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Old 01-02-2003, 07:06 AM
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Post Pre-sewed Headliner Installation

I bought a pre-sewed headliner for my 1971 442. I also ordered the special glue that they said I needed, and the special tool that they suggested for tucking the edges. But there are no directions in the kit. Anyone ever done this? Help out a fellow hotrodder if you can!


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Old 01-02-2003, 09:28 PM's Avatar
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done hundreds of them, but if you have no clue it isn't possible to install one over the internet. this is very specialized stuff and headliners can be a headache even for pros, do yourself a favor and take it to a trim shop. if you insist on doing it yourself, make sure you have a heat gun,(hairblower type) sharp heavy duty scissors, a white lead soft type pencil, duck bill pliars,and half a dozen small spring type clamps. mark all the original bows,as to position, mark the original holes in the body where the ends of the bows fasten, lightly moisten the cloth backing of the headliner,leaving the outer six inches of the liner dry all the way around. center the bows in the headliner, hang it in the car, center everything side to side front to rear, then start at the rear, glue the rear header (sometimes the rear window has to be out) glue headliner to it, being careful to keep bow lines straight and tight. use clamps if possible as you may have to adjust material later. then go to the front of the headliner and repeat procedure, headliner must be tight front to rear, bow lines straight. now do one side gluing and pulling tight taking out all wrinkles, keep bow lines straight and centered, then do other side glue and fasten keeping seams straight and tight, the goal is no wrinkles, if when you are done you have a few minor ones use the heat gun on the vinyl side , lightly heat in a circular motion and the wrinkle will dissapear, when you are done trim with scissors and razor blades, cover your cardboard or accessorie panels and replace weatherstripping and trim panels then set the car out in the sun and let the warmth evaporate the dampness from the fresh headliner and it will tighten up more, if you did a good job it will look factory or better, now it will take you about thirty five minutes to get the glue off your hands, throw away the shirt and try to get glue out of your hair. good luck and i told you to take it to a trim shop. Did this work for many years for a large trim shop in St louis Mo.
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Old 01-03-2003, 05:53 PM
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BOBCRMAN hit it on the head, headliners are real headaches. HOWEVER, experience is learned, so go for it!
Paying to have it done is easier, but you will gain nothing more than a nicely installled liner.
Ive been installing interiors/headliners professionally for the last two decades & gotta say that your "late model" '71 Olds is a piece of cake when compared to the high crowned cars of the 40's-50's.
Follow BOBCRMANs' advice, be patient & expect a few flaws. Your next headliner job will be easier.
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