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head liner recover - padding material?

 
Old 10-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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jwillman
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Default head liner recover - tips on applying vinyl - Update - Done!

My headliner had some splits and the vinyl was rock hard so as I am recovering the quarter panels now was a good time for the headliner to come out.

Headliner vinyl literally cracked off. Under the vinyl is a yellowish foam. It is glued down very well unlike the foam on the quater panels.

Any suggestions on dealing with the foam? If I should remove and replace how do I get it off and what do I use to replace it?

It is so well adhered I have considered gluing a thin liner material to it and then gluing the new vinyl to the liner.

I have the spray on weldwood high temp headliner glue.
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Last edited by jwillman; 10-28-2012 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Job Done!
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:50 PM
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dr bob
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Get the old stuff off. It's damaged to the point that it won't hold a glue for your new vinyl or foam. My local upholstery/foam supplier has that thin foam.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dr bob View Post
My local upholstery/foam supplier has that thin foam.
Would a headliner foam work or do I need a denser foam with a smooth foam surface for the glue?
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:03 PM
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Headliners used to be suspended on wire hoops, with a sewn-thru seam/pocket at each hoop. Modern pieces are foamed to the substrate, that is the foam is generated right on the Masonite or plastic backing. Makes it harder to remove since there really is no separate adhesive used for that bond. So look carefully at what you buy. "Headliner foam" may have a fabric or mesh side for the sew-through seams/pockets and wire hoops. That's not really what you need. Density is a crapshoot. Too dense and it will bubble/fold at compound contour changes (not really critical in a 928), too light will make the foam too easy to stretch and tear while installing. Whatever you use, think about using strips of waxed paper as slip sheets between the foam and the substrate as you install it. Spray the adhesive to both surfaces per the instructions, let it tack properly per the instructions. Then put waxed paper on the substrate, and get the foam lined up perfectly on the waxed paper. Pull/fold/roll the waxed paper out slowly, as you put adequate pressure on the foam to make the glue bond where the waxed paper was. Be careful not to pull on the foam as you do this, so it doesn't stretch. I usually try to work from the center out, and use binder clamps with spreader sticks to hold everything aligned as it goes together. You may find that gluing the foam to the vinyl first is a help, since that reduces any foam stretching.

Pros often have a vacuum-bag setup that applies even pressure after the foam and vinyl are in place. You can make a bag with plastic sheet or a couple large trash bags, sealed with something handy like 'stucco' tape. Leave a corner unsealed so you can stick the schnozzle of your small vacuum cleaner up behind the backing (so it doesn't leave a mark on the vinyl/foam side) and let the vacuum hold everything together evenly as the glue dries.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:34 PM
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I have some cloth covered 3/16 in headliner foam I bought at a local fabric store. It is not sewn or pleated but rather looks like the mechanically bonded the cloth to the foam.

I have already used it to replace the foam on my rear quarter panels but the foam is glued to the quarter panels foam side to panel and then the vinyl cover lays over the top of the cloth covered side so I don't know how the glue would act cloth side to vinyl.

Guess I will test it on some scrap pieces.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:50 PM
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The rear panels, like the door panels, do not have glue between the covering and foam, The covering is wrapped around the edges of the panel and glued there, so the covering pretty much "floats" on the foam. This allows the panel to change shape some in the sun without tearing the covering. The headliner is a continuous glue project, so the cloth-faced foam won't get you where you want to be. The adhesive bonds need to survive 200║+ summer temps with a dark metal solar heat accumulator sitting immediately above.

Might be fun to 'test' the material you found, or find some that can be dyed or sprayed the finished color you want so there's only the foam->substrate joint to be concerned about.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:27 PM
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Use Volara 1/8" foam - its a polyethylene foam with good heat/noise blocking properties and can be found in a good density which matches the yellow factory foam.

I found mention of the Volara stuff from Bob Budd in an old thread.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:40 AM
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I have 1/8 volara on the way.

As I a scraping off the old foam I am now becoming concernd about how to get the vinyl to contour cleanly around the visor pockets.

I am thinging heat gun to help warm and stretch it a bit. Any tips?
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:30 AM
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Finished the headliner and pleased with the results thanks to input from here!

Once the headliner was off and old vinyl stripped off I used a putty knife to strip the foam and then a wire brush to clean down to the headliner board.

I purchased some black 1/8 Volara and used a cheap HF paint gun to apply the Weldwood HHR sprayable contact cement. I laid the volara across the headliner and folder it back half way applying the glue to the headliner and folded back half of the foam.

After letting the glue set a couple of minutes I laid some wax paper across the side raised edges and half the glued head liner to prevent the foam from sticking until I wanted it to.

I slowly unfolded the foam from the open side and applied pressure to the valley of the headliner first and then remover the wax paper from the edges and smoothed the foam across those curves and contours. I removed the rest of the wax paper and followed the same process.

I repeated the process on the other side and then trimmed the foam.

I followed the same process with the vinyl and then used the same cement and 5/32 inch leg staples to secure the edges to the underside of the headliner.

A definite DIY job made easier with the right tools!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:38 AM
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Jim,
Does the first picture show a broken headliner board?
How did you fix that?
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:42 AM
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This is awesome, well-done!! Subscribed!!

Where did you order the Volara?
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Bilal928S4 View Post
Jim,
Does the first picture show a broken headliner board?
How did you fix that?
Not sure what you are seeing but the headliner board was not broken. The line that isshowing is where the foam is versus where it has been removed. Thye are nearly the same color. There is an unused vanity mirror cut out that is partially scribed and appears to be OEM. My car only has one vanity mirror on the passengers side.

I had pulled the headliner last year to address some pulling back of the old vinyl and reinforce some of the edges and corners that had some previous water damage by laying a layer of fiberglass on the back side of the headliner.

Last edited by jwillman; 10-28-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Landseer View Post
This is awesome, well-done!! Subscribed!!

Where did you order the Volara?
ordered the foam from the Foam Factory.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:08 PM
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GREAT JOB Jim!!! Love it man! You need to come up the street and show it off to me... Not to mention pick up about a dozen boxes (though you might need your truck for that) so we can get you running the Membership part of the 928 Owners Club! You need to hear the stereo and exhaust on the '95 too! SO SWEET!!!
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jwillman View Post
Not sure what you are seeing but the headliner board was not broken. The line that isshowing is where the foam is versus where it has been removed. Thye are nearly the same color. There is an unused vanity mirror cut out that is partially scribed and appears to be OEM. My car only has one vanity mirror on the passengers side.
Looks outstanding - great result!

My 89 S4 headliner has the same unused cutouts - being an S4 it never had the lit vanity mirrors, those were early models only. It seems the factory used the same panel mold for all model years; at least for non-sunroof cars.

I can't get the Weldwood contact adhesive locally. Sadly, being flammable, its not shippable via my usual mail forwarding company - and as usual, Aussie home-grown alternatives seem to suck.
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