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Old 03-15-2006, 07:07 AM
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My GM headliner, what a disappointment.

My '85 Caprice wagon has the common sagging headliner. Its not even attached to the ceiling anymore, besides being tucked in the trim pieces.

I'm not really familiar on headliners and I would like to learn how to fix this. What do I use? What do I do (besides taking down the headliner)?

Any help is always appreciated.


~Glen

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Old 03-15-2006, 07:50 AM
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I have a pretty good detailed procedure for installing a headliner with pictures.



http://forum.4adrive.com/t6417-s.htm...ight=countilaw

I hope this helps
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:53 AM
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I just did this in my 87 Camaro not too long ago. There's a great article to read about doing this over at Thirdgen.org, but the site is down right now, I'll post the link when it comes back up. It's great, tells you everything you need and step by step instructions to re-covering your headliner for about 60 bucks. For now, i'll try and remember what I did.

I took the headliner down and pulled off the old fabric. Took a broom or something to sweep off the old glue so its just the headliner board, it'll allow the glue to stick much better. I got my headliner fabric from Jo-Ann fabric, I'm not sure what you have around you, but you can find them all across the country. I used 3M Hi-Strength number 90 spray glue. Theres articles that'll tell you to use another number, I used this stuff and it stuck great. Make sure you buy at lesat 2 cans of this, I used just about all of the second can. The rest is kind of self explanitory, lay out the headliner, trim the fabric to size, and start glueing at one end. Leave 2 or 3 inches excess around the endges so you have something to pull over tight and glue on the back side.

If you lay the fabric out on the floor so you have the side that goes up to the roof facing up, fold one edge over and glue that first. Let the glue get tacky for 20 or 30 seconds before you fold the piece over on it. Then flip the headliner over so that your looking at the side you want to glue, and you can pull the fabric down to the side you just glued. Then, you can do small sections at a time, making sure everything sticks properly and everything is smoothed out.

-Fabric was $27- I got about 3 yards of fabric, just to be safe.
-Glue- 2 cans was $26- $12.xx per can.
-I picked up some Fiberglass Cloth to repair a couple cracks in the headliner.

There ya have it, a New headliner for about $60. Mine took me about 6 hours to take out, wipe everything off, go get the supplies, come back, put on the headliner and test fit it back in. Like I said I left it out to dry for a day, then put it back in. Make sure you take some before and after pictures for us

EDIT: Here's the link I told you about: http://www.thirdgen.org/newdesign/te...errepair.shtml
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:16 PM
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So can I use the old fabric and save the money? Or does that just make it more of a hassle to clean it off to perfection?

This is my first time ever dealing with a headliner that didn't involve sticking tacks into the headliner. Not my car, my neighbor's car. Funny thing was, it worked and still is... its been up like that for 7 years.

I would be glad to do before & after pics but I don't have a camera and my brother isn't the nicest guy in the world to let me borrow his camera phone. I'm sorry.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:35 AM
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Sorry but you can't use the old material. If you did it would look worse than the pin method. The headliner cloth is made with the foam backing already attached to the cloth. Over time the cloth separates from the foam. If you glue the cloth and foam together the glue will soak into the cloth. Do yourself a favor and purchase new headliner material as the other guys said. Clean the old foam from the board, glue new material to it, trim edges and reinstall. Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:05 AM
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Here's a link that should give you some ideas/options http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/B...002659/c-10101
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:23 AM
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Ok. I need new fabric but I can still use the old headliner board? That will be good to hear. Of course I'll have to get spray glue. I'll probably need 3 cans since I have a wagon, right?

In the process of taking off the headliner, is it hard to take off my dome-light/map-light combo? I've noticed when I take off the cover to replace the light bulb it had some different, complicated looking fasteners. Is it the same thing for the tailgate dome-light?

~Glen
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:09 AM
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A friend had an early 80's Caprice with a sagging headliner. For a cheap and easy fix all he did was cut strips of .040 aluminum (approx. 2" wide and long enough to anchor side to side) and ran them cross-wise to hold the headliner up. it wasn't too pretty but worked a charm.
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:39 AM
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GM Wagon Headliner

ViperMonster:

I installed a new headliner in my '88 Pontiac Safari Wagon a few months ago.

Here are tips I found along the way:

1. Have a buddy help you when it comes time to reinstall, and perhaps when yanking out as well. I did the job 100% by myself, and it would have gone a lot easier with some extra hands.

2. The headliner is actually in 2 pieces. Each has its own piece of foam board as the main structural/ form piece. Handle the foam with care.

3. The toughest part of the job by far was removing the nasty nasty glue from the foam. I found that the best solution was to set the foam board up on a table, and drown it with rubbing alcohol. Then, while still wet, I scraped and power sanded. Each board took several hours. Be careful not to break at the board corners.

4. You must get new headliner material. Believe it or not, you can find this at chain fabric stores such as Hancock Fabrics and JoAnn Fabrics! I bought mine from an upholstery shop. About $35 was the cost, but I'm not sure.

5. The dome lights use funky 'tension-nuts' but its not really a big deal. Just be sure to save those little suckers for reinstalling. Must be installed to maintain electrical ground. Keep in mind you will have shafts hanging down from the dome lights when you reinstall-- I got impatient, and jabbed the headliner down over the prongs and put a couple divots in my headliner.

6. Use a good upholstery spray glue. I ordered mine from castleproducts.com, a product called 'Big Stick' or something like that. I used one entire can on each panel. Cost of glue approx $30.

7. Do not remove any more interior trim pieces than you have to. In many cases I just pulled enough screws to splay out the tops of the pieces.

8. Now is a GREAT time to inspect the penetration points in the roof where the luggage rack screws attach. Seal them/ tighten them as necessary. In my case, it was these leak points that led to the early demise of my headliner.

9. Here is the most important tip: Figure out what your time is worth on this job. I spent about $50 in materials. And about 12 hours in labor. The upholstery shop was going to charge $180 for the whole thing installed. In hindsight I should have just let them do the job. There is some pride involved with completing a project like this, and you do gain some extra knowlede on your car. But overall, it probably would have been worth the PIA time to let someone else do it. But maybe the glue on your foam board will not be so tenacious so your time factor will be less.
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Old 03-16-2006, 03:55 PM
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Thank you very much A-Body Fan. That's exactly the kind of help I was looking for.

Now whenever I get the money, I'll head out to do this task.


~Glen
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:50 AM
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Don't you love that vintage of GM headliner?

Anyway, my El Camino was the same way. I opted to get one of the ABS molded plastic jobs with the correct color fabric. Really is nicely done. The problems I ran into was that is was slightly oversized and required a little trimming. Second, there were some clips on the trim piece that ran along the back above the window. At the time I could not locate any new clips as all the old ones had broke when the piece came out. I had to go to a fastener store and had two guys plus me running around and looking for a clip that was close enough to the original to use (one didn't break so I could match it up to a new one). The clip kind of resembled an arrowhead about .100" thick

I am sure this wild clip thing is special to the El Camino, but it was still annoying to fight with. I have't seen this clip on any of the other GM's of the same vintage so I would not be worried about it.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:30 AM
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Clips.

I forgot about the plastic clips. You pretty much have to destroy one or two when you pull a trim piece away to figure out how they work/can be removed without damage. This is okay, you dont need absolutely every one to put it back together. I am not sure how readily available they are for the GM wagons and sedans. I would think they would be plentiful pulled from junkers, if not still being produced.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:23 PM
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If you can get them out without breaking them...

I broke every last one when I pulled it apart. Time has not been kind to those little clips.

Otherwise a few interior type screws (the nice shiny ones with the tapered head) could be used to hold that trim piece up.
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:47 AM
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Try http://www.mrgusa.com/ . They may have the clips you're looking for.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:00 AM
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Thank you so very much on how to do this headliner of mine. I have my shopping list and I'll be on my way to get this done whenever spare time comes to bite me in the butt. lol.

Thanks again to you all. I love HotRodders Bulletin Board.

~Glen
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