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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:34 pm 
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Posts: 26000
Location: Space Coast, or at least it used to be
Year and Trim: 03 SLE, 95 SE, 95 TS SE
harofreak00 wrote:
As you may know, I already have 1 tutorial in this section for a headliner replacement, but that was for my 95, and that was almost 4 years ago now. I have more knowledge, and I wanted to tackle this on my 2000 SSEi. The previous owners smoked in the car, and the headliner was full of cigarette burns. Since I have redone the interior of this car, the headliner is the final ugly piece that needs to be replaced. The sunshade that covers the sunroof when not in use was also starting to fall apart. I had hot-glued it months back, but it was not sticking. Here are some pics of the damage.
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Last friday I said, enough was enough when my girlfriend was making fun of my sagging sunshade fabric, and I started looking for some new fabric. I went to both fabric stores in town, but they only stock 1 tan color, and it wasn't even close. I went online and requested some samples. I found one company to be extremely knowledgeable and on top of things. They sent me 2 samples, the larger 2 of the 5 in the picture. I chose 2013 Driftwood for my car, its nearly exact. I HIGHLY suggest getting samples and not using the internet jpeg to match colors. Here is the company I am dealing with: http://www.autoheadliner.us/cart/show_items.asp?CatID=2

Notice that 2013 driftwood looks nothing like the actual sample ;)

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I went ahead and ordered the Standard Headliner Kit from AutoHeadliner.us
- 2 Yards of Foam-backed headlining material (54" wide)
- One can of Performance Hi-Temp Trim Adhesive
- Easy Installation Guide
- FREE shipping in the continental United States

I asked 2.5 yards, which is .5 yards more than the normal kit, I just wanted to make sure I had enough to cover the sunshade also.

The total cost was $57.20 shipped because of the $7.25 charge for the extra fabric.

Last time I used the 3M SuperTrim Adhesive and it worked great, but it was a better deal for me to get the entire package deal from this company. He said his adhesive is the same if not better than the 3M stuff.
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Now, let the fun begin. Start by removing the sunshade from the sunroof track. There are 4 tabs that hold it in. Open the sunroof all the way back, and then push in on the tabs with a screwdriver or something and lift the shade up.
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Once you have the sunshade out of the car, remove the handle plastic with a flatblade screwdriver. Then set the sunshade aside for now.
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Now you need to remove the headliner which is quite the task.

Items needed to be removed:
- A pillars
- B pillars
- C pillars
- Sun Visors
- Grab Handles
- Rear View Mirror
- Several electrical connections

A pillars
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B pillars
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C pillars
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Grab Handles - passenger front, and both rears - Make sure you put the screws somewhere that you don't lose them!
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Sun Visors
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Rear View Mirror - the reason this needs to be removed is that the wiring harness goes through the plastic assembly of the mirror and its easiest to remove the mirror to get the harness out. Grab the mirror with both hands and pull straight back, as hard as you can. It will feel like you are going to break it, but it just pops out. The more time you take it off, the easier it gets. If you need more assistance with this, watch this video: http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d61/b ... V00153.flv
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There will be 2 other electrical disconnects, both on the rear of the headliner.
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Now we need to get the actual headliner out of the car. Fold both front seats down all the way, and navigate the headliner out of the rear passenger door like this:
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Here is the headliner out of the car, and here are all the pieces needed to be removed to get this far.
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The fabric needs to be removed before we can apply the new stuff. Start with the sunshade and start peeling it off by hand. You will see that it wants to come off in 2 layers, the actual fabric, and the clear plastic adhesive. The foam that usually goes between these is completely disintegrated into dust, which is quite normal for an 8 year old car. It's easiest to pull the clear plastic adhesive off the same time you pull the fabric off. There is no special trick, just patience. If you go to fast, it will tear.
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After you get this far, you will need to remove all the remaining adhesive on the plastic. I started by using Castrol Super Clean, but this didn't do the trick. I then sprayed some carb cleaner on it and started using a wire wheel brush by hand in a circular motion. This worked pretty good actually.
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After you get most of the crud off, take some fine sandpaper to it and get rid of ALL the adhesive, the more work you do in your prep, the better the final product will turn out. After this, wipe the entire plastic shade with some thinner and set it aside.
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Now, begin work on the headliner. The overhead lighting console needs to come out. Push down on these tabs and push in on these tabs to get the unit out. Slide the console out and set aside.
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Start removing the fabric. Don't worry that the foam is sticking to the board and not coming off with the fabric. If this happens, it just means the foam is in good shape. However, you do NEED to remove the foam in order to get the new fabric to adhere.
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You should end up with something like this. Now start to remove the foam. I learned this tip from my guy Kevin at AutoHeadliner.us Use a wirebrush, not sandpaper like I used on my last headliner. I used a small handheld one for the tight areas and a wire wheel on a drill for the larger areas. You do need to be careful not to damage the fiberglass board, but the wirewheel did the job perfectly.
ImageImageImageImage

This leaves quite a mess, so be sure you can do it somewhere that cleans easily.
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After you get ALL the foam off, go over the entire thing with some thinner and some compressed air you have access. You might find some more foam during this process, don't be afraid to go back a step and remove ALL the foam. Here is some up close of the fiberglass with the foam removed.
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That's all for now. My new fabric should be arriving in 2-3 days and I will finish it up then. I have about 3 hours into it right now not including the writeup.


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Last edited by Jrs3800 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Adding part 2:

harofreak00 wrote:
My headliner fabric showed up late on Wednesday, but I was not able to work on it until Thursday.

The fabric looks surprisingly the same color as my walls :lol:
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Here is a closeup of the adhesive. Looks to be good stuff
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I laid the fabric out on a clean surface and measured twice and cut once. Looks like 2.5 yards was the perfect amount with the sunshade added into the equation. Looks like I even have enough to recover the visors in the same stuff.
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Once the fabric was cut, I brought it outside in the garage to apply the adhesive. I laid it on a clean tarp.
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I left off by wiping some thinner on the board, and I did this again, just to make sure all the dust was removed. I then applied the adhesive. It doesn't come out like regular spray cans, it comes out more in a web, like Spiderman. It is easy to see where you have gone and where you haven't.
ImageImageImage

Since I was doing this by myself, I couldn't get any pictures of the next step. It consisted of picking up the fabric and folding it in half, adhesive side out, and then applying to the middle of the board and then laying flat and spreading out. I would highly suggest using a 2nd person. I think it would have went much better with another person. The adhesive isn't immediately bonded, you can still adjust the fabric for a few minutes. After working it down into all the corners and edges, use small pieces of thin strips of wood, tons of clothespins (I bought 100 and used them all), clamps, and beverage containers. This is a very time critical point, the fabric needs ot be pushed down into EVERY crevice or it won't ever stick.
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After several hours of drying, the fabric is stuck good enough to remove the clamps. You don't want to leave them on forever, or you will have permanent indents in the fabric.
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At this point, you can turn your attention to the sunshade. The same process applies, so I didn't take any pictures.
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Turn your attention back to the headliner. You can now begin to trim away the excess and fold the fabric over the edges. I used a regular spray adhesive for this since I was running out of the original stuff.
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Now, cut out all the openings for the handles and visors. Install the courtesy light/sunroof switch/homelink unit into place.
ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Now install into the car, using the opposite procedure from which you removed it. Here is the finished product.
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Thoughts:
The visors don't match as well as I wanted them too, they will be redone sooner or later.
The new foam on the sunshade makes it a littler harder to close than before, it should compress after a while and go back to normal.
If I did it again, I would make the relief cuts different on the sunroof opening. Nobody will ever notice, but I know that if I look into the car through the sunroof when its open, it doesn't look stock, oh well, I'm picky.


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