How to fix a car headliner
Is your car or truck’s headliner looking sad? Does it sag or hang? Is it ugly and annoying? Well, I am a professional car restoration expert and I am going to tell you exactly how we fix all sorts of automotive headliners in our shop. It isn’t that hard to do and, depending upon the type of repair, could take minutes to do.
First, look at your headliner. Is it need of complete replacement or is the problem just a area or two where it has com unattached or unglued on the sides or front? If the latter is the case then the repair is rather simple. You only need to buy a can of spray adhesive at Napa or Autozone for $3 to $6 and follow the directions on the can.
You lift back the sagging area, spray with the adhesive and then reapply. If you are using a specialy made automotive adhesive (which I recommend) then the headliner will stay in place and the repair will last for quite some time. Be sure and do this outside and have the windows rolled down. The automotive adhesive sprays that I have seen all contain some pretty noxious chemicals that are really bad to breath in.
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If your headliner is in worse shape then you need to consider a replacement instead. Now it depends on you and what kind of car you are your driving. My clients all drive cars that need to be restored to new condition or better so we always cut and create our own fabric for headliners.
But you do not have to do this. If you are driving an older model car and don’t need a brand new replacement you can easily get a headliner from a similar model car at a salvage yard. If you can’t find one then you will have to replace the material. The way this works is you strip off the hanging headliner material as it can easily get in the way.
Next you remove any lights (dome lights, etc…) that are embedded in the headliner. Then remove the underlying board (this gives the headliner its nice smooth shape). with the headliner board removed from the car start to scrape off the left over glue and fabric. If the board is in rough shape then you will need to get a new board. I suggest you order one as making one, depending upon the make of car can be difficult.
Then take the measurements of the board and go to a fabric store. Almost every fabric store has material just like that in car headliners. It is quite cheap. Get a little more then the size of your headliner board to allow for stretching and gluing to the backside for a better bond and better appearance.
Then cut it to fit and using automotive adhesive or specialty adhesives or glues bond the headliner to the board. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Then replace the headliner in your car. Be sure and get someone to help as it is usually harder to put the headliner back in rather then removing it.
Then replace all the lights and other similar parts you have removes and you are done. You can also use different materials for your headliner. Lots of Rap Stars and rock stars that I have restored cars for like to change up the materials in their cars and especially their headliner.
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