1st Gen R53 Cooper S Headliner repair tips or tricks?

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by rivercityRN, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. rivercityRN

    rivercityRN New Member

    Oct 15, 2013
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    My headliner is starting to sag along the passenger side. Summertime in Chattanooga is freaking hot and without A/C (another future project), sunroof open and both windows down is a must. However, billowing in the wind at high speed is causing the headliner to progressively get worse. Rather than take it somewhere for replacement, I thought I'd check to see if guys could recommend any products for a DIY fix?
     
  2. r34king

    r34king Member

    Aug 18, 2011
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    Straight pins. Just remember there is an air bag behind it. Be careful.
     
  3. Norm03s

    Norm03s New Member

    May 5, 2009
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    Help Dave
     
  4. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2010
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    Staples? Voodoo?
    Generations of folks have tried tricks to "save" a failing headliner....
    Don't think anything short of yanking it out, and regluing it has ever fixed one...
     
  5. rivercityRN

    rivercityRN New Member

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    r34king, I'm looking for an "aesthetically pleasing" solution:) Something along the lines of a spray adhesive?
     
  6. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2011
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    I'm with Zippy. Pull it out, and re-glue it. It's the only way to be sure. :)
     
  7. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Not possible......

    The headliner material is bonded to a foam backing which is glued to the cardboard form, it's the foam that has failed - it's disintegrated into dust, there is nothing to attach the headliner material to.

    The only way to fix it is to remove the entire cardboard framework, scrape off the headliner and glue a new one on - the new one will come with the foam already bonded to it.

    Sorry, but there have been millions of these replaced on all different brands of cars. It's not that hard to do, I've done several, from a Rabbit to a big Ford sedan.....
     
  8. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Jul 31, 2009
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    The best way to fix it is to pull the headliner board out take the old headliner off, clean off any foam residue from the backing and glue a new peace back on, then reinstall it.

    The fabric comes with the foam attached and 3m makes a glue for the job.
     
  9. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Minidave you type faster than me!
     
  10. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Great minds, right? :Thumbsup:
     
  11. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2010
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    #11 ZippyNH, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
    Yup...
    Or choose the other material of your choice...
    One tip...
    Not all years were cardboard...mine was a hard plastic...kinda like a fiberglass...
    But basic failure is the foam backer starts to fail...it turns to dust (ever see old carpet padding go bad...same thing)....once it starts...NOTHING will fix it.
    IMO reusing the factory fabric is a fools game...but you can buy some pretty good looking stuff...glue it up in a big sheet with lots of excess...then trim...really the ONLY WAY...
    Trying to squirt dabs of adhesive through the old headliner to reglue it looks about as bad as pins, staples, or other tricks IMO.
     
  12. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2010
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    P.S.
    While you are doing the headliner reglue, be sure to check and reconnect you sunroof drains if you have a sunroof...adds about 2 minutes to a couple hour job!!
     
  13. DixonL2

    DixonL2 New Member

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    And choose a cool fabric to do this with if that drab OE grey just doesn't do it for ya. There is definitely an adhesive for the job. Set out 2 sawhorses, clean the old crud off thoroughly, spray on adhesive, and gently (without stretching) lay the fabric over the adhesive-soaked panel. Helps to practice with a partner before putting the sticky stuff on. Allow to set, trim to fit (leave excess at the edges to tuck in), reinstall.
     
  14. slipmagt

    slipmagt Member

    Aug 23, 2015
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    Yeah if your going to go through all the trouble of taking it out, its a great time to customize it up and use whatever fabric you like.
     

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