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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have some tips on the headliner installation in a GT? My daughter is getting her 1970 GT Painted at the body shop right now and he let us know we really need to replace the headliner.

So instead of taking my time doing it in my garage I'm going to have to do it at the body shop without wasting anytime. I'm looking for any tips / photos that I can find that will help me speed this up. I've put one headliner in before in a 1971 Chevy Nova and that one took me all day to get the wrinkles out, hoping that the Opel will be easier.

The fellas over at the Opel GT Source told me about this forum, it's great - I wish I had found it years ago!
 

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Headliner Installation Tips

OK, I KNOW I have read a posting somewhere that gave really good directions on how to do this properly. I have this task to do myself, and I could have sworn I even printed it out, but now I can't find it. I have about the same problem with disassembling most of my GT over the past 15 years; how does it all go back together, and where ARE all the pieces?

I think it said to take all the windows out first if possible, which describes my car. All the painting should probably be done first, and then the headliner glued to the painted surface.

Attach the window "A" and "B" pillar vinyl covering first, and attach the vinyl with contact cement and lots of those little spring paper clips.Then it said to start at the front of the headliner and glue the front edge over the lip of the window "frame", with more glue and clips. Work backwards, smoothing it out by stretching it over the edges. Finish at the back window, and then the bottom of the "C" pillars. Buy a couple of boxes of those spring clips, because you will need them all.

When the glue dries, remove the clips, trim any excess vinyl, and it's time to reinstall the windows.

Any other suggestions, or does anyone know where the "proper" instructions are?

By the way, if you just found this forum, have you been looking in on the classicopel board, at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/classicopels ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, I've still got a couple boxes of those clips left over from doing the one in the Nova. It sounds like the Opel will be a similar procedure - except that the windows hold in the front and back of the headliner. The only real good article I found on the subject was on someones web page about putting one in a Camaro. I did put some tips on putting one into a Nova on my web page at http://iola.com/71nova/ after I put that one in.

I was just hoping there wasn't something weird that I need to watch out for on the Opel headliner, doesn't sound like it will be too much of a problem.

kwilford - On the classic opel mail list, yes - I found that one as well and have already signed up for it. Thanks for mentioning that as well.
 

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Headliner Insulation

I noticed on your Nova that you applied some kind of foil-back insulation to the roof panel before you installed the headliner. Is it that bubble-back stuff, or the fiberglass-back foil? How did you apply it (glue, double sided carpet tape, foil tape around the edges?)

On the GT, there was a thin sheet of foam glued to the roof at the factory, but it doesn't seem very "sound absorbing". Nor of a very high insulating factor, for the extreme temperatures we get up here. There was a thread a while ago about various acoustic sound deadening materials (asphalt sheeting and sprays, non-asphalt sheeting, rubberized undercoating sprays, etc.) but it all seemed to be a bit of overkill, and most of the ideas were messy, expensive, or both. The foil-back sheet seems like a tidy solution, but how does it work for sound absorption? Did I notice that you used it in other places other than the roof?

Welcome to the group, and thanks in advance for any advice that you can provide, regarding Opels or just any general tips on car restoration and maintenance.
 

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Headliner Insulation and Other Stuff

Now that I had a minute, I looked around your Nova site. Very nice! And I saw the links to the places that sell the insulation material, which I see is fiberglass-backed foil (I think you recommended low-e as less expensive):

http://www.julianos.com/insultek.html
http://www.low-e.com/

I think our local Revy (home improvement warehouse) store sells the same stuff, primarily as garage door insulation. I would never have thought about it for roof, door and floor liner. And I am kicking myself a bit, because I just bought an engine firewall pad from OGTS, which probably cost as much as a whole roll from Revy!

Thanks again for the link. Good luck with your daughter's GT, and don't hesitate to ask either of the groups (many folks are on both lists) for advice. As you are clearly very proficient at car restoration yourself, perhaps you will look in from time to time and help us out as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
>Is it that bubble-back stuff, or the fiberglass-back foil? How did you apply it (glue, double sided carpet tape, foil tape around the edges?)

It's got a layer of tin foil like material on both sides with foam in the middle. Has some thing like a fiberglass threads on both sides every inch or so in a grid pattern. I used 3m spray adhesive and foil tape on all the seams. Since that car is built for some serious drag strip work, I didn't want to put the asphalt stuff in there - too heavy. This stuff is very light weight.

>The foil-back sheet seems like a tidy solution, but how does it work for sound absorption?

Not real sure yet, it's still got open headers on it won't have the mufflers on it till later this week. With the doors shut it's a lot quieter inside than outside LOL.

>Did I notice that you used it in other places other than the roof?

Yes, the floorboard, rear firewall and rear deck are covered with it.

I'll see what I can do to at least take a few pictures of the headliner install. At this point I'm not certain if the body shop is going to put it in or if I will have to. I hope that they can do it because I just don't have the time this week to work on it.

BTW: Color is going to be Porsche India Red, Base / Clear
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got the headliner in finally last night. I ended up doing it myself, I couldn't find anyone around here to put it in for me. It took me around 14 hours over two days time to get it installed. I needed 3 bottles of Dap brand contact adhesive and used about 120 of those paper butterfly clips (left them in place as long as possible).

It turned out really nice, not a single wrinkle anywhere. I was really happy with the quality of the headliner I got from Opel GT Source. I'll try and get a few pictures of the finished installation soon. We're still trying to get the front windshield back in, it's a real tight fit.
 

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14 hours??? You should have just made it a convertable... or at least a targa - that way it would have taken you allot less time. LOL
 

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I know this is an old post but I always look at the new pictures and the profiles that go with them and bla bla bla.........

anyway I installed a headliner a few years back in my gt. I would say that it ranks up there with installing gas tanks and heater cores.........or removing bolts from the base of a weber carb......

anyway the key is like gary said to put it out in the sun and let it get stretched before you install it. Otherwise it will sag after it gets hot and look like a mess.

Also go to a hobby shop and get some CA glue, I installed my headliner in an hour and a half cause that stuff dries so fast.

I had made my own headliner, well OK my mom made it, and I used a material thicker than the stock one, I would recommend the OGTS one because I had a tough time fitting the windows and door rubber back in.

BTW- WOW a girl about my age who drives a GT? It sounds like a match made in heaven ;)
 

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Headliner

I have installed a few headliners in various cars/trucks over the years. The job is pretty easy as far a cloth liner is concerned. As for getting wrinkles out, try a spray bottle with water, spray the headliner with a mist of water after installation and park car in the sun. (a well heated area will do) and over the course of a day or so, the wrinkles will pull tight and the headliner will look factory.

As far as the type of car that use a foam backed headliner material, these are put on a cardboard or fiber type backing, the old headliner material must be completly removed, this includes all of the old foam. (The old foam breaks down over time and causes the material to fall). For this, I use a wire brush. The new glue applied to the old foam will pull loose as the old foam breaks down, so cleaning it well is vital. On some cars the cardboard panel can be flipped over and and a clean surface used for the headliner. This is best.
P.s. I recommend the 3M spray adhesive
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Glue suggestions

I'm going to give the headliner install a go on my GT next week while I'm on vacation. The car is totally stripped of windows and interior. I plan on using picture hanging wire to tie together and stabilize the suspension rods to keep them from flipping down. I don't have the clips to hold the rods in the holes, but I've got lots of alternatives I can use for that. I'll have to go out and buy a hundred or so of those blueish/black sheet metal paper clip thingies.

My headliner is from the PO, who bought it 17 years ago, and I don't know if it's an OGTS product. The material seems like velour on the side you see. I have the main overhead piece and 4 straight strips: 2 about two feet long and 8" wide, 1 about five feet long and 16" wide, and 1 about five feet long and 8" wide.

Which areas do the straight pieces go?

As I understand it, I'm to do the door pillars first, then start attaching the overhead piece at the front windshield area. What next? Draw it tight and fasten the back window next, then door openings, and then the side rear windows?

I've read through about 3 of these threads and I see that having extra people around to help draw it tight at the doors is helpfull.

My main question is the glue choice. I've read here that upholsterers use a kick azz industrial glue that's not commonly available. I have some experience with this sort of thing: I used to deliver and install pool tables and my crew and I would have to stretch and glue the felt onto the slate tops, often using maximum pulling force to draw it tight and then holding it in place for several minutes while the glue set. We used general purpose 3M fabric adhesive. In recent years I've used a slightly better 3M product called Super 77 to glue firewall fiberglass/foil to my car and for cloth around speaker enclosures. But I'm leary about using a spray for this application. It seems that there's a high risk of getting it on the paint or sticky fingers getting it on the side of the liner that you see.

Has anyone used a brush on type of glue and what kind?

I suppose I could line all the danger areas with painter's tape to avoid getting glue on the paint. Any suggestions for avoiding glue on the paint?

Are these headliners cut generously so that there's lots of overhang and extra material to yank on. About how much pulling force would be typical to draw them tight?

It's getting chilly 'round these parts, so setting the cloth out in the sun to get it a bit more stretchy seems unlikely. Should I pop it in the microwave? :lmao: Boil it in a pot? Steam it with an iron and ironing board? Drape it over my oil-filled space heater for a while? Let it tumble in my dryer for 10 minutes?

Do you recommend just getting the front and rear attached and then waiting overnight to make sure the glue has set and then doing the doors and side windows the next day?
 

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I'm going to give the headliner install a go on my GT next week while I'm on vacation. I'll have to go out and buy a hundred or so of those blueish/black sheet metal paper clip thingies.

My main question is the glue choice. I've read here that upholsterers use a kick azz industrial glue that's not commonly available. I have some experience with this sort of thing: I used to deliver and install pool tables and my crew and I would have to stretch and glue the felt onto the slate tops, often using maximum pulling force to draw it tight and then holding it in place for several minutes while the glue set. We used general purpose 3M fabric adhesive. In recent years I've used a slightly better 3M product called Super 77 to glue firewall fiberglass/foil to my car and for cloth around speaker enclosures. But I'm leary about using a spray for this application. It seems that there's a high risk of getting it on the paint or sticky fingers getting it on the side of the liner that you see.

Has anyone used a brush on type of glue and what kind?

It's getting chilly 'round these parts, so setting the cloth out in the sun to get it a bit more stretchy seems unlikely. Should I pop it in the microwave? :lmao: Boil it in a pot? Steam it with an iron and ironing board? Drape it over my oil-filled space heater for a while? Let it tumble in my dryer for 10 minutes?

Do you recommend just getting the front and rear attached and then waiting overnight to make sure the glue has set and then doing the doors and side windows the next day?
Gordon, I really like the spring steel clips for this purpose as well as for holding leather or vinyl upholstery pieces when sewing them together.

As far as glue, I always have just used 3M spray or liquid contact cement for attaching fabric,vinyl or leather to wood or metal and have always had a good result. Cold weather may hamper its effectiveness. I use a spray can for small or uneven surfaces and for larger, flat areas, I use a quart can of liquid, applied with a 4" long, small diameter, closed foam paint roller to get a thin, uniform coat on both surfaces. You could even brush this cement on; it is just a little harder to get a uniform coating with a brush.

Before installing, I would iron the headliner flat from the backside, using a thin cup towel between the vinyl backing and the iron to keep from damaging anything. I would also have a heat gun available to smooth out any wrinkles during installation and stretching.

I would wait a few hours or even overnight for the glue to dry if you can. It ought to hold almost immediately, but I have had some wood veneer applications "creep" slightly when stressed sideways right after gluing.

As to the specifics of installing the headliner in a GT, I haven't done that, so others are better qualified to answer those questions.
Good Luck!
 

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It's been a few years since I did mine. I used the 3M High Strength spray glue, you just have to be very careful and I also used a TON of blue painters tape. I built little "dams" all over the place and covered everything that could possible get hit by over spray. It took me several days to do mine. I stretched in ALL directions as necessary to minimize wrinkles, it was very challenging. I do remember that the last sections completed were the rear window pillars. I also put the rubber weather strip on around the door openings as I completed those areas to help the glue stay in contact where it needed to. I bought about 24 big spring clips from McMaster with the orange rubber stuff on the tips to avoid damaging anything but if you want to use the black spring clips that is probably ok too. Patience is the key. It took me several days because I kept on walking away from it when I got frustrated. Good luck.
 

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Kudos to you guys doing it yourself. I chickened out so you guys just saved the 600$ I payed to have it done. :banghead:
 

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I used about 20 metal clips similar to what Markandson used. And although I've generally had great luck with most 3M products, my personal experience has been that several of their adhesive products have worked great for me initially, but seem to harden up over time and lose adhesion. Specifically, I had a lot of trouble getting carpet to adhere to my GT's setback. The 3M products such as Super 77 held well initially, but eventually let loose during the heat of the summer. I also tried 3m weatherstrip adhesive (essentially contact cement) with similar less than satisfactory results.

But then one day at Pep Boys I stumbled across a product called Amazing Automotive Goop. Although I was quite skeptical at first (it sounded too much like one of those "as seen on TV" products) it has turned out to be the best fabric & trim adhesives I've ever used.

It's held up on my seatbacks years longer than the 3M products ever did, and I couldn't be happier with how it worked on my headliner. Another thing I like about it is that it's clear, whereas the 3m products are very yellowish.

Oh! And heed Markandson's excellent advice: patience is absolutely key! The longer you take the better the finished product will be.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Thanks guys! Good tips all. I'll probably use an idea from each of you.

Holy Cow you used a lot of those clips!!!

I guess I should err of the side of massive overkill, huh?

Where's a good place to buy those better clips with the rubber tips?

If I can pull this off, maybe I'll pull the windows and headliner out of the Red Baron and redo that car, too. Buying all those clips, I'll need to do at least another car to justify the purchase. Maybe I'll do GT headliner replacement as a retirement job and travel the country doing other dude's cars!

Hmmm......better wait and see how bad I screw up the first car before I plan on that.......
 

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Sick with Opelitus
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Acco® Medium Binder Clips | Quill.com

Gordon, These office binder clips are what I used on my headliner. They apply a lot of presser (put one on your finger tip for a bit) they are cheap too.

Pat
 

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Opelnut
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Headliner clips

The cheapest I have found little clips like that was Home Depot the were 37 cents each. the next was a local hardware store at 99 cents each.
think cloths pins might be a good alternitave but I havent found those in a long time,




Thanks guys! Good tips all. I'll probably use an idea from each of you.

Holy Cow you used a lot of those clips!!!

I guess I should err of the side of massive overkill, huh?

Where's a good place to buy those better clips with the rubber tips?

If I can pull this off, maybe I'll pull the windows and headliner out of the Red Baron and redo that car, too. Buying all those clips, I'll need to do at least another car to justify the purchase. Maybe I'll do GT headliner replacement as a retirement job and travel the country doing other dude's cars!

Hmmm......better wait and see how bad I screw up the first car before I plan on that.......
 
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