Installing headliner on Rod Doors abs panel 49 ford truck? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:58 AM
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Installing headliner on Rod Doors abs panel 49 ford truck?

Had anyone had the experience of installing modern foam backed headliner on one of the Rod Doors one piece headliner panels on an F-1 truck? There are real 3 dimensional curved rear corners in the panel (think of the roof shape, that is the headliner shape). I am not an experienced interior installer but have done some interior work. Are there specific method to allow smoothing in those corners? I have watched several u-tube videos of installing headliners on somewhat newer vehicles which do not have the significant 3 dimensional corners like my F-1. The original interior by ford in the headliner area was non cloth covered multi piece cardboard material.
As an aside, the fit of the formed Rod Doors is excellent.
Anyone been there and done it?
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:03 AM
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Can you take pictures of what you want to do? What fabric are you going to attach to the ABS headliner? If it's foam backed headliner material, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:42 AM
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Dan,
Thanks for your reply. I will try to take pictures and post them. I am not a wizard with the computer. The material is foam backed headliner material.
Bill
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:04 AM
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Did they send any instructions with the headliner? Do you assemble the three pieces before you upholster it?
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:16 PM
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Dan,
There were no instructions. Rod Doors went out of business a few years ago however some different companies bought up parts of their business including the vendor that I bought the headliner kit from for my 49 Ford truck. There are 3 pieces to the kit however it is one large complete panel under the roof that is formed down at the back to the top of the rear window while the other 2 pieces are small vertical pieces curved 90 degrees in just one plane (not a compound curve like the rear corners of the roof panel-my area of concern) and go on each side of the rear window. I plan to use interior fabric material, not headliner on those 2 separate vertical pieces.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:33 PM
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I'm pretty sure Roddoors is back in business, 'cuz they have a web site under that name. They still offer your headliner kit. I was confused by the three piece thing, but the main headliner is just one large piece, which makes sense.

You will need to put something in between the headliner and the roof to keep it from banging together and driving you crazy on the road.

Get some really good high heat resistant top and trim contact adhesive like DAP or 3-M, and NOT in aerosol cans. You don't have to spray it, you can roll it or brush it on, but spraying would be the best way to apply it. I would glue the headliner material and the headliner panel only in the middle at first. Leave a band around the outside edge of the panel about 6 inches wide that has no glue. Then attach them together and let that sit until it's completely dry. Then go back and do the outside edge to finish it off. You will be surprised how much the material will stretch into the rear corners.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:40 PM
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You're right, I went back and checked that web site and it says they went out of business in 2009. I didn't read very closely the first time.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:06 PM
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Dan,
I am not sure why the web site is still available, however, if you page through ford trucks on the website, 1948-55 you can find the picture of one of the headliners (not lined-black ABS) in a 48-50 truck and you can see the corner that I am referring to. I did buy a siphon feed glue gun and have a quantity of the Weldwood (Dap) landau top and trim contact cement. I have test sprayed with the gun and it does not seem to be adjustable to get a nice even spray pattern. It seems to "spit" a bit rather than getting a nice even spray pattern like paint sprays. Am I expecting too much?
After looking at the photo on the website do you still think that I can be successful getting the headlining material to form to that corner?
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:59 PM
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You are expecting way too much from the spray gun. It will not shoot glue like paint, that's not even remotely possible. The glue should look like really bad orange peel when sprayed. Make sure it has plenty of air and plenty of glue going through it, and spray it at a distance of about two feet. Yes, I said two feet.

You can get the back corners if you stretch the headliner material enough. Worst case scenario you have to cut an upside down "V" in those two corners and butt the headliner fabric together. I think you'll be surprised when you see it's not going to be as bad as you think.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:32 AM
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Dan,
Thanks for your responses and advice. I read some of your postings and you have really helped many including me.
I don't sew so I need to have a local guy do the sewing to accommodate an overhead radio (I also bought an ABS enclosure for an overhead radio that I cemented to the headliner). Then I will start at the middle (front to back) as you suggest. I had not thought of cementing as wide a strip in the middle and then letting it fully dry before going after those corners, good advice. Do you let the glue get tacky on both surfaces almost to dry before you smooth the headliner to the panel? On those corners it almost seems like You want it a little less dry to allow some ability to move the fabric once down to work the fabric into position. Yes?
My experience with I think basically the same Weldwood/Dap contact cement is laying down Formica (laminate) on kitchen counters. In those cases you place an intervening layer of paper or a series of thin sticks to prevent the laminate from grabbing before it is properly positioned. My first experience doing it was a few years ago, 1969!

Last edited by 49willard; 05-07-2013 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:21 AM
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Yes, the contact adhesive needs to be almost completely dry before mating. If it gets too dry, just re-spray it and it will re-activate the adhesive. Maybe a little less dry in the corners, but not much, and yes, sticks or pencils or cardboard strips in between the fabric and headliner board until you want the stuff to stick together.
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