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Auto body repair & detailing/Falling and Torn Headliner


QUESTION: I am sorry to trouble you with such a trivial question, I tried to ask someone in car upholstery but no one was available.
I have an older vehicle that I do not use often and do not want to sink a lot of money into, the headliner it torn and fallen and the foam underneath seems to be dry rotted as well because the particles fall off with a mere puff of air . This makes driving this vehicle troublesome. I have tried just gluing it back into place with fabric adhesive but the flaky foam will not allow it to stick. I have also tried sewing the headliner back together but the cloth is so worn it will not support the stitches and they just tear out. I am not very concerned with the headliner falling, I do not care at all about physical appeal, just functionality. I do not want loose cloth flapping around my head and headliner dust flying into my eyes every time I decide to roll a window down.
With out having to buy a whole headliner kit, is there anything I can do to cheaply fix the headliner or at least keep the deteriorating foam from being so problematic?
Thank you for taking time to read my question and thank you in advance for any advice.

ANSWER: Hi Blandy....For starters, there is no problem whatsoever asking any type of question. All is good....That being said, unfortunately, with the condition of the foam backing and headliner material as you mentioned, there is very little you can do to repair either item successfully. Being that you also mentioned that you are not concerned about physical appearance, just functionality, for myself, I would be inclined to remove the headliner and foam backing completely as safety and visibility is of the utmost importance. Then if you decide down the road to replace the headliner assembly, you will have a clean slate to work with....If there are any other questions or concerns you have, please feel free to drop me another line anytime.....Thanks....Dave.

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QUESTION: Thank you Dave for your rapid reply.
I considered removing everything but a friend told me it would make the heat in the car unbearable and it would become hot to the touch. I am a tall girl and this is a small car so I make contact with the ceiling at least once every time I get into the thing so I decided against it.
Is all the true, will it become hot to the touch and substantially increase the temperature in the vehicle?
Sorry again for the silly question and thank you again you your time and patience.

Hi again Blandy....If the headliner and existing foam is removed completely, the roof will definitely become hot to the touch, as these materials do provide a form of insulation to a point. The color of a vehicle actually has the most determining factor as to the inside temperature. The darker the color, black for example, attracts heat the most, as where white attracts heat the least. Colors in between, will have the same effect, depending on the shade. Keeping your heater/ac control to the vent position, will help keep the inside temperature down also. That being said, as one other option, I would consider removing the headliner and foam backing completely, then picking up a roll of 1/2 inch foam and some cans of spray trim adhesive at your local hardware/house renovation retail store. Installing this, should provide you with at least the same insulating factor, as well as not being hot to the touch.....Hope this helps you out. Please drop me a line anytime if you have any other questions....And you are very welcome....Dave.

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Dave Norgardt


Absolutely anything autobody related... Frame repair, suspension, alignment, panel replacement, panel repair, fiberglass, plastic repair, paint, air bags, etc.....


Over 30 years in related areas. 25 years in HEAVY frame repair, suspension, and alignment procedures. As well as panel replacement and repairs, etc.....

Journeyman Autobody Technician with Red Seal/Interprovincial certification from N.A.I.T. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Top Achiever award second year, also from N.A.I.T. Also have Platinum status from I-Car Canada...Also have Journeyman Partsman Certificate, Lethbridge, Alberta...

Awards and Honors
Second Year Top Achiever from N.A.I.T.Edmonton

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