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UNauthorized Headliner "repair"
This will be the first in a potential series of completely Unauthorized
"Low Budget-Low Tech" fixes. Purists be advised to look elsewhere.. to
their Authorised Dealer or Preferred Salon, as some of these techniques
involve Dremel tools with Carbide cut-off wheels, hacksaws, hammers, blocks
of wood, "mechanics" (read baling, if you must) wire, exposed flame, etc.
Did I mention Gaffers tape?
DAMN, I just looked in the Gina's rear-view mirror (5KTQ Wagon) and the
baby disappeared! After a few months of flapping in the middle, the
headliner came adrift entirely and was proceeding to give my son a
completely undeserved flogging about the head and ears, whilst restrained
in his car seat. All this and a shower of semi-dissolved/powdered/adhesive
(probably toxic) brown muck that had been the foam insulation.
The list of trial and error is as follows:
1. Tuck the liner back in at the edges, good for <1 minute.
2. Thumb tacks, good till you open the window at speed and the flapping
commences, at which point the tacks that don't riccochet around the
interior (watch your eyes) remain stuck in the liner, Flail Style. Hardly
3. Straight pins...good for a few miles, then see above item #2. Bring
goggles for all and helmet for the wee one.
4. 3-M medium duty spray adhesive.. says right on the can "Not for use in
headliner applications." I figured the implication was that the headliner
might turn yellow or start to "melt". No such luck...and it didn't stick
for squat either.
5. (Random thoughts of giving the works a giant rip and having done with
any notions of a reasonably "stock" looking interior...dismissed as a
potentially rash move by my better half.)
6. Gaffers tape, Duct tape, Ducktape, you name it, you were just waiting
for me to grab it. Worked for about a day.
7. O.K. Hairbag, this is it! You are going up and you're not coming down.
No room for "Trial Fitment" as they say.
A. Pull all grab handles (don't overlook the screw hidden under the cap on
the clothes hanger post and inadvertantly give it a savaging rip...like i
B. Pull all appropriate edging around the perimeter of the liner (if you
care what the final product may look like)
C. cover the interior with a sheet of plastic, the bigger the better.
D. Messy Bits. Wear beat clothes, long sleeves, hat, gloves, goggles,etc.
Now take a paint scraper and peel off "all" of the dissolved brown foam,(or
as much as you can get) into a bag.
E. If you don't care too much about the cosmetics, just brush off the
remaining bits of foam by hand. If you want a "better" looking job, ( i
didn't get that far-darkness was closing in) i would think that a rag
soaked in Laquer thinner-watch for drips-and wiped around the pressed-board
would dissolve the rest of the remaining lumps. If you go this far, I'd
suggest letting the doors (at least windows) open for the remainder of the
day- until the thinner flashes off and evaporates.
F. At this point you can either go the full bore restoration on the cheap,
or say 'screw it' and glue it .
G. "Screw it" method: God Forbid, not real screws, merely a state of mind.
In any event, get your hands on the nastiest, heavy duty spray adhesive
3-M has (wish I still had the can to give you a real part #). Ignoring the
directions, liberally soak the pressed cardboard- or whatever it is-
ceiling with even, overlapping spray. Two coats ought to do it, with about
5 minutes in between. Keep a rag handy as the aerosol tip will want to
load-up and blow chunks-literally. The tricky part comes when you coat the
actual headliner. Though I tried to avoid it, I figure that this stuff
really will start to melt the liner if you get it too wet, or, just as bad
to the concours judges eye, start to soak through.
Nobody needs the anguish of explaining "Yellow Stains on the Ceiling". but
Coat the headliner, (probably hanging down at the rear of the sunroof by
this time) with several fine mist coats, being careful to let it dry
between applications. This is the point where you need nerves of steel (
remember the No-Trial-Fitment part?) you're least likely to have them.
After unloading a whole can of 3Ms finest, even with the doors open,
you'll probably find you're about half hammered, all sweated up, and, just
when you need it the most, fine motor skills have deteriorated to an
alarming degree..only you're too whupped to be alarmed.. so, press on,
after washing your hands to get all the accumulated glue off.
Starting at the center of the ceiling, right behind the sun roof, slowly
"wipe" the headliner from front to rear, a few inches at a time, radiating
from the center out to the sides, like the spokes of a wheel. As strong as
this stuff is, you'll be hard pressed to get a second chance. As the foam
is now gone, the headliner will be a little "larger" than it used to be,
and there will be the usual consternation in seeing that the holes no
longer line up, and there may be the odd wrinkle that refuses to come out,
but by and large, you won't see it from my house, and with this wealth of
detail, and knowing what to expect, yours will probably look much better
than mine. For the trim, assembly is the reverse...or, if you, in the true
spirit, said "screw it" and never removed the trim in the first place, just
spray right up to the edges, forget the overspray, (you can always get it
later with the laquer thinner rag) and tuck the liner in all around with
the same (though now wiped off with that same rag) paint scraper. Don't you
love it when a plan comes together?
Total price? A couple hours and a 5 spot for the spray (actual prices may
vary, but you get the idea).
H. The $25 solution: Essentially the same as above, but this time, get a
couple of yards of 1/4" foam, prolly at a fabric store, or if you tend to
be a packrat, check your basement first. I haven't tried this..yet, though
I'll probably give it a go on Max. (87 5KTQ). Just check to see that the
spray won't attack the foam... too much anyhow. If it does, fog it on
lightly (test in an inconspicuous place) Ya schure. With a layer of foam
in between the pressed board and the liner, you stand a fighting chance
for a "reasonably" semi original type of result.
Or, you can call your dealer and risk the coronary. Your call.
Anyhow, its been back up for 2 or 3 months now and I don't think it's
coming down again... ever.
Humble appypolylogies for the out-gassing and all that good wasted space
that could have housed any number of diatribes, but hey, if just one
toddler is spared a good flailing, then it may have been worth it.
This is my first attempt at writing with an AUDIence in mind. Whattaya
Should I quit before I get drummed outtada digest, or...
Wanna hear the one about the Metric Hammer? The Hacksaw? (Unauthorised
heater fan R&R&R) I've got some fearful experiences with these things, so
gahead, ast me wyncha.
Gina (86 5KTQW) 165K
Max (87 5KTQS) 157K
Ursula (77 240 Wagon) 300K+
Raquel (69 Alfa Boat Tail) 4 sale...