Headliner

Discussion in 'OEM and Custom Interiors' started by Illsley1983, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Illsley1983

    Illsley1983 Newbie

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    Hey everyone,

    The headliner in my truck is shot. I had it out and attempted to re-bond the material to the board but the board is in too poor of shape to re-use. I stumbled upon a headliner in good shape out of a 1998 truck. The only problem is, the color is red and my interior color is blue. MY question is, what method(s) should I use to remove the red fabric from the headliner board so I can apply some new blue fabric to it.
     
  2. Oldblue98

    Oldblue98 Supporting Member

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    The whole secret to headliner is prep.. I pull the old stuff off and use a stiff nylon brush and start dry scrubbing the old foam off ( Clean ) is the key to the new headliner adhesion and don't chinch with cheap adhesive.. If you do it will be no time and it will be falling down on you. There is many headliner glues on the market, the thicker commercial grade stuff is better and less likely to bleed through on your new material. The biggest thing to it is prep.
    This is a little long but good info...
    Warm, sunny day project
    Speaking of weather, be sure to choose a day when the weather is cooperating for a headliner replacement job.

    If it is too cold out, the adhesive won’t set properly.

    This job is best completed in the spring or summer, unless you have a heated work space.

    A temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

    Don’t be in a hurry
    Removing and replacing a headliner can be a long task, as removing all of the old glue is key to a long-life. That could take anywhere from 15 minutes to who-knows-how-long depending on how dense and attached the old glue is.

    The second key to getting headline adhesive right is to take your time and remove all of the old foam from the previous headliner.

    Use an old wire brush or coarse sand paper to get the job done.

    This is an admittedly messy job and it’s not a lot of fun, but it’s crucial to making sure your new adhesive sticks properly and lasts as long as possible.

    Once you’ve removed all of the old foam, it’s time to apply the new adhesive.

    Spray time
    It’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions, and you should not even consider spraying until you do so.

    But most adhesives will recommend spraying both the headliner backing and the fabric you’ll be applying.

    It’s best to work in sections so that you don’t have to deal with a large piece of fabric that’s tacky all at once.

    Instead, do one half or one quarter of the headliner at a time and get a friend to help you so you don’t get the glue against anything you shouldn’t.

    When applying the adhesive, be sure to move the spray can in all directions.

    Even coverage
    First coat the surface by moving from left to right, then up and down and finish with a diagonal motion.

    The goal is to cover the entire surface completely. Keep the can as upright as possible while working to promote smooth, even adhesive flow.

    It is also important to hold the adhesive can about six to eight inches away from the surfaces when spraying.

    Get too close and the adhesive may form small lumps or otherwise texturize. This texture will show through many headliner fabrics and become a part of the ceiling in your car, making your headliner replacement job look amateurish.

    Once the adhesive is applied, leave it sit for a few minutes to tack up.

    The exact amount of time will vary from one adhesive to another, so read the adhesive directions thoroughly and follow them.

    If you mate the two surfaces too soon, the adhesive will soak into and through your new headliner fabric causing unsightly discolorations.

    When you do mate the two surfaces, 3M recommends smoothing the fabric down from the middle and working your way out. This pushes out air bubbles and helps promote a smooth, tight fit.

    Need to do it over?
    Wait again after gluing down the new headliner material to allow the bond to stiffen, which could take up to 24 hours.

    If you try to reinstall the headliner too soon you risk shifting the material or creating bulges and bubbles in it.

    Like the discoloration that occurs when the glue isn’t allowed to tack up, these bubbles and wrinkles will be a permanent part of the headliner.

    When smoothing your new headliner over the headliner backing, be aware of the type of material you have chosen.

    If you are using another material with a foam rubber backing, be sure to smooth the fabric with the palm of your hand rather than your fingertips so you don’t leave divots in the headliner.

    If you take a little time and do the job right, you’ll get very professional results for very little money in your own garage.

    Get it wrong, however, and your new headliner will look almost as bad as your old one and soon be flapping in the breeze and hitting you in the head.

    The key is getting the best headliner adhesive and installing it right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  3. Illsley1983

    Illsley1983 Newbie

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    thanks oldblue for the procedure. Before I can tackle this though, I have to get the existing fabric off of the good headliner board I have found. There is no sag or anything on this board, so I am wondering how to remove it. I'm worried about damaging the fiberboard underneath.
     
  4. sewlow

    sewlow Bitchin' Stitchin'

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    Good info, there, Oldblue98.
    I have described this procedure many, many times on here, before. Didn't feel like doing it all again!
    I'd like to add a couple of things though, if you don't mind.
    GM used a couple of different substrates for the panel.
    One of them is a pressed fiber of some sort, over top of a cardboard base. Looks like compressed cotton-candy. That stuff doesn't take to having the old foam removed with a wire brush. I like an 80 grit sandpaper for use on a D/A sander folded over & stuck together in 1/2.
    Glue.
    For the one-time doing-it-at-home guy, use '3M Spray 90' (Best) or '3m Spray 76'. Not cheap, but it's THE stuff to use. Has an adjustable tip for low, medium & high which is also can be twisted around to any position to adjust the fan of the spray pattern
    Avoid 'Feather Spray'. (Yellow can, red writing) Damn stuff goes everywhere. Little strings of the crap floating through the air landing on anything & everything within a 30' radius. Has no respect for paint jobs.
    If using the proper H/L material, the stuff with the 1/8" foam bonded to it, spray a LIGHT coat onto that first, then let it dry. This will form a slight skin on that 1/8" foam & help to prevent any additional LIGHT coats from soaking through the foam.
    I don't know about doing 1/4 of the H/L at a time, though. I've always done one 1/2 at a time, then the other.
    When cutting the material, leave about 4-6" extra all the way around.
    The proper H/L fabric has a stretch to it. This can be utilized to prevent wrinkles by slightly pulling the material while holding it off of the panel, then following & smoothing with the free hand towards the hand pulling.
    The most common area for wrinkles to form is in the front corners, right by where the visors mount. Use the method described above, but any slight wrinkles (NOT folds!) will be hidden by the visors.
    DO NOT cut any holes for the visors, overhead lights &/or O/H consoles until the material is finished being attached to the base panel.
    Inside corners around the outside edges will need relief cuts in order for the fabric to lay flat when glued down to the backside. Cut the material towards the inside corner in a pie-cut. But...NOT all the way to the panel! Keep about 1/4"-1/2" away from the board. You can always cut closer into it more if required. If it's cut too close, the relief cuts will show when the material gets that final wrap around the edges.
    On the backside in places where there is too much fabric, pinch the excess together so they're held by the glue. Cut them off when all is done, close to the panel. Any bulk will affect how the panel will fit against the roof of the truck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  5. Oldblue98

    Oldblue98 Supporting Member

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    Mine was intact and holding in place and I changed mine just because it looked old and dirty. But once I got my board out and started pulling material away it comes off pretty easy. It is the foam and the glue that just needs to be scrubbed off, and don't let it spook you, it is not that bad of a job. And if you was to break a corner of board etc duct tape works as a good patch. I have done many of these myself when I had a small car lot I played with as a hobby. Most every car I got at auction had a sagging headliner or a filthy one in it. Main thing is when you get it worked out and on the board dont rush it putting it back up. Even on a headliner that is intact and holding, the sun and heat has
    deteriorated the foam enough that it pulls away from the board, unless it has been done recently of course !!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  6. Illsley1983

    Illsley1983 Newbie

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    Thanks so much for the info guys! I look forward to replacing my sagging old headliner once the weather warms up in these parts
     
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  7. mars2878

    mars2878 I'm Awesome

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    thanks for the info, i'll most likely be using it once I get around to locating a replacement headliner board for the crew cab
     
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  8. Big D

    Big D Atoadaso I f*kn Atoadaso

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  9. sewlow

    sewlow Bitchin' Stitchin'

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    Probably get away with one can but I'd like a second on hand just in case.
    No experience with the Permatex stuff.
    I've been using the 3M 90 & 76 for 40 years, now. It's always worked well for that job. Never had a comeback using them.
    Doing things 2x has never been a money-making proposition. Especially in a one-man operation. Lol!
     
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  10. Oldblue98

    Oldblue98 Supporting Member

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    I will say this: I used this stuff one time in a old Jeep Comanche pickup and it looked good through spring until the summer sun in Florida started beating down on it, and then it started letting go and come loose in places. I always say pay now or pay later. 3M has never given me trouble in the old cars I used it in.
     

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