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1989 Buick reatta headliner


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You can repair it yourself.

Replacement material is available at fabric stores like Hancock, Jo Ann .......I am sure there are other chains in different parts of the country.

The fabric comes with the foam attached, cost about $11 a yard and you need 1 1/2 yards

* Remove the headliner assembly

* remove the fabric

* wire brush all the old foam off that is sticking to the headliner backing.

**** if the headliner backing is damaged, cracked, or has missing chunks, it can be repaired with fiberglass repair kits

* you need a can of 3M adhesive spray, I don't remember the new correct number...

* it helps to have a helper

* with your helper, center the fabric over the headliner backing, and let the center sag until it touches in the middle........ lets say you are going to do the passanger side first... fold the passanger side over, on top of the drivers side. the passanger side backing is exposed.

* spray the passanger side with adhesive and also 1/2 of the foam side of the new headliner.

* now starting in the center, with your helper holding the headliner material up until you smooth it out.....work your way from the center to the outer edge....slowly pushing the headlinger material against the backing and smoothing the curves..... make sure you get good contact everywhere

* when you finish one side, fold the other side over on the side you completed....spray the adhesive on the backing and the foam backing of the headliner. Repeat as you did the first side.

NOTE make certain you get full coverage of adhesive in the curves and dips. the flat surfaces will stick fine but you must have plenty of adhesive to hold in the compound curved areas.

When you finish the front, fold the excess over onto the back and glue that down, you will need to trim the corners. also note how the original was done, if necessary take a photo of the back of the original before you take it off.

Because of the plastic trim, you don't need any fold over at the corners of the "A" piller.

Also the trim behind the doors covers about 3/4 inch of the headliner so that is not critical.

There are velcro pads over both door and in the front and back, trim the headlinger materal around the velcro

I am sure I missed some detail but others that have done it can add their comments.

Forgot I had this picture, it show a headliner in various stages.......

on the far left the backing has been wire brushed and is the yellow color...... all of the gray area is the old foam sticking to the backing.........the blue is the original headliner that I am pulling off.


Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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re: 3M adhesive: do NOT use 3M "Super 77" spray adhesive!!! on the can it states: "do not use on expanded polystyrene foam or automotive headliners"...

works great for dynamat though. :)

i used a permatex spray adhesive picked up at advance/autozone, when i put in a non-stock headliner (as described in the above post) in my avanti... 3M General Trim Adhesive states it is also for headliners. i haven't used it so can't comment if it's any better/worse than the permantex, which worked fine...

hope this helps.

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I removed my headliner from the Black, peeled off the fabric, wire brushed the headliner to get the adhesive off and took it to the shop that installed the sunroof in my Red. He charged me $60.00 for fabric and to reapply same. I then reinstalled the headliner myself.

IMHO a much better way to go...

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Or save yourself a lot of headaches and pay a good upholstery shop $160- $175 to do it for you. The most problematic part of the job is getting the front pillar covers back on. Quite often piece on the back that holds push clips break off. If you do it yourself, you might try taking off the covers on the rear pillars, undoing the visors and the interior light. Then there are velcro pieces along the sides above the windows. Once you get everything loose, try sliding the headliner to the rear enough to clear the front pillar post covers to avoid the problem of breaking those retainers. I have seen a lot of covers glued back on with a bunch of goop.

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I have found the easiest, and cheapest way to do this with the BEST results is to do some of the work myself and leave the some of it to the pros. I remove and replace the headliner myself. There is NO need to remove the A pillar garnish to remove the headliner board. Just slide it strait back. Secondly if you want the color to be right get your fabric at an auto upholstery supply shop. Third and most importantly have an upholstery shop apply the fabric. They have BETTER glue. The rattle can stuff is not the same. I also wear a clean pair of mechanics rubber gloves during reassembly to prevent oils from my hands from contaminating the new headliner.

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