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Replacing/repairing headliner and vinyl top, 86 cutlass


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07-17-02, 09:50 AM   #1  
Replacing/repairing headliner and vinyl top, 86 cutlass

You guys probably think that, the way I post on this forum about this car, that it's a POS but it isn't, I'm just putting it back into good shape.

I replaced some of the fake wood trim on the doors with custom made/cut/stained/varnished (by me) wood, will eventually get to replace nearly all of it. Looks good.

The headliner is sagging, but isn't stained or ripped. Instead of replacing it, can I just remove the trim from around the sides, and spray an aerosol adhesive to it and stick it back up? Or would the adhesive leak through or melt in the hot sun (Charleston SC)?


Second, the vinyl top that covers the rear 3rd of the car is severly cracked (as most are). Is that easily replaced, or can that be repaired by covering it with something (like a vinyl repair kit?).

Neither of these have to be A1 PERFECT jobs, I just don't want the car to look ratty.

Any idears????

 
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07-17-02, 09:54 AM   #2  
Joe_F
A new vinyl top is cheaper than you think...definitely a professional job.

As for the headliner, take it out board and all and bring it to the same shop that does your roof. They will make up a new fabric piece and glue it properly to the board. You can then reinstall it. You can't reglue the old material. The foam is degraded and the material has stretched...it won't work. You can use staples though tempoarily to hold it up

I would get a quote on doing both. If you have both done by the trim shop, it should be that bad. The car will really be spruced up in the process as well.

 
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07-17-02, 10:13 AM   #3  
Vinyl top replaced-- $200-250, about $150 more than I'd rather spend. There's no way that this thing can be slathered up with some sort of rubber compound?

Headliner, removal-- will look into that. I hope it's not a PITA to take out!

 
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07-17-02, 10:15 AM   #4  
Joe_F
The headliner is a bit of a PITA. All of the interior trim (the upper part) has to come out. The board comes out as a whole with the fabric. That's why if you bring them the board by itself (with the old fabric glued on it) it will be cheaper..they don't do the R&R, you do .

As for the vinyl top, you can try some of that vinyl/leather repair you see on TV, but that will likely not stop it from ripping somewhere else . The vinyl is dry and stretched...that's why it has cracked

 
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07-17-02, 12:16 PM   #5  
Is there anything that can be used instead of vinyl, or a certain grade of vinyl that is more resiliant to UV rays?

(speaking of UV rays I found an ad in the paper for a window tinting place that advertises that their tint eliminates "99% of SUV rays"- I guess them SUV's with the HID headlamps are giving some folks sunburn!)

I may try to replace the headliner myself, shouldn't be that hard. I'll take a look at it, should just need new padding and some sort of adhesive. I can buy some fabric at a fabric store or WalMart. I think I like paisley......or not....

 
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07-17-02, 01:26 PM   #6  
Joe_F
I don't think anything else will be compatible or blend with the vinyl BUT vinyl .

Most fabric stores have the fabric with the foam backing. Just pick a color close enough and you're good to go. The key is to really clean the old board thoroughly of old material otherwise it's going to look hokey .

 
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07-18-02, 04:46 AM   #7  
Just use a normal aerosol/spray adhesive?

 
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07-18-02, 09:02 AM   #8  
Joe_F
No! Use glue made for this purpose. 3M makes great trim adhesive. Any parts store or retailer should have it. You can also try a body supply shop, they will have it too.

 
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07-18-02, 09:31 AM   #9  
Phew. Thanx!!!


Joe- they really should pay you a salary. If I ever have engine problems I'm gonna ship this boat to you and let you take a look under the hood!!!

 
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07-19-02, 04:26 AM   #10  
Joe_F
No problem anytime.

Not likely to have many problems with this old 307. It's a reliable old horse. My friend at work heard my 84 Olds in the parking lot the other day (the fuel line needed to be snugged so we did it at lunch so as not to get dirty), and he said, "Wow, doesn't run like it has 143k on the clock".

I would suggest in your travels, you pick up a GM factory manual and body manual. The thing is indespensible and worth its weight in gold two times over.

I know in the Pontiac book, they go so far as to describe vinyl top rips as "Vinyl top descrepancies" and they show all the ways to fix these "descrepancies". They have "knife injury", "abrasion" etc.

I laughed my ass off the first time I read it and the language they used. Always stodgy and technical...but great...and there's some dry wit thrown in there if you read between the lines.


Special tool #1234 is used to remove X Y and Z. Alternatively, Bon Ami may be used to clean this....etc. Almost every operation you can think of is covered in full detail. I prefer the OEM manuals. I'm looking for used sets on my 89 Cavalier (just inherited it) or 84 Olds. I have them at work in the library, but I want to get my own copies for home .

I knocked out a steering column problem in five minutes with this book. I also fixed a non working window in 5 minutes that was drivng me nuts for months..the book said, "Check the plug behind the dash...likely missing or compromised". Sure enough, it was dangling there!

 
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