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.
Obsolete and Classic Auto Parts
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