Fixing Headliner

On most old cars, the headliner tends to fall off the ceiling. Our Zs aren't an exception, especially with the T-tops out and driving at fast speeds. Headliner in 300ZX has a foam padding and is glued to the cardboard base. With age, the foam deteriorates leading to the headliner falling. There is a simple fix to that problem. However, there are two ways to go about it. Either re-glue old headliner back in place or replace it with new fabric, but in both cases you have to take cardboard base out of the car.

Materials and tools

  1. Glue. Basically any spray adhesive glue of your choice. People had good results with 3M aerosol contact cement.
  2. Philips screw driver.
  3. If you're replacing headliner with new fabric, you'll need to buy it. Recommendations are : upholstery grade Velor, or any fabric of your choice close in color to your interior.
  4. Someting to scrape off old foam with - I used a big kitchen knife with wide blade.
  5. Regular office stapler.

Procedure

  1. Unscrew sun visors. There are two screws holding plastic base in the corner by the pilar, and one screw holding plastic snap-in hook.
  2. Unscrew rear view mirror, one screw to take the mirror down, and three more screws holding the mirror base.
  3. Take the dome light down. White plastic cover is snap on, so just pull it down. There are two smaller screws in the corners of the light holding it to the cardboard, unscrew them and unplug the light. There is one big screw in the middle which holds cardboard to the ceiling of the car.
  4. Unscrew hooks on the side pilars behind the seats.
  5. Pull trim off the front pilar, it's just a snap on, so pull toward the middle of the car and it should come off pretty easy.
  6. Once you do that there will be one screw on each side of the car holding T-tops trim in place, unscrew them, and pull T-tops trim off.
  7. Now there are four screws holding cardboard in place, two in each T-tops opening, one in the front and one in the back, unscrew them.
  8. Now open the hatch, go to the back of the car, and pull back a piece of trim that runs across the car at the top edge of the hatch opening. You'll need to slightly pull down top edges of rear quarter trim and that piece will slide right back.
  9. Now go back inside the car, pull cardboard a little bit down, so that you can slide your hand between it and ceiling around map lights. Push tacks with your fingers and pull that light down. It's a snap on, but I found it difficult to just pull it down, so I used my hand to unhook the tacks.
  10. If you have auto climate control, remove the little fan as well.
  11. Pull cardboard back until it comes out of the piece of trim by the top edge of the windshield, then pull it down and forward. If everything went ok, it should be out of the car now.
  12. Pull old headliner off. If you re-glueing it back, you might consider doing what I did. In the holes for lights (and possibly fan) there are little metal frames which hold headliner, so I didn't remove them, and kept headliner attached in those two spots, which helped me to line it back in place.
  13. Scrape all foam off. Do a good clean job (if you leave some on, it'll fail again and your headliner will fall off).
  14. Follow instructions for the glue you're using to re-glue headliner or new fabric in place.
  15. If you're using old headliner, you might want to staple its edge to cardboard around perimeter, regular office stapler works great. If you're using new fabric, I'd leave some slack around the edge and wrap it around cardboard, to prevent it from starting flapping in the wind.
  16. Once glue is dry, put it all back together reversing steps 11 to 1.

PS

If you get some glue on headliner, as I did, Prestone automotive carpet and upholstery cleaner works very well.

Credits

I would like to thank everybody who posted any suggestions about fixing head liner on The Z Board . A lso I would like to give special thank you to David .

By Dmitri Zorine



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