Headliner Installation Preparation

Headliner Installation Preparation

Contemplating Headliner Installation

On Sunday I started test-fitting the headliner.  Lately I’ve focused on getting the interior to the point where I can install the glass while I wait for other parts.  The fan is the main thing holding up engine room progress, and Summit says it’ll ship late this week.  With the quarter windows installed, starting to think about putting in the headliner seemed like the next logical step.

Before I can install the windshield, the back window, and the top-run weather-strip, the headliner has to go in.  Those other pieces act as a secondary hold-down to keep the headliner in place, in addition to the glue.  AutoRestoMod has several great videos on headliner installation.  Take it from me: watch as many videos as you can before you try this at home!

Getting Ready: Roof Insulation

The first thing I had to do was lay the headliner in the sun to massage out some of the wrinkles.  It was 150 degrees yesterday by my estimation, so it didn’t take too long before the fabric had relaxed.  While I was waiting for the vinyl moonskin to de-wrinkle-iffy, I glued in the roof insulation.  It’s fiberglass, so of course it managed to get fibers all over my body and make me itchy, but otherwise that was a straightforward contact-cement type install.

I hadn’t gotten the sail panel insulation with my interior kit, so I made some out of BondedLogic material and then glued them to sheets of Dynamat.  BondedLogic is made out of a cotton, so you don’t need gloves and a respirator to install it.  I almost wish I’d used it for the headliner too, it’s pretty spiffy.  Moving forward I’ll be using a lot more of that stuff to insulate the car from sound and heat because it’s cheap and super easy to work with.

Test-Fitting the Headliner

With all my pre-work done, I cautiously inserted the listing rods, trimmed the pockets and set to pushing the bows into place.  I hadn’t made a note of what holes the rods came out of, which was a mistake.  I did, however, clearly mark the rods with the order in which they go in, which helped a lot.  Getting the bows to pop into place proved challenging.  I’m not sure whether the added layer of Dynamat on the roof did it, but the bows didn’t have the room to pop and lock into place like they should.  Moving the rods to the lower holes helped somewhat, but I’m still not  satisfied.

It took me three tries before I had the headliner in a position that looked good enough to try stretching it.  However the fiberglass roof insulation suffered as a result.  I may pull it down and replace it with BondedLogic instead, depending on how ambitious I feel.  Using windlace and a lot of patience, I stretched the front and back into place, then did the sides.  Not all the wrinkles fell out, but I’m hoping that by leaving it overnight in the stretched position that it’ll relax a little more.  Later this week I’ll fiddle some more and maybe even glue it down.

Take a look at AutoRestoMod’s video below if you’re curious how smart people do this…