A lot changed in the way of factory headliner fabrication in the mid 1970’s. Automobile manufacturers began laminating a foam-backed fabric to a one-piece pressed and molded cardboard, plastic or fiberglass panel. The one-piece panel is surrounded by moldings which hold it in place.
These one-piece headliners may have made factory production easier and faster; however, they are extremely susceptible to shrinking, cracking and falling due to age, extreme temperature fluctuations and the penetrating heat of the sun through the roof of the car. Typically, these signs begin after 8 to 10 years. What most commonly occurs with these headliners is the breaking down of the foam backing and the glue used to adhere the fabric to the molded panel. When this happens you have a falling of the fabric into the field of vision and a mess of disintegrated and crumbling glue and foam.
Molded Headliner Boards
Molded headliner boards are boards pressed and molded to shape and fit each specific application/car. They are a piece of cardboard, rigid foam or fibrous material which has been molded in same exact shape of the inside of the vehicles roof. For many popular vehicles, new boards can be purchased for replacement. If one is not available for a specific car we are more than capable of making a replacement.
Typically, luxury cars require more work as they are fabricated with thicker materials, more attachments to the headliner and the boards are composed of fiberglass which is considerably more difficult to recover than those made from other materials.
Mid-Sized Station Wagons
The headliners of mid-sized wagons require the use of only a one piece, elongated molded board.
SUV’s & Full-Sized Wagons
SUV’s and full sized wagon headliners are comprised of two boards; one for the passenger seating portion of the vehicle and the other over the cargo area.
Limousines vary in era manufactured, make and model. Some will require multiple, molded boards while others will require bow style headliners.
Periodically, the headliner board of a late model automobile is too damaged to be reused, and a replacement board is not available. Often in these cases, depending on the vehicle, a Conversion Style Headliner is the best option. The same type of foam backed fabric would be utilized and pre-sewn with sleeves for the use of bowed rods in order to suspend the headliner. The methods and materials for constructing this type of conversion headliner is the same as the classic, old style “Suspended ‘Bow’ Headliner.”
TIP: If your headliner is one of the molded, one piece variety and is falling down, it is best not to try a home remedy and spay a lot of glue on the inside of the roof as it will, more often than not, look very badly, only last a few days, create a mess, and make it considerably more difficult for the professional to repair it correctly and subsequently cost you more, accordingly.