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51 Starlight Coupe Headliner interior question

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  • 51 Starlight Coupe Headliner interior question

    As I work out the overheating problem I am also starting the interior. The seats go Friday, h door panels, which I made will be covered next week. I am having a headliner made. This is where the question comes from. I know that the headliner attaches down by the b pillar to the tack strip. I know that I will need to make the lower panels to meet the headliner. How does that all attach? Do the lower panels get tacked to the strips and the headliner glued onto the lower panels? Does the headliner just tuck under the rubber of the rear window? How does this all work?

    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
    53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
    62 Volvo PV544 Sport
    59 Renault 4CV




  • #2
    There should be some metal strips around the upper door frames that the edge of the headliner and the windlace is slipped under. I bought the panels from Loga enterprizes and the positioning of the things became much clearer as they had all the holes for the ash trays etc. on them. They fit well and made it a lot easier than I had antisipated. Recovering the beer coolers was probably the most diffiicult of the whole process for me. Once the headliner was installed on the rods it was just stretch it and attach it. I had the rear windows out when I installed it but I don't think they have to be.

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    • #3
      I've never done upholstery, but have read that the headliner goes in before the rear window, so I'm guessing the window needs to be removed.

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      • #4
        Jim, there is tack strip along the top of the rear windows, this also runs along the front and bottom of the forward window sections. It's all hidden by the window rubbers. Not sure how well you can attach it without removing the windows but if your rubber is still flexible it may be possible. The windlace attaches to the tack strips around the doors, and then there are toothed metal strips that screw in over that the headliner is tucked under. I don't see those in your pic, I assume you have them? The rear panels come up even with the door window trim and overlap the headliner where it's attached to the tack strip. These also attach to the tack strip along the bottom of the front window section. Hope this helps.
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        3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

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        • #5
          Garry,
          I do have the teeth strips and bows. They are just not installed. Do you have a closeup pic of where the bottom panel meets the headliner at the B pillar? I know there is a tack strip there. Do you tack the headliner in the tack strip and then lay the lower panel over the headliner? How does the lower panel connect to the headliner? You cannot tack it or it would showing nails. How does the headliner cover up the windlace along the door?
          51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
          53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
          62 Volvo PV544 Sport
          59 Renault 4CV



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          • #6
            Garry, how are the lower panels attached next to the windlace at the rear of the door?
            51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
            53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
            62 Volvo PV544 Sport
            59 Renault 4CV



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            • #7
              The headliner goes over the metal strip along the door and tucks under and is held by the teeth at the back of the strip. This brings the headliner even with the edge of the "bulb" in the windlace. The rear panels that Rene made for me have a heavy fabric strip the length of the forward edge, so the panel was attached to the tack strip along the rear of the doors with the backside showing, and folded to the rear and attached to the window tack strip. This way there are no fasteners showing and makes a nice finished installation. I did put a screw in at the bottom to firmly attach it. There is no attachment at the headliner overlap, although I have seen pics where a screw was used. I believe mine is as the factory did it.
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              Last edited by gjamesk; 11-01-2018, 11:15 AM.
              3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

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              • #8
                You are correct about the screws. The 52 Champion Starlight I owned did not have any screws showing in that rear panel.
                sigpic

                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

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                • #9
                  And you'll probably want to replace all the old crumbling tack strip with new urethane strips available from Restoration Specialties in Windber, PA. It's difficult to secure upholstery to tack strips that are themselves no longer secure; and those urethane strips are marvelous.
                  "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                  Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
                    And you'll probably want to replace all the old crumbling tack strip with new urethane strips available from Restoration Specialties in Windber, PA. It's difficult to secure upholstery to tack strips that are themselves no longer secure; and those urethane strips are marvelous.
                    Yep. I used a combination of the plastic and the laminated cardboard strips using self tapping flat head phillips screws to hold it. The original was pretty bad and falling apart.
                    3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

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                    • #11
                      I am also going to install a new headliner in my Starlight coupe. The previous headliner had been glued in along the rear window seal. RadioRoy has posted that he has used this method.
                      I dread the idea of removing the windows to install the headliner.
                      Maybe RadioRoy can chime in about the subject.

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                      • #12
                        Yes options would nice not to remove back windows. My rubber is still somewhat soft and can pull out.
                        51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                        53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                        62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                        59 Renault 4CV



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                        • #13
                          I did both of my starlight coupes without removing the rear windows. I still own one of those cars and the headliner is still OK after almost 40 years. Currently sick with a cold, so only hitting on a few cylinders. When I get more energy I will write up the procedure.
                          Last edited by RadioRoy; 11-04-2018, 01:34 PM.
                          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                          • #14
                            That would great. Thank you.
                            Jim
                            51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                            53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                            62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                            59 Renault 4CV



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                            • #15
                              What a guy!
                              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                              I did both of my starlight coupes without removing the rear windows. I still own one of those cars and the headliner is still OK after almost 40 years. Currently sick with a cold, so only hitting on a few cylinders. When I get more energy I will write up the procedure.

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