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REPLACEMENT OF THE HEAD LINING
ON THE 4CV AND DERIVATIVES
The fitting of a head lining is a delicate trimming operation. This article treats the matter and supposes that you have acquired a lining "ready to fit" or that you are able to copy from an old previously removed identical head lining.
Before all operations on a new head lining, it is necessary to apply the three following fundamental principles :
It is also necessary, apart from the classic equipment and a good pair of scissors, to have at hand the following material :
A The original mounting principle :
The head lining is suspended on some hood bows simply hung in the roof reinforcement
At the rear, the lining is held against the rear window frame by a cardboard piece on which it is glued.
At the front, the lining is held by a screwed-on floating panel, supporting the sun visor and the accident cushioning.
On the sides, the lining is glued and is covered by the seals surrounding the door.
It is necessary to note that, in the factory, the head lining was mounted from the front to the rear and that the accuracy of the cutting of the fabric sufficed to assure a good tension as a result. The rear plaque was not rigid but fabricated in fabric glued on the felt. The rear shape was difficult to obtain and the wrinkles were eliminated by a jet of steam. Often the roof lining ‘hung’ .
B The mounting modifications to achieve a neat result from the job :
It must be noted that the pieces of original fabric are deformed and are stretched, and that we do not possess the exact cutting patterns from the period.
It is also necessary to note that the headlinings provided "ready to mount" possess only a general hole for the rear window and do not have any markings for positioning of the front panel.
Because of those considerations, we shall make the following two modifications, guaranteeing a good result :
- The mounting will be commenced from the rear and will gain the tension (then the finish) from the front. It is the only means to have sufficient tension to eliminate wrinkles. To do it, the front mounting panel will be mounted separately from the head lining and outside it. The board will be separately dressed with an identical fabric. Thanks to this system, you will be able to stretch everything as much as wished toward the front while adjusting the rear lining neatly and adjusting the remainder of the fabric extending under the front board.
- The rear board will be rigid (board of 5mm, dressed in fabric) and cut to the same shape as the fabric and the glued felt as the original. The fixing on the rear shelf will be made by two 6mm screws electrically welded on a metal panel (available from "Rest-Agraphe"). The small metal plate is positioned below the card and is covered by the glued fabric, so it is invisible. The screws, fixed to the rigid plate, and passing through the steel parcel shelf (6mm holes to do so) are assembled to the body by two nuts screwed through the access from the motor. Thanks to that mounting, one is able to draw the fabric tight along the rigid plate and tuck the excess under it. You are able to totally eliminate the wrinkles at the rear. Do not forget the little rectangular finishing piece under the rear window of the 4CV.
C The manner of operation :
- Place the old fabric on the new head lining (careful of the sense !)
- With the aid of a dressmaker’s crayon, mark around the cutout and the shapes of the rear part. Allow for an excess in front and on the sides.
- Salvage or repair the cardboard support used for maintaining the rear lining shape behind the rear window.
- Undertake the glueing on the exterior part of the cardboard. Verify the symmetry carefully and watch for the sense of glueing so the glue remains invisible ! !
- Fit the hood bows into the new headlining. Be careful of the order, they are not identical.
- Put in place the cardboard around the rear window.
- Fit the arcs without tension.
- Glue the pieces of adhesive ribbon every 2cm around the part of the fabric which will be under the rear metal plate. The pieces of ribbon pass well under the plate and permit the fabric tension to be balanced around the plate while someone screws the screws of the plate tight. They will be covered after completion.
- Apply lateral tension by pulling the fabric symetrically on each side of the arcs. That is what will require four or six hands. You must be able to lay out the fabric sheath in which the hood bow passes at the correct point.
- Make a temporary hold on the fabric in half tension on the door frame by many wooden clothes pegs.
- Do not fix at the front and leave the last arc without tension.
- Complete the finalisatoin of tension of the rear part up to the mounts of the door.
- Gradually apply a light amount of glue to the fabric on the metal situated under the door seal with a trickle of glue at the trimmings. Support until it is dry with the clothes pegs.
- Turn back the fabric on the upright of the rear door, apply glue to the other side, cut off the excess fabric and fit the threshold seal of the rear door. (On Fregates, the procedure is slightly different).
- At this point, the fabric must be OK up to the door uprights : if not, readjust the tensions.
- Put in place and screw down the front panel over the fabric. That passes underneath, making the tension on the arcs and the equilibrium of the lateral tension of the front part. If the fabric wrinkles where the screws pass through, make some vertical " buttonholes" with the knife. They are invisible since they are behind the front panel.
- Carry out, as for the rear, the glueing and the side tension on the sides of the front doors. Apply the door seals.
- Carry out the finishing by removing with the knife the excess fabric around the windscreen under the front panel.
- Contemplate the result !