Difficulties Installing ABS Headliner in 73 Swinger

Mopar Interiors

  1. j par

    j par Well-hung Member

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    I put my coat hangers in number one because I'm old school and it's an old school car, but it's just yet another place that holds the headliner in place.
     
  2. John_Lemon

    John_Lemon Well-Known Member

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    Did I mention that the re-boot was the best advice I saw on this thread? One needs to approach this task in the same way as putting headers on an A body. #1 rule, stay calm and think.

    All in all the Rock Auto headliner fit very well. We had a little trimming to do up front in the corners by the a-pillars to get it to sit correctly under the windshield gasket but I think it was more of an issue with the gasket rather than with the headliner. Here's my short step by step. We started at 8 AM and had it in by 9:30 AM. Definitely a 2 person job.

    1. Stay calm
    2. Remove the small clip in the center of the back glass.
    3. Position the headliner to the back glass and have your helper work it under the gasket while you shove. Use the dome light hole for leverage while pushing. Working from the outside into the center worked best for us while fitting into the gasket. Don't forget to pull the dome light wires through the hole.
    4. Stay calm
    5. Hold it in place with the shoulder belt bolts
    6. Stab the dome light in (Loose but started)
    7. At this point your helper shoving upward can relax. The headliner will stay.
    8. Stay calm.
    9. With a flat poly / plastic trim tool work the windshield gasket over the headliner staring in the center and working out. Once you get the center 12 inches or so worked in, stab the mirror bracket. Loose.
    10. Work the gasket out to the corners and stab the visors. Loose.
    11. Stay calm. (Which is easy at this point)
    12. Pop about 12 inches of the rear gasket out and re-install the center clip and zip the gasket back up.
    13. If all is positioned well. Tighten everything up and install the rest of the trim.
    14. High five your helper because it's in.

    From here on out it's just a matter of popping in the trim pieces and tucking into place.
    No $hit, 1.5 hours.

    I hope this helps someone.
     
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    • j par

      j par Well-hung Member

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      What did you think of # 5 for holding it up there and being able to get a breath? Being a one-man band with a homemade specimen I had quite an operation going. I did use like a four foot level with some other stacking pieces to hold it up in other places while I worked on things. But I concur that digging it into the back was the easiest way to do it but when I did it my windshield was out so I just let the windshield installer get around the front for the most part but I had to trim it back and make sure that that gasket would fit when that day came and it did. Oddly enough my copy that I made the pieces I had left of the original was a little long in the front like everyone seems to be complaining about what these abs is and where they're ending up trimming them. It must just be the way we can't get it to origami like the original?
       
      Last edited: May 26, 2018
    • j par

      j par Well-hung Member

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      Oops
       
      Last edited: May 26, 2018
    • John_Lemon

      John_Lemon Well-Known Member

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      #5 is a key step. Very tough to hold it up there without pinning it there.
       
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      • phaelax

        phaelax Well-Known Member

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        Pretty much how I do everything. Remodeled the kitchen last year, held the cabinets up with one hand with a level sitting on the shelf, the other holding my drill. The 60lb microwave was the hardest but believe it or not everything came out together and level. (yes, I'm aware I'm completely off topic)

        I've been considering making my own headliner for awhile now after I had seen the prices for a new one. I have a crumpling foam one, but still in good enough shape I can trace it. If I could find a large enough polycarbonate, I can use a heat gun to mold it to a rigid shape and end up with a hardshell.(i build a computer case this way last year)
         
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        • SR77

          SR77 Well-Known Member

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          Between house projects, and Hummer project, I finally got it installed. It was not cut even our something. I just cut some from the back and front made sure it was even, measured and I had a gap above the passenger side front door. I had some left over material from the new sail panels (same material) and cut and pieces it in. The holes for the upper seat belt mounts where not even cut straight. Once my son is out of his car seat I'm going full custom interior and scraping that p.o.s. head liner
           
        • MoparMike1974

          MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I have a question on the install of the ABS headliner, also in a 73 Swinger. What are you doing to mark the holes for the sunvisors and mirror? I was thinking a thin layer of clay on the backside of the abs and make an impression of the screw holes.
          Also, there is a rather large hole in the ABS where the coat hooks mount....about 1/4"
           
        • John_Lemon

          John_Lemon Well-Known Member

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          Since we installed back to front and the visor and mirror holes are close to the front edge, we simply took a small drill bit and lined it up as best we could, and punched a pilot. If you're a bit off the bases of the visors and mirrors will cover it. As for the coat hangars, we said screw it, we didn't want or need them.
           
        • MoparMike1974

          MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I don't need the coat hooks either but agree with what was said about them helping to hold the headliner in place.
           
        • John_Lemon

          John_Lemon Well-Known Member

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          Yea, but the distance between the hangars and the shoulder belt bolt is so short that the stiff ABS headliner fits nice and snug there on ours.
           
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