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My original Head liner is starting to look sad and I was wondering has anybody ever tried to replace a head liner without removing the glass?

Going fast is fun but life is short so slow down and enjoy the ride :D Frank

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I did mine without removing the windshield, but if I remember correctly, the rear window has to be removed. I needed to replace my rear window weatherstrip anyway, so I was killing two birds with one stone, but I didn't want to think about replacing the windshield by myself.



- Nik

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I think that if you want to get the headliner pulled tight you will have to remove both windows. I remember that clips had to be used on the top window lips to hold the liner in place while the glue dried. It probably can be done but I don't know if you would be satisfied with the final results without removing the windows.



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to save work, you can have the headliner re-dyed if it is looking tired but not torn.


if it is torn sometimes it can be repaired.


you can also use rag top cleaner on the headliner to remove mold and mildew followed by a ragtop type of spray on finish.


this will remove all the nicotine build up on the surface.


to properly do the headliner the windows have to come out. some people get away with putty knifing the headliner into the window ledge and seals but it will never hold as tight as taking the windows out and putting it in right.


taking the windows out opens a Pandora's box of rust usually.

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These pics show the factory headliner being removed as it was installed at the windshield and the back glass.. You do not have to remove the windshield, but you will need to remove the back glass..



The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just did mine without removing the glass. It makes for a longer process, but worked for me. Some say it's easier to pull the glass.


You can catch a thin glue point all around and use a strong duct tape to hold it in place overnight. Then, when that glue dries, cut it to exact fit and glue the rest.


If you have the rear tension hooks installed, all of the slack is pulled to the front with the exception of the last rear section.


Here's how I did it.


Number the spreaders when removing old headliner to put back in original position.

Put the spreaders in the new headliner and center them.

Trim the spreader loops on each side with scissors about 1" shorter than the spreaders.

Mark the center of the headliner front and back.

Put all the screws in the roof for visors, dome light, coat hooks etc. so it's easy to find them when done.

Put headliner in with the spreaders, front and back will be hanging.

Trim the front of headliner so about 2" of it is on the glass.

Starting at the front with a 10" section in the middle, pull very tight and mark the underside of the headliner where it touches the metal.

Put the glue on the metal and headliner.

Place a strip of strong duct tape across the edge of the headliner.

Pull tight and tape to windshield, the glue points should be touching.

Now work to both sides doing the same thing, 10" sections at a time.

When the front was done, I let the glue dry overnight.

Trim the headliner front so it goes to the flat windshield channel.

Glue the rest of the edge all of the way across very good.

At this point, front to back is mostly tight because of the tension hooks in back, only one flap is loose.

Now I started on the sides working my way back to the b pillar gluing where the metal touches the liner when pulled tight. Pull evenly to get out any wrinkles.

You can use strong spring clamps on the sides clamping to the thin channel.

Let sides dry overnight.

Trim sides to exact fit and glue the rest of the way to the edge where you clamped it.

By the sail panel areas on each side, pull down and hook for a smooth fit.

Now all you have is the back window and one loose flap. Not much tension is needed because you are only pulling on one section.

Do just like the front, catching a glue point and using duct tape to hold it.

The difference in the back is you have to be very precise when trimming it for final gluing so it reaches the rubber window seal. This edge is not covered unless you pull the glass and put it under the seal.


That's how I did it and it looks good. Some may disagree with the method because it takes a couple days, but worked for me.

Dave from PA

1972 Mach 1


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