View Full Version : I need headliner help!

10-06-2009, 10:51 AM
Hey all,

So last week I decided to tackle the headliner replacement in my 58 sedan. I had the original headliner and all the bows, the previous owner had used spray adhesive and just stuck a sheet of fabric to the ceiling. I took the original fabric and used it as a template to make the new headliner. I bought some new fabric and stitched it up. It fit really well and actually looked pretty darn good once installed! Not bad for my first sewing attempt...

But, a couple days ago, 3 of the bows have rotated around and are holding the headliner with their arches facing down. I spun them back around, but they ultimately just fall back around again. How do I keep those bows upright against the ceiling? Is there some sort of clip or trick that I'm missing? There are 2 sets of holes the bows can be inserted into, I used the upper holes with the logic that the arch of the bows would be physically touching the ceiling and that friction would hold them upright. I was wrong.. Ha!

Any advice out there? Thanks!

T.J. Fletcher
North Atlanta, Ga
1958 Champion 2-door sedan

10-06-2009, 11:19 AM
The pockets for the rods should hold the rods from rotating when the headliner is tight and correctly positioned. Is it possible the liner was moved too far forward or back?

10-06-2009, 11:28 AM
Hi Ted.
Sometimes the extra pressure on the bows using the top holes can cause them to form a dip in the centre which can make it easier for them to rotate.The 58's have a very flat roofline which exaggerates the problem as the bows also have to be fairly flat across the middle making it easy to dip or rotate.You may have to use the lower mounting holes and slightly bend the bows to give them more of an arc across the middle.
If the pockets in the fabric of the new headliner are large,they may have enough room to let the bows rotate.I've found that by keeping the pockets as small as feasible and making sure the stitch lines across the headliner are accurate with the locating holes in the body ie. in line as close as possible,it should fix the problem.On some cars I've worked on ( not necessarily Studes)the bows have been able to slip too far through the mounting holes ie. became loose and could drop.I've put plugs in the holes to prevent the bows slipping in too far,but I suspect this isn't your problem.
Lastly,see if your headlining is firm when you tuck the ends around the front and back glass openings and double check it on a hot day.Some headliners get loose in hot weather and may need retensioning.
Hope this is of some help and good luck.


10-06-2009, 11:43 AM
I'm no interior expert, these guy's will get you on the right track,
One thought to get you scratching your head,
All the bows went back in the exact same spot right?
First, second, third, fouth.

141 weeks till completion.

10-06-2009, 11:44 AM
I think your home made headliner may be the issue. If sewn properly and pulled tight, the bows are kept in place by the tension of the fabric. Bow spacing and pocket design is pretty critical. I know you are trying to save a buck, but with premade headliners at $140-$160, it's a small price to pay for the labor involved.


Dick Steinkamp
10-06-2009, 12:43 PM
I don't know about 58's, but Larks have little clips that fit into the holes in the roof and hold the rods tight. Without them, the rods can easily flip down.

EDIT: I just checked the body parts catalog, and all 58's took a Clip, end (PN 1326885) at the end of each bow (12 clips required). If you don't have these in place, that is probably the problem.

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA


10-06-2009, 04:22 PM
Thats probably the ticket, Dick. There are no clips or pockets in the holes, its just the bare rod ends going into open holes. I did put the rods back in the correct original locations, I think they are all slightly different lengths. I'll order a set of thise clips and move the bows to the lower location. I'll also be sure to check the arch of each bow to make sure it matches the arch of the roof as close as possible.

Thanks for the tips everyone, I'll let you know how it goes!

T.J. Fletcher
North Atlanta, Ga
1958 Champion 2-door sedan