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View Full Version : Headliner DIY?


merlin310
06-26-2009, 09:09 PM
Hey guys,

I was thinking about tackling the headliner, since it's sagging and looks horrible.. I have read plenty of DIY's on it, but has anybody done this. If so, how bad was it? Also, I need to redo the liner on the sunroof. That one seems like the worst part. Any info would help. Thanks.

bimmerbarbie
06-26-2009, 09:38 PM
Its super easy. Just unscrew everything holding it up: sun visors, oh-sh*t handles, etc. Take it down, pull off the old stuff, scrape off the old glue, spray on the good stuff, lay on the new fabric tightly, smooth it out, do the edges, and then do everything in reverse. The sunroof one, I can't help you with, but if its ok as it is, I wouldn't mess with it. You may need a friend to help, as it is much easier with an extra set of hands.

PhilipWOT
06-26-2009, 09:45 PM
I've done it. It sucked.

bimmerbarbie
06-26-2009, 09:50 PM
How did it suck? It was like the easiest thing I've done with this car. No joke.

PhilipWOT
06-26-2009, 09:52 PM
How did it suck? It was like the easiest thing I've done with this car. No joke.

Well I guess really thinking about it, the headliner itself wasn't a big deal but I did it with a sunroof cassette change all in one shot. The sunroof is something that I will not do again.

bimmerbarbie
06-26-2009, 09:58 PM
Well I guess really thinking about it, the headliner itself wasn't a big deal but I did it with a sunroof cassette change all in one shot. The sunroof is something that I will not do again.

Hence my saying not to do the sunroof part. I left mine cause it was fine, and it looks great. No way would I take on the sunroof. The door panels are already being a PITA, I don't need any more.

N:CR41G
06-26-2009, 10:19 PM
Its super easy. Just unscrew everything holding it up: sun visors, oh-sh*t handles, etc. Take it down, pull off the old stuff, scrape off the old glue, spray on the good stuff, lay on the new fabric tightly, smooth it out, do the edges, and then do everything in reverse. The sunroof one, I can't help you with, but if its ok as it is, I wouldn't mess with it. You may need a friend to help, as it is much easier with an extra set of hands.

Oh-Sh*t handles :rofl:

That's funny! :thumbup:

bimmerbarbie
06-26-2009, 10:30 PM
Isn't that what they're called? Either that or fat-people-shoe-horns, but thats really not PC. I apologize if that offended anyone.

merlin310
06-27-2009, 10:56 AM
Thanks guys and gals. I figured the headliner would be a PITA the first time, then pretty easy the next, just like anything else. I may do that, and have the sunroof portion done at a shop. It's pretty bad. Thanks for the insight, and loved the non PC comments Barbie. So sick of people worrying about if they should say this or that. Tell it like it is girl.

bimmerbarbie
06-27-2009, 12:30 PM
I'm not exactly good with fabric and projects like that, but it was waaaay easy. I think you may be psyching yourself up about it and then when you do it, you'll laugh and say "why did I ever worry?" Side note, I got my car from near Miami, FL. Are your B pillars extremely sticky? Its kind of like the material has turned into glue, and my theory has been that she sat in Florida sun... which would also account for the headliner being a large drape across the backseat, and all the door panels being floppier than a fish on land. I'm just wondering if this is unique to my car (like all the other insane possessed issues I've had with her) or if anyone has experienced it too.

BMWredneck
06-27-2009, 01:59 PM
does your door panels have the screws in just under the handle?

I have to be gentle with my drivers door cause i forgot the screws and i ripped the little plastic clip holders for the door off the fiber glass. It was a sad day sitting in the gas station with my door panel on the ground.

bimmerbarbie
06-27-2009, 04:30 PM
Yeah but the screws aren't what hold the panel on. There are three rows of clips, and a strip on the top by the window that hold them on. Try epoxy-ing the plastic cups back on, since you kinda need them to keep the panel on at the bottom. My drivers side panel is currently on my kitchen table. :D

bboyvek
06-27-2009, 05:26 PM
Yeah but the screws aren't what hold the panel on. There are three rows of clips, and a strip on the top by the window that hold them on. Try epoxy-ing the plastic cups back on, since you kinda need them to keep the panel on at the bottom. My drivers side panel is currently on my kitchen table. :D

:rofl::rofl:

Im seriously considering to mod my door panels to make them accept some 8" woofers, but i am afraid that they will end up being an essential part of my bedrooms deco :(

bimmerbarbie
06-27-2009, 05:33 PM
:rofl::rofl:

Im seriously considering to mod my door panels to make them accept some 8" woofers, but i am afraid that they will end up being an essential part of my bedrooms deco :(

Don't do it. They're evil. I promise you. This is by far the WORST project I have EVER done, and that includes the 30 second epoxy straight on my fingers incident. Yeah, its worse than that. On the good side of it, the reason the driver's one is on the table is cause it's actually almost done. I'm so proud of myself I'm contemplating getting a picture of it turned into a poster. Just dreading the pax side.... :(

merlin310
06-27-2009, 11:04 PM
I'm not exactly good with fabric and projects like that, but it was waaaay easy. I think you may be psyching yourself up about it and then when you do it, you'll laugh and say "why did I ever worry?" Side note, I got my car from near Miami, FL. Are your B pillars extremely sticky? Its kind of like the material has turned into glue, and my theory has been that she sat in Florida sun... which would also account for the headliner being a large drape across the backseat, and all the door panels being floppier than a fish on land. I'm just wondering if this is unique to my car (like all the other insane possessed issues I've had with her) or if anyone has experienced it too.

My B pillars aren't sticky, but the interior trim on the drivers side rattles in my ear and drives me nuts. I haven't been able to fix it. I know my car has been a Florida car its entire life, so the heat has taken its toll on things. Thanks for the info about the headliner. It sounds like it wont be too bad. Fortunately, I haven't had much trouble out of my door panels.

Jodogzzz
07-16-2009, 12:39 AM
Hi I just did my headliner and it was real easy. I found the exact match in color at a Arts & Crafts store and it was the real headliner material bought a 6x6 ft. peice for only $18.00 and two cans of spray adhisive for $16.00 total of $34.00 the interior shop gave me a price of $400.00 with out doing the sunroof cover. Make sure you use (Light or Mediume) spray adheicive so it won't bleed threw the liner. I only know that cause i made that mistake and had to do it over. Good luck just take your time and it will come out great.......Joe......(Sorry about the spelling spell check not working)

merlin310
07-16-2009, 08:26 AM
Thanks for that. I will check some arts & crafts places. That would be great to do it for such a low price. Did you do your sunroof cover also? Thanks for the info.

rede36_325i
07-16-2009, 08:39 AM
My B pillars aren't sticky, but the interior trim on the drivers side rattles in my ear and drives me nuts. I haven't been able to fix it. I know my car has been a Florida car its entire life, so the heat has taken its toll on things. Thanks for the info about the headliner. It sounds like it wont be too bad. Fortunately, I haven't had much trouble out of my door panels.

haha mine did that too when i was running just headers and the m3 track pipe. and it got so annoying. but then again alot rattles when your runnin just a track pipe

SurrealCC
07-17-2009, 10:35 AM
glad to know my car isnt the only one thats falling appart inside haha. My door panel on the driver side is completly missing the clip part all the way around, its only held on by 2 screws. I cant find any door panels!!!!!! my headliner is also falling in the back, and the pillars are sticky (actually a florida car also haha) and the sun roof fabric pissed me off, when it wouldnt let me open my sun roof so i just ripped it off and it bothers the FCUK outta me. Also seats and arm rest (only driver seat) I have also dont a couple head liners and had a couple issues. u need to make sure its tight. then you are trying to get it to stick good, get a paint roller (obviously with no paint) and roll it with a little amount of pressure over the headliner, and it will help ensure an uniform clean look.

Adam318is
07-17-2009, 12:42 PM
Am I the only E36 owner without the headliner problem? I looked at mine the other day and it's impeccable (knock on wood), unless the PO tackled that project before me, but I seriously doubt it.

And the door panels!!!!! ARGGGHHHH!! Absolutely despise E36 interior, hate it and swear at it every day, it's crap! My passenger door panel is in good condition as the door rarely gets used, except for that damned speaker O-ring that's half-broken. My driver's side one is absolutely f***ed and I don't know if I have the patience to deal with it. It stays on okay, it's just moderately loose and the epoxied rubber strip is in need of re-affixing.

bimmerbarbie
07-17-2009, 01:22 PM
^ Yep, the door panels really like to fall apart it seems. BUT, we are talking about 15+ year old cars... so its kind of a given that things like that will start to fail. If you plan on doing something about the panels, epoxy will be your best friend.

Adam318is
07-17-2009, 02:03 PM
So to fix that strip I guess I'd have to take the whole damned thing off, huh? Can't cheat a little and glue the top part?? :)

SlimKlim
07-17-2009, 05:43 PM
I'm doing mine soon in Alcantara. :bigpimp:

No car I own goes more than a week without getting some form of suede. :bigpimp::bigpimp:

bimmerbarbie
07-17-2009, 09:31 PM
So to fix that strip I guess I'd have to take the whole damned thing off, huh? Can't cheat a little and glue the top part?? :)

You can try doing it while its on the car, but it would probably work better to weigh it down as the glue is setting.

BMWredneck
07-18-2009, 04:59 PM
I tried the whole epoxy stuff on the door panels. And i wasnt cheap with it since i borrowed it from a friend that had some from gluing crap to airplanes.
About a week went by and everywhere the glue wasnt ripped off. I was livid. But now i just gently pull my door closed and get pissed at the same time. Im just gonna buy new door panels and be done with it, of them 2 screws that go in under the handle.
Yea, the screws dont hold the panel on, but they keep you from rippin the damned thing off when your closing the door. If i never touched my door it would be awesome. Maybe i should weld it shut and do the dukes of hazard theme. Not sure how well that would work out though.

bimmerbarbie
07-19-2009, 02:20 PM
^ Where did you try the epoxy? Its worked wonders for my door panels.....

BMWredneck
07-19-2009, 07:44 PM
i put it on the back of the strip that holds the plastic thingys, and then i put it all over the sides of it and stuff to make sure it had a good hold. but it just ripped off on the outside of where the double bubble was.

bimmerbarbie
07-19-2009, 08:39 PM
What is a double bubble....? I used epoxy on the strips that hold the clips to the panel (which I think is what you're talking about too) as well as on the cups along the bottom that also have clips. Its worked perfectly fine for me. Perhaps the aircraft grade that you used wasn't meant to bond these materials?

gc325is
08-07-2009, 01:52 PM
I glue the door panels back with Gorilla glue contact cement and Silicon RTV.

My windows fell down due to the plastic window clips problem and I needed to remove the door panels.
(So I have the window, door trim problem/ door pocket problem and bubble vinyl trim problem on the E36 oh and the headliner problem I came to read about).


I Fixed the windows. But found the inside door was basically all in pieces due to the glue deterioration. For those who have not removed the door panel this is the cause of the rattle and loose trim on the doors. Five plastic frames are glued to the door trim and hold the clips to the door. Two side frames can be Gorilla glued as with the two lower door pocket clips. Do not glue the top window clip. The side plastic clip frames and door pockets have too much gaps for anything else. Gorilla glue will expand a bit and ooze out so plan ahead. Don' t put too close to edges that might show. The glue dries rock hard and is not easy to remove. Before the Gorilla glue I used contact cement for any loose vinyl trim that was pealing off. Apply on both sides and let dry.... then press together, just like is says on the instructions. This is not for the bubble problem.

The interior trim panel that falls off was glued with Gorilla glue, but mine just fell off. If you have a delamination cause by a bubble you cant use this. (I have no fix for that except a new door panel. I am thinking of cutting out the bubble portion that will be covered with another trim and tack down the rest with contact cement).

Once the back side is dried and the front is fixed you are ready to reattach to the door. Except for the top trim by the window. I could not trust gluing that piece correctly to assure a proper fit to the door. There is little room for error and Gorilla glue dries too hard, epoxy cracks after a while so I tried silicon RTV. But here is the trick Put the window clip on the door apply the RTV then put the panel on. The clip is positioned in the right spot the glue fills in any gaps and when dies hold firmly. Use tape until dry if you have a large gap and need to apply pressure.

So the drivers door is fixed the passenger door is awaiting a bubble trim repair and oh yea my headliner problem (sorry for the diversion).

Everyone says buy fabric for the headliner problem but don't you need a stretch fabric with foam backing to conform to the curves and hide imperfections? Or does regular cloth type work?

bimmerbarbie
08-07-2009, 02:16 PM
I glue the door panels back with Gorilla glue contact cement and Silicon RTV.

My windows fell down due to the plastic window clips problem and I needed to remove the door panels.
(So I have the window, door trim problem/ door pocket problem and bubble vinyl trim problem on the E36 oh and the headliner problem I came to read about).


I Fixed the windows. But found the inside door was basically all in pieces due to the glue deterioration. For those who have not removed the door panel this is the cause of the rattle and loose trim on the doors. Five plastic frames are glued to the door trim and hold the clips to the door. Two side frames can be Gorilla glued as with the two lower door pocket clips. Do not glue the top window clip. The side plastic clip frames and door pockets have too much gaps for anything else. Gorilla glue will expand a bit and ooze out so plan ahead. Don' t put too close to edges that might show. The glue dries rock hard and is not easy to remove. Before the Gorilla glue I used contact cement for any loose vinyl trim that was pealing off. Apply on both sides and let dry.... then press together, just like is says on the instructions. This is not for the bubble problem.

The interior trim panel that falls off was glued with Gorilla glue, but mine just fell off. If you have a delamination cause by a bubble you cant use this. (I have no fix for that except a new door panel. I am thinking of cutting out the bubble portion that will be covered with another trim and tack down the rest with contact cement).

Once the back side is dried and the front is fixed you are ready to reattach to the door. Except for the top trim by the window. I could not trust gluing that piece correctly to assure a proper fit to the door. There is little room for error and Gorilla glue dries too hard, epoxy cracks after a while so I tried silicon RTV. But here is the trick Put the window clip on the door apply the RTV then put the panel on. The clip is positioned in the right spot the glue fills in any gaps and when dies hold firmly. Use tape until dry if you have a large gap and need to apply pressure.

So the drivers door is fixed the passenger door is awaiting a bubble trim repair and oh yea my headliner problem (sorry for the diversion).

Everyone says buy fabric for the headliner problem but don't you need a stretch fabric with foam backing to conform to the curves and hide imperfections? Or does regular cloth type work?

What do you mean, don't glue the top window strip? When I took my door panels off all of the strips holding the clips stayed attached to the door, including that strip. I epoxied them back to the door panel following the obvious lines where they were originally attached. The top strip is exceedingly simple, it lines up with where the edge goes in to accomodate for the inside of the mirror. Just look at the door and where the clips need to be aimed and go from there. A little logic and observation go a long way. I didn't have any trouble with it.... And the Gorilla glue that I used didn't bond properly, so epoxy was my choice. I've never had problems with it in an application that doesn't put high stress on it. My panels went back on perfectly using the method I did to reglue the clip portions... Everything lined up exactly right. Including the top window clips.

Regular fabric will work just fine as long as it isn't so thin that the glue bleeds through it. The key to a smooth surface is properly cleaning the headliner of old glue and even glue application. Keep the fabric taught as you lay it on to avoid wrinkles, then smooth out in the curves. With the headliner there isn't really a need to "stretch" the fabric like you have to for the doors.

TnT817
08-07-2009, 04:28 PM
Do you have to have the foam backed fabric? I took mine out today and have everything prepped, but im just curious on what kind of fabric I should get.

bimmerbarbie
08-07-2009, 05:01 PM
Do you have to have the foam backed fabric? I took mine out today and have everything prepped, but im just curious on what kind of fabric I should get.

No, you don't have to have foam backed.