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Are you tired of fixing that sagging, droopy headliner with duct tape and safety pins? So were we. Replacing a headliner has always had a stigma of being difficult, but for most cars the reality is that it is a pretty simple task. So where does this stigma come from? Some might say that an early body Mustang certainly contributed, if only a little.

The previous statement might scare you off some, but it shouldn’t. Replacing an early-body Mustang headliner is only difficult if you don’t have the right set of instructions. The biggest issue with the headliner in these cars is that the windshield must be removed. The headliner on the early Mustang is glued to the inside edge of the windshield frame. Most 60’s and 70’s windshields are glued in place and must be cut out. A rope saw will do the trick, but a pneumatic windshield saw is the better bet.

Not something you want to risk doing yourself? The best bet is to find a reputable mobile glass installer to r&r the glass for you. On our 1967 fastback, the r&r cost about $60, not bad considering we also got a nice new gasket and seal. When looking for a glass remover, make sure they come with all the right tools. A sure fire way to bust an otherwise good windshield is by using inferior tools. If you have all the trim and trim tabs removed from the car before the glass guy gets there, it will save time and let you get to the headliner faster, and you might even get a discount. Most glass shops will tell you that there is about a 50\50 chance of getting the glass out in one piece, it has been our experience that this is typically an “I’m telling you this cause if I break it I ain’t paying for the new one” line to cover themselves. While they do sometimes break, a good glass guy will do his best to get it out in one piece. A shady guy might break it just to sell you a new one.

We sourced a new headliner from Classic Mustang in Oklahoma City, OK. The original interior was in absolutely perfect shape with the exception of the sun-faded carpet and a sagging headliner. The new headliner matched perfectly. The process of replacing the headliner is fairly simple, but being a fastback, there are a lot of panels that need removal. Having an extra set of hands is critical in this process, as the headliner gets in the way and the attachment rods need to be held while snapping them in place.

Most of the tools needed to replace the headliner can be found in just about any toolbox. A set of screwdrivers and nut-drivers are a must. There are also a couple of more exotic tools you will need. A chip brush and some contact cement are needed to glue down the headliner to the edges of the windshield frame and the door jambs. To keep the headliner in place, you will need some pinch welt. Pinch welt comes in boxed rolls and can be found at just about any upholstery supply shop. You don’t need much, a few feet will do (10 foot should be more than enough, but this stuff is really handy, we keep a whole box on hand at all times) and it can be reused if you don’t abuse it.

The entire process took about 6 hours, the cement requires an additional 24 hours of cure time before the windshield can be installed, do keep that in mind when planning your replacement.

1.The original headliner is dingy and torn. The rest of the interior is excellent, so we’ll just replace the worn out headliner.

1. The original headliner is dingy and torn. The rest of the interior is excellent, so we’ll just replace the worn out headliner.

2.The crew at Red Line Auto Sports had a mobile glass guy cut out the windshield, and then they lifted it out. Find a safe place to put the glass as this job is going to take about a day.

2. The crew at Red Line Auto Sports had a mobile glass guy cut out the windshield, and then they lifted it out. Find a safe place to put the glass as this job is going to take about a day.

3.The old weather seal was removed to get to the headliner material.

3. The old weather seal was removed to get to the headliner material.

4.Moving to the interior, the trim pieces such as the visors, seat belt straps and rear view mirror were removed.

4. Moving to the interior, the trim pieces such as the visors, seat belt straps and rear view mirror were removed.

5.The A-pillar trim was also removed.

5. The A-pillar trim was also removed.

6.The rear cowl panels are held in place with about a million screws. Take your time and make sure you get them all before pulling on the panels.

6. The rear cowl panels are held in place with about a million screws. Take your time and make sure you get them all before pulling on the panels.

7.With the outer panels off, the inner vents are exposed. These need to be loosened to release the tension from the headliner.

7. With the outer panels off, the inner vents are exposed. These need to be loosened to release the tension from the headliner.

8.The headliner support rods can be installed in several holes. We marked the factory locations with a marker before removing them. You will want to reuse the factory holes. We also numbered each hole and rod, to keep them in correct order.

8. The headliner support rods can be installed in several holes. We marked the factory locations with a marker before removing them. You will want to reuse the factory holes. We also numbered each hole and rod, to keep them in correct order.

9.These small tension wires are important, carefully remove and store them for reuse.

9. These small tension wires are important, carefully remove and store them for reuse.

10.We laid the headliner over the roof and sliced the ends of each rod sleeve about 1.5-inches from the end of material.

10. We laid the headliner over the roof and sliced the ends of each rod sleeve about 1.5-inches from the end of material.

11.Then we slid each corresponding rod into the sleeve.

11. Then we slid each corresponding rod into the sleeve.

12.We inserted each rod into the holes.

12. We inserted each rod into the holes.

13.The tension wires were reattached and keep the headliner taught.

13. The tension wires were reattached and keep the headliner taught.

14.This is the contact cement we used. Nothing special, this stuff is available at any hardware store.

14. This is the contact cement we used. Nothing special, this stuff is available at any hardware store.

15.Using a chip brush, we brushed the cement on the windshield frame, at the top only.

15. Using a chip brush, we brushed the cement on the windshield frame, at the top only.

16.Then we stretched the headliner material, keeping it even side to side, and clipped it in place every 3-4 inches with the pinch welt.

16. Then we stretched the headliner material, keeping it even side to side, and clipped it in place every 3-4 inches with the pinch welt.

17.The same process was done on the door jambs.

17. The same process was done on the door jambs.

18.For the rear, the headliner is kept in place by the rear sail panels. There are some vehicles that were mounted under the glass, like the front, requiring the back glass to be removed as well.

18. For the rear, the headliner is kept in place by the rear sail panels. There are some vehicles that were mounted under the glass, like the front, requiring the back glass to be removed as well.

19.We stretched and glued the A-pillar corners down and replaced the windlace to keep it in place. Don’t remove the welt clips until you are ready to install the windshield.

19. We stretched and glued the A-pillar corners down and replaced the windlace to keep it in place. Don’t remove the welt clips until you are ready to install the windshield.

20.All done. Yes, there are a few wrinkles, these will work themselves out after a little time under the sun. The material is taught, even, and ready to go. The entire job took us about 6 hours.

20. All done. Yes, there are a few wrinkles, these will work themselves out after a little time under the sun. The material is taught, even, and ready to go. The entire job took us about 6 hours.

 

Sources:

Obsolete and Classic Auto Parts

http://ilovemymustang.com/

Red Line Auto Sports

http://www.redlineautosports.com/

 

 

 

About Jefferson Bryant (221 Articles)
A life-long gearhead, Street Tech Magazine founder and editor Jefferson Bryant spends more time in the shop than anywhere else. His career began in the car audio industry as a shop manager, eventually working his way into a position at Rockford Fosgate as a product designer. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. Jefferson has also written 5 books and produced countless videos. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced. You can follow Jefferson on Facebook (Jefferson Bryant), Twitter (71Buickfreak), and YouTube (RedDirtRodz).

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