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Old 06-10-2009, 10:50 PM
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windlace and retainers

OK here goes I got new windlace for my 55 chevy and I don't understand what the small piece of material is for that is at the dash area how is that sapouse to fit anywhere at that spot please any help would be great and thanks in advance Gene...

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:51 AM
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Are you talking about the fabric that covers the pair of metal strips that go up the front door pillars next to the windshield? There should be two or three screws that hold each metal piece on. The metal trim pieces get covered with that flap of headliner fabric.
When the car was done originally, the piece of fabric was sewed right to the windlace, as yours is now. When you put the windlace on, it's important to make sure that the fabric flap is in the right place to cover the metal piece. If it's not, you can take the fabric off the windlace and glue it to the back of the metal piece from top to bottom. After the windlace is in place, screw the metal piece in place, fold the fabric over the top of the metal piece towards the windshield, staple or glue the fabric to the tacking strip next to the windshield, trim off the excess fabric, and the rough edge is covered by the windshield trim pieces.
This picture is of a '53 headliner, but it should be similar to a '55. The fabric covered trim pieces are visible on both side of the windshield.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:08 PM
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Dan this material goes (I think) next to the dash and a pillar (where the dash is welded) the cord that goes inside the wind lace retainer starts at the top of the dash and goes downward the floor this is where this material is sewn to the wind lace also thanks for your help Gene..
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:29 PM
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The metal strip that starts from the bottom of the dash and goes down to the floor is called the "kick panel retainer". It has a groove on the side toward the door that the windlace slides into, and the opposite side holds the kick panel. The space between the dash and the pillar is filled with either windlace by itself or fabric and windlace. If there is no gap where the piece of fabric is attached, it is not needed there. It's possible it is just sewed in the wrong place.

Here's a tip for you.......Put the back of the kick panels into place against the firewall first before attaching the kick panel retainers, or you won't get the kick panels in properly.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:38 PM
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I understand how the retainer is installed and how the kick panel goes what I don't understand is this piece of material that is sewn to the wind lace I think that it goes around the side of the kick panel retainer and sandwiches in this small channel between the dash and the a pillar right where the dash is welded in at I hope that I am explaining it right
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:24 AM
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Yes, you are explaining it correctly. The only place I know of that there should be a piece of fabric sewed to the windlace is at a point at least a foot above where you are talking about, and it goes over a metal piece which is screwed in place to cover the area of the pillar right next to the windshield down to the dash area you mention. Do you have the pair of metal pieces I am referring to?

I am doing this from memory. I have a friend who owns a '56, and if need be I will go take a look at it.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:45 PM
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I just looked at pictures of a '55 Chevy. I have been advising you wrong. Your '55 is not similar to the '53 I posted the picture of. Your car only has a "windlace retainer" that holds the windlace and the front of the kick panel. It would not have the metal pieces I described above the dash next to the windshield. Your windshield curves around toward the door just above the dash. Sorry about that.

Besides the windlace retainer, which are long curved metal strips, there is a piece called a "windlace metal retainer with molded ends". CLICK HERE Would the fabric sewed to the windlace be used to cover the molded ends on those pieces?
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:47 AM
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I ran over to my buddy's house yesterday afternoon and looked at his '56 Nomad. It is the same as your '55 as far as the windlace retainers. There is no reason I can see for the piece of fabric you talked about.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:48 PM
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The only piece of fabric or vinyl sewed onto the front section of windlace on a 55-57 Chevy is from the top of the kickpanel retainer and goes upward about 6-8 inches and only covers the gap between the end of the dash and the door post. The lower 1/2" of this flap is wrapped around the retainer and trapped in place with the kickpanel.
I am referencing page 451 of the 55 Trim Instruction Manual for Chevrolet. It is available from most Tri-Five dealers and is an invaluable resource when working on the interiors of these cars.

Charles
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:50 PM
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Dan thanks for your help I also forgot to tell you that I have a sedan after looking at about ten cars at differant car shows I only found one that had the fabric That I talked about it goes along the kick panel at the top and in the small channel where the dash meets the a-pillar along side the dash then your wind lace channel holds it in then you screw your retainer into place. again Thank you for all your help gene..
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonMan
The only piece of fabric or vinyl sewed onto the front section of windlace on a 55-57 Chevy is from the top of the kickpanel retainer and goes upward about 6-8 inches and only covers the gap between the end of the dash and the door post. The lower 1/2" of this flap is wrapped around the retainer and trapped in place with the kickpanel.
I am referencing page 451 of the 55 Trim Instruction Manual for Chevrolet. It is available from most Tri-Five dealers and is an invaluable resource when working on the interiors of these cars.

Charles
Thanks for your valuable info.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55 Bullit
Dan thanks for your help I also forgot to tell you that I have a sedan after looking at about ten cars at differant car shows I only found one that had the fabric That I talked about it goes along the kick panel at the top and in the small channel where the dash meets the a-pillar along side the dash then your wind lace channel holds it in then you screw your retainer into place. again Thank you for all your help gene..
The sedan, wagon, and convertible all use the same windlace retainer. The problem with the upholstery manual WagonMan referenced, or any manual for that matter, is that in practice, each vehicle is slightly different. That's why I advised you earlier that if there was no gap to cover, you wouldn't need the fabric and could cut it out. The Nomad I looked at had no gap at all.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:50 AM
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The hardtop uses the same retainer also. The manual I referenced is not just ANY manual, it is THE interior manual produce by the Engineering Division, Fisher Body GM for 1955 Chevrolet and Pontiac and includes all body styles to show how the interior was to be assembled. There is a slight gap that GM thought wise to cover to make a flowing transition between windlace, dash and kick panel unlike today when they just get things close. If you didn't know it was supposed to be there most people probably would not miss it. The picture enclosed is of my still original 56 HT and shows it clearly although the kick panel is gone. The scan is of the page referenced from the mentioned manual.

Charles
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:40 AM
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I am not trying to argue with you, and I am not disputing the fact that what you have referenced is "the" manual. I have been upholstering auto interiors for over 35 years, and I can tell you that every dash in every 55 through 57 Chevy is not in the exact same spot in every car. Nor is every kick panel retainer strip in exactly the same spot. It is then that common sense must take over. I'll say it again. If there is no gap to cover up between the dash and the "A" pillar, that piece of fabric does not need to be there. I can guarantee you if that was the case when the car was upholstered initially, that piece of fabric would not have been used by whoever was upholstering it at the factory.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:47 AM
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No argument either from this end but if the engineers deemed it necessary to add that last little detail who am I to argue with them. The flap just covers up the inconsistencies of the welding process which was not an exact science back then hence one way to make up for it in this area. If everything was perfect there would be no reason for any adjustments anywhere on a car. Myself, I have been in the business for right at 40 years and have quite a few of the old Chevy's behind me. Sure wish I would have had the for-sight to start to take pictures from the beginning. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this area.

Charles

That piece was also added during the manufacturing of the windlace assembly(as well as several pieces of tack strip that were slid in place and not tacked) and not on a job by job basis.
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