Best headliner material?

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
780
131
My D1s have saggy headliners and it is time I stopped putting that job off. Anyone have advice on what material to use and where to buy it? How about adhesive? I thought about reusing the material that is sagging. Is that a good idea? It is a little dirty but I thought perhaps I could put it in our front loader in a laundry bag designed for “fragile” clothing. Worst case scenario is I ruin it washing it and have to buy new anyway.

Also, I do not really want to paint it. I have one that a previous owner painted and it looks like crap.
 

Errant

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2004
740
15
Southern California
Following along, as I was just thinking I should probably do mine, too. I was curious about reusing the same fabric, and the same plan of washing it. You go first and let me know? :D
 
Aug 20, 2007
2,710
35
Nashville TN
headliner express used to be the move but they're raised their prices like crazy. you'll need a 64" wide roll, which is extremely hard to find, or you need a 60" roll that can be stretched to fit, which you'll have to ask about.


glue two cans should do it. spray on the headliner board and the fabric.
 

Knightspirit

Well-known member
Sep 22, 2019
223
66
Mount Shasta, CA
I had problems finding the right material also - ended up just painting it - and it actually came out pretty good. I figured I can always do the headliner another time. Meanwhile - now that it's painted I hardly even notice it.
 
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mlnnc

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2008
243
18
Charlotte
YES!!! Just paint it. I painted mine over 10 years ago and have never regretted it. Love it, love it, love it.
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
780
131
Quite by chance I found a place that does headliners not too far away. I’m going stop in and have them give me price. It is one of the few jobs I really don’t want to do myself. I’m going to remove it and bring it to them.Appreciate all the good suggestions. I will post back with what I find out.
 
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WaltNYC

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
636
88
NYC
Don't fear replacing the headliner. It is pretty easy.

https://www.albrightssupply.com/extr...le-67-orph2144

Buy the spray on headliner glue at Home depot or something.

- remove the board
- use a cheap bbq grill brush to remove foam backing
- lay out board on flat table
- start in the middle (front to back) and spray glue on both board and material. allow the glue to set for 3-5 min.
- lay the material down and use a balled up rag to press it down. DO NOT use your fingers, they will make depressions that will remain.
- work outwards to the back, then front working 12" at a time.
- leave 1" extra cloth on all sides and fold it over the board and glue it down. Same for sunroof openings. you will need to make relief cuts around corners.
- The concave corners are most difficult. dry fit them first without glue to see how you will need to stretch the material.
 
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discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
6,874
682
Northern Illinois
Bedsheets…. that actually seems like it could work
I think it’s the Honda crowd that started it. I work with a guy who buys cheap Hondas and flips them. I’m always amazed at how cheap he gets trick shit for his Hondas.
He’s telling me he’s seeing it done. I think it’s going to need to be a light material. A high thread count would be too heavy I think. I’ll find out more.
 
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discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
6,874
682
Northern Illinois
I know when you look for the stuff they describe it as foam backed headliner material. I’ve been looking into this too cause I’m doing the interior on mine.
While I’ve been looking at what those kids are doing with bead sheets I have a feeling it’s not going to stay up. Headliner material is really light stuff. Pretty sure when it’s hanging down like they all are, the foam backing is still glued up there. I was actually thinking about finding a place that sells the stuff and either go there with a piece of the old one, or send a piece for them to match color on.
 

mlnnc

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2008
243
18
Charlotte
The only hard part is scraping off the adhesive from the old fabric, but it's not bad and you have to do that anyway if you replace it with fabric.
Once you remove the old fabric and brush/vacuum off as much of the degraded foam as you can, denatured alcohol does a great job getting rid of the old adhesive residue and leaves a wonderful, pebbled finish. At least it did so on my '99. YMMV. A few days ago someone replied to me on another forum that the headliner on their facelift, '03-'04 had another layer of something that got in the way of them painting a bare fiberglass shell.
 

K-rover

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2010
2,114
43
Raleigh, NC
Another vote for paint. I had the factory headliner color matched at Lowes and I think it came out great. Touch ups are easy if it gets dirty
 

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
6,874
682
Northern Illinois
I think I remember someone posting up pics of spray on bed liner. You can mix a color into some of those kits of the crap.
I know it’s not headliner related but.. there’s a doctor down in Chicago who built a very nice D90 and mixed the bed liner with the paint he was spraying the truck with for the recessed area around the old style door handles and other places. It’s a pea green truck with a diesel. It’s an Isuzu conversion like they run in the Australian military. Aircraft liquid filled gauges. To this day I think it’s the nicest Defender I’ve ever seen.
Back to headliners.