October 2001            
The restoration of the dash sort of set the standard for the rest of the cab interior.  This is mostly true with all my projects.  I usually wind up doing too good a job at the start of a project which means I have to do the same quality of work on the rest of the project or it just doesn't look right.  I haven't decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Anyway, on to the cab roof...

When I refer to the cab "roof", I am talking about everything on the interior of the cab, from the bottom of the windows up (excluding the windows themselves).  I approached the restoration of the roof the same as the dash -- by taking everything apart.  The things I wound up taking off were:

  • headliner

  • headliner trim

  • sun visors (including swivel arms)

  • sun visor hooks

  • dome light housing

  • dome light switch

The headliner itself looked to be in  good shape.  Hopefully, just a little cleaning would be all that was needed.  It was sagging in the middle, so I knew it would need re-gluing.  The plastic chrome trim around the headliner wasn't perfect, but it looked fairly decent.  Just a few places where the chrome plating was worn off and a small crack in each of the corners.  Maybe it could be salvaged also.  The sun visor swivel arms, and the sun visor hooks were in good shape and only appeared to need cleaning.  

I first tried cleaning the headliner and sun visor covers with Formula 409.  This worked fairly well on surface dirt and grim, but there were a few areas with more stubborn stains and yellowing that it wouldn't touch.  These stains would require some other product.  My daughter told me that she had used OxyClean on her window blinds and it did a good job of removing stains.  So, I bought some and tried it.  

The OxyClean removed most of the stubborn stains and helped with the yellow discoloration.  For a final treatment I scrubbed the items with good ole' Comet powder cleanser.  I think the chlorine bleach in the Comet was what did the trick on the remaining yellow discoloration.  The driver's side sun visor cover still had a very small stain that would not come out completely (from what appeared to be a permanent marker) but it's hidden by the garage door opener, so I'll let it go for now.

The next item to tackle was the headliner chrome trim.  I tried mending the cracks in the corner of the trim with some super plastic adhesive.  The adhesive did fix the crack, but the excess adhesive that squeezed out dissolved the plastic chrome plating.  This resulted in black streaks at each of the cracks that looked worse than before.  The headliner looked so good after cleaning that I decided the trim would have to be replaced.  

I also decided the dome light housing and lens would have to be replaced.  The housing was cracked, the chrome plating was worn off in several places, and the lens was a sickly yellow color and cracked.  The sun visor hooks, however, only needed a little cleaning with Formula 409 and a treatment of ArmorAll to make them good as new.

I ordered the new parts, and while waiting for them to arrive, I detailed the rest of the cab roof.  This consisted mainly of cleaning the painted areas with Formula 409 and waxing.  I was going to use a rubbing compound on the paint but a trial run in an inconspicuous corner of the cab revealed that the paint in the cab was way too thin for such behavior.  The guy who shot the paint in this cab must have been late for lunch.  It did wax up nice, although I was careful not to rub too hard.  The main thing was to clean off the dirt and grim and restore the shine.

In about a week my parts order arrived so I began putting the cab roof back together.  First thing was to re-install the headliner.  Unfortunately,  I decide to use the same 3M spray-on adhesive that I'd used when installing the glove box trim plate.  It didn't work for that purpose, so I don't know why I thought it would work on the headliner.  The reason I decided to try it was because it allowed "workability", which meant the glued piece could be repositioned after gluing.  The headliner is rather clumsy to handle and has to be positioned perfectly to allow the trim to fit properly.  I was afraid if I used a contact-type adhesive, I would glue the headliner in the wrong location and wouldn't be able to move it.   So anyway, I used the 3M stuff.  Well, it didn't work any better the second time.  It held for a few days in the garage, but as soon as I drove around in the sun and the roof heated up, the headliner started to sag.  

I kind of stewed over the problem for a few days, still not willing to risk using a contact cement, but not finding anything else suitable.  Then, one day while I was at KMart buying some rattle cans, I noticed that they carried a new 3M product that I thought might just work.  The product is a clear, thick vinyl-like tape that is sticky on both sides.  The tape is very thick (about 1/6") and very pliable.  It's almost like a semi-solid epoxy.  And it's very sticky.  If you double the tape on itself it practically fuses together.  Anyway, I thought it was worth a shot.  

I took the headliner back off and applied several pieces of the tape in about 3 inch strips equally spaced around the headliner.  it has been on about 3 months now and there has been no sagging.  Hopefully, it will continue to hold.

The new dome light housing and lens went back in without a hitch, as did the cleaned and polished sun visor swivel arms cover, and hooks.  I re-installed the original dome light switch after polishing the brushed aluminum "on/off" plate with metal polish.  It shined up as good a new. 

That about takes care of the cab roof.  The only thing I'm not entirely happy with is the driver's sun visor cover.  It still has one bad stain and some areas are permanently indented from some sort of spring clip accessory Mr. ABB had installed -- I don't think it was a garage door opener, probably a registration holder or calendar.   When I ordered parts, I also ordered a new "starting procedure" decal for the driver's sun visor.  I'm holding off putting it on until I decide if I'm going to replace the cover.  But for now the cab roof's good done.  

Next up are the doors. . . 

 

 

Copyright 2001-2006 by Johnny M. Patterson
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