The headliner gets very brittle with age and will probably tear if you try to remove it. If you want to clean it, try using a soft scrubbing brush dipped in soapy water. Don't push too hard on the material or it might tear.
Replacing the headliner is a big job -- to get it right you have to remove the window glass from the rear and side windows, plus the windscreen. The edges of the headliner wrap around the edge of the window frames and are glued down (contact cement) on the outside, then the edge is enclosed in the rubber window molding. Other than removal and replacement of the windows, the job isnít all that hard.
Over the top of the doors there is a thin channel fixed to the metal door frame, and the headliner is pushed into that. To remove it you carefully put a flat screw driver between the headliner and the painted metal, and pull down a little to loosen the metal channel.
As I said, replacing the headliner is a big job, but itís not especially difficult if you take your time and think about each step of the job first. Two things which may help -
- Have a look at John Henry's "The Bug Shop" Web page -- he has some good photos of replacing the headliner in his Ď57 Bug. (Linked with permission from John S. Henry).
On "The Bug Shop" page, click on "'57 Resto," then scroll down to "The Restoration Pages," and go to Page 13. John says, "The early felt headliners are different than the vinyl ones (I'm told felt is easier, more forgiving), but many of the same techniques can be employed. Easily an 'All Day' job."
- Southern California Imports has prepared a great video that shows step-by-step how to install the headliner (as well as the window rubber, the interior carpeting, and the seat upholstery) on a í68 and earlier Bug.
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