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Replacing a Chevrolet Caprice Headliner

by Ryan Bauer

Phillips screwdriver

Trim removal tool

Spray adhesive

Headliner fabric

Wooden dowel rod

Utility knife

Remove the plastic trim surrounding the headliner. Using a trim removal tool, pop each piece out of the mounting clips. Continue removing trim until the entire edge of the headliner is visible and nothing is blocking it.

Unscrew all of the hardware that is connected to the headliner. Remove the sun visors, visor supports, handles and hangers. These are all held in place with Phillips-head screws.

Remove the dome light by carefully prying off the cover. Remove the newly-exposed screws and pull the light away from the headliner. Disconnect the power cable from the light.

Starting at the rear of the vehicle, pull the headliner down. Pop it free of each mounting clip individually. From the front passenger door, begin pulling the corner of the headliner out of the interior. The headliner is wider than the door opening, so it will have to bend to fit through the frame. Work carefully to avoid damaging the headliner or the car.

Lay the headliner on a flat surface and begin pulling the fabric away from the backing board. If the headliner is older, it may have already started to detach due to the glue breaking down. If not, start at one corner and carefully pry the fabric loose, then pull it off of the board diagonally.

Roll new headliner fabric over the backing board and cut it to fit. To give yourself some room for error, leave a little extra overhanging the edges. It can be trimmed off at a later time.

Roll the fabric up and place it at one end of the backing board. Thoroughly coat the board with spray-on headliner adhesive. Begin rolling the fabric over the backing board. As the fabric is about to contact the board, spray it with adhesive. Work slowly, ensuring all of the fabric gets a coating of adhesive. Smooth the fabric with a dowel rod as you go. If a wrinkle develops, quickly pull the fabric back before the adhesive has time to setup, then redo that portion.

Trim the excess fabric from the edge of the headliner using a utility knife. Cut the fabric where any holes in the board exist, such as for the dome light and visor mounts.

Replace the headliner by reversing the process used to remove it. Press it firmly into the mounting clips and replace the molding by snapping it back into place. Reinstall the hardware that was removed.

Items you will need

About the Author

Ryan Bauer is a freelance writer located in Ozark, Missouri. He has written numerous articles and books, including "How to Improve Your Credit Score 100 Points in 100 Days." Bauer is an experienced automotive mechanic and computer technician.

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