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Old 07-24-2004, 03:26 AM   #1
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Default Falling Headliner

How do you fix a problem like this it is just a small area around my cubby hole and reading lights in the front of the car and sun visors?

This is a 95 SE
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Old 07-24-2004, 09:40 AM   #2
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the front is the worst place for it to fall. there is basically no fix to it. dont try glueing it with a spray adhesive as it will soak through the fabric and make it look bad. it will also make it very hard to replace when you do that. in my opinion, i would redo the headliner
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:50 PM   #3
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alright i am getting a estimate today
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Old 07-24-2004, 02:27 PM   #4
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unfortunately I would have to agree. Once a headliner starts falling there is no helping it. The foam backing starts to deteriorate and turns to a powder-like substance. It'* like trying to glue a sheet to sand... it'* not gonna stick. lol. If you use enough it'll stick, but by that time it will soak through the fabric and look horrible like mentioned earlier. The only "cheap" and "quick" fix is to use push pins or staples. I know, I've had to do this before on my 88 LeSabre. lol. Replacing a headliner isn't all that bad though.
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Old 07-30-2004, 03:05 AM   #5
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You can have a shop redo your headliner, but if you have a free weekend day, you can do it yourself. I've redone several of them. The steps generally go like this:
(1) Find a fabric or upholstery shop or even an auto parts store that carries the foam-backed fabric for headliners. Buy a single piece large enough for your job.
(2) *IMPORTANT* Buy several cans of 3M Headliner spray adhesive. Do not try to get away with any other type of adhesive, and don't skimp on it. Use a LOT of this stuff. You can't use too much. I'd say three cans minimum.
(3) Remove all of the trim surrounding the headliner. This includes the sun visors, the A-pillar trim, etc., Consult auto manuals, auto upholstery professionals, or people here to get info on how your interior trim pieces clip on so you don't break the clips when you remove these parts. For older cars I keep a lot of 2-part epoxy handy to fix things like this that are either already broken or are so brittle that they break when you try to remove them.
(4) Pull out the headliner. Consult auto manuals if needed. You probably have to adjust the seats; recline the front seatbacks to get the most room to wiggle the headliner out.
(5) The headliner is usually a piece of molded fiberboard or foamboard material with the foam-rubber-backed fabric glued to it. Peel the fabric off carefully, have a shopvac handy to suck away loose and rotted foam rubber. Scrape any remaining foam rubber off the headliner and vacuum it away.
(6) Lay new fabric over headliner, cut to fit, leave extra around edges and holes for things like dome lights.
(7) Spray the heck out of the headliner with the spray glue. Use TONS of headliner adhesive. Don't go light. If you go light it will eventually evaporate away under the heat of hot sun, and the fabric will detach and fall. Use lots of headliner adhesive. Follow the instructions, and spread the fabric out, adhering it to the headliner. Trim excess fabric.
(8 ) Reverse to install.

It sounds like a big job, and it sort of is, but it doesn't require any special training or tools, and it costs less than around $40 to do it yourself. A professional probably charges a lot more. But if you get a good price, go for it.
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Old 07-30-2004, 03:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugsi
You can have a shop redo your headliner, but if you have a free weekend day, you can do it yourself. I've redone several of them. The steps generally go like this:
(1) Find a fabric or upholstery shop or even an auto parts store that carries the foam-backed fabric for headliners. Buy a single piece large enough for your job.
(2) *IMPORTANT* Buy several cans of 3M Headliner spray adhesive. Do not try to get away with any other type of adhesive, and don't skimp on it. Use a LOT of this stuff. You can't use too much. I'd say three cans minimum.
(3) Remove all of the trim surrounding the headliner. This includes the sun visors, the A-pillar trim, etc., Consult auto manuals, auto upholstery professionals, or people here to get info on how your interior trim pieces clip on so you don't break the clips when you remove these parts. For older cars I keep a lot of 2-part epoxy handy to fix things like this that are either already broken or are so brittle that they break when you try to remove them.
(4) Pull out the headliner. Consult auto manuals if needed. You probably have to adjust the seats; recline the front seatbacks to get the most room to wiggle the headliner out.
(5) The headliner is usually a piece of molded fiberboard or foamboard material with the foam-rubber-backed fabric glued to it. Peel the fabric off carefully, have a shopvac handy to suck away loose and rotted foam rubber. Scrape any remaining foam rubber off the headliner and vacuum it away.
(6) Lay new fabric over headliner, cut to fit, leave extra around edges and holes for things like dome lights.
(7) Spray the heck out of the headliner with the spray glue. Use TONS of headliner adhesive. Don't go light. If you go light it will eventually evaporate away under the heat of hot sun, and the fabric will detach and fall. Use lots of headliner adhesive. Follow the instructions, and spread the fabric out, adhering it to the headliner. Trim excess fabric.
(8 ) Reverse to install.

It sounds like a big job, and it sort of is, but it doesn't require any special training or tools, and it costs less than around $40 to do it yourself. A professional probably charges a lot more. But if you get a good price, go for it.
a few more tips:
1. Do NOT put it on tightly! around corners and such you want to put it on loose enough that you're not stretching the headliner at all. If it is stretched at all, on the first warm/hot day it'* going to shrink and pull itself away from the glue!
2. 95% of headliners are removed from the front passenger side door.. The Bonneville is not an exception to this rule.
3. The headliner is fragile.. It can crack easy so use extreme care! If it does crack, it can be repaired.. how, I'm not sure. I never had to do it.
4. Put a cloth over your interior when you pull the headliner down.. you might get a big cloud of dust falling down when you pull it down! That deteriorated foam goes EVERYWHERE!
5. apply the adhesive to both the board and the back of the headliner. apply it lightly to the back of the headliner, and heavy to the board. (unless can says otherwise.)
6. Use something like a fingernail brush to rub off all the old foam from the board. You need to get all of the old foam off of the headliner board. This takes quite a bit of time.
7. Try not to tear off the protective film on the headliner. the headliner is basically like cardboard with a plastic film(maybe fiberglass) covering it. If you tear this film, the headliner is weakend significantly..

8. Take your time, and GOOD LUCK!
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Old 07-30-2004, 06:37 PM   #7
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Is there any way that you could replace the factory cloth with a vinyl to match the interior
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Old 07-30-2004, 07:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jachin
Is there any way that you could replace the factory cloth with a vinyl to match the interior
the headliner?

if you use a good adhesive, you could have a cedar headliner...
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:10 PM   #9
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If you wanted to do vinyl or leather (or pleather / naugahyde etc.) I'd recommend using a thin layer of foam rubber padding between the headliner shell and your vinyl. It would take twice the glue and double the risk of glue detaching and sagging, but in theory, it should work just fine.

And if anybody goes for the cedar headliner, I want PICTURES!
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Old 08-02-2004, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugsi
And if anybody goes for the cedar headliner, I want PICTURES!


That'd be years of air-freshening!!
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