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       Maybe you, like a lot of us, haven't met with an abundance of success trying to install the original style carboard headliner -- and just ended up with a sloppy mess and a lot of soaked cardboard and vinegar all over that newly restored and formerly beautiful interior!! If originality isn't ultimately important, here's Don to walk you through the ...

ABS Headliner Installation

(Update January 2009 / 1 March 2008)

By Don McLendon
Bolter # 20
Brevard County, Florida

Originality isn't what it's cracked up to be ...

          I've tried the original style headliner and made a perfect mess of it. Then I ordered the ABS headliner kit (available from several of the vendors listed in the Links section). When it arrived, I followed the following steps with success. Check out these images for picture-details!)

  1. First I took the center bow down, placed it against the "head side" of the headliner, and insured that the hole locations as pre-marked were correct. They were.

  2. I then mounted the headliner, inserting the center bow screw first. See the double foot single handed installation tip. You could really use an extra set of hands here.

  3. Next, I installed screws and the garnish molding across the rear. The rear portion of the ABS headliner has elongated holes for ease of screw hole location.

  4. At this point, I installed the front valance (the piece that covers the windshield wiper motors) working it under the headliner. Forcing the headliner back towards the rear, I then inserted the center screw through the garnish molding. The headliner was now supported front, center and back.

  5. Next, I removed the center support screws and worked the headliner the best I could from port to starboard and fore and aft, trying to minimize the amount of trimming necessary.

  6. Using a dremel tool, I then trimmed up the areas above the door jams. I secured the back garnish moulding and marked the overhanging headliner for trimming -- what I mean here is the portion of the headliner extending beyond the outside perimeter of the garnish moulding. The rear garnish moulding was removed and the dremel tool was used to trim off the excess headliner.

  7. After again installing the rear garnish moulding (using a router bit in the dremel tool to make the screw holes), I then reinstalled the three center support screws.

  8. The left and right garnish mouldings and the door windlaces were then installed.

          Note that the color rendering in the photos is off. The headliner was painted a matching color of the trim and interior.

Good luck!



Grease stains are badges of honor ~ David Colter, 1954 Chevy Tow Wrecker

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