Headliner refinish?

GRWeldon

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So I pulled the headliner from one of my 96 parts cars in hopes of recovering and replacing my DD headliner. I was expecting to pull out a formed plastic or fiberglass or fiberboard or cardboard. Instead, it's all just a fiber matt with the crumbly foam/fabric shit on it.

I was thinking I could just remove the crumbly stuff an recover it with headliner fabric. It appears that if I try to remove anything I'm going to destroy it. I know I'm not the first one to do this. Could some of you who have experienced this issue please chime in?
 

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I did just that. I used a wire brush to gently remove all the old foam. Spray glue on it, put on the new cloth. Easy peasy. Just don't let it get folded in half. I bought sticky stuff from the people I bought the headlner material from. It's guaranteed to not let go in the heat. 3m 77 does let go, so don't use that.

This is where I bought my stuff.
 
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I used a plastic brush. It just takes time. You just brush it until all the crap is gone.

I have a friend who worked for years at an upholstery shop teach me. Brush all the junk off. We spray glue on like 14" of the backer. Then also spray the same amount of the new material. Let it sit for a couple minutes till the glue starts to get tacky. Then slowly press the material to the backer. Use your hands to carefully smooth it out. Try to avoid making wrinkles or bubbles. Then continue the process a section at a time. Also don't press the material so hard that you stretch it out. It's worth nothing that in a pro shop they mix their own glue and spray it from a gun. So that goes much quicker. The aerosol glue sprays a smaller pattern, and comes out cold. That's part of why you want it to sit for a few minutes.
 
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Thanks guys. I started fooling with it and I see that it IS some sort of molded pan. My edges have opened up from what I imagine is was originally. I think I will brush on some thinned shellac to get them a bit stiffer. They are almost like thin fiberglass insulation instead of tightly bonded together.
 

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After mine got folded, I glued two tihn strips of basswood to it, to keep it stiff. I'm still trying to reassemble the visors, lol. I may just get a good set from a Mark.
 
There is a place in Knoxville that does my headliners. Not sure what part of Alabama you are in, but they do great work and are worth the drive if you decide you don't want to DIY it.
 
There is a place in Knoxville that does my headliners. Not sure what part of Alabama you are in, but they do great work and are worth the drive if you decide you don't want to DIY it.
Thanks for the tip. I'm about 6 hours from Knoxville. Much of the reason I do things myself is because I can't afford to pay somebody else. There is also the satisfaction I get from seeing the finished product. I have at least two more to do so if the first one comes out crappy, I may reconsider!

There certainty is value in having your stuff done by people who do it frequently. I have always improved with practice on anything I've chosen to pursue. If you have ever tried to cover a delicate balsa airplane frame with tissue paper and lacquer then you know exactly what I mean!

I'm going to give it a try, I hope I'm pleased with the results.
 
...Just don't let it get folded in half...
You are talking about the headliner backing...the fiber matt? I was able to get mine out flat but I have heard others say that you can fold them. Thanks for setting me straight...
 
This is where I bought my stuff.

What color headliner were you doing and which fabric did you get. Mine is gray and I'd like it to match the OEM as best as possible...

Also Grog, all of the gray fabric I looked at from this place has 3/16" of foam. I'm not sure, but wasn't the OEM fabric about 1/8" of foam? Seems like 3/16" would be more difficult to install?
 
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What color headliner were you doing and which fabric did you get. Mine is gray and I'd like it to match the OEM as best as possible...

The grey headliner fabric at Joanne is actually a pretty dead on match to the factory grey. Ford themselves didn’t necessarily put too much effort into the color match, it’s much lighter than the pillar plastics
 
Even though the edges of your backer board are separating you will be folding the excess material over the edge and gluing it down. That will help the edges.
 
I've used Joanne Fabrics Headliner material several times. Not sure of the thickness but it has never been a problem to install.
 
That's a nice job. I've watched a few videos. I don't think it's going to be a big deal for me, especially since I have one from a parts car that I can have ready to go back in when I take one out...
 
I've used Joanne Fabrics Headliner material several times. Not sure of the thickness but it has never been a problem to install.
I've just looked at 3 or 4 suppliers. They all seem to be 3/16 thick. There is a Joanne's about 30 miles from me and it's in a high-end shopping center. They want twice as much for the fabric as the place Grog mentioned. It seems that there are quite a few different gray colors. I'm just going to guess from the colors on the screen, which certainly won't be accurate...

I ordered 5 yards of fabric...hopefully enough to get 2 headliners done. I got one can of adhesive. UPS ground shipping was $47.37 for $68.25 worth of product. That is ridiculous and I've started to notice that trend with many of my online purchases. This inflationary pricing is well on it's way to killing the economy and the buying power of the US dollar. I guess this gripe is for another forum. I could have explored other options but I suppose I'm lazy and I want to get is done as soon as possible. I suppose I'm part of the problem...
 
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It seems that there are quite a few different gray colors. I'm just going to guess from the colors on the screen, which certainly won't be accurate...
I ordered gray swatches from several sellers, and most had a tint of some kind. Either blue, green or tan. There was only one that was a neutral gray, a bit too light but the color works. The Joann gray is nearly perfect, it matches the interior plastics better than the original.
 

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