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 Write Up: Removing your headliner for fun and profit

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Name : 100percentjake
Location : Kansas
Joined : 2016-03-16
Post Count : 43
Merit : 0

PostSubject: Write Up: Removing your headliner for fun and profit   Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:34 pm

I lied. There is no fun here, only sadness and pain. Seriously, if you're thinking of removing your headliner I hope you have a good reason because this is one of the more annoying jobs I've had to do on this car. Then again, I hate interior work. Pressing on...

Things you'll need
#2 Phillips head screwdriver
Itty bitty flat-head for removing lens covers and such
T50 Torx and ratchet
Interior Trim Removal Tool (basically a fancy mini-crowbar)

Stuff you'll do

1. Have a drink. Have more than a couple drinks. That's what the engineers did when they designed this mess, might as well bring yourself down to their level. Start by squinting at your A pillars, then grab them on the sides a few inches from the top. Then pull. now pull harder. There are two christmas-tree plastic fasteners holding the A pillar covers in. The first one will pull out of its home, then pull the A pillar towards the roof and the second tree fastener will slide out of the cover, remaining in its metal home. Use the trim removal tool to take out this fastener and stuff it back into the plastic cover. Set that mess aside.

2. Repeat for the other side

3. The sun visors are pretty simple. Three phillips head screws on the hinge and one holding the holder. The passenger side will dangle from its power cord just like the regrets you already have from attempting this crap. Leave it dangling for now and move on to

4. Take your flat head screwdriver and cram that sucker under the plastic bits at either end of the 'oh s**t' handles until they pop loose. Or, if your car is like mine, gently breathe on them until they fall off. One screw apiece and a whole mess of random crap will fall out of the headliner. Take some pictures and try to remember how all this goes back together, but it should be headliner-plastic piece-flat metal flange-plastic piece-screwhead. Carefully toss it somewhere in the passenger footwell. Out of sight...

5. Go glare at the plastic behemoth that houses your sunroof controls and interior lights. Mine was all busted up so used my trusty flat-head to remove the lens for the lights, then I un-did a large clip and three or four large chunks of interior hit me on the head as they came down. The lights disconnect with spade connectors and the sunroof control pops out of the plastic piece with some help from Mr. Flathead.

6. Circle around to the passenger side like a hungry bird of prey and start pulling down the front passenger corner of the headliner. Look on top and you'll see THE ENTIRE WIRING HARNESS FOR THE LIGHTS AND SUNROOF IS HOT-GLUED TO THE TOP OF THE HEADLINER. I blame the beancounters at GM for that nonsense. Oh, the electrical connector for the vanity mirror lights is up there, too. It's one of the omnipresent GM "pull on it and prod it with a flat-head or pick until it comes apart" plastic connectors. Unhook it and your dangle will fall down. Proceed to fold yourself into the back seat to get freaky.

7. I don't know if you need to take the lens off the rear lights, but I did. There is also a small cover on the hanger hooks with a Phillips lurking behind it. Do the needful and the rear part of the light assembly will be free, with the forward part trapped between the headliner, the roof, and the black plastic B pillar by a satanic puzzle piece that will require removal of the B pillar and seatbelt guide. Grab the Torx and ratchet and sprain a couple of muscles undoing the approximately five million pound-foot torqued bolts until the seatbelt falls defeated like some bizarre anaconda. Removal of the B pillar is done by grabbing and pulling straight out and then swearing when the two metal retainers fail to hold onto the slick plastic and fall straight down into your back-seat arm rest plastic bits. Cry.

8. B pillar thusly removed, the light assembly can be wiggled free of the headliner, but I have not figured out how to disconnect the reflector/bulb subassembly from the wiring harness, so it remains attached.

9. Repeat as needed for the driver side of your car (if your car is equipped with a driver's side).

10. C pillars are easy, but very fragile. Two more Christmas-tree fasteners, but on a much larger piece so take your time and figure out exactly where to pull from. Under the passenger side will be the wiring harness disconnect for the entire headliner.

11. Start pulling the headliner gently down from the ceiling until it's resting on your seats. I got it out of my car through the passenger side by sticking one corner of it in the footwell and pulling the other corner out the door, but it took a couple tries to select the best method. Your mileage may vary.

Here are the few pictures I took of the process:

Right side mostly out. Notice I didn't do things in the right order? Really should have done the light assembly at the front earlier in the process.

Bare roof on my '97.

This is the sunroof motor that intermittently works. I can hear the relay click but it randomly decides when it wants to work. Need to do more research in order to fix this...

Collection of interior parts. Really not in very bad condition, but I hate the color.

To the rescue! DupliColor gloss black vinyl/fabric dye. This stuff is great. Dries almost instantly, has really good coverage, and isn't tacky like Rustoleum when sprayed onto plastic. Definitely going to use this for some more super-fun interior accents during my War Against Beige.

Close up of the DupliColor's effects on both the tan cloth and the tan plastic. This is what it looks like completely dry. Rubbing it with my hand resulted in no change in finish and nothing rubbed off on my hand.

A look at GM's idiotic hot-glued wiring harness.

This magnet, no joke, holds up the center of the headliner. Genius, but also fairly amusing.

Well, there ya go. Installation is probably the reverse of removal, but the parts are still sitting in my garage waiting for me to get more vinyl dye so I'll get back to you with that. End result was all the parts are out of my car, my car's naughty bits are exposed to the world, four metal clips are lost forever, and my passenger side C pillar is cracked in three places (not noticeable, and who looks back there anyways?)

I hope this helps a little, and hope my sleep-deprived 11:00-pm writing is at least sort of coherent.
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Name : Trevor
Joined : 2016-02-22
Post Count : 40
Merit : 0

PostSubject: Re: Write Up: Removing your headliner for fun and profit   Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:21 am

Thanks for this, might be doing it very soon to fix a clogged a pillar drain.
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Name : Jeff
Location : Cleveland area
Joined : 2013-11-11
Post Count : 243
Merit : 3

PostSubject: Re: Write Up: Removing your headliner for fun and profit   Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:34 pm

thought I may want to remove the headliner to try & find my rattle when moonroof is fully retracted, now I may just live with the forward tilt only.

Thanks for the heads up!

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Joined : 2007-07-01
Post Count : 2302
Merit : 10

PostSubject: Re: Write Up: Removing your headliner for fun and profit   Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:45 pm

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