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Lessons learned installing a 1946 Chevy 1/2 headliner
#1223904 Wed Jul 05 2017 01:03 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,053
4
Shop Shark
After spending many more hours than anticipated installing Sparky's headliner solo, I thought it might be helpful to pass on the lessons learned.

Used was the card board, two piece headliner, sold by one of the usual vendors we frequent. My goal is to restore Sparky to as near factory born as I can, so even the clutch head screws were used too. What a pain in the patootie!!! Note: four letter word incantations are useless. When frustration sets in and it likely will...walk away, cool off and fight on another day.

The following worked for me. Process and results for others may differ.

1) Use a 10-32 tap to clean all trim fastener holes.

2). Install the center support bow that screws to the cab above the door centers. The screw holes used to secure the center headliner bow must have the screw holes used to secure that retainer with the short distance to the edge facing forward.

3). Loosely secure the center headliner bow, channel opening facing forward using flat head metal screws. At this stage the bow needs to be loose enough to allow the rear section of the headliner to slide between the center support bow and the headliner retainer about 3/8". The screws are secured tight after the rear headliner section is installed.

4) Measure, then re-measure and re-measure again in at least 3 spots, the distance from the headliner retainer and the channel in the metal rear upper inner lining panel...be sure to include the 3/8" referenced above. Then measure the rear card board headliner section as close as possible to corresponding points. The headliner will likely need at least minor trimming. I discovered this one was 7/8" too wide. A compass was used to scribe a cut line, ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE FORWARD EDGE of the headliner. Use the edge without the pre-cut screw holes. Note too the liner curves at each each. A new, sharp razor knife was used to score the cut, in several passes along the cut line. I intentionally avoided cutting all the way through at this point to avoid tear out on the front side. The cut was completed after flipping the headliner over to the front side, bending the scrap section all along the cut line and finishing the cut.

5) Next woodworkers squeeze-type bar clamps were used to hold one end in the center retainer channel as close as possible to final fit. On the opposite side a padded piece of 1/4 plywood about 4" wide and long enough to wedge between the headliner and the floor board was used as a "3rd hand". Note this takes several trial and error attempts and will likely require several cool off time outs, but if I can do it anybody can! Starting at one end, wrestle the liner into the center channel. Plastic body trim work tools were used to help slide the liner into place and thin plastic shims about credit card thickness helped keep the liner wedged in place. Another Stovebolter suggested wearing cotton gloves while working with the headliner. I agree. Sweaty, dirty hand prints will likely be avoided.

6). Next the rear retainer was installed. It secures the rear of the headliner. As noted above pre-tapping the screw holes will save lots of frustration. A metal screw was used to temporarily hold one end into place until other clutch head screws secured the retainer at several points. The headliner needed a few screw holes enlarged using a plier-type hole punch.

7) Front headliner section: The clamps and process referenced in Step 5 were again used. Wrestling the card board into the open channel in the center bow likely will result in more cool off time outs. But, it can be done...easy does it. It will save some frustration if the headliner is as close to having equal excess at each bottom end as possible. Sparky's had about 3/8" at the bottom of the center bow.

8). Install the front retainer. Again pre-taped screw holes in the valance will save frustration. A strong and padded (painters tape) welding magnet was used to temporarily hold the retainer in place until several screws were secured. Note: the headliner holes needed to be re-punched, using a plier-type paper punch, in several places.

Hope this helps someone else along the way. And thank you to all the Stovebolters that have posted helpful tips in their respective posts over the years.

Cheers!

Happy 4th of July!!!!



Re: Lessons learned installing a 1946 Chevy 1/2 headliner
46Sparky #1223924 Wed Jul 05 2017 02:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,917
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Can't wait to see the finished product!šŸ› 


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
ā€˜65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (Iā€™m #2)
ā€˜39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: Lessons learned installing a 1946 Chevy 1/2 headliner
46Sparky #1224182 Fri Jul 07 2017 02:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,053
4
Shop Shark
Thanks, Martin...me too. "Step by step one walks far", as the old saying goes. Another says, "sometimes with the wind and sometimes against, but onward nonetheless.".

Re: Lessons learned installing a 1946 Chevy 1/2 headliner
46Sparky #1224382 Sat Jul 08 2017 02:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 970
C
Shop Shark
Thanks 46!!! Instructions seem very detailed. precise and a PITA. Haven't done mine yet. I think I'm going to upholster mine. Another Bolter. Down to Sea had a detailed and very funny description of his intall.
Steppenwood also had a nice set of instructions. Maybe with all of you I can decide and finish......after I finish my new garage!!! The heavy rains is giving me fits! I should've put in a pool instead! Thanks for all you do and your detailed posts. Have fun and good luck!
Dan

Re: Lessons learned installing a 1946 Chevy 1/2 headliner
46Sparky #1224456 Sat Jul 08 2017 09:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,053
4
Shop Shark
Dan
Thank you.
I was really not looking forward to that task, especially having tried the cardboard liner in my '37. That was a fiasco! I ruined two liners and had a heap of frustration! I ended up using the ABS liner instead. That was about 10 years ago. Every time I look at that one it bugs me that a piece of crappy cardboard beat me. I got the ABS again and decided I'd give the cardboard another try. This time come hell or high water I was determined or ruthlessly stubborn. As my instructions above indicate it was a battle. But, the satisfaction in victory made it worth it! Buddies offered to help, but I politely declined. This was between me the cardboard and Sparky!


Moderated by  HandyAndy, klhansen 

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