Removal of interior windshield header trim - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Removal of interior windshield header trim

Hi -

Basic question: I need to remove the interior windshield header trim from my 1989 Esprit. I see four exposed screws, two under each sun visor. I'm assuming these must be removed. There are also two screws which secure the rearview mirror. Do these need to be removed? They turn but do not appear to unscrew.

Is there anything else holding the trim panel in place? This is the first piece I've needed to remove and I'm obviously a little wary until I've done a few projects and seen how things come apart and go back together.

Thanks in advance -

Steve.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:27 PM
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Four screws hold the header on. You technically must remove it before the mirror mount because there are non captive nuts holding the mirror.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Four screws hold the header on. You technically must remove it before the mirror mount because there are non captive nuts holding the mirror.


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Thanks Eddie - that's the exact answer I was hoping for! The quick info is much appreciated.

Steve.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:30 PM
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It is wise to note the angle of the four screws. You will need to point them in the correct direction when re-assembling.

You will also find that the header material is glued-in under the roof opening. Lift off the rubber seal and carefully pull down on the material (which on an '89 is likely to be leather...on the '88s it is foam-backed headliner cloth).

Make sure those Nylock nuts/screws for the mirror fixings are tight before you bolt the header back up. Use your favorite AUTOMOTIVE contact adhesive to stick the cloth/fabric material back in place...then refit the sunroof seal.



That wasn't so difficult was it?

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'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:31 PM
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Hmmm. My header must have been previously removed as I donít remember having to glue anything.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
Hmmm. My header must have been previously removed as I donít remember having to glue anything.
Some rely on the roof opening rubber to hold the material in place. (Sleek is a 'trusting', optimistic type of guy!!!!)
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
<Snip>
You will also find that the header material is glued-in under the roof opening. Lift off the rubber seal and carefully pull down on the material (which on an '89 is likely to be leather...on the '88s it is foam-backed headliner cloth).
<Snip>
That wasn't so difficult was it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
Hmmm. My header must have been previously removed as I donít remember having to glue anything.


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The panel did seem very firmly attached for something held on by just the four screws; I'm assuming Atwell's correct on the glue. Mine was removed at some point in time and must've been re-glued afterwards. Hopefully the adhesive will allow the leather to release so I can get it off.

I'm pulling the header off to get rid of the 90's tech cellphone electronics that were wired in ... though I'm beginning to wonder if it would be better to just snip the wires and tuck them under (but I hate to do a job halfway).

Thanks again for the extra info! I'll report back once I've found a little time to work on the project. Wish me luck!

Steve.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:53 PM
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FWIW. My 87 header is different(?) than Stevens and it seems to be glued in front. I have yet to actually remove it because not 100% sure about yanking on it. From what Atwell says it is probably heavily glued on.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
FWIW. My 87 header is different(?) than Stevens and it seems to be glued in front. I have yet to actually remove it because not 100% sure about yanking on it. From what Atwell says it is probably heavily glued on.


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Hmmm. If the glue is likely to be heavy (I'll yield to those with experience with these cars) then it's sounding like the wisest course may be to snip the wires and tuck them under the edge of the header. If removal is ever necessary for anything else I can complete the removal.

It's not worth risking damage.

- Steve.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:46 PM
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You might want to glue in a threaded plate to replace the nylock nuts for the mirror screws, for next time.

1985 BRG Turbo Esprit
Chargecooled w/Megasquirt EFI
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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You might want to glue in a threaded plate to replace the nylock nuts for the mirror screws, for next time.
Now *that's* a great idea. Thanks for the tip!

Steve.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:56 PM
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If things were re-glued it can be difficult to remove if they used too strong a glue. Sometimes heat can help, go slowly and it may come undone. Taking it down just to remove wires isn't worth the risk of damage so if just trimming the wires back and tucking in the loose ends can do the job, that is the way to go. Be sure to tape up any loose ends so nothing can short out.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
If things were re-glued it can be difficult to remove if they used too strong a glue. Sometimes heat can help, go slowly and it may come undone. Taking it down just to remove wires isn't worth the risk of damage so if just trimming the wires back and tucking in the loose ends can do the job, that is the way to go. Be sure to tape up any loose ends so nothing can short out.
David Teitelbaum
Sage advice ... thanks! I'll definitely tape the wires once they're cut. With a little luck I may be able to tug them from the other end once I've located and disconnected them.

- Steve.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 07:44 AM
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Headliner adhesive is NOT strong.

It is only a little bit more powerful than the stuff used on 3M sticky notes.



Just after buying our car (pre-internet days), I made the mistake of trying to release the mirror screws to adjust the position of the mirror arm against the glass to quell RV vibrations. Disconnected those Nylocks...I found them years later when I replaced the headliner material on the header and visors.

The Nylocks haven't come loose in ~14 years so Lotus' decision to use them was OK.

Atwell Haines
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
Headliner adhesive is NOT strong.

It is only a little bit more powerful than the stuff used on 3M sticky notes.

Just after buying our car (pre-internet days), I made the mistake of trying to release the mirror screws to adjust the position of the mirror arm against the glass to quell RV vibrations. Disconnected those Nylocks...I found them years later when I replaced the headliner material on the header and visors.

The Nylocks haven't come loose in ~14 years so Lotus' decision to use them was OK.
So the big question: when my trim panel was removed to do the cell equipment installation, was it replaced using the correct headliner adhesive, or something else? In general it appears the work was well done, but some attempt to re-attach sagging headliner on the roof panel was done using a non-standard adhesive ... almost looks like they attempted to inject glue through the fabric.

A headliner replacement project is in progress. Stay tuned for photos if it works out as expected.

Steve.

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 09:15 AM
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^^^ Yes that is the question. A standard (non-automotive) contact cement could be the issue if you are having difficulty. EDIT: Perhaps you could remove the four screws mentioned previously and let the panel/sun visors just hang?


I'd begin with a plastic scraper tool (I volunteer as many of my wife's credit cards as you need).




Just don't damage the leather. You WILL need to scrape any residual adhesive off both the leather and the car to avoid bumps.



The roof-panel headliner probably 'fell' because the foam underneath the fabric disintegrated (you CAN'T re-glue it when that happens). Lotus used lots of that fabric (they didn't throw anything away). As in, frame backbone padding, or as sound deadener inside the black covers for the seatbelt retract reels...

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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^^^ Yes that is the question. A standard (non-automotive) contact cement could be the issue if you are having difficulty. EDIT: Perhaps you could remove the four screws mentioned previously and let the panel/sun visors just hang?
I've decided discretion is the greater part of valour, and the wires will be snipped, wrapped, and tucked ... panel will remain in place until there's another compelling reason to remove it.

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I'd begin with a plastic scraper tool (I volunteer as many of my wife's credit cards as you need).
I'll still take those cards. Just for scraping purposes, naturally.


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Just don't damage the leather. You WILL need to scrape any residual adhesive off both the leather and the car to avoid bumps.

The roof-panel headliner probably 'fell' because the foam underneath the fabric disintegrated (you CAN'T re-glue it when that happens). Lotus used lots of that fabric (they didn't throw anything away). As in, frame backbone padding, or as sound deadener inside the black covers for the seatbelt retract reels...
You're spot-on about the foam degrading. Nasty looking stuff after 30 years. I shall keep an eye out for it in other locations - thanks for the heads-up. Ignoring the headliner (I have someone already working on that) is there a good replacement for the foam elsewhere in the car? Or is it typically just removed when found?

Steve.

1989 Esprit Turbo
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 09:57 AM
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Steve,

your car has a LOT less fabric than an '88. We had to redo the header/visors, side header frames, and rear window surround, as well as the removable roof.



I used two layers of foam packing sheet when I restored my backbone (armrest).


Look at Post 3 of this Topic

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/4678817-post3.html

4th picture down



I believe you can buy that packing stuff at WalMart but ours came in parts shipped from an Amazon vendor (see, I don't throw anything away, either).

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Steve,

your car has a LOT less fabric than an '88. We had to redo the header/visors, side header frames, and rear window surround, as well as the removable roof.

I used two layers of foam packing sheet when I restored my backbone (armrest).


Look at Post 3 of this Topic

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/4678817-post3.html

4th picture down

I believe you can buy that packing stuff at WalMart but ours came in parts shipped from an Amazon vendor (see, I don't throw anything away, either).
Thanks for the info! Thankfully mine essentially needs a really good cleaning and conditioning and not much else. Good to know what others have done for future reference.

Great writeup, by the way!

Steve.

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