Headliner Repair/renew on '98 C230 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:04 PM
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Post Headliner Repair/renew on '98 C230

Somebody asked about this so I'm starting a separate thread on this particular job because from what I was able to find, there isn't that much detailed information including pictures that could answer some of the questions I had before I started. This is a work in progress, so far I have gotten the headliner out of the car and have started removing all the nasty orange foam bits. It is slow going and the weather here is in the 90's, so I have to take my time.

All the seats have been removed from the car. It's not that hard a job and it makes it easier to maneuver the headliner out of the car. And if the car was as dirty and junk filled as mine was, you really want to get the seats out so you can clear it out and clean the carpets underneath.

Here are some shots of the headliner still in the car, I pulled out about half the material, there wasnt much holding it up anyway.




Here you can see the clip locations on the A pillar. I found it was best to pull it up from the bottom as there is a hook tab on the top. Generally that seems to be the best way to remove the other pillar trim as well.



Here you can see the condition of the C pillar. It comes loose starting at the bottom edge near the seat and then working up. There are two clips that hook under the cover for the rear deck. You have to unfasten the seat belt at the bottom so you can thread it all out through the slot.




Here you can see the back of the panel with the clip tabs and one of the base hooks.



Here is the naked C pillar:



And here is the naked B pillar. You can see the clips (2 sets) on the top half and one set much closer to the bottom. I had to tug a bit to get the covers off, the clips tended to want to grab the fabric on the trim. Good thing I'm recovering it all anyway.



Rear dome light hanging loose. It just pops out of the metal insert ring. There is one hook right near the hole for it that holds it to the metal frame of the ceiling. There are also two metal fasteners that looked like they were originally glued to the back of the headliner board that stayed up in the ceiling. I will probably put some contact cement on those and the back of the board and hope they resume their former relationship...




Here you can see the headliner hanging down. Those two little "X" marks are the glue residue from the two former attachment points.




Getting the headliner board out was a bit tricky. You need an extra set of hands and somebody that can conceptualize how to maneuver this big board out of a small opening. So ask somebody other than your wife unless she is really good at that sort of thing. It was a very tight fit and while it did make it out the passenger front door, we did have to bend it very slightly so it would clear the console. As it was, I had to take the gear shift and move it all the way back for the board to get by. The board is fiberglass, but very thin and the edges are especially vulnerable to breaking. You have to take your time and go slow, but it will come out.



I'll post more photos as I go along. Started scraping off the foam residue outside. I'm hesitant to use any solvent, I don't want the residue reacting with the glue for the new material. That material should be here tomorrow, so hopefully more pix in a day or so. I also need to figure out how to get the sunroof panel board out without a major dismantle of the sunroof. If anybody has a question of comment feel free. If you want photos of a particular part, just let me know.

Bob
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 07:49 PM
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Made some progress this morning on getting the sunroof shade panel out. It was not inherently obvious, some searching on the web led to one posting about removing the two side bellows and a plastic piece up toward the front. After playing around with it for a half hour and getting nowhere, I went back and re-read the post again and came back out and decided to remove the plastic trim in the front that looks like this:



Like most of the plastic it was a bit brittle and even though I was as gentle as I could be one of the small tabs cracked. Guess if it doesnt go back snug a little silicone should help things a bit. The bellows refer to the two rubber side pieces that attach to the glass and the moving frame and keep rain out when the glass is tilted up. The top of the rubber slips into a channel alongside the glass and you can see there are a couple of small metal clips in the middle.






Toward the back, there is a small clip thing that you need to fit a small screwdriver in under the metal and pry it up a wee bit and the rubber bellows will slide inward free and clear. Then you can remove it out of the way.





After you get both rubber pieces out, then you lower the glass panel back down from the tilted position and slide it back retracting it about 2-3 inches from its furthest travel. At that point you can pull the inner panel forward and then tilt it up and out of the car. The basic mechanism of the sunroof hasn't been touched so no adjustment should be necessary.









I did start to clean it up a bit. There is actually a cloth layer that was attached to the base material which is again some sort of fiberglass panel. I removed that since it was not going to clean up smooth enough for the new material. I did try and push out one of the louver panels and it rewarded me by promptly cracking. 14 years sitting under a glass exposed to the southern sun, and it's a bit dry and crispy. Go figure. Not sure what I will do about it. I've never seen a sunroof panel with louvers in it before, I guess it was supposed to help avoid excess heat buildup in that area in between? Only Mercedes.

One thing I will do before I start to put everything back together is to pull the drain hoses for each of the 4 corners of the sunroof drain and flush them and make sure they are working. Easy enough with everything exposed.

More to come, stay tuned.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for sharing this. Subbing to thread.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 12:42 PM
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Definately watching this thread
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 01:31 PM
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Appreciate the interest. I decided to order 4 yards of a suede material in Gray instead of the first material I got this week. Should be here beginning of next week so I'll probably have some updates in a couple of days. Hopefully the heat will break as well, its been in the upper 90's here and it's murder doing much outside in the middle of the day.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 10:06 PM
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This is a great thread. Thanks for all of the documentation.

My understanding is that the grills are to allow air to vent out when you have the back of the sunroof raised in vent mode but don't want to have the shade open due to heat from the sun.

On really hot days when you have to park the car in the sun to run errands, you can put the sunroof in vent position and utilize the rest feature. It won't "cool" the car unless you are just gone for one or two minutes but it can keep the temperature from soaring as high as it normally would go and thus is faster to cool when you do get back into the car.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 06:31 PM
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Well the material came today and I wasted no time getting to work on the headliner. I had previously cleaned up the board as best I could and even today did a bit more scraping and using the vac to pic up whatever loose bits of foam I could. I measured out the board and it was just a bit longer than 60" but since the material is 60" wide I ended up cutting a piece that was about 68" long so I would be sure to have enough, especially with the contours that needed to be covered. This material was a grey suede material that I got online from Miami corp for about 16 bucks a yard. I bought 4 yards to be sure I had enough for the headliner as well as all the trim pieces.

Here is the material laid out on the prepped board, cut oversize but not trimmed yet.


Applying the glue (second section):




Moving right along:



Flipped over, starting to trim:



Opening up for the dome lamp assembly:



Getting closer:



Done:



I also recovered the two A pillar trim pieces, no pix of those, was loosing light and wanted to get done. They were easier than the headliner since they were much smaller. Actually used scraps from the headliner section for both. Fairly happy with how they turned out and I like the suede material for looks as well as the darker shade of grey. I suppose if I were to do it again it would come out a bit better, there are a couple of areas with some creases, but not a bad first try. Used one can of spray adhesive for the headliner, hopefully the second can will do all the trim. More to come.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 07:22 PM
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It is looking really good!

What did you use for a glue and do you put it on with a roller or what? I would think it would have to be a substantial coating of the glue to hold porous stuff together?

When it comes to the edges, do you wrap it around to the backside and glue or are the edges covered during install so you don't have to be exact about the edges?

Keep up the good work!

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 07:42 PM
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The glue is a spray contact adhesive. You spray both the board and the back of the material, wait about a minute and then bring both sides together and it's done. I got two cans with the first order of material, think they went for about 12 a can. Specifically made for headliners, says hi temp so I guess that means it can stand up to the interior heat in the summer. On the front and back I wrapped it around the edge since they don't tuck under anything. On the sides the headliner tucks under the elastic trim so I didn't want to make it too thick. It's not a perfect job, but way better than spending 600 bucks to have somebody else do it.
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 01:45 PM
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When u sprayed it, does the glue stick to the fabric instantly? Or do you have time to flatten out the material to make it smooth?
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