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Old 03-11-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
Dan in Pasadena
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'41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Let's put our heads together and figure this one out:

I was planning on buying a Chev's of the 40's fiberboard headliner. I understand it requires the use of a 50-50 mix of amonia & water to wet the backside of the board to make it conform to the roof curves and per their tech guy it "takes three guys" to install it. He said its a PITA and almost always crinkles in the corners so you end up having to cover it. The 2 pc type is a little more forgiving, but I don't have an outer center bow for my '41 cab, they are somewhat unique and repops are not made. The fiberboard headliners are fairly affordable: $30-$40 and I have a gift certificate BUT if you want to skip the hassle they have one piece headliners in ABS and fiberglas but you're talking up to $180 and expensive oversize shipping and...I am cheap (my GC is only $40).

I noticed on another board someone mentioned they made their own ABS headliner. They haven't answered my questions about it yet.

What do you guys think I could use to make my own one piece headliner? There is a center structural bow in my cab so I can screw into that to get the arch in the middle. I know there isn't plywood thin enough, I don't want the hassle of installation (or crinkled appearence) of a fiberboard product. Where would you go about buying a big sheet of thin ABS? Is this commonly used material in some line of business I'm not familiar with? Any advice appreciated.

Last edited by Dan in Pasadena; 03-11-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:27 AM   #2
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

dan if you have the bucks my upulstry shop in hollywood can do any headliner for under 1k. they did mine for $750 out of black swade. I'm sure there are cheeper guys and materials out there.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Do you have enough of the old one left to use as a template? If so, fiberglass resin used with the fiberglass cloth may work. Don't know if you've ever used it before, but you can build it up as thick as you want. The cloth gives it strength just like using re-bar in concrete.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

I've had the sam e problem. My solution was to make my own. Car guys are amazed at how it turned out.

I used 3/32" ply & bent it to fit & screwed it in place. I then fiberglassed the areas where is was bent...some areas I had to cut & paste.

I then removed it & glued headliner matereial & carpet to it & reinstated.

Don
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Thanks guys.

I've been looking around online and I found a guy on the Stovebolt website who said he'd made his own headliner using ABS sheet. I did a search and came up with this source:

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...3013&catid=715

It says it's heat form-able so I am wondering if I can just cut it to approximate size and use my heat gun to gently form the corners. I guess I don't care if I heat it enough to lose the texture because I can always use spray adhesive to face it with Naugahyde. I think my fall back position will be fiberglass but having little experience with it, I think it would be a real challenge for me.

Let me know if any of you have experience with heat-working sheet ABS. I know NOTHING about ABS other than ABS drain pipe! The thought did occur to me that if this works I might be able to use ABS pipe glue and a thicker sheet stock to make an overhead console. I'm not sure I LIKE an overhead console but I'd like having the option. Your thoughts?

Last edited by Dan in Pasadena; 03-12-2010 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Tryed it...did not work.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:05 AM   #7
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by weldvair@embarqmail. View Post
Tryed it...did not work.
Really? Did it crack or what? I ask because there is a guy on another boardthat claims it works on his '46. I'm wondering if the roof line of the '41-'46's are easier to work or what? His thread has links to pictures, but there are no details.

HOw did you try to form it?
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:09 AM   #8
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by weldvair@embarqmail. View Post
Tryed it...did not work.
Really? Did it crack or what? I ask because there is a guy on another boardthat claims it works on his '46. I'm wondering if the roof line of the '41-'46's are easier to work or what? His thread has links to pictures, but there are no details.

How did you try to form it?
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:28 PM   #9
weldvair@embarqmail.
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No it did not crack, but there were severe wrinkles in it. There was just too much plastic material & I could not shrink it with a heat gun. I made 2 attemps & gave up.

I then used luan plywood & fiberglass. It took some work, but I am very pleased w/the results.

If you can not do that or buy a insert I would suggest a upholstry shop.

Don - mech engr
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:47 AM   #10
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

Thanks Don, but spending $500-$1000 at an upholstery shop is not an option for me. I'll figure something out even if I do end up having to order a (gulp) $180 fiberglass one piece.

More likely, I'll go shopping at Home Depot for some kind of metal strip I can use as a center headliner bow and then buy the 2 piece, fiberboard type from Chev's or Jim Carter's and butt the ends up under this center strip. Those two piece kits have the benefits of being original AND cheap...like me!

Here are a couple shots I took of my roof and the new rear headliner bow I wire wheeled and painted semi-gloss black with new screws. Obviously, the center structural bow needs to come out and get the same treatment. While it's out, I'll hit the roof with 80 grit, then paint it with some kind of rust arresting paint, and apply peel and stick insulation like the picture here of another guy's truck.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:59 PM   #11
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

If you want to save money, get the 2 piece cardboard kit and have a pro install it. It will be less than 180 bucks total. I put mine in. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I did not use any ammonia/water at all. I did let it sit for a while in the correct shape of the roof. It isn't perfect, but it ain't bad either. For 30-40 bucks, you could give it a shot while you're saving for the 1 piece.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:25 PM   #12
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: '41-'46 Headliner - Need Some Advice/Opinions

I minor update:

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-TEN View Post
If you want to save money, get the 2 piece cardboard kit
I do; and I DID. I just ordered it in black on Friday. Hoping it isn't rolled in a tiny tube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-TEN View Post
I put mine in. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I did not use any ammonia/water at all. I did let it sit for a while in the correct shape of the roof.
I figure it can't be all THAT hard if it's in two pieces. I haven't found the center headliner bow yet but I have a backup plan: I found some thin relatively gauge aluminum strip that is made to edge linoleum floors. I can polish it up and use it with stainless steel screws, or I can just paint it black ot match the front and rear bows. More on this when the headliner pieces get here.
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