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Headliner Restore

Posted by SpankyStokes, Nov 29, 2020

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  1. SpankyStokes

    SpankyStokes Proven Member

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    San Antonio, Texas
    Ok I’m in the process of freshening up my headliner. I scraped off all the old foam from it down to the fiberglass sheet section and now is extremely flimsy to apply the new foam with fabric.
    Anyone know what I can use to strengthen it so it can hold its form while it lays out to put the new fabric?
     

    Street Build 373  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  2. Dreams Realized

    Dreams Realized Proven Member

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    Seattle, Washington
    Is the fabric foam backed? Confused by your wording. I put mine up on a bench and very carefully test fitted the fabric cut it out with about 6" of extra fabric on the sides then used 3M spray adhesive and some nitrile gloves and a squeegee and very carefully worked out all the airbubbles with squeegee and my hands.

    I used tacks to hold fabric to some of the weird shapes like the sun visor area to make sure it didn't lift while the glue set.
     

    Street Build 1K  4

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  3. SpankyStokes

    SpankyStokes Proven Member

    73
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    Joined Oct 15, 2019
    San Antonio, Texas
    Yes my new fabric is foam padded. I removed the old hardened foam and now my headliner is extremely flimsy.
     

    Street Build 373  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  4. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

    7,084
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    Independence, Kansas
    @Widgmaster , your expertise is needed here please and thank you..
    Our interior guru should give you some advice here.
    Thanks L..:thumb:
     

    Street Build 5K  31

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    14.74 @ 117.04 · 1G DSM

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  5. Dreams Realized

    Dreams Realized Proven Member

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    Seattle, Washington
    Yeah I was thinking about him too beat me to the punch haha

    That's as far as my expertise goes my headliner kept shape save one of the corners in the rear. But that mistake is now covered by a rubber weather seal so noone will ever know
     

    Street Build 1K  4

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  6. SpankyStokes

    SpankyStokes Proven Member

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    San Antonio, Texas
    I’m assuming you didn’t remove the old foam when you did yours?
    I didn’t expect the headliner to be that paper thin without the original hardened foam.
    If I hold it upright it holds it’s shape. I’m thinking about hanging it and putting a layer of epoxy or something I can spread and dry to give it some rigidity.
     

    Street Build 373  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  7. Dreams Realized

    Dreams Realized Proven Member

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    Seattle, Washington
    I scraped the orange crusty stuff off the fiberglass shell. I assume that was the old headliner fabric backing foam. I get now that we were talking about different foams... So now I really can't help and I will delegate this to the interiors expert
     

    Street Build 1K  4

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  8. SpankyStokes

    SpankyStokes Proven Member

    73
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    Joined Oct 15, 2019
    San Antonio, Texas
    Thank you for the responses. I’m thinking about gluing cardboard on the side that sees the roof for rigidity. You did remove the orange foam. I’m assuming now because mine is sunroofless I’m having a different issue than most. Maybe yours is just more solid from the factory.
     

    Street Build 373  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  9. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

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    wampum, Pennsylvania
    Maybe use some fiberglass resin on the backside of it to stiffen it up.
     

    Drag Race Build 4K  10  24

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  10. spyderdrifter

    spyderdrifter Freelancer

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    Some where, Colorado
    ^^^ This is what I was thinking as well. I recovered the one in my old talon and never had a problem with it being weaker. But as it is fiberglass (of sorts), adding more to it will definitely stiffen it up.
     

    2K  2

    1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

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  11. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Sarnia, ON, Canada
    In all my years of doing headliners I have never heard of the liner being to thin after material removal .Headliner material is always foam back 1/8 - 1/4 or 1/2 foam ... But if it is to thin I just use paper ... Get some 3M spray foam ... old newspaper will work.. on the backside of the liner .. not the material side.. spray the liner and the paper and start applying . This should stiffen it up enough .Cut small pieces so you can work with it easier ... I have added a video of a guy doing a headliner ( ignore the part where he rubs the liner with a towel and you don`t need the weight either ) Get one of those disposable drop sheets at your local paint store . . Lay your material out just like he does in the video.. NOW..... use the drop sheet and cover two thirds of the headliner to protect from over spray .. fold the material back 1/3rd and it should lay out on the plastic ... spray both the material and the liner board.. wait a bit and then very carefully apply the foam backed material with soft gentle strokes .. when that`s done move the drop sheet to cover what you just did and spray another third of the liner and board... wait a bit then apply that 1/3rd . ( remember gentle strokes ) move the plastic to cover the completed part and the spray the remaining material and board and wait a bit and then apply the last 1/3rd.. Finnish it off just like he does. folding it over the edge... I can`t stress enough .. do this in a well ventilated area . unless you want to kill off brain cells so you can be as smart as your teenager ...ROFLROFLROFL
     

    191  12

    1969 Volkswagen Electric Cart
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  12. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    Independence, Kansas

    Street Build 5K  31

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
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    awd · manual · 1G DSM

    989  18

    1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS
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    1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
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  13. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Sarnia, ON, Canada
    I wonder if our Boss... Captain ....Leader . you know @Ludachris could put a title under my name to direct interior questions to me .. Like " Interior Specialist " He don't have to mention how good looking
    I am or any thing like that .....:tease::tease::tease:ROFL
     

    191  12

    1969 Volkswagen Electric Cart
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    175  1

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  14. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    Jackson, Wyoming
    I don’t really know what the headline is constructed of, since it was completely missing from my car at purchase. There is a company that produces carbon fiber replacement panel, which is what I ended up getting. Despite the cool Woven appearance, I had it covered with oem-look foam/fabric by the person who recovered my factory leather seats. Install was a little tricky, but it turned out pretty good, and if I can do it.....
     

    Street Build 660  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  15. Dreams Realized

    Dreams Realized Proven Member

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    Yeah I had similarly thought about buying one of those carbon fiber headliners and wrapping it in fabric because of how flimsy/thin the oem material is. I would assume the carbon fiber one would be better for wind noise and heat insulation at a nominal weight increase if any.
     

    Street Build 1K  4

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  16. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Sarnia, ON, Canada
    I`m looking at the carbon fiber headliner mentioned here and it seems pretty pricey and to cover it with material would be a shame ...The one I seen runs $380 bucks .. You should be able to have a professional upholsterer do your original headliner for less than that... They also have one for a headliner with a sunroof ..

    https://special-carbonfiber.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=74
     

    191  12

    1969 Volkswagen Electric Cart
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    175  1

    1977 Glastron Aqua Lift
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  17. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    Jackson, Wyoming
    Yes, that's the one I have in my car. At the time I was looking, I wasn't so keyed into the DSM classifieds, and the oem ones on ebay cost about as much (and still needed reupholstered). The shipping is high due to oversized, too. I like the carbon fiber look on some things, but wanted the stock look for my ride. I think it's my distaste for the Fast & Furious neon and carbon over the top thing that was all the rage with these cars for a time. A sure sign that I'm past my prime, of course. The carbon one is definitely not flimsy; in fact, it's stiff enough to cause a few mounting headaches. Plus you have to make all the fastener perforations yourself, which can be a little tricky. My entire interior required major reconstruction to get to where it now looks normal. Still some squeaks to work through, but I'm pretty pleased with it. Spent probably $3~4K, and that's aside from all the mechanical/ electrical fixing. Still, that would be just the carpet in a Porsche!
     

    Street Build 660  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  18. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    My car's headliner is sagging too. Generally, is new headliner applied to the car's roof, or to an intermediate surface that's removed from the car first, which is then reinstalled to the roof? I can't imagine doing it properly directly to the roof, with gravity doing its thing.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  19. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

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    Yes .. the headliner board come`s down ..reupholstered and then reinstalled..
     

    191  12

    1969 Volkswagen Electric Cart
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    175  1

    1977 Glastron Aqua Lift
    awd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    196  1

    2002 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    389  10

    2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT
    fwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles
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  20. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    Queens, New York
    Thanks. That's what I was hoping. Every time I look at it I get this sense of dread about restoring it. Sounds a bit easier than I feared, if not actually "easy". (Hint: nothing really is.)
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  21. JeffwithaG

    JeffwithaG Proven Member

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    Flemington, New Jersey
    I found this video a while back. Dude blasts some crack, but it should be 90% of the process if you need to see it. Removing the actual headliner from the car is not included.

     

    Street Build 597  6

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  22. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    The headliner is held in mostly by christmasstree clips (Im not making this up...). And of course the visor mounts, and fore and aft trim strips. The rear one has some funky steel-tooth retainers and the FSM is not great at explaining really how to remove it all. The cabin light housing also must be removed: Two screws are revealed once the cover is unsnapped. After that the whole panel should fall on your head, with bits of foam dust in your eyes for good measure.
    Good luck!
     

    Street Build 660  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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    XC92 likes this.
  23. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    Queens, New York
    Probably won't be able to get to it till spring, but it's never a bad idea to know in advance. The one in there now isn't terrible, especially up front where it most matters, but it's sagging in the back, which is bad for the rare passenger and worse for rearview visibility.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  24. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    Rear passengers? Where do they sit?
     

    Street Build 660  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  25. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    Queens, New York
    Heh. In the 2 back seats. You never realized your DSM has them?

    Seriously, my nephews. They're still pretty young and short and might even like the cozy feeling back there. The oldest one's taller than me and rides shotgun, though. He's getting his learner's permit next month and I might teach him stick on the Talon once he passes his driving test.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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