1965 Mustang Headliner Installation - Part 2

The 1965 Mustang Headliner installation continues, now that the weather is warmer.

The sun and heat will help you to achieve a nice professional fit. So lets get busy and put in the new moonskin headliner.
1965 mustang headliner replacement

If you haven't read the first installment of this headliner installation article, it's probably a good idea to got there first to check out what preparation, cleanup and rust removal needs to happen before we get to installing the new headliner kit.

You may have noticed from the last installment, that I mentioned it was a good idea to wait for warm weather, or at least mild weather and sunshine.

That's because your nice new headliner kit is probably enclosed in a box that's about a foot square, meaning that you will have a whole lot of creases in your new headliner material. The warm sun not only helps to get those wrinkles out of the new roof material, it also softens it up so that it can be stretched much easier.

This isn't so much an issue for an upholstery shop, who has special pulling tools and may use a heat gun if necessary, but for those of us who may only do this once or twice in a lifetime, why take a chance and melt your new headliner?

Final Preparation - Sound deadener

Materials and Tools
- sharp utility knife
- tape measure
- trim adhesive (spray, tube or bottle)
- your choice of materials (see below)

The original 1965 Mustang headliner installation from the factory, had some skimpy and pretty much useless 1/4 inch thick fiberglass insulation in a few places.

At the one hand, some people don't bother even replacing it, while at the other, people will add either some underlay foam, dynamat or hot water tank insulation ( the stuff with the silver mylar on one side).

bow headliner insulation

In my case, I decided to use some thin foam underlay, which has a strong back and is easy to cut and glue. It's also just thin enough that it won't protrude beyond the Mustang's roof bows.

This isn't a recommendation or a suggestion, I just like the stuff in my 1965 Mustang headliner installation. Use whatever you think works best for you.

The three main places where 'm putting this foam material, is two pieces between the front and rear division of the center roof bow (and attachment point for the overhead console or the optional dome light) and at the side "B" pillars behind the rear quarter windows. This area typically picks up a lot of road and tire noise being just under the inner and outer wheelhouse sections.

headliner bow placement for dynamat

No need to get fancy here when doing your 1965 Mustang headliner installation, just take a couple of quick and dirty measurements, make a quick cut with a utility knife and attach it.

Headliner glue, or trim adhesive, is just a type of automotive grade contact cement. The key here, is that you need to coat both, the roof section and the foam or mat and let it get tacky before pressing the pieces together.

Some commercial materials already have peel away adhesive on one side, so you can eliminate the trim adhesive on these pieces and save the adhesive till later steps.

All done? OK now on to the not quite so easy part.

1965 Mustang Headliner Installation Steps

- new Mustang bow headliner
- trim adhesive
- old windlace * cut into 3 inch strips or 2 inch heavy spring clips (from your local office store)
- contact cement remover
- razor blade or sharp utility knife

* windlace is that vinyl "U" channel stuff that runs from the top of your kick panel all along the roof line and back to the end of your rear quarter window. It's there to make a finished edge for the headliner material and to cap off the raw metal edges where the factory joined the outside of the body to the inside reinforcements.

1. Remove the Stainless steel/chrome trim and carefully take out the front and rear windshield glass.

Whether you doing a 1965 Mustang headliner installation or replacement like mine, or another early vehicle, you may can find yourself faced with the fact that the leading edges of your headliner are glued to the front and rear window ledge, physically under the windshield and it's rubber gasket weatherstrip, meaning that the front and rear windshield has to be removed in order to put your new headliner in.... sigh!

Newer vehicles, have an actual headliner form, usually made out of fiber board or cardboard, on which the vinyl or cloth is attached, making headliner replacement much easier.

2. Clean and prepare the surfaces for attachment see section 1 headliner replacement.

Make sure that the edges are free of old headliner material, glue, rust etc. Remove any old windlace (that vinyl trim stuff on the sides, that is pushed on to hide the raw edges on the door edges and elsewhere).

3. Prepare the new headliner. Locate the center of the material on both, the front and rear ends and mark them if yours doesn't come with a notch, like you see in the pictures. Mark the center of your car's roof at the front and rear attachment points too, for future reference with a piece of tape. The 1965 Ford Mustang, fortunately has a notch in the sheet metal right at mid point (see picture) so on mine, this was not necessary.

centering the headliner for gluing

4. IMPORTANT - The order of the placement of your roof bows is important for a satisfactory 1965 Mustang headliner installation.

Ford Mustang roof bows are color coded at one end from the factory, as are replacement bows. Mine were rusty, and had no color. Fortunately, in this case, there was enough of the old material left, that the bows were still in their respective places.

If you mess up the order, your headliner won't look right and may not fit period. It's also helpful, if you had the old headliner as a reference, to note which of the holes that your bows were fit into. The holes can make it possible to either raise or lower the height of the material or adjust the spacing for a better fit. Plus, taking a picture of how they looked when you took out the old headliner helps too!

install bows into underside of headliner

5. Starting at the back, begin your 1965 Mustang headliner installation by sliding all the bows into their respective slots in the underside of the material. Then place the back bow into the rear slot and let the rest hang for a minute.

roof bow support springs

hang headliner onto bows

6. Add the rear support springs. The two little springs that hook to the rear bow hold it into place and support the rest of the installation. Carefully snip a slit into the backing tube so that each spring can be clipped onto the rear bow and anchored into the rear mounting holes. Miss this step and your 1965 Mustang headliner installation is going to be a mess!

stretching moonskin headliner to fit

7. Pull the headliner slightly forward and pop the next bow into place. Install the bows by placing them first upside down into the slot and rotating the bow and headliner forward and up. Repeat this step for the front bow. So far so good.

8. Now comes the fun part. Attaching the headliner to the front windshield edge.

HINT: To make finding screw holes for the rear view mirror and shades easier, some people put the screws in before headliner installation and then cut a small slit to expose them. (easier to find a protruding screw than what feels like a small hole).

glue headliner to roof frame

Grab your cut pieces of old windlace or spring clips. Starting at the Center of your windshield frame and headliner, temporarily stretch and clip the moonskin headliner material onto the frame.

Now spread trim adhesive onto both sides of the headliner contact edge and the windshield frame. (it may help to coat the metal side and quickly press it to the moonskin so you know where to add the glue.

Then, now that you have a good idea of where to glue, finish up gluing the front edge that had the clip on it.

When it's tacky, take two hands and give the front headliner a good solid pull at the middle, aligning it with your marks on the roof and fold it over the lip of the windshield frame. Clip it to the windshield frame with the windlace or clip.

stretching vinyl 1965 mustang roof bows

Continue on, one side at a time until you reach the edge of the windshield pillar with clips about every 2 inches. Then repeat the process on the other side of the car.

9. "A" Pillar. The windshield pillar, or "A" pillar needs some trimming and a small slit to make a nice even surface as it rounds the corner of the windshield edge. Once both sides look good, you will continue the stretching, gluing and clipping until you achieve a nice even look at the door edge sides.

10. The 1965 Mustang coupe has a row of small "teeth" at the bottom of the "B" pillar to grab and hold tension on the lower part of the headliner. Be careful! Make sure you pre-stretch your vinyl moonskin far enough to ensure that when the teeth grab, you'll end up with a smooth surface. A few near misses and you can end up with a bunch of tiny pin holes in an otherwise nice looking 1965 Mustang headliner installation.

b piller fitted moonskin

This, for me, is more time consuming, than the entire first part. Not because it's difficult, but if you really want to get rid of all those little puckers, it will take quite a few runs of reworking "finished areas" until you really are done and all the parts of the "B" pillar are smooth in all directions. Don't be worried if you have to pull off part of a newly attached piece of the vinyl and tighten it or move it in a slightly different direction, because a part farther down, caused a wrinkle or pucker.

Note: Your 1965 Mustang headliner installation will be less traumatic if you remember that a lot of times you'll need to pull the material in two directions at the same time. For instance at the back corners, you may be pulling the moonskin both, back to the rear of the car and to the left or right at the same time until it looks right.

windlace attached to hold bow roof material

11. When you are satisfied with the "B" pillar, you can now finish off pulling gluing and clipping the remaining back section onto the rear window ledge.

12. Final Tip. Keep the clips on until you are ready to install the windshield on your Mustang. This ensures that for your 1965 Mustang headliner installation will stay perfect. There is almost no way for the material to shrink back and wrinkle while it waits for the windshield installation.

Sun Visor and Rearview Mirror Attachment

Recently, I was asked how can you find the rear view mirror attachment holes through the headliner and install both, the mirror and sun visors.

Follow the blue link to the how-to information and pictures showing the mounting brackets, which are spot welded to the under side of the roof.

Although, the question is for 1966 Mustang sun visor placement, the answer and pictures apply to all early Mustang coupes and fastback cars, as well as newer pony cars, with the rear view mirror attached to the windshield and only a visor mount on the roof mount.

Other Mustang Restoration Sections

Part 1 - Mustang Restoration

Part 2 -Resurfacing Minor Irregularities

Part 3 - Rear quarter panel repairs

Part 4 - Inner Fender Refinishing and Repair

Part 5 - Mustang floor pan replacement

Part 6 - Floor Pan Replacement Continued

Part 7 - Headliner Replacement

Part 7A - Mustang Headliner replacement part 2

Part 8 - Mustang Dash Restoration

Part 9 - Trunk rust repair

Part 10 - Priming and Painting your Mustang Part-1

Part 11 - Gas Tank Restoration

Part 12 - Color Sanding

Part 13 - Mustang gas tank Installation

Part 14 - Mustang gas tank Restoration

Back to 1965 Mustang headliner installation and replacement - Part 1

Return from 1965 Mustang headliner installation to Ford Mustang

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