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Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: tjim01 ()
Date: February 23, 2022 10:34AM

I'd like to have the headliner replaced in my LM. Spring is the busy season for all upholstery shops (booking at least 4 months out) around here (Ohio). I know it's not simple, based on the cost of $400-$500 just to install. Just curious if it's "difficult" or just time consuming and if one had the time (I do), it can be done well. My feeling tho is it requires a bit of talent and if you never did it before, it likely won't come out well. Thought I would ask for actual experiences of those who tried...

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: John Luscinski ()
Date: February 23, 2022 10:59AM

I would say it is easy..to do.. it does have some planning on having the tools and technique. It is very straight forward and if you get one from Clarks they usually have a set of directions to go with it. I would say that you take pictures of the headline (if any).. Also if the top bows are rusty you might one to remove any rust and paint them ahead of time. I think that what really make the job is when the front and rear windows are out. This helps out allot. But if they are in it can be challenging to pull the headliner tight. You will need contact cement glue, large and small paper binder clips. The ideal thing is you want the headliner centered inside. I would also remove any seats as well. Lighting is your best friend. Also if you have a light colored headliner be sure to keep your hands clean as the headliner will get dirty.. Dont use any sharp objects like a screw driver to do anything. A tucker can help. Moving from the back to the front is the key thing. Trimming is done at the end. Before you tie in the sides glue is needed on the top trim edge. Glue the headliner trim and trim edge and wait to dry then use the clips to hold in place.. I have done many in my life time and patience.. You could do yours in a day or less.. Not that hard.. Like Arts and crafts..

"Been there and done that! Well Not everything.smiling smiley
65 500 2dr Coupe
63 Greenbrier

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: tjim01 ()
Date: February 23, 2022 11:18AM

Thanks for the great info John! I just found a place that can do it within a couple weeks...and as the seats and windows are in and now my back is feeling sore just envisioning the contorting inside the car to put it in, I think I'll let them do it, lol. I appreciate the info tho.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: February 23, 2022 12:56PM

This is something I am considering doing in my 1965 Coupe but if I attempt it, the front seats will be out of the car when I do.

Worst case scenario...I will pay a professional to get it done.

Cleaning and painting the rods would be a good idea since the headliner has been out of my car for several decades already.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe
1965 Monza Coupe
1965 Monza Convertible
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: MonzaDave ()
Date: February 23, 2022 01:56PM

Yes. A bit tedious, but quite doable. I had no wrinkles.

Dave Keillor
Rochester, MN

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: February 23, 2022 01:58PM

Some may say it's "easy". Maybe for some, BUT if you want a GOOD looking headliner it takes some careful planning and a LOT OF patience. Without prior knowledge/practice you WON'T get it done in one day IF you want it to look good.

You can go online to see how it's done. Keep in mind THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ONE PROCEDURE THAT WORKS FOR ALL HEADLINERS. Some are best to start at the windsheild, some from the middle out, some from the rear. Cloth is different vs. vinyl.

Just me, but the LM four door sedan is more difficult vs. the coupe.

TIPS: - the bows are NOT all the same. DON'T MIX THEM UP. Take them out, label, AND TAKE PICS of them in order on the ground (I sent mine to the sand blaster, so keeping labels on was not not practical).

The Clark's headliners are fairly good, but it was a little skimpy in the back. Clark's hangs lower vs. the stock headliner. Why? You'll notice (if your headliner is in fair shape) that the bows are stitched in too tight to slide out or in. Clark's added about a 1/4" to the " bow sleeve" so you can slide the bows in. The top will hang about 1/4" lower than stock. If your tall the only fix is to put the bows in the sleeves and have an upholstery shop stitch the sleeve snug around the bow.

I took a tip from other's - BUY A BIG BOX OF BINDER PAPER CLAMPS. See [www.staples.com]
They come in various sizes - small and medium work well. You pull he headliner to the perimeter were the removed inside trim goes above the doors and around the windscreens. Install the clamps BEFORE YOU GLUE ANYTHING. This way you can make adjustments. Then mark with chalk so you can remove the clamps and glue on the headliner. Usually start in the middle on both sides and slowly work to front AND back. That said each headliner shape has it's oddities.

BTW - With the headliner out you may decide to fix the "roof" insulation. Another lengthy topic. However if you live in a warm and sunny climate - insulating the roof makes a BIG difference. It is a labor intensive job to do correctly.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: DOUG WARD ()
Date: February 23, 2022 06:58PM

tjim, I did my '65 coupe headliner myself. I had never done one before. I used the Clark's kit. I wouldn't say it's an easy peasy job, but it's not really that hard to do yourself either. Mine turned out to be about a 9 out of 10 job.I am happy with it & it gets nice compliments. If I remember right, it took the better part of an afternoon to do in my garage.
Like the guys said, just take your time, read the instructions & be patient. You will be OK.

Doug Ward
Orange, Calif.
65 Corsa 180, 64 Monza convertible, 61 Lakewood, 61 Monza


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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: The Stig ()
Date: February 23, 2022 07:03PM

I have done a few. Just take your time and it will come out ok. thumbs up

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: February 23, 2022 10:01PM

I've installed several in recent years. I had two reproduction headliners where the person sewing the panels together must have been in a hurry and was pushing the material through the machine, causing it to bunch up in small areas. These stitched-in wrinkles may not pull out because the material on each side will already be pulled tight. Something to check for before you start.

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8 door Greenbrier, +.060, stroked 1/4", 188 ci, 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2022 10:02PM by Brizo.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: 67 airvair ()
Date: February 24, 2022 04:07AM

66vairman mentioned that a LM 4 door was harder to do than a coupe. Was that because of the integral "C" pillars? If so, that may only apply to the '65-6 4 doors, as the '67 has filler panels that cover the "C" pillar area.

I used that to an advantage when I did my Arizona car in a '65 saddle interior color. The "C" pillar panel was done in the darker brown '65 headliner material so as to match the carpeted foundation and backside of the rear seat, while I used the lighter "fawn" headliner material to reflect the seat inserts. I think most people miss that because the roof is at most people's waist height and they just don't pay any attention to the headliner. They assume it's the same color as the "C" pillars.

Just taking advantage of one of the differences in the '67 models. grinning smiley

-Mark

P.S. The job was not easy, and I am not that happy with the installation. I am thinking of having it redone by a professional, as I feel it was beyond my abilities. I had done my '69, and it was just fine. But that was decades ago and I was reusing the original liner.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: February 24, 2022 04:36PM

67 airvair Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 66vairman mentioned that a LM 4 door was harder to do than a coupe. Was that because of the integral "C" pillars? If so, that may only apply to the '65-6 4 doors, as the '67 has filler panels that cover the "C" pillar area.
>
> I used that to an advantage when I did my Arizona car in a '65 saddle interior color. The "C" pillar panel was done in the darker brown '65 headliner material so as to match the carpeted foundation and backside of the rear seat, while I used the lighter "fawn" headliner material to reflect the seat inserts. I think most people miss that because the roof is at most people's waist height and they just don't pay any attention to the headliner. They assume it's the same color as the "C" pillars.
>
> Just taking advantage of one of the differences in the '67 models. grinning smiley
>
> -Mark
>
> P.S. The job was not easy, and I am not that happy with the installation. I am thinking of having it redone by a professional, as I feel it was beyond my abilities. I had done my '69, and it was just fine. But that was decades ago and I was reusing the original liner.

Yes the 4 door "C" pillar complicates things. It fights the rest of the headliner when it comes to positioning the material. It's doable. Best to walk away when it gets to you, relax and come back another day. A lot of fitting that requires patience.

Interesting about the 67 "C" pillar panel. That probably save a lot of time on the assembly line as the headliner would be easier to fit.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: 67 airvair ()
Date: February 24, 2022 05:57PM

The only tricky thing with the '67 *C" pillar cover is that there are three door trim panel style clips in the center part of the panel that are sometimes a bear to disengage and you can easily rip their attaching plates off the cardboard. Just a word of caution for the first timer.

Mark

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: KOOP ()
Date: February 26, 2022 06:44PM

I helped a friend do a headliner on a Nova years ago. My advice: don't do a headliner on a cold day. Unroll the headliner and lay it in the sun for a couple hours before you start.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: February 27, 2022 07:47AM

KOOP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I helped a friend do a headliner on a Nova years ago. My advice: don't do a headliner on a cold day. Unroll the headliner and lay it in the sun for a couple hours before you start.

Good advice. The other way is to let the headliner hang from the bows inside the car outside on a warm sunny day. It will get warm fast!

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: February 27, 2022 09:34AM

Lots of tips here but having a set of instructions to read is helpful. I did my 68 Camaro headliner, which is a similar installation to the Corvair. I googled i for Camaro instructions and found several. I also somehow found one for the Corvair in my searches. Not sure where I got it, but I used all I found and melded them together to get all tips together for my installation.

My Camaro came out pretty good for first time doing it.

Tips:

1. Windshield and rear window out, can be done with them in but more difficult.
2. Lay out headliner in sun to get packing wrinkles out.
3. Wark rods to position.
4. Install Dynamat to reduce noise from roof. Camaro Central sells the Dynamat 4 square kit for $110. It is thin and not as bulky as other materials.
5, Install new tech insulation to keep heat out of car. I used Relectix from Lowe's for this.
6. Temp install headliner on bows during very warm weather to let headliner take shape. Install in car with binder clips. Start in center and work rear to front alternately.
7. Use binder clips to keep headliner snug in its install position and work wrinkles out. Let it set for several day to take a set. Then go back and work out and other wrinkles.
8. Do not use spay adhesive. It will be a mess. I used Weld-On 1829. It works great.
9. Do final install in sun and hot day, if possible. A tighter fit will be the result.
10. Glue small sections at time. Remove and reinstall binder clips as you apply glue and set liner in place.

I guess this puts most tips in one place for you.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Own Headliner?
Posted by: David Malcolm ()
Date: February 27, 2022 04:55PM

I thought about doing mine. The part that really scared me was making the holes on the 69 for the shoulder belts. I could just see getting it nice and tight and then--
Found a highly recommended local that comes to your house and did it for $100, I supplied the Clarks's headliner. He also did my seat bottoms. Was surprised that I could by just bottoms from Clark's.
Unfortunately he's in NJ, a long way from Ohio.

David Malcolm
1969 Monza PG Coupe
NJ near the Meadowlands

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