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as asked for: how to replace a headliner.

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this is all assuming that you have the headliner backing card, if you don't, you need to start by getting one. other wise here you go: :smart: :smart: :smart: :smart:


go to a upholstery shop and buy the headliner material or order it online. it's very easy to get.


take off all the interior trim that surrounds the headliner. this varies greatly with each vehicle. it's a simple job, but can be time consuming.


pull the headliner out of the vehicle carefully so you don't bend or damage it. it will have a little give to allow you to bend it very slightly, but most will break if bent much.


lay the headliner on the ground with the material side up. (note the way the material is around the edges).


starting in a corner, slowly remove the old material. do not pull too hard as it will remove parts of the headliner backing. they are usually made up of a fiber type material or a type of foam. if you have difficulty in a spot, soak it with warm water and it should release. sometimes you have to soak it and let it sit a while.


when the material is off, you need to clean off the backer. the material will usually leave a decent amount of thin foam on the backer. this foam must be removed completely. again, it must be. use a scrub brush (dry) to brush over the backer to remove all the old foam, etc.. there may be some adhesive that doesn't come off (usually tan or brown). that's ok, it won't hurt adhesion as long as it's still firmly attached. go over it a few times to make sure you got it all.


clean off the backside of the backer.


let the backer dry completely (if you used any water).


wipe the material side with rubbing alcohol or similar.


let it dry completely (it must be totally dry).


take the material and lay it over the backer to see how it's going to fit. remember the material lines(the little lines you see when you look closely at the material) should go from door to door, not front to back.


do a very rough cut of the fabric. very rough. leave at least 6 inches all the way around. don't cut for the dome light etc..


remove the material.


spray the headliner adhesive on the headliner (i recommend 3m). on smaller headliners, you can spray the entire backer. if it's a large headliner, you'll have to do sections at a time(there is a trick to it). do not use a regular fabric adhesive. get the stuff for headliners as it will hold up longer.


let the adhesive dry a little until it is tacky and not runny (it varies by the brand).


apply the material while it is tacky. start at the front and roll it to the back keeping the material fairly tight. it's kind of a 1 shot deal. you can't let the material go too loose as it will cause imperfections and sags later on. keep it tight enough that it goes on smooth but does not pull the stuff already layed down (that's why the adhesive must be tacky). on a large headliner you will need to time the adhesive to rolling out the material. spray the adhesive and roll it as you go. do not let the adhesive dry too much as you go. also make sure that the adhesive overlaps as you go.


smooth the material out making sure there's no bubbles or imperfections. go over it all twice to make sure it's perfect.


when it's perfect, set it in the sun if possible for a couple hours. if not, just put it with the material side up in a dry place. i recommend letting it sit overnight, but it's not necessary. i have done the complete job in less than 4 hours and it's just fine. i just like allowing the adhesive extra time.


when it's dried and on the backer solid, it's time to cut. some companies prefer to have the material tuck around the edges to the backside, others just do it to the edge of the backer. either way works but, if you noted how the material was on originally, do it that way. i rarely tuck the material around the backside, only when the edge will be visible. cut the material around the edges. if you don't tuck, just give an 1/8 of an inch or so over the edge. cut out the holes for the dome light, sunvisers, or whatever else. you can leave material in the cut outs sometimes. if it needs to be a snug fit, cut the materials from the center going to the corners. then tuck the corners to the backside kind of like you're wrapping a package.


when the cutting is done, put it in place inside the vehicle. again be careful not to bend the backer too much.


put the trim pieces on.


put the dome light, etc., in place.


wipe of any dirt you may have gotten on it lightly with a rag that has a little warm water on it. do not get the headliner wet, just wipe the spot off. if it's going to take more than a light rub, wait a week or two to clean it.


if you are using a vinyl material, the process is the same. it's just a little tougher to keep the right pressure on the material.


you should now be done and have a beautiful new headliner in your vehicle.


as a note, cleaning a cloth headliner should always be done carefully and sparingly (new or old). i do not recommend ever steam cleaning or shampooing a headliner. just wipe it with a cleaner, such as simple green or a upholstery cleaner/shampoo. try not to soak the material, ever. if the material gets soaked dry it as fast as you can with no heat. every time your headliner gets wet, it compromises the bond with the glue and dries out the foam backing on the headliner material.


well, there you go. the details on replacing a headliner, the professional way. :thumbsup:

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  • 1 month later...
you might be better off just going to a JY and pulling one out of an xj and then cutting it to length. i only say this because you might not be able to get the contour with carboard. just my thought, take it for what its worth.


You won't get contour with an XJ board either! The MJ board is curved in the back above the window.

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Also a lot of fabric stores sell headliner material in various colors.

thats where i usually get it.


the last time i bought it one fabric store even had the headliner glue but i didnt reconize the brand so i went to the parts store to get the 3M headliner glue (Part #08090)

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Just for a quick hint , I used a head liner from cherokee cut to lenght , cut "v's" in rear corners reglued the corners and fabric then installed the rear head liner speakers from a cherokee , Helps hold it in place also . Everything came from the donars so it didn't cost a dime . Was well worth the effort just for the amount of road noise it keep out !

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Just for a quick hint , I used a head liner from cherokee cut to lenght , cut "v's" in rear corners reglued the corners and fabric then installed the rear head liner speakers from a cherokee , Helps hold it in place also . Everything came from the donars so it didn't cost a dime . Was well worth the effort just for the amount of road noise it keep out !


I'd like to see a pic of this. :yes:


I tried positioning the 97-01 rear speakers on the ceiling of my MJ,

but it ended up too close to my head.


I did save the whole 01' headliner, but I hadn't though about re-shaping the back corners like that to fit the MJ.

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