Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Headlining Head Liner


I have decided to start a new one rather answer existing post because i find it too time consuming searching answers 40 pages into a thread with further 10 pages of discussions, personally i'd want the definite answer on the first page and any corrections amended here.

This guide presumes you have no old headlining or removed beyond memory. I also presume its been painted and ready to fit windows and trim present with new rubbers because its all linked.

Please note i will add more pictures later because i cooked my phone and apologies for picture quality it regularly hit 50oC inside garage and temp definitely affected the camera and worker. If anyone has straight on picture of headliner material i can use to annotate with all measurements would be very helpful to illustrate to everyone.

Tools Needed


Patience

Head liner kit (Headlining kits are little easier to install with 1 loop and C pillars sewn in and should come with a separate cut out panel in unperforated material)

Clean smooth large table 1.5m wide x 2m

70x 50mm bulldog/fold back clips and 50x 19mm bulldog/fold back clips

1x tube Adhesive - 3M 1099 Vinyl Adhesive

2mx 6mm closed cell foam self adhesive backed

2m x sound deadening self adhesive

1x roll double sided tape is helpful if your doing this by yourself to keep things in position otherwise not needed

Masking tape

Masking paper roll

clean sharp Scissors

scalpel or crafts blade

Rotary cutter

Cutting pad/mat A1 size

Pencil and chalk

Box of screws no.2 x 9mm 3/8th length short screws

6x G claps and spring clamps

1m ruler and large set square.

and another bucket of patience

2x Headliner wire grommets from BMW A51447780135

With any drawing marking or cutting if unsure do all the following steps on masking paper than transfer to headliner.


Use masking paper to make your foam and headliner templates where the paper crinkles is where the material will also crinkle so working out where to cut fingers tabs and triangles in the paper will help you avoid mistakes on the expensive stuff. Remember never cut right into corners always start with a little snip fold over or stretch wherever its going and adjust the cuts as needed.

1. With metal roof frame place on top backside of self adhesive closed cell foam and draw of inside frame. Do the same with sound deadening if you plan to fit this too. Keep self adhesive backing paper on and remove as you fit to keep things clean and easier to handle into position.

Using self adhesive closed cell foam has several reasons,

a. no need to use spray adhesive which will bleed through and wrinkle foam and headliner.

b. the backing makes it easier to handle and draw/mark out lines and cutting.

c.not much more expensive than open cell foam scrim and will not absorb water.


2. Stick sound deadening to roof if you plan to use it otherwise stick the foam to the roof. Cut extra piece for front part of the roof and stick that up. It does not have to be exact fit.

3. With the excess closed cell foam cut out strips and place around perimeter of roof frame making precise and clear markings where all the screw holes are! Leave 10mm from edge of all window frames where headliner will be folded over and glued in otherwise you will have a fight trying to get all the trim to sit right. These strips of foam will give your something to pull and tension headlining on without fear of tearing the headliner, also gives it a nice soft tough afterwards.

[/URL][/IMG]


4. Now the roof is prepared to accept the headliner also make sure all wires for courtesy lights and heated rear windows and all holes for handle grips are tapped so you don't ruin your headlining trying to get screws and bolts in later.

5. The headliner will need hanging up somewhere warm in the sun to help get the folds out. Alternative hang in bathroom and let it steam from bath or shower do same job or sandwich headliner between 2 sheets of masking paper and lightly wet the headlining out and iron on LOW heat. If you can't touch the iron against your skin its too hot stop!

6. Lay headliner upside down on a large table and remember your working upside down. 1st measurement is finding the centreline of head liner longways, measure the width along several places divide by 2 and mark the middle and join the dots with a long ruler. This is because you need to know exact middle all the way along and don't presume headliner edges are straight your working with stretchy material. **use masking tape or chalk if your unsure and don't press hard.

7. Go inside of car and run some masking tape between the 2 holes where hanging wire is located, than accurately draw straight line between the 2. ** use bit of thin string and a helping hand to stretch it over the holes up against the roof then mark line with chalk over the top of string onto the masking tape. This line is critical it must go between the centre of the 2 holes because everything depends on it afterwards.

8. Measure from the line you have just drawn to the centre of screw hole in rear cutout in a STRAIGHT line. Do not look or measure it skewed or angled because the length will end up too long and later on you will have a fight! They are not always the same exact distance car to car mine was 72mm

9. Back to your headliner, along the sewn in loop use a clean length of STRAIGHT wood or plastic with a beveled edge (to avoid it cutting into headliner) approx 1m long to sandwich the material to table and clamp it down with some clamps so stitching is tight against outside edge of the wood. Now you can stretch out rear half of the headliner to table and work out any wrinkles or kinks, you can steam or iron low low heat again if required. At this stage make sure the sewn in loop is straight and clamp it all down with G clamps or spring clamps with bit cardboard inside jaws to prevent any marking or slipping.

10. The loop sewn in is approx 10mm tall take half of that and subtract that from earlier measurement. 72mm- (10mm/2) = 67mm. You now know where the cutout panel will sit in relation to hanging loop. The reason for making the distance little shorter is because you need to tension the material later on and having exact amount of excess will make things much much easier later on.

a. Lay some masking tape down on back side of headliner and mark 67mm from loop stitching line down the headliner 3 in places and draw a line across width of headliner.

b. Place the metal ring on top of headliner and adjust position so that screw holes are on the line. ** remember your working upside down and note orientation of metal ring front to back so those little holes line up with your roof in same orientation.


11. Now with metal ring in position along length of headliner now to position it across the middle

a. Measure width of headliner divide by 2 and do same with your metal ring.

b. Lay some masking tape down and mark the middle position on it.

c. Now centre the metal ring width ways along your marks, it must be parallel to sewn loop stitched line

d. Once your happy its in the middle draw along inner edge of metal ring

e. Than draw a smaller outline approx 30mm further in so the cutout is at least 30mm smaller than the metal ring. You can leave more material to work with and trim off excess later. This extra 30mm will be folded onto and glued to metal ring.

12. With headliner still clamped to your table cut this 30mm smaller rectangle you have drawn. Slide the cutting pad underneath I used a rotary cutter rather than blade or scissors because its doesn't leave a jagged edge that will start a tear, also quicker and neater to make cuts without having to lift or disrupt the tension in the material you have carefully clamped down to get the wrinkles out.

13. Now place metal cut out over the hole and align with your markings make sure its in correct orientation because mine had holes which will line up only 1 way and remember your working upside down.

a. Now fold the 2 longest sides and clip to frame get these sides square and wrinkle free first.

b. Then do same with 2 shorter sides.

c. The round corners should wrap over and you will need to cut small fingers/triangles out so it will fold over the frame neatly with scrunching up. ** Never cut right up to edges or corners it will tear at worst or best show through start with make small snips. Once your happy glue it down with 3M 1099 tube adhesive. Once glued down wait 45mins to go off but i let it overnight just to be sure

**Do NOT try to use any other type of adhesive like high temp carpet spray, household glues because they will bleed through and damage it. Even dedicated upholstery adhesive is NOT suitable because headliner material is made from heavily plasticized vinyl. 3M 1099 is only specific vinyl upholstery i found at thick consistency which doesn't string or run and spreads nicely with small brush or lollipop stick and you can work direct from the tube which is lovely when your working upside down..

14. Now with it all still clamped down and metal frame glued in, place the hanging wire across the sewn loop centre it and make a cut in the loop material at the first bend on wire on each side.

15. Unclamp the head liner from table now and carefully feed the wire through the loop, it is tight and will fit just go slowly at an angle.

16. I had some classic BMW headliner wire grommets part no. A51447780135 which fit Alfa (similar headliners) Place one of each end now carry headliner and frame to car and sit on back seat facing forwards

17. Now to check our previous steps, line up the metal frame to roof frame with side nearest front of car/nearest the hanging loop and wire put couple short no.2 9mm screws in loose for now because you will remove it again and clip rear excess material to top rear window frame so that it all hangs above you free.

18. Turn yourself around and sit in front footwell facing backwards and carefully rotate the hanging wire upwards into holes whilst watching the tension between screwed in part and wire remember its only screwed in loosely. It will be stiff because grommets will help hold its position. At this stage you don't have to get it perfectly upright just enough to it stays put and now clip front excess material to top of front window frame.

19. Sparingly clip edge of headliner to roof all the way around sparingly so the material up and out your way. You will need to clip and unclip as your work around next few steps

20. Now have a good look around admire your work and note areas of sagging material or problems if in doubt feel free to ask.

21. Feeling satisfied so far you can remove headliner completely first hanging wire then screws.

22. The unperformated material that goes in above rear seats is the first material to go in. It should be considerably oversized all round.

a. Using double sided tape place it around paerimeter of roof frame where you will screw the metal ring with headliner. Don't glue it to the foam or sound deadening because this piece will move around stretch and do all sorts when the metal ring is screwed up it.

b. Find centre of this cutout material and centre it over the roof frame with equal amount of excess material hang width ways across the roof first. Then align front edge of it to main roof rail the rest can freely end up at the rear window.

c. Find 2 pairs of spare hands makes this step much easier ask them to stretch and hold its tension whilst you stick it up to the double sided tape remember stretching it equally front to back and side to side.

d. Mark all the holes but don't pierce the material yet.

23. Time to finally offer up the whole headlining again

a. Carry headliner and frame back to car and sit on back seat facing forwards

b. Position the metal ring to roof frame and ask a friend to hold it up for you whilst you sparing clip the edges up to window frames again but DONT fit the wire yet and you will need to clip and unclip as you work round.

**This is longest difficult part to find the holes be patient and take your time all day if needed. If you rush this you will end up with wrinkles or tears that you wont be able to get out.

c. Now sit in front the footwell facing backwards and start with letting front half of headliner hang down. With some no.2 9mm screws do up the metal frame along the front edge first nearest the loop. The screws must go behind bulk of the material but through the bit you folded over the metal frame earlier. You will notice its pulling the cutout material in as you tighten the screws and you will need to keep adjust this by pulling the edges of it around the corners especially.

d. Switch to back seat again facing forwards an start screwing in rear side of metal frame to roof, again pull this material as the metal frame goes up into position keep the tension even.

e.Clip the rest headliner back up to front and rear windows then unclip the sides to access those holes. As before screw metal frame into roof keeping tension on cutout material even, stretch out the corners if wrinkles appear bu pulling on the excess dangling out.

f. Now you can appreciate the test fit earlier congratulations hardest part done.

24. Now back to hanging wire slip it back in using the grommets and with suitable tool hook onto wire and pull it so it straight and upright as possible. Looking from underneath the sewn line should be straight and even tension across the material. As said before its NOT critical the wire has to be 100% upright but close as possible. The bmw grommets will help it stay in position or you can superglue 3 zip ties to roof along the line you draw at beginning and make 3 small incisions in loop material under the wire but above the vinyl and use zip ties to help pull and secure the wire in position.

Once the front edge is headliner material is glued to top of front window frame the wire cannot spin out of position anyway.

25. Once frame is screwed in now go round the car with 50mm bulldog clips and clip it to the roof edges, use smaller 19mm clips for inside curves and radius and bigger ones for straighter length.

26. Clipped up you can now start working the material, start at rear top of C pillar then work forwards. Carefully pull and clip the material adjusting it evenly side to side, don't try to do just 1 side and then other because you will skew the tension and shorten the unworked side then years down the line guess where it will like to sag first.

[/IMG]

**Key is even tension side to side and forward to back.

[/URL][/IMG]

27. The B pillar will require 4 short cuts to around the pillar. Remember keep it small and dangle the courtest light wires through here so you can trace it back to hole locations later.


[/URL][/IMG]

28. Now continue forward clipping the headliner from B pillar to A pillar to front windscreen. Use small 19m clips around A pillar.

29. Now go back C pillar and work down to parcel shelf, check tension and adjust all clips if need be. Use lots of clips next to each other in a line to ensure its all secured and tight dont be afraid of keep adjusting until it sits nice take your time.

30. Once happy glue up with 3M 1099 adhesive. Work in small section evenly side to side and i like to fold 1 edge of bulldog clip up to remind me where i have been.

**Its important to apply not too much adhesive to both sides of lips around window frames and clip material to it so it doesn't bleed through.

The best thing about 3M 1099 is any excess simply rolls off in balls once semi dry without leaving residue. DO NOT try to wipe it with tissue or cloth when wet it will smear too thin to roll off in balls.

31. Leave over night before removing all the clips, although you can remove after adhesive has dried solid 45min to 1hr

[/URL][/IMG]

[/URL][/IMG]

[/URL][/IMG]


32. Install along thin edge trim over inside of headliner make sure screw hole lines up then B pillar than with rubber mallet to knock it in place. You will need to man handle it and twist it over do NOT use any caulk here the headliner is the protection and it is very tight fit pay attention to top of rear side quarter window because horse shoe C trim location.

33. Now to fit long edge trim over outside of rain gutter first add caulking strips to where it meets the gutter rail. Start at front A pillar line up holes make sure the B pillar cutout will locate accurately then and roll over the gutter rail snapping it into position.

34. Finally you can start trimming excess material away in sections. You can do this before fitting the trim but if your not confident in upholstery it gives you an idea how much to cut away. Leave all material at bottom of C pillar the excess is glued to parcel shelf and half bottom of rear side quarter window.

35. Fit inner horizontal trim between B and C pillar over the material, the front edge of this trim may want to not sit perfect but dont worry about it yet. Now stretch bottom of C pillar to work wrinkles out once happy screw in 2 horse shoe shaped C trims.

36. Inside B pillar vertical trim now goes in, note a cut out for screw which should be facing upwards towards front of the car. This vertical trim will keep the earlier inside horizontal trim to stay down. This is snapped onto the B pillar rearwards to front and use very thin strips of caulk inside otherwise it wont snap into position.

37. Outer B pillar trim can now be snapped into position where the side quarter windows will fit

38. Along with B pillar trim the outer rear quarter window horizontal trim is fitted, you will need to fit quarter window rubber in at the same time start at C pillar corner and feed rubber in all round and cut off any excess rubber at the vertical B pillar.

39. Screw it all down with no.2 screws once fitted and repeat with the other side.

40. Back to front and rear screens cut off the excess material and make sure corners are glued in with nothing sticking up or frayed because when you install the glass later on it will catch and pull headliner out of position.

41. Im not sure if this is correct but i cut out 2 pieces for A pillars in black vinyl and again clipped on stretched and glued into position then removed the excess. I did same for bottom of B pillar infront of rear seats.

42. All edges should be trimmed back and glued down ready accept the next stage. The long vertial B pillar trim goes on top of shorter B pillar trim screwed in top and bottom. It should be bent to match profile of door frame edge don't try to straighten it because then it definitely wont fit.

43. Now all trim is in, the door channels and door rubbers are fitted please note the door channels will hide anything behind it like your cuts and trimmed excess materials.

To summarise you need a large table nearby and lots of patience, work clean and methodically. Also don't do it during summer heatwave inside garage topping 50oC otherwise i found it a fun and satisfying job i would happily do again in cooler conditions. The difficult time consuming part is finding screw holes and fitting the trim.

Hope its of some help as said at beginning im trying to rescue some pictures, in due course happy to answer questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,969 Posts
Outstanding! I see you're in the UK. I wish I had another early GT in restoration so you could work your magic on mine too! Brilliant job. Whose headliner kit did you use?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Alex not sure about magic but buckets of sweat certainly. The headliner is from classic alfa as they were local and i trust they supply the correct materials.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
780 Posts
Wow, very well done!!! Thank you very much, this will be extremely helpful some day.

"The difficult time consuming part is finding screw holes and fitting the trim."

I'd do all your glass trim for free (properly with caulking, masking tape on paint and all) just for writing up all this

:thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
I am preparing to start the headliner on my 68 restoration. This post is fantastic! Is anyone concerned that the adhesive backed foam or sound deadening will separate over time from the roof and collapse the liner??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I’m thinking of giving this a go. My car is currently stripped and painted internally, but not yet externally. It’s in a rotation frame so I can stand in a door well and fit the headlining with good access rather than crouched down or laid on my back. It seems the right thing to do rather than wait until it’s painted, by which time it will be on its wheels.

The big difference for me is the car has a Webasto roof. I’m thinking this will actually make life easier as I have no wires or recess to wrestle with and no really large areas to get taught.

Complications are working out exactly how it’s folded around the opening.

Also not sure if I should buy a kit, or cut it myself. I’m tempted to get the kit as it should still be correct apart from the whole in the middle.

Any experience out there?.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I’m thinking of giving this a go. My car is currently stripped and painted internally, but not yet externally. It’s in a rotation frame so I can stand in a door well and fit the headlining with good access rather than crouched down or laid on my back. It seems the right thing to do rather than wait until it’s painted, by which time it will be on its wheels.

The big difference for me is the car has a Webasto roof. I’m thinking this will actually make life easier as I have no wires or recess to wrestle with and no really large areas to get taught.

Complications are working out exactly how it’s folded around the opening.

Also not sure if I should buy a kit, or cut it myself. I’m tempted to get the kit as it should still be correct apart from the whole in the middle.

Any experience out there?.
I strongly advise against it because the way material folds and sits around rear side windows you must have entire door shuts inc the sill (yes i know headliner doesnt reach down that far but trim buts does!)and window frames painted first.

If you were to paint after fitting headling you have number of problem 1. keeping headling clean from over spray, 2.stopping edges from lifting because painting afterwards the solvents will loosen the adhesives. 3. you will end up with paint lines appear once fully cured where its been paint upto. 4. if using an oven to cure paint the headliner can easly discolour at low temp bake 5. the material will loose its tension and become saggy. Great if you want to replicate 40yrs of cigar smoke and patina.

Fitting headllining on a jig will be way way more difficult than you presume trust me im lazy!

I never seen a Webasto Alfa, but other marquees i done with it exactly the same as painted roof.

Hope that helps ps dont know why my pics have gone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Ok thanks, I will put it off until after the paint is complete.

The plan was to mask around the roof, door and window apertures as I have already top coated the inside edges anyway. But the point about the baking is still valid I expect. Though I’m not sure if baking is necessary on two pack?.

I could do with some photos of the way the headlining works around the roof opening, so will put another post up for that to keep this clean.

Ps your photos will have disappeared because photbucket changed their policy a while ago to charge for hosting. They kicked everybody who didn’t comply off as far as I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
Hey @ShakeyC, sorry to resurrect this thread, but I am currently doing my headliner and noticed there are a bunch of images now missing from your post. Is there any way you could update or worst case scenario PM me the missing pics? Thanks so much for the writeup!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
How do i edit the original post with new picture links ? the edit button doesn't seem to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Heres some of the picture i manage to recover, they are in correct order for the first post
Photobucket will only let me view and download my pictures 1 by 1

1605204




1605205


1605206



1605207



1605208



1605210
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top