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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:56 pm 
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Location: DevonShire
Car Model: Subaru Legacy GT Twin-scroll
(sorry, this is long!!!! 2034 words to be exact!)


As some of you may know my C900 came to me with a bare inside roof - the previous owner had decided the best way to deal with the saggy liner was to remove it entirely!! :evil:

Well 6 months later I have finally got around sourcing, covering, and installing a headlining for my '88 3 door 900, phew!!

I thought it might be helpful for others intending to carry out replacement of the headlining if I posted some pictures and tips of my experience, so here it is - I hope others find this useful.

Firstly - the materials. The actual headlining backing, or card frame that fits to the rood was missing from my car, so I had to source a suitable replacement - thanks to SuperNev! for supplying that!

Next I had to find the lining material, which I eventually got from Woolies (thanks BillJ). The one I got was

285 in Empire Grey (very light grey) ........................ only £6.50 Per mtr

I got 3.75 mtrs and 2x cans of high temperature spray adhesive. Which all came to just over £50 including P&P, and which was very swiftly despatched! According to woolies they regularly supply saab owners with 3 mtrs and two cans of spray, so 3m should be enough for most saabs but I got a bit extra as I wanted to cover the door card inserts too, and I have a sunroof and I didn't want to be caught short (Oy, watch it!! ;) ). It turns out I didn't have enough to do the sunroof in the end (would have if I had cut it better but didn't want to risk it!!) so I did the back parcel shelf in two sections instead.

PFS also do headliner kits in various colours but they work out a bit more expensive than the woolies kit, which I am totally happy with.

Once you have all the kit the fun begins!! I started on a Saturday morning and got the backing card cleaned up and repaired, and the pillar covers covered on saturday. then I covered the main card on Sunday and fitted it all. I still have the sunroof to attend to however. So you will need to set a weekend aside if you want to do it all in one go, though it could possibly be done in one day.... :?

Also you will need plenty of space to lay out the material. Ventilation is crucial as the fumes from the glue are nasty - and a mask would be a good idea too.

I actually started with the door card inserts, and then the rear pillar covers to get a feel for the process before taking on the BIG BIT!!

(PLEASE CLICK THE THUMBNAILS FOR A LARGER IMAGE)

the lighter one is the new material
Image Image



The first step is to clean off all the old foam and material from the backing. A wire brush and lots of patience will help here. Also I found an old toothbrush was very useful in those hard to reach areas. If you have one with a "tonge brush" on the back that is even handier! It will pay off to be really thorough at this stage as any old materials will impede adhesion later, and thus your good lady will be sagging again sooner than you would like :lol: . If you're going to do this, you may as well do it well and do it once!!
Image Image

Next, roll out some headliner material on the floor and place the backing on top. Carefully mark the size out, remembering to leave extra for the curvy bits - and then cut a rough bit off. I marked one edge of the material where it was to stick to the pillar card and stuck that bit first, before gradually and carefully moving across. Always start by gluing the straightest side first otherwise it is very difficult to get it lined up.

Remember to put some newspaper underneath and be careful not to stick the material or backing to it! spray the glue into both the material and the backing card and wait for at at least 20 seconds to let the glue get tacky before you try to stick it down. Ignore this at your peril - if you try to stick while the glue is still wet it will not take, and letting it dry after you have tried to early doesn't really work! Also be careful that when you spray onto the surfaces that none of the glue is falling back onto the outside of the material, as it is very difficult to get off, as I found out! If this does happen, wait until the glue is dry before trying to remove it.
Image Image

Leave an inch or so of excess material to fold around each edge of the backing, and once it is all stuck firmly in place you can cut the holes for the seatbelts/handles etc.

Once you are happy with covering the smaller pieces it's time to do the main roof section. Make sure you have plenty of time as it's best to do it in one go. Also make sure it is will lit so you can see what you are doing easily.

Image

Unfortunately I stupidly left my backing card in the barn for too long and it got a bit soggy, and split in a couple of places.
Image

I fixed it by gluing some strips of cotton ribbon over the splits on both sides, which turned out to be a very strong and simple solution. It is very important that you fix any splits and let them dry before you stick the material on, as it won't be strong enough if it's not in one piece, especially when it comes time to put it back in the car!!
Image Image Image Image

Once the backing is ready, lay out the material on the floor next to the backing and make sure it is long enough!! then carefully and evenly roll the material back onto the cardboard tube. Make sure that the edge you start with is straight and at right angles to the longer (rolled up) side of the material. If you stick it on wonky - well obviously it will roll out a-skew and won't line up!!
Image

I started at the back (the bit which will be at the back of the car) and worked my way slowly forward in stages. Start by having the backing card upside down, with the material roll on top of it and glue just a little bit to the inside back edge of the backing (the part that will be touching the actual roof of the car, and not visible). then turn the backing over, being careful not to let the roll pull the material off.

The next thing is to carefully move forward, spraying small sections of card with the glue, and the the material (don't forget to wait a bit for it to get tacky!!) and carefully laying it down, being sure to firmly, but carefully smooth it down with the back of your hand. Try too keep your hands as glue-free as possible or they will stick to the material! :evil:

Image

be especially careful that on this first section you stretch out enough material to fill the bulge and spray on enough glue to make sure it will hold fast, as this seems to be the part most prone to sagging. Go slowly, if you stick it down with creases or not enough slack it is difficult to go back, and if you do it won't hold as well.
Image

keep going slowly up the backing, being sure to smooth firmly into any contours and keep the overhanging edges straight. If you have a sunroof, forget that for now and just go straight over it - you wily cut the hole for it later.
Image Image Image Image

Also be aware of where you point the glue cans as it is all to easy to squirt it over the the top of the foam side of material roll and onto the facing side!! again, if this does happen, deal with it later once it's dry, as trting to rub it off now will just make a mess! (as you have no doubt guessed I found out the hard way!)
Image

Once the backing is covered go back around the edges and make sure they are all stuck down well, check for any bubbles and carefully peel back a bit and re-glue any problem areas (leave extra time to dry, blowing can help to speed it up). Then turn the whole thing over or stand it up and lean it against a wall and glue the excess material to the "back" of the backing. Be sure to pull this excess fairly tight before you press it down for a neat look from inside the car, and again, be aware of where all that excess glue spray is going!!
Image

Nextly, it is time to sit down with a cup of tea and pat yourself on the back! and then you will be ready to put the newly covered headlining into the car (unless you have a sunroof, in which case you will have to work out how to cover that bit. I have left mine as if there is none for now, as I ran out of material. I will add to the post once I have sussed and covered that later).

Don't forget to have breakfast before you start and regular meals thereafter. I started at about 9 am on a Sunday (had already covered the door cards and the pillar covers the day before) and finished at about 3.30 pm. after which I had breakfast :shock: this was my biggest mistake in the whole process!

Anyway, to get the headlining into the car you will need to open the hatch (god help you if you are doing a saloon - i've not tried it but I hear it's a PITA) and then remove all the handles, the sun vizors, the rear view mirror and light, and the rear seatbelt supports and window clasps. of course you will have done this already if you had the headliner in the car in the first place!!!! :lol:

Slide the headlining in from the back (play about with the angle, it only just fits!) and carefully push it farward.
Image

something in the boot to support the back is a good idea, the front can rest on the front seats which you may want to fold forward. The hardest part now is getting it "up and in" without damaging it. and lining up the handles and sin vizors. I put the rear pillar sections in last but you may find it easier the other way around - either way it will be fiddly.
Image Image

Finally, Be carefull not to push too hard with your fingers on the material as it will "bruise" easily and look a bit pants if it's got pits from you finger prints all over it...
Image Image

Oh, and don't forget to wire up the interior lights before it is finally in place!
Image.



Ce fin!!!

It is very satisfying after all that work to sit in the car and look up to see a clean, neat bright roof, rather than a saggy, foamy mess, or the black metal and wirey sight that was in my car. Also as I had none in before, it is now much quieter in the cabin, and it warms up quicker and holds the heat better. Also visibility in the cabin is better in dark conditions, as I now have an extra light!!

If you are planing to do your headlining I hope you will find this helpful, and you might also want to check out this tutorial. It's best to read through both once before you start.

best of luck!

arum

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Last edited by arumdevil on Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:25 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 4:02 pm 
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Excellent report :D ! Can this be made a sticky ?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:23 pm 
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Boss job, and well presented, well done that man!

:D


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:20 pm 
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Great stuff, Arum 8)
I'll follow this when I do the headlining on the 90, which is a saloon :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:55 pm 
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thanks very much, Arum. well impressed with that 8)
think Woolies are going to see a sudden surge in demand for fabric now :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:06 pm 
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BillJ wrote:
Great stuff, Arum 8)
I'll follow this when I do the headlining on the 90, which is a saloon :roll:


yes, I'm afraid I had you in mind when I mentioned that, good luck!!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:00 am 
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arumdevil wrote:
yes, I'm afraid I had you in mind when I mentioned that, good luck!!

Don't worry, mate. I'm told the two-door isn't too bad on account of the large doors. It's the four-door that is a pain, apparently, and I believe the front or rear screen needs to come out.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:39 am 
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I did replaced the headliner on my 99T, it will go in the 2dr body okay if you are careful, from memory I took out the passengers seat and got the HL in that way. My 2dr c900's is starting to go so doing that will be on the cards at some poiint.
I remember reading on one US site where a trimmer was in fact cutting and hinging 4 door healiners so that they could be fitted without screen removal. It looked a very tidy job and may be the answer for some 4dr owners.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:14 am 
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There is a very useful Adhesive remover that can be bought from your friendly hardware store... I did my Jags lining in one morning before needing the car to go out to lunch (good plan...not) and it is the same as the Saabs essentially, just with lots more really stupid clips that don't line up grrrrrr...

Anyway needless to say I ended up with glue all over the wrong side but the adhesive remover did a top job! Don't be tempted to use it on paintwork though.... :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:11 pm 
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I done my last 900T 2Door the headlining WILL come out of the boot with patience and a second pair of hands, it will require a little arching across its width but you will discover its pretty self explanatory if you lie on your back in the bootspace and look up/along the space HTH :? [/b]

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:11 pm 
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Great thread, Arum. Hopefully you'll inspire me to get going on mine; the headlining in our LPG900 is gettign worse and worse, and I have a spare shell (and the 3/4 panels) cluttering up the house ...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:23 pm 
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Had a quick read and noticed you bought over 3m in lengh (I presume it's length)

Would a peice of fabric sized at 8' x 5' (2400mm x 1500mm) be large enough to cover the headliner?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:06 pm 
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I can't say for sure Si, but I did the door cards with that 3m piece and had enough left over to cover *most of the parcel shelf... so I would think it will probably be enough. Do you have a sunroof though? if so you need to add this on as you can't simply use the bit you cut out of the main section to cover the actual sunroof section as it needs to overlap and wrap around the edges.

Sorry I can't be any more helpful than that!

a

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:10 pm 
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You make it look so easy! My C900 T16 on a G plate is just starting in the back corners. Very light sagging from each corner, i was thinking any chance i can stop it in the early stages?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:49 pm 
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Always an interesting topic.

I replaced the headliner in my previous car ('88 8v 900i 3dr).

Carefully is better than quickly.

If you think that it would be easier not to bother with a foam backing - it is. But you will soon wish you had (road noise, roof 'drumming', tendency to damp).

Good point about smoothing with the back of the hand and being careful of indentations. Bookbinders use a tool called a 'bone folder' (once upon a time they were made from dog bone). Smoothing and binding are exactly what they are for. Any good craft shop.

The cup of tea will be well deserved, I think I'll be off down the scrappies to see if I can recycle me a headliner instead.

Regards,

Jim

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:41 am 
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Excellent guide :D

OK I'm finally about to do mine after a year of thinking about it. :roll:

Got the materials, AND the time. However, did you ever do the sunroof? I can't see how it's done without completely removing the sunroof including mechanism. :shock: :shock: This makes me really nervous, as it looks heavy and it's likely to only be me getting it out and more importantly back in!

Anyone got any tips? Can the sunroof be removed or worked on without completely removing the whole mechanism?

Cheers


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:43 am 
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apart from it sagging a bit at the back as mentioned above (use more glue on that bit!!!) it's still up and is fine. :D

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Last edited by arumdevil on Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:38 am 
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arumdevil wrote:
I never finished the sunroof properly, but I did cut a hole for it recently. I believe to cover the retractable part you will need to remove the whole mechanism, perhaps someone else can confirm? Nev?

just be careful when you cut the hole in the main section - be sure to leave plenty of excess as it needs to extend up to the rubber seal in the roof and not simply wrap over the backing as the outside edges do. I learnt this the hard way!!!
:evil:


Me too :twisted: Very frustrating, I had to cut out and glue an extra piece of material to make up for this mistake.
To top it all off, whilst I was sat looking up swearing at myself for being so stupid a passing bird scored a direct hit through the open sunroof :!:

The sunroof itself isn't that tricky if you follow the instructions in the link Arum provided. I would also recommend giving the mechansim and aperture a good clean before you put it all back together.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:47 am 
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baronbradders wrote:
To top it all off, whilst I was sat looking up swearing at myself for being so stupid a passing bird scored a direct hit through the open sunroof :!:


Cheeky b*****d!!! it wasn't a seagul was it? cos if it was......... :x I was driving around with the sunroof open a few weeks ago and when I got home and parked up I found a big, wet, white bird poo on my coat which was lying on the back seat. I swear they did it on purpose :evil: :lol:

Well it's nice to know I'm not the only one out there stupid enough to make this mistake on the sunroof ;) mine is still bare black metal though :roll:
I provided a link did I? Oh yes, so I did, I remember now. And looking at that guide again I remember reading it and thinking "right, I must be careful not to mess up the sunroof section", but of course by the time I got around to doing it I had forgotten everything :cry:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Hi,

Can we have a report on how the headlining is?

Is it still up and can you tell me what manufacture of adhesive you used?

Regards
Graham


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