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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a 65 El Camino with three bows for the headliner. I'm really have a problem with installing a new headliner. My issue is the middle bow. When I removed the old headliner, the middle bow didn't have anything keeping it in place front-to-back, i.e., it was floating.

In trying to install the new headliner, I have the bows in the headliner and in the car.

For the rear bow, there are two hooks in the roof that I believe the bow sort of attaches to, and this keeps that bow from going forward when the headliner is stretched forward.

For the front bow, There is a bumped out area on each side of the roof that the front bow sits on, and I believe this is intended to keep the front bow from going backward when the headliner is stretched toward the back.

The center bow appears to simply float in place, i.e. nothing to keep it in place.

So my issue is, with everything in place, I stretch the headliner forward to remove as much wrinkling as I can, but not real tight, then clip to the "tack strip" with binder clips. I then stretched to the rear and did the same with binder clips. Then I do each side. Again, I'm not doing it real tight at this point.

As I then work around stretching the headliner more and more to get out the wrinkles I keep have an issue with the center bow. When I get to a point in the stretching, that bow flops down, either toward the front or toward the rear. This has happened a number of times.

I could really use some advice from someone who has successfully install a headliner in their El Camino. I believe at least the 64, 65 and 66 are the same.

Thanks in advance,

Don
 

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Don, don't have an Elky, but all of the 70-72's that I own-I have done all of the headliners in them. There are some retaining clips (white Plastic) used on these years, I am wondering if there are for your elky also?
Check some catalogs, go online and check or even call an upholstery shop, bet that would be the answer (A clip).

 
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Don, don't have an Elky, but all of the 70-72's that I own-I have done all of the headliners in them. There are some retaining clips (white Plastic) used on these years, I am wondering if there are for your elky also?
I did the headliner in my 67 Elco and don’t recall those clips ( my 70 Chevelle did have the clips).

I don’t recall seeing plastic clips on any of my other ‘66s either.

On my 67, I thought all the locations had the “ bumps” to keep the bows from rotating.

on my 66 hardtop, there are large hooks on the center roof brace that the rods slip over to hold the middle in place.

it appears that my center now is clipped onto the transverse roof brace with numerous hooks.
I don’t think I have pictures of my Elco install (I’ll check), butI don’t recall any additional pieces besides the 3 bows...

here’s the Chevelle center and 4th bow
699721
 

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Kinda weird, could be just a stock photo but shows 5 rods on OPGI page.
 

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I don't have an Elco, but my 67 Chevelle had the clips shown in the post above. Not sure, but I believe what is described as the bump out area is to support that clip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all.

There are no signs in the roof of 65 that any clips or other devices were there for the center rod.

I have scoured the internet and Chevelle/El Camino catalogs and have not found anything.

From what I have seen, it looks like the clips were not used until the 68 model year. I ordered a new set of rods today just to see if that would make a difference.

Don
 

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Don,
Have you looked through the sticky in this forum for headliner installation. It has 200 + posts so the info you are seeking may be in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks BLM, Yes I have review and searched headliner threads. Lots of good info, but I haven't found a specific solution to my problem.

Maybe the new rods I ordered will stay in place better.
 

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- Ben R. - Snohomish, WA
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Hi Don-
I have not done an elky so i can't say for certain. Can you post a pic showing the bare roof and sides in the area of this middle bow?

in 64-67 chevelles, across the center where the dome light is, there are tiny metal "fingers or spikes" attached to the roof support that the center bow sleeve gets pressed into, then the fingers are bent up and captures the bow that way. These can be seen in the pic Tony posted above if you look close. Not to be confused with the roof support shown that runs front to back, the one i'm talking about runs side to side.

The "rod" in this location is much thinner than the rest and does not have holes in the side/roof supports like the rest do.

Is it possible that the elky has a similar roof support with those fingers/spikes on it that are supposed to capture that bow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Ben,

The 65 El Camino, or at least mine does not have anything in the upper roof area for the front or middle bow to clip to. As you can see in the pictures I have attached, I installed Hushmat in the ceiling.

The first picture shows the three bows and the roof area. The second picture shows the ends of the bows. I have all three bows in the center holes above the door openings. With the bows in these holes, the front and center bows actually rest against the roof.

In the third picture you can see the hook that are above the rear window that captures the rear bow to prevent it from going forward. The fourth picture shows the sort of notched area that I assume is meant to keep the front bow front going backwards.

My issue is I can get the headliner in place. Stretch it somewhat. I do the front, then back then move to the sides. But if I stretch it to much, the center bow will slip and drop to the front or rear. What happens to partially cause this is that one side or the other of the center bow where the tip bend to go into the hole above the door slips into the hole further while I am stretching it and I think this may be a big part of my problem.

I'm trying to come of with something that will not allow the center bow to go into the hole past the bend in the bow.

By the way, my seat still look great. I'm anxious to get the headliner in, so i can install the windshield, so I can install the carpet and then the seats!!!!

Don
Ceiling Gas Automotive window part Daylighting
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- Ben R. - Snohomish, WA
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Hey Don... Are all three bows the same length & shape? or are they slightly different? Maybe its in the wrong position?
Are the other two fairly tight or are they also loose and want to fall down or into their holes? (except for the notches & hooks holding them).
If they are slightly different, I've had trouble ID'ing placement in other cars when I wasn't the one to remove them...lot of trial and error. Have you tried switching around the order?

When that middle bow is in does it touch the roof panel or is there a gap at the top? if there is a gap try moving it up to the top hole on one side... if there is still a gap move it to the top hole on both sides, and see if that tightens it up, or try moving one side down and see if that stiffens it up... Its ok if they are not in the same holes side to side- the holes are meant to adjust for best fit, so its totally normal for them not to be in matching holes.

it seems that bow should float and the front & rear tension from the other two should hold it up, but there should be a certain amount of resistance on the bow itself to keep it from just pushing into the holes on the sides.

Anyway, a few ideas...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ben,
The bows are different. I have a link below from another thread I started trying to make sure I have each bow in the correct position. I put them back as I removed them, but the headliner was not original, so I don't know if they were or are correct. I'm pretty sure the back bow is correct. The front and middle are just a little different and measuring from the holes to the room at each location, it make sense that the way I have them is correct.

The front and middle bow do touch the top, actually they are pretty tight to the top. Its good to know that they don't have to be in the same hole side to side, that will help.

I'm going to try to make something like a washer that fits tight to the ends of the middle bow that will not allow it to go into the hole further then the first bend. If I can do that, then I think it will say in place.

One question, do you try to get pretty much all the wrinkles out of the headliner as you install one? I though I was getting close to having it in position on one attempt, but I'm not sure I can every get all the wrinkles out side to side. Front to back it looked pretty good, but still quite a bit of wrinkling along the stitching at the rod positions.

(4) 1965 El Camino headliner bows | Chevelles.com
 

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Don,

you mentioned when pulling to tighten, side to side, you felt you were pulling the rod too far into the hole.

could the sleeve need more trimming near the edges? To allowthe material to be pulled taunt without pulling the rod too?

just a thought.

Another thought, how about gluing some sort of tab/ hook in the center? Something that would hold the rod against or near the roof at the center. Probably just one needed.

like how my 66 hardtop has the factory hooks along the center support. Doesn’t need to support much, and may be easier than try to keep washers in place.
 

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- Ben R. - Snohomish, WA
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One question, do you try to get pretty much all the wrinkles out of the headliner as you install one? I though I was getting close to having it in position on one attempt, but I'm not sure I can every get all the wrinkles out side to side. Front to back it looked pretty good, but still quite a bit of wrinkling along the stitching at the rod positions.

(4) 1965 El Camino headliner bows | Chevelles.com
Any wrinkles you see when you are done are pretty much going to stay. it doesn't really shrink or get tighter on its own.
As tony mentioned, make sure the bow sleeves are trimimed up near the ends where the bow curves downward, if you don't do that, the sleeves will bunch up and not allow the headliner to stretch side to side.
Basically pull and glue the headliner backwards, then forwards, then pull it side to side. It should not require a ton of stretching to eliminate the wrinkles. if it has creases from packaging that is a different issue and you may need a heat gun or a steamer to get those out.

hope that helps!
 

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Don, My 1965 El Camino bows look the same as yours. Front and center are either identical or very close and the rear one is more rounded like yours. I did not remove the headliner so I can't be sure which is #1 and which is #2 if it even matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ben,

Maybe part of my problem is where I have sleeve trimmed. In the picture attached, I have been trying to trim to RED arrow location, near the bottom 'hooked' part of the bow. But if I read your comment correctly, I should be trimming to the BLUE arrow, further up the rod.

I'll do some more trimming for my next install attempt.

Thanks again to all commenters, I really appreciate your help.

Don
 

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- Ben R. - Snohomish, WA
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Ben,

Maybe part of my problem is where I have sleeve trimmed. In the picture attached, I have been trying to trim to RED arrow location, near the bottom 'hooked' part of the bow. But if I read your comment correctly, I should be trimming to the BLUE arrow, further up the rod.

I'll do some more trimming for my next install attempt.

Thanks again to all commenters, I really appreciate your help.

Don
Hi Don, I'm not seeing your latest pics... but the sleeves should get trimmed back to where the rod takes the sharp downward bend near the side roof supports...
As you pull the hedliner side to side you may need to trim the sleeves a tiny bit more if they start pulling down that bend.. but you don't want to trim too far back either. right at that bend is the sweet spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Woops! Here is the picture I meant to attach. I've been trimming the sleeve to the RED arrow. I'll start over and trim back further to the BLUE arrow. I can see where that would make a difference.

Don

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