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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sagging Headliner

You've heard the phrase “when it rains, it pours”, right? And, no, I'm not referring to the three inches of rain we received earlier this week after a good six weeks with not so much as a trickle.

While craning my neck during the morning commute something about the headliner in the vicinity of the passenger side window caught my eye. I did a double take and realized that I had finally fallen victim of the dreaded sagging headliner problem. A closer look when I arrived at work revealed a good 30% of the headliner fabric has detached.

So now I have to add a headliner replacement to the long list of work I have planned for the car. Removing the headliner requires removal of the A, B, and C pillar trims and in order to remove the C pillar trim I have to remove the rear deck cover. As the vehicle has spent the better part of its life as a daily driver sitting out in the company parking lot under the blazing sun the cover is bleached nearly white. That means if I remove it I'd be stupid not to replace it.

Of course, if I'm pulling all the interior trim surrounding the rear window, that would be the ideal time to replace the back window to fix a couple of inoperative defrosting circuits that are conveniently in my line of sight through the rear view mirror and replace the exterior trim that has been hardening and distintegrating for years.

Removal of the headliner also requires removal of the door weatherstripping. I have wanted to replace that for many years but was always put off by its cost. When I last priced the parts a couple years ago each piece retailed for around $250. Now I wished I'd sucked it up and bought the parts back then, as the current price is (put your hands over your ears if cursing offends you), F$#!@! $375 each. My cost is a bit lower but it's still $600 for a couple pieces of weatherstripping. That is highway robbery by any stretch of the imagination, and this is coming from someone conditioned to aircraft parts prices.

As "luck" would have it, replacement of the deteriorating exterior shadowline window trim (the metal piece that surrounds the side windows and formed to fit the famous Hofmeister kink) also requires removal of the door weatherstripping, so it appears I'll be doing the shadowline trim as well. Fortunately those trim pieces are still relatively inexpensive at $35 each. And good thing too -- from what I'm told, they are very easy to bend during installation, and if that happens they go in the circular file.

One thing I have yet to figure out is how to get the headliner out of the interior without destroying it or anything else. Some suggest that reclining the seats is sufficient to provide the necessary clearance while others suggest the seats need to be removed entirely. If I remove the seats it will be hard not to rebuild them, but that's to be expected since I appear to have a thing for slippery slopes.

Mileage: 194378