An important part of restoring a German WWII helmet includes the removal of the liner. The liner is comprised of several parts that include the outer band, inner band, leaf type springs, D-ring chin strap and the split-pins/rivets that hold and attach the liner and parts to the actual helmet. The correct and careful removal of the liner will allow for proper restoration of the piece, as well as the repair, restoration or replacement of the liner itself.
Identify and locate the inside of the helmet where the liner is attached. The liner is held in place by three pins/rivets, which were originally inserted from the outside of the helmet towards the inside. Two are located towards the sides/front of the helmet, between the ear and temple area where the head would normally rest. The third pin/rivet is located to the rear of the liner/helmet near where the back of the head would normally rest. The split-pins/rivets can be easily identified from the outside as three raised buttons, not to be confused with the two ventilation holes.
Separate the two split-pin/rivet fasteners from the locked horizontal position to a vertical position until both ends are parallel to each other using the pliers. Carefully push towards the outside of the helmet. If the outside of the split-pin/rivet is stuck to the helmet, insert a small flathead screwdriver gently between the helmet and split-pin/rivet and slowly pry open while gently pushing from the inside.
Gently pull the split-pin/rivet (the one from the outside of the helmet) and remove it. Do not damage the paint or decals. Remove the split-pin/rivet washer from the inside area of the helmet.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all three pins are removed.
Replacement (replica) split-pins/rivets and washers can be readily found for sale in WWII historical re-enactor websites.
Parts may be rusty on some helmets. Pull and separate split-pins/rivets and parts gently. Denting, paint or decal damage may occur when removing split-pins/rivets. Split-pins may break during removal.