Interior automotive trim

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Interior automotive trim
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Efficient handling of body work requires familiarity with interior trim. The speed and smoothness with which headliners, panels, seats, and other units can be removed and replaced has a big influence on shop profits.

It is obviously impossible to cover the construction of all cars so we have selected for discussion the interior trim of the Buick, which is considered a good example of sound engineering.

Interior automotive trim

Figure left shows the sedan metal front seat with stationary seat back. Coupe construction is similar, except that the seat back is composed of two hinged sections. In each construction, the seat cushion is held in position by extended seat side arms and a metal retainer at the front of the seat spring.

The top of the seat cushion assembly is held to the upper seat back panel with metal toggle fasteners. At the bottom it is held with metal bend-over clips. Both cushion and back are of similar construction, being composed of cushion spring assembly, wire insulator, jute roll, cotton batts, rubber pad, cotton latexed pad, and the trim cover.

The difference in construction between back and seat is that in the back assembly the rows of helical springs have their bases set into "U" channels which anchor the springs and give rigidity to the assembly.

The complete seat assembly when trimmed is bolted, to a roller side channel seat adjuster. This seat adjuster which is bolted to the steel floor is controlled by a seat adjuster handle located at the left side of the seat. On the Hydro-Lectric equipped convertible bodies, front seats are operated by push button control.

The headlining is the trim material that covers the entire roof interior section of the body. Across the upper side of the headlining at spaced intervals, strips of muslin called "listings" are sewed. Through the hem of these "listings" during installation, insulated wires called "listing wires" are inserted for attachment of the headlining to the roof bows. The side skirt of the headlining during installation is tucked under metal toothed retainers along the side roof rails.

Headlining the trim The method of attaching the headlining to the roof bows is illustrated in the close-up cutaway left. Note the insulated wire running through the listing of the headlining and passing over one of a series of metal hooks or tabs which are spot welded to each roof bow. These hooks are then bent closed, thus forming the headlining to the curvature of the roof.

As has been mentioned, the headlining is secured to the side roof rails above the doors by metal retainers with lanced tabs. These are fastened with screws to the side roof rails. During installation, the edges of the headlining are tucked under these toothed retainers by a dull wide-bladed tool similar to a glazing knife.

On sedans, three sections are used on each side. The front section extends from the windshield pillar to the center pillar. The center section butts against the front section, and extends part way around the radius of the rear door. The rear section butts against the center, and extends to the curvature of the rear body pillar. For proper snug retention of headlining, the retainer screws must be drawn up tight.

Headlining installation

Numerous special fastenings are illustrated left. A close-up sectional view of the headlining installation along the roof rail. The windhose or draft strip around the doors is first sewed to a waterproof cardboard foundation which is placed in position and held with retainer tabs, as shown at A. Over this the headlining retainer B is installed with screws.

The two strips of windhose, sewed to a die-cut cardboard foundation, are held with metal bend-over tabs, one of which is clearly visible. The center pillar trim panel has metal retainers with ratchet nails fastened to its under side. The ratchet nails are driven into sockets provided in the center pillar. The trim is then drawn vertically tight and tacked at the top to a short trim stick.

Trim pad installation

Left we see the two methods of door trim pad installation that were used on some of the latest bodies. Some of the earlier bodies have trim pad retainers welded to the door inner panel at the sides and bottom. The trim pad foundation likewise has binding strips stapled to it at the sides and bottom. The pad slides into position with the retainers and strips having an interlocking action. The pad is anchored in position by a tapping screw at each lower corner.

The drawings left show the interlocking arrangement of these trim pad retainers at the right and left edges of the door trim pad, and also at the bottom. On the newer bodies, the conventional method of nailing the trim pad with barbed nails through slots in the door inner panel is used.