut it or try to work it in under the seal. any suggestions?

thanks ben
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:42 PM
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Glueeeeeeeee......

I just finished up a 55 a few weeks ago (it just left today, in fact. Was back in because the guy's gut wouldn't fit behind the steering wheel and had to set the seat back two and a half inches). I'm doing another one in a couple weeks. They're one of the easiest installs. Don't fret over it.

First, no windows have to be removed or be out to get them in. Yes, right up next to the windshield and right over the rear window are the tacking strips. They're just strips of cardboard originally. They take shortie staples or they'll bend and crack off. If the original isn't in good shape, I just strip chipboard and rivet it back in place in the existing holes.

But, usually, I don't even do that. Enough of the strip will be in tact to use some. But the main hold is the contact adhesive. Mask off the window and shoot it up on the tacking area, spray it on the edge of the headliner, let it dry, and stick it up. Using the weldwood, I've not had one come down. Just like the headliners that wrap around the window lip, they hold tight and have to almost be scraped off to get them loose.

The same holds true for the rear glass and the rear side windows. Or course, over the doors is the gripper strips. Just be careful tucking the material up so you don't tear it.

The last one I did was using Allante vinyl (kind of heavy, I know, but I had a nice tight stretch on it so it doesn't flop and it matches the rest of the interior). No worries with the glue soaking through. On a mohair or perfed thin headliner vinyl, just use a couple light coats of glue rather than loading it on heavy. THen it won't soak through.

Another suggestion, it'll save grief later on. Make sure the trim holes are all in good shape and line up without any problems. The set of trim for the 55 I just did was a mishmash of pieces from various cars. They had to be massaged, bumped and coerced into fitting all around the glass, doors, pillars, you name it. Several holes had to be redrilled. But I got it done.
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