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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-09-2003, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default Headliner transplant

Hey everyone! I'm kinda new here (I registered about a year ago but spent most of my time on the bonnevilleattitude.com forum). Anyways I got a question for you guys,
last year my headliner was hanging down a lot so I took a knife to the edge where it meets the trime and I cut it open, then i used some sort of strong glue (kinda like rubber cement) and rubbed it all over the foam under the headliner that was sagging down then I used a credit card to make sure it was glued on tight... well now its a year later and the glue is still holding but some sports in the back are now coming loose..

last year, before gluing it, I head investigated the option of buying new headliner material (i found out they sell the actual material at most fabric stores including one in my area) and just removing my old headliner entirely and applying the new headliner however I disregarded the option due to the issue involved of removing the old headliner material as well as whatever it is that holds it up there ( i heard it was cardboard of some sort).. well i think i'm ready to give the headliner transplant a chance but I would like to know if anyone has tried doing this before or if anyone could look up in a service manual just what must be done to remove it. Any input on the topic is requested and appreciated guys!

sorry for the long post but i figured maybe it could come in handy for someone else someday thinking of gluing their headliner like i did.

mike diaz

-1987 A great year for the Bonneville.
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Old 07-09-2003, 01:51 PM   #2
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I have a '90 SSE. I tried to take the headliner out about 3 years ago and broke it. It breaks if you even look at it funny. I have a service manual and says to lower the front seats as far back as possible and then tilting the headliner remove it using the driver back door. All I have to say is good luck. The only way I was able to put it back in was to remove the windshield.

By the way while it was out, I put in some sound deadening material on the roof, and fiberglassed the back of the headliner to make it stiffer.

shoot back with any questions.

-ToK
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:17 PM   #3
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Hey, Mike! Long time, no see!! Glad you finally got by to see us!

The easiest way to get a foam-backed GM headliner in and out of a car is to take the front windshield out. It may not be what is recommended in the manual, but it won't break the foam. I have to replace the liner in my Cadillac this fall/winter, and I am dreading the job. At least the windshield needs to be replaced....
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:15 PM   #4
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Yo complinitor! it'* nice to hear you still remember me!!! As for this headliner, I'm confused a little on the construction of the headliner. Sofar from what I gather I can tell it is the part that everyone sees when we get into the car (say blue fabric if you have a blue interior) and then beneath that surface there is a foam backing to all of it. here'* where I get mixed up... behind this, is there cardboard? and is this cardboard glued onto the foam? or is it more like the cardboard is beneath it only for support and shape. and if so wouldn't it have to be glued somehow?

My original thought was not to go to GM to buy a new headliner but rather to take off my old liner from the car, remove the hanging bag and the foam under it and be left with (cardboard i guess?) and then buy more <foam/fabric> from the fabric store (its called like headliner material) and then wrap this headliner material around the (cardboard?) and make sure its glued on there good and then put the whole apparatus back in..

For you guys who have seen headliners removed from cars before, does my idea seem remotely possible?

Thanks a bunch you guys!!
Mike Diaz
p.*. if you remember anything about my car situation i had loads of little things to be fixed.. now i got it all down to a few things: oil leak (appears to be lower intake), loose steering wheel, bad inner (outers are replaced) tie rod ends, and new to the list is the possibly going bad torque converter :( Well i make some progress and go down in other areas!
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:52 PM   #5
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That'* exactly the way they fix it in upholstery shops. The only thing which you have wrong is the cardboard part. There'* is no cardboard from what I remember, it'* more like styrofoam (I think the industry name is crappyfoam) and is about as fragile as a styrofoam plate. That'* the reason I fiberglassed the backing.


-ToK
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:14 AM   #6
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good to see i was in the right train of thought. would it really be a big deal if say i got one bend in the headliner styrofoam? i mean lets say I bend it in one spot to get it out
then bend it in that same spot to get it in, the fabric glued on it won't be too damaged and the crack shouldn't be noticeable because the crack is suported by the roof on one side and fabric on the other?

EVEN better: how about I never even remove the headliner from the car? I just get the headliner off so its in the car stll but still completely removed from the roof (i.e. all trim is removed and the headliner is completely off the roof and just resting on the headrests / seats etc) and while its there I just take off old fabric/foam material and put on the new fabric from the fabric store, glue it etc all inside my car.. ?
I'd make a mess and it'd probably get tough but does it seem possible?

thanks
Mike Diaz

-1987 A great year for the Bonne.
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:16 AM   #7
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Sorry for the double post! (hopefully a moderator got it off already by the time you read this)
-mike diaz
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:26 AM   #8
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Done..
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:13 PM   #9
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I replaced the headliner in my lesabre about 3 or 4 months ago. It is not that bad of a job actually. You have to first start by removing all the upper interior door trim that goes along the headliner. After you have removed this and the dome light/ clothing hooks/ 'oh **** handles' etc, it'* time to pull the headliner down. The headliner will NOT come down on its own. It is held on by strips of industrial velcro that are about 2" by 4". You MUST slide your hands up underneith the headliner and work these areas loose by pulling right where they're attached. These velcro strips run across the width of the car in the front and the back of the headliner. There aren't any along the sides or anything.

After you drop the headliner you remove it from the FRONT PASSENGER side door. I don't know why a manual would tell you a back door, that is absolutely wrong.. you will have to have both front doors opened, seats fully back, steering wheel tilted all the way up or down (I can't remember which) and it will pull out with little difficulty. The headliner material to me seemed more like a type of fiberglass. I say this because it gave me the same itch and slivers you'd get from fiberglass.

There is a site online where you can buy headliner kits with the glue for around $45. It also has installation instructions on it. Good Luck!

http://www.countryfolk.org/headliner/hl.shtml
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
I replaced the headliner in my lesabre about 3 or 4 months ago. It is not that bad of a job actually. You have to first start by removing all the upper interior door trim that goes along the headliner. After you have removed this and the dome light/ clothing hooks/ 'oh **** handles' etc, it'* time to pull the headliner down. The headliner will NOT come down on its own. It is held on by strips of industrial velcro that are about 2" by 4". You MUST slide your hands up underneith the headliner and work these areas loose by pulling right where they're attached. These velcro strips run across the width of the car in the front and the back of the headliner. There aren't any along the sides or anything.

After you drop the headliner you remove it from the FRONT PASSENGER side door. I don't know why a manual would tell you a back door, that is absolutely wrong.. you will have to have both front doors opened, seats fully back, steering wheel tilted all the way up or down (I can't remember which) and it will pull out with little difficulty. The headliner material to me seemed more like a type of fiberglass. I say this because it gave me the same itch and slivers you'd get from fiberglass.

There is a site online where you can buy headliner kits with the glue for around $45. It also has installation instructions on it. Good Luck!

http://www.countryfolk.org/headliner/hl.shtml
Thanks a lot Custom!!! The site has a few example instructions including one for the LeSabre and even better for me, the LeSabre in the example is the same generation H-body as my '87 bonneville!! I'll have to check how much they charge for the headliner foambacked fabric at my local fabric store and I'll check if its less than $45 for that (and a can of aerosal glue). Thanks a whole lot! I recommend anyone looking into doing this to check out the site for its instructions and pictures at least! I'll tell you guys how the whole thing goes for me (i might do it in the next few weeks!)

Mike Diaz
-1987 A Great year for the Bonneville.
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