15.5 - MK1 Headliner Installation ( Mike Waldron,
September 29, 2005
It's been ten years since I put the headliner in my MK-I, here
is what I think I remember.
First; I don't recall it being all that difficult.
Second; There are wood strips along the roof line above the
doors, attached to the body with spiral nails.
Third; The metal "spike strips" are attached with screws to the
wood strips, the teeth face the wood and are on the bottom, the screw
holes are above the teeth on the top (does that make sense?). The
headliner material "pinches" between the teeth and wood. Seems like the
teeth are angled up just a little so you can push the headliner in,
but it can not be pulled back out.
Fourth; The headliner bows go through the "pockets" sewn into
the headliner and the bow ends go into holes along the roof line
above the doors.
Fifth; The rear window seal is what holds the headliner at the
Clean hands.... trying to get dirt off the headliner once it is
installed is a pain.
Put the bows through the pockets. Not all the bows are the same,
figure out where each one goes first.
Put the bow ends into the holes.
Starting from the middle (post between front and rear doors)
push the headliner material edges between the teeth and wood.
Do a little on the drivers side then the passenger side, then
move a little forward and then a little backward. The goal
being to keep the headliner centered.
You can always go back and shove a little more in to tighten the
headliner, but you can not pull it back out! I used a putty
knife to shove the headliner material in. I pulled the excess headliner
material edge out to the door frame, then held that extra material
while pushing the headliner between the teeth and wood with the putty knife.
Keep that little "flap" of material out until you are happy with the
headliner tightness, then shove it under the teeth or trim it off.
You're going to hold onto that flap so the when you shove with the
putty knife it pulls the headliner under the teeth.
NOTE: This is the official way to do the headliner at the rear
window and will insure that the window leaks... Put the headliner out
the rear window opening, install the windows seal over the headliner
material, install the window, trim the excess material hanging out the
back of the car.
I installed my rear window before the headliner and I just put
some weatherstrip adhesive under the window seal and used a
screwdriver to poke the headliner material under the seal and
into the glue, it's still there and the rear window doesn't leak!
Install the trim pieces.