How To> Recover A Headliner
BY Scion CM
Recovering your headliner is a fantastic way to give the inside of your ride a fresh new look – and it's something that a beginner can do at little cost. Follow along with this How To*> INTERIOR series as the Scion Kreationz Car Club transforms the interior of skfamous' xB. Other articles in the series include:
How To> Recover Side Panels
How To> Add A Custom Logo to Your Headliner
You don't need any special tools to do this project with. What you see here is all you need to recover the headliner and side panels (panel how-to will be a future article). For the headliner you'll need:
- 3-4 yards of fabric (almost any fabric will work)
- Spray Adhesive – 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive used here
- Ratchet with a 10mm & 14mm socket
- Phillips-Head Screwdriver (an electric screwdriver makes the job faster but isn't necessary)
- Allen/Hex Wrench
- Optional: Panel Popper/Removal Tool and Awl
Time Estimate: 4-5 Hours/Beginner or 1-2 Hours/Experienced
Begin by carefully going through and removing everything the headliner comes into contact with. The dome light cover can be popped off revealing two screws. Those screws should be removed and the wiring disconnected. Remove the plastic piece covering both the seatbelt and upper hand-grips to gain access to the bolts. The plastic weatherstripping surrounding side and rear doors is easily pulled away as well. Other items to remove include the round roof clips at various places on the headliner, sunvisors with clips, and rear-view mirror.
Next the upper side panels will need to be removed. The front (or "A") pillar panel should just pull up and out at this point. Once the seatbelts have been taken down, the middle (or "B) pillar panel should also pull out (the lower portion may need to be moved some). For the rear side panels – use an allen wrench to loosen the top bolts of the lower rear panel as shown above, pulling it away slightly. Once this is done the top panel should slide out of place.
Here's what some of the various clips and fasteners look like which hold the side panels and headliner on. Be sure to keep these all in a safe place – you don't want to lose them!
Another look at the clips connected to the panel (rear).
Once everything is off, you're ready to pull down the headliner!
It helps to have 2-3 people for this part of the process. Once the headliner is lowered and you've ensured it's not connected to anything, begin to remove it through the back. Angling it to one side helps in easily sliding it out.
If you have a large table to set the headliner on, it will make this job easier! Lay the headliner, "liner" side up, and lay the fabric over it with the side of fabric you want to show facing upwards. Once you've centered it and ensured a couple of extra inches hangs over at all sides, you can begin to attach fabric to headliner using spray adhesive. It's best to begin this process in the middle section, as seen above. Adhesive is sprayed directly onto the headliner (section size spans across the full width and is 1-2' in length).
After adhesive is applied, the fabric is layed on top and smoothed out – working from middle to sides.
Once you're happy with the application of fabric in one section, move on to the next until the full headliner is covered. Take care to spray enough adhesive – surface should be completely covered but not oversaturated.
Remove any wrinkles or bubbles that arise during this process. If either can't be removed by applying pressure, the fabric can be lifted up in small sections and layed down again (multiple times if needed). Be patient and make sure all of the headliner's contours are followed.
Once you're happy with the application of fabric to headliner, you can flip the headliner over to it's other side. Members of Scion Kreations were enjoying the nice spring weather as they hung out together doing this project!
Using a blade, cut small X's into the fabric wherever there's a hole in the headliner. You'll need these openings later as you go to reinsert everything.
Next, trim excess fabric from around edges. Leave 1 1/2 - 2" in order to wrap around the edge and secure. Spray a small amount of adhesive at edge and wrap fabric, making cuts to allow the fabric to lay on a curve if needed.
Do the same to area surrounding the dome light. Remember that the light's edge will cover this opening some, so you don't need to stress out too much about the corners.
Once the sides are done, it should look something like this. Now it's time to put the headliner back in…
…and remember to have fun!!!
Sliding the headliner in is similar to taking it out. Having one or two people to help makes things easier. Once getting it in place, you can begin to reattach what was taken off.
Finding the "X's" you cut will help you align the headliner with various openings for bolts and fasteners.
Upper hand-grip handles are an easy place to start and will help secure the headliner to the roof.
Round roof clips are just pushed back into place, sometimes you really have to push hard!
Using the screws that were you safely stowed away at the start, reattach each piece. Here's the rear-view mirror's attachment location.
Using an awl (pointy tool) can be helpful in aligning openings for screw placement.
The dome light goes back on just as it came off. Don't forget to reattach the wiring clip!
Now that everything's in place you can reattach the side panels. Front A-pillars just snap back on (in this case they've been covered also - refer to the How To> Recover Side Panels article to learn how).
Even kids can help out with this job, it was great to see what a family the Scion Kreationz club is! B-pillars also snap back into place. Be sure that the seatbelt adjustor is in the correct position to line-up with the bolt.
The lower panel needs to be pulled away some. Once the top panel is in place, the lower panel wraps around the metal of the door.
Once the panels are on, the weatherstripping can easily be put back in place on the metal ledge surrounding the doors...and that should make the job complete! And the finished result...
Looks good, doesn't it!?! It's amazing what a huge difference the headliner can make to the overall feel of a car! Scion Kreationz and skgreaser were all very happy with the result!
These sort of projects are perfect for clubs or just a few friends to tackle. Scion Kreationz has plenty of well-loved and modded xB's...they must do these project days often!
In fact, both of the other xB's present already had re-covered headliners! Here's pictures of them to give you an idea of some different looks.
Thanks to Scion Kreationz for letting Scion Owners take part in their project!
Who's ready to re-cover their own headliner? If you already have, send in a picture to email@example.com so it can be shared!
*This How-To is not intended as professional advice or direction. Any modification done to another car is done solely at the risk of the modifier.