The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of removing headliner myself (exige). I assume the material will come off easy as it is already sagging. Wondering if the backing comes off easily. What will I find underneath? A nicely painted surface? Has anyone left it naked? Pictures? Thanks in advance for any help. Rustyb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,725 Posts
The felt material will just pull off, no need to remove the weatherstripping. Underneath you'll find a horrific layer of adhesive. Don't start pulling off the headliner until the top is off of the car since it will rain dust and foam everywhere. I used Rapid Remover to get the adhesive off by spraying, letting it soak for a while, and then rubbing it away with a roll of shop towels after a couple hours of work.

Depending on how hungover the painter was, your top could have a perfect finish or the opposite. My blue top had a bit of chrome orange underneath the headliner...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
I'm in the middle of this right now. A local upholsterer quoted me $450 to do it and I also didn't like the material options he was giving me so I figured I'll just do it myself. I have replaced headliners before but this one is kicking my ass. In the few spots that the paint is smooth the glue peels off fairly easy but most of the paint under my headliner has a rough orange peel texture and the glue has an incredible grip to it. I've been working on it an hour here an hour there I estimate I've got 8 hours into it and I probably have another 2 hours to go. Maybe you don't have to remove all the old glue?? I also removed the weather strip and the riveted on aluminum weather strip channel. It's turned into a bigger job than I first would have thought.
I would seriously consider bringing it to a pro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,269 Posts
I pulled mine off, could NOT get the adhesive off for the life of me, tried everything. I ended up taking it to a local upholstery shop that just sprayed right over the old stuff, and put the new micro suede down. Total cost was $300, and damn well worth it, looks fantastic.

I will say that the micro suede smelled HORRIBLE for the first few months, guess it was the glue? I just left the windows down all the time. But now it's a nice sweet smell, so I leave the windows up to preserve the smell. Yes, I'm weird like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
There are several posts about this as these cars are getting old enough now that most headliners are sagging. I did mine a couple of years ago and it's almost perfect. The instructions you will see posted ask you to remove the rubber side moldings of the top. This is not required. The new headliner can be tucked up under the rubber trim without removing these pieces. Some have been able to remove the adhesive and foam residue and paint the under side black. I'm not sure how they did it. The adhesive just has to be mostly removed in order to install your new headliner. You'll need a second person available to stretch the material as you conform it to the curves. You'll want to recover the interior trim pieces in the same material and in the same direction.

I'm a DIY kind of person in almost all things but this is one project I would pay a professional to do. Deliver to the upholstery shop with everything cleaned off and ready to upholster. The learning curve was too steep considering I'll probably never apply my learning from this project on another one;}
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I ripped the sagging liner out of an Elise I had. Funny it was a black car and under was chrome orange, but didn't think much of it the way parts are bought and sold. Try things like goof off, denatured alch. (but not at the same time),some things cut through the thick stuff , but something else to get the film left behind. Gojo works surprisingly well for removing oily residuesI left mine stripped even when sold. If it doesn't bother you when stripped don't worry about it until you sell, then buyer has a new headliner.I personally take out that big trim piece on the front of the top and like the raw look much better. No matter what, be patient,and give chemicals there time to work. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,725 Posts
I ripped the sagging liner out of an Elise I had. Funny it was a black car and under was chrome orange, but didn't think much of it the way parts are bought and sold. Try things like goof off, denatured alch. (but not at the same time),some things cut through the thick stuff , but something else to get the film left behind. Gojo works surprisingly well for removing oily residuesI left mine stripped even when sold. If it doesn't bother you when stripped don't worry about it until you sell, then buyer has a new headliner.I personally take out that big trim piece on the front of the top and like the raw look much better. No matter what, be patient,and give chemicals there time to work. Good luck
FYI the front trim piece is structural; a couple people have lost their tops on the highway due to only relying on the brackets
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
98,xxx miles on my exige with no problems ( wind noise, whistling, blowing off ). wish I could say the same for my turn signal !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
3M adhesive remover helps to soften the old glue for removal. When I did mine I would put the adhesive remover on a small area and let it sit for a few minutes. I would just use my fingers to rub the old glue off. Took maybe two or three hours to clean up the whole top.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
141 Posts
I used 3M adhesive remover, but only marginally effective. Good old mechanical action works best (rubbing with fingers). Spent the best part of a Saturday getting all the old glue off. Paint underneath was pretty good so I left it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
Has anybody just tried pulling a corner and spraying adhesive?
I too wondered that, until I tried it. The headliner is not sagging because the adhesive is failing...it's sagging because it's made from 2 plys of material which are separating from each other. So just the outside layer is sagging while the inside layer is firmly glued.

I'm taking mine to a shop this week in fact to have it re-done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
So by trying it you mean you sprayed some adhesive at it wouldn't stick?
I think you misunderstood my description. There is no access behind the sagging material. The outside layer is sagging. This layer is sewn to the inside layer, which is glued firmly to the roof. So basically you're seeing a "bubble" in your headliner and there is no way inside that bubble without cutting through the material.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the input. Not really into a project right now. I am hoping that a nearby shop can remove the sagging material & leave the backing since it is so difficult to remove, slap some alcantara on there. I'll keep you updated. We are up in wine country, Sonoma County near Santa Rosa where all the major damage was done by the Tubbs fire. We feel very lucky we escaped & were able to return to a house still standing. I'm not sure if I will see things rebuilt & return to normal in my lifetime. (I am old, I just dive a car not appropriate to my age). All the best, Rustyb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,269 Posts
Even if you had access, you're missing the fact that the back side of the material (the foam) is what the adhesive is made to stick to...that's the only reason it's there. So if you spray the adhesive onto the part where the foam is supposed to attach to the material, you get a wet, sticky mess. Feel free to try it though. But for $350, why not get it done properly? If you can even notice those kinds of digits change in your bank account, you're driving the wrong car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
I think you misunderstood my description. There is no access behind the sagging material. The outside layer is sagging. This layer is sewn to the inside layer, which is glued firmly to the roof. So basically you're seeing a "bubble" in your headliner and there is no way inside that bubble without cutting through the material.

Oh ok. Then I'm considering slicing that fabric in the area that'll be hidden by that front trim piece. Spraying some headliner adhesive or fabric adhesive and hoping it sticks. Don't really have much to lose. And the cut I make will be hidden.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top