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Headliner for Wagonaire- PICTURE REQUEST

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  • Interior: Headliner for Wagonaire- PICTURE REQUEST

    What's the latest science for Wagonaire headliner replacement? Has anyone repopped them yet? Or maybe want to sell one? This is a tough hurdle to clear with a Wagonaire...
    Last edited by Bob Andrews; 04-20-2011, 04:15 PM.
    Proud NON-CASO

    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Ephesians 6:10-17
    Romans 15:13
    Deuteronomy 31:6
    Proverbs 28:1

    Illegitimi non carborundum

  • #2
    Gary Ash told me once he probably found the last NOS front section (the difficult piece) some year ago for his Wagonaire. Supposedly, the headliner material was also used in some Avantis (?) but the Avanti material isn't wide enough to fit a Wagonaire. An old timer upholstery shop guy told me that some (re-popped?) headliner material for AMC cars would be a nice match to the look that the Studebakers had; not perfect, but it could be made to look nice. Of course, getting your Wagonaire NOT to leak is the big issue. Everyone I have every contacted says "no" for the Wagonaire. I never contacted SMS though--If they can do a 53 Kaiser Dragon with the exterior padded roof and the Marie Nichols pattern interior, or a 52-53 Manhattan in Bambu vinyl , 51 Frazer leather, or a 54 Kaiser Manhattan...they can probably do a Wagonaire. $$$$ though.

    Has ANYONE ever re-engineered the pathetic "sideways downspout" used on the Wagonaire to something larger, draining down directly in the lowest spot with a much larger hole?. Hmmm.....sideways & level (bad) small diameter (very bad)
    Last edited by Jim B PEI; 04-18-2011, 05:52 PM.

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    • #3
      I've had my '66 Wagonaire for nearly two years and it has never leaked.
      The original owner told me to keep the channels clean, and the roof locked in the wet and it would never leak.
      So far, it hasn't.
      The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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      • #4
        We've owned our Wagonaire since 2004 and it has never leaked.

        Of course it hasn't seen a drop of rain, either.

        Comment


        • #5
          I went and checked this one I've got during a hard rain and it appears it doesn't leak either. Still, what pieces of the headliner that remain are stained and brittle.

          I think part of the problem is they're really flimsy to start with. Maybe the answer is to figure out how to make one from some similar but more durable material. First one would need to find one intact for a pattern...
          Proud NON-CASO

          I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

          If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

          GOD BLESS AMERICA

          Ephesians 6:10-17
          Romans 15:13
          Deuteronomy 31:6
          Proverbs 28:1

          Illegitimi non carborundum

          Comment


          • #6
            Sideways Downspout

            I'm learning about Wagonaires -- what is the "sideways downspout" that is a problem? I just bought a '64 Challenger with sliding roof headliner is intact and she does not leak -- and I want to keep it that way. Bill Jackameit



            Bill Jackameit
            1964 Challenger Wagonaire
            1964 Daytona Sedan
            Total of 10 Studebakers owned since 1961
            Bill Jackameit's Studebaker Page online since October 1995
            https://billstudepage.homestead.com/files/studpg.htm

            sigpic

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            • #7
              At the front and rear of each channel, there is a small (1/4") metal tube welded in, with the bottom edge of its open end more or less flush with the bottom of the channel. That tube is actually an elbow, and it turns 90 degrees and points down with a rubber hose attached. Those 4 rubber hoses terminate inside the rocker panels at the front, and inside the quarter panel at the rear. Not very bright. eh?

              If the roof seal leak a bit, the water is supposed to run down these drains. But over the years, a buildup of road dust, dirt, and tree debris can clog the drains. Then, in a heavy rain, the channels can fill up fast, and overflow. Or else you make a sudden stop, and a tsunami in the channel dumps muddy water all over your shoulder. BTDT!

              What can you do? My first recommendation is to use a hole saw to cut into the back side of the quarter and rocker panels next to where the hoses end, and fish them out so they drain outside the body. Studebaker should have done this. Then blow the drain hoses out with compressed air, being careful not to use so much pressure that you blow a clogged hose off the elbow. Make sure the drains, small as they are, are clear. Then blow/vacuum all the dust, dirt, and tree needles or leaf debris out of the channels, so that any rain that does leak in cannot pick up debris to clog the channels. That will ensure that the channels drain as fast as they possibly can, and if the dread tsunami occurs, it will be mostly clean water instead of sludge.

              As far as the headliner goes, it is basically molded cardboard, and not the least bit water-resistant. A poor choice of material, to say the least. If you want a concours-perfect restoration, I can't offer any help. If you simply want a nice-looking headliner that doesn't actually detract from the appearance of the interior, I'd suggest poking around an auto wrecking yard. Arm your self with measurements of the Wagonaire headliner panels in advance, and then check cars, vans, and wagons from the '70s on up. Many makers went to headliner panels made of pressed fiberglass "felt" with thin embossed vinyl on the exposed side. The panels were molded to fit the curves of the roof. Careful picking should find you one that could be trimmed down a bit to make it fit the the contours of the Wagonaire roof. I used a headliner panel out a scrapped Chrysler Newport to make a replacement for the front panel in a Wagonaire i still have.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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              • #8
                What Gord says...a redesign is in order, because the way it is, it rots the headliner, the roof and the rockers

                The 'sideways downspout' is similar to a poorly thought out eavestrough on a house that always blocks up with leaves or ice every year. Its hidden underneath the B and D pillars, and plate 21-82 on page 300 of the body parts catalog doesn't show it except from above so you never see how wretchedly feeble a design it was. A proper design would have been like a deep squared off funnel, in a nice "Y" shape with plenty of "holding room" for those drips that suddenly surge front or back in braking or acceleration to the ends of the track, where it spill over if the drains are slow. The track itself had to be level to accommodate the sliding roof, so there was little natural draining off on level ground through the drain holes, until you brake or accelerate. Instead of extending a funnel shape outwards of the track towards the edge of the roof panel, so that like a hose on the end of a deep funnel, it would have had a straight drop down through the drain hoses, and one hopes, a slight natural scouring effect of any mud, dust and plant debris which might accumulate, it went sideways at more or less level, over to the vertical hose. With a flat exit, and curve in the hoses, they easily and quickly blocked up with any mud etc, or slowed down enough that the ends were always spilling over. You can't even see what the design problem is, or check the track and the drains, unless you have the headliner out, the parts left and right between the doors and the track. Any moving panel rubber sealing system from the 60s like the Wagonaires leaks eventually, and by the time the stains appear, even before the 'showers', there is damage done to the backing material which is just a paper cardboard like stuff. If the drains had been well designed, more headliners might have survived even if the roof seals started leaking more.

                I saw the car of bjackameit above when it was for sale and marveled how nice that car was, and its even the sort of car I'd like to have. ie, a plain 64 Challenger 4 dr wagon, with a 6, believe it or not. I'm a fan of "slow cars", and as long as a OHV or flathead six has an overdrive, I'm happy. Ummm....well, two of my sixes have automatics, and I'm even happy with them. I'm past the days of wanting to drive 140 mph anymore. Costs too much in gas, anyway

                It might be a wise idea to gently remove those sections of liner, attach a separate drain hose front and rear and clean out the mud and dust in the tracks and "downspout", and also check how clear the original hoses are, and if they need replacing. Things like mud daubers are always a threat. Even if it is all dry, vacuuming it seems pretty difficult, so I'm thinking a tooth brush, a little water source flow like a WaterPik, and some compressed air and a lot of patience is the way I'll do it it for my car. I don't want to dismantle the sliding roof panel.
                Last edited by Jim B PEI; 04-19-2011, 09:02 AM.

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                • #9
                  Never asked about this from my headliner company, but I'll call:

                  (I think I did this for a customer with a 56 Golden Hawk many year ago)


                  "Some cars manufactured prior to the mid-1970's are equipped with molded cardboard
                  type headliners. We offer a replacement conversion headliner for this type of car.
                  A. The original headliner (board of boards) as well as any overhead moldings
                  Page 5
                  is discarded.
                  B. The replacement headliner is tailored to fit (not universal) and includes
                  installation hardware.
                  C. See "fitted Conversion Headliners" on price sheet."


                  The Foam Back Conversion Headliner is used to replace an existing board type
                  headliner with a sewn, bow supported headliner. Some advantages of installing the
                  Conversion Headliner are as follows.
                  1. The foam back headliner can be installed in most passenger cars, station wagons
                  or other vehicles with the old headliner in place or with the original headliner removed.
                  2. The total price of the conversion kit and the installation time required is highly
                  comparable to the practice of scraping and covering the existing board. Also the
                  conversion headliner is especially effective for cars with fiber backing.
                  (no foundation)
                  3. From a appearance point of view, most customers consider the conversion
                  headliner with seams to be more attractive than a flat board configuration.
                  Note: Due to the workability of foam back cloth, the installation time is far less
                  Each kit consist of the headliner, bows and instructions
                  The Conversion Headliner can also be installed in Rambler AMC cars, 1964-on and
                  Chrysler products 1975-on
                  Extra material for sunvisors is included in each kit. Should additional material for other
                  trim items, such as quarter panels and moldings be required, please order extra yardage."

                  Last edited by JDP; 04-19-2011, 09:16 AM.
                  JDP Maryland

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                  • #10
                    The headliner board was real crap - two thin layers of cardboard sandwiching a thin layer of crushable foam. The sheets must have been put in a die to get the waffle pattern embossed. I've though about how I'd make a repro, but it would take some equipment. I think the best bet now is to get some of the perforated vinyl as used in GT Hawk headliners and glue it to some thin ABS plastic sheet. But, the ABS will only bend in one direction, so the front piece needs a little heat and vacuum forming. The last time we discussed this here on the Forum, we talked about sawing the front roof section from a donor Wagonaire (remember, windshields are different from the other sedans). The ABS can be formed over the outside of the roof to get the shape close enough. It might be possible to simply cut some Vee notches out of a flat sheet by the front corners and bend the sheet by hand to approximate the curve. I'm not sure how to "weld" it back together again, but maybe a thin layer of fiberglass on the back side of the joints might do it.

                    This won't get you the waffle pattern but it will make a good, water-resistant headliner.

                    The guys at Roddoors (http://www.roddoors.com) have molded headliners for M and C cab trucks. Maybe we could persuade them to make some for the Wagonaires. I'll sign up for one set. How many others are interested?

                    I just had another thought: How about using some of the ribs from a sedan healiner to make a cloth/vinyl section for the front and use the vinyl glued to flat ABS sheet in the center and rear sections?
                    Last edited by garyash; 04-19-2011, 09:37 AM.
                    Gary Ash
                    Dartmouth, Mass.

                    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                    '48 M5
                    '65 Wagonaire Commander
                    '63 Wagonaire Standard
                    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
                      What's the latest science for Wagonaire headliner replacement? Has anyone repopped them yet? Or maybe want to sell one? This is a tough hurdle to clear with a Wagonaire...
                      OK, my headliner company does have a pattern for the fixed roof, and would love to make one for the slider. If someone has a wagon that wants to experiment with, and has a tape measure and a digital camera, my guy would love to speak with you. If we can make something that looks nice, if not stock it would be great. I'd sell one below my cost, and we'd work until we got a good fit. Any takers, e-mail phone or message me. BTW, we have the regular vinyl headliner for the 6 bow non slider for $200/$15 ups.

                      My phone 410-757-5147
                      JDP Maryland

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                      • #12
                        Have you tried Starlight Studebaker, they bought all the interior stuff from Sasco.

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                        • #13
                          John - I can see how the bow style would work on the solid roof wagon, but I can't see how you could get enough clearance for the sections to slide over each other on a Wagonaire with sliding roof.
                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by M15 Trucker View Post
                            Have you tried Starlight Studebaker, they bought all the interior stuff from Sasco.
                            I'm still waiting for them to get set up, sent an e-mail about some Lark door panels going on a year ago. I'm pretty sure there were no Wagonaire headliners in that stuff anyway.

                            Personally, a more durable replacement would be preferable; I don't care about authenticity. And, I bet 98% of Wagonaire owners feel the same way, we just want something that looks decent and will be a bit harder to stain and ruin.

                            Great ideas here from everyone. Maybe the time is here to develop a solution to the Wagonaire headliner problem once and for all! JP- I have the car and will do whatever I can to help with development. I'm not needing it right away, but am willing to get this done at any time, and I do have a tape measure and camera. If it would be beneficial, I could possibly take the car to your company and leave it for them to do the development on an actual car. Then they could fine-tune it in person, and then they'd a quality pattern for all future sales. Of course, this would depend on their location, but if they're out of range we might be able to round up a guinea pig for them to use nearby.

                            How cool it would be to get a quality solution to this big Wagonaire bugaboo! And, I'm betting pretty profitable for those in that business. Let's do it!

                            Then when that's done, on to the Skytop headliner
                            Proud NON-CASO

                            I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                            If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                            GOD BLESS AMERICA

                            Ephesians 6:10-17
                            Romans 15:13
                            Deuteronomy 31:6
                            Proverbs 28:1

                            Illegitimi non carborundum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sideways Downspout

                              Thanks for the information on the sideways downspout. I'm going to guess that, since my wagon shows no sign of ever having had water leak in from the sliding roof, no stains on the headliner or sagging, and the rear quarters and rocker panels are solid and not rusted, these drains have never seen any water. I will investigate but will likely let the sleeping dog lie since car is garaged and would only be in the rain if on a meet or club day.

                              Since my wagon is a Challenger it is pretty basic even with the appearence group that added some bright trim -- the three "stops" in the driver side channel to lock the sliding roof when open appear to be faded bare metal -- did the more expensive models have chrome or plated stops or are they all that way? These can be seen in the picture of my car's interior above.
                              Bill Jackameit
                              1964 Challenger Wagonaire
                              1964 Daytona Sedan
                              Total of 10 Studebakers owned since 1961
                              Bill Jackameit's Studebaker Page online since October 1995
                              https://billstudepage.homestead.com/files/studpg.htm

                              sigpic

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