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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I've looked around. I've tried buying the retrofit kit, but it is no longer available.

I know people say that if your car did not come with a headliner, you cannot just install the replacement part - you need the retrofitting kit. my question is: why not? Is all you need some bolts or rivets, or are the two headliners (factory and retrofit) physically different?

Has anyone attempted putting a headliner made for newer Z3's in an older one? Mine is 03/99, power top, no factory headliner AFAIK - I bought it used.

I've heard some people say headliners came standard "starting in 99", and other places say 04/99. Lucky me.
 

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I've only installed the retrofit liner. I'm guessing that removal of the canvas is required for a non-retrofit liner. The retrofit liner has certain short cuts built into it. So, expect to remove parts of the canvas to get the liner installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How do you like the retrofit liner? Does it really improve noise / heat / cold insulation? Does the top have any additional trouble when being retracted? I don't have any first-hand experience with Z3 headliners, so I'm trying to gather as much info as possible before spending $$. I'm assuming it looks much better with a headliner.
 

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I have also been contemplating this (I have a 98) and have gotten the same responses from various companies that sell the liner-"won't fit pre-99 models".

I looked at the pdf install instructions and I cannot see why it would be a problem to fit the liner. Basically you slide the front (have what I assume is 3m sticky stuff) tabs under the leading edge plastic, remove the plastic retainers over hoops A & B and install liner, rivet liner to hoop C, a couple of straps over and behind the doors and your done.

The above description is for the factory liner. I don't know if it applies to the aftermarket ones as well. Monolith, what is your experience and how is your liner?
 

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Trying to retro fit a later top on my 98 m

I recently found a 99' complete top which I picked up. There are a few things that I noticed right away when removing the headliner:

There are no holes stamped or drilled in the forward most top segment to receive the "tensioner" string. I'm thinking I might be able to swap those with my 98' parts.

On the last bow which the headliner via 5 pressed in plastic compression plugs, I will need drill holes into the 98' bow. The plastic bow clasp is also riveted to that last bow.

There are rectangular topping plates on each side where the headliner is attached to the top, which are also held in by rivets. This means that the 98 will have to have holes drilled in the same spot on the top segment as the 99'>.

What I have done so far was to remove the headliner starting from the rear (the c pillar rivets).
I then moved up to the last bow pulling the headliner off of the last bow.
Next was the tensioning hardware on the first segment of the top (you need to peel back the gasket on that segment to access the screw for the floating carrier).

Lastly; I'm only partially done peeling back the canvas off of the front locking bow. There is a finishing strip on the locking bow held on with 8 philips head screws which needs to come off.
The first segment has locking plates which act to hold in place the corners of the canvas top. Use the correct size torx driver to remove the plate. Now it's possible to peel the corners off, and peel back the canvas off of the locking bow. And of course the plastic tongue which keeps the headliner attached to the locking bow is held on by more rivets.

Next: I will try to swap out the first segments of the top, and see if it's possible to drill holes for the C pillar hold downs.

Please do share whatever tips you may have to offer up :) thanks
 
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