: Headliner Repair

12-21-09, 09:52 AM
I've just made an offer on a 92 Brougham. It's a nice one owner car. The headliner is starting to sag which I know is a common problem on these cars. What is the fix for this? Who would I take it to? Approx cost?

I live in Fort Lauderdale. Anyone have any suggestions other than dealer for maintenance/service?


12-21-09, 10:10 AM
well you could probably take the side closest to the sagging down and spray the ceiling with adhesive and then press it back up. That would probably be the cheapest bet. An auto detailing shop might also be able to do it for you if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself.

12-21-09, 10:48 AM
Hi, The headliners in these cars all come down sooner or later. The headliner in my 1979 Sedan deVille is finally starting to come loose and I'm dreading doing a replacement because my Burnished Gold interior color will likely be challenging to match correctly. The headliner fabric comes loose because the fabric is glued to thin foam. The foam disintegrates over time and the fabric comes loose as a result. Gluing the existing headliner fabric back to the old broken down foam underneath will never correct the problem. The only way to fix it is to remove the old headliner and replace with a new one. You can go to an auto upholstery shop and have them tackle the problem for a few hundred $$$'s otherwise you can buy the new headliner and install it yourself. I'm hardly mechanical and have done two headliners myself. The company I used is called WLS Headliners in Georgia. http://www.wlsheadliners.com/ Here is a how-to on replacing a headliner in a 1991 Brougham: http://www.wlsheadliners.com/tutorials/cadillac-fleetwood/ Good luck and have fun!! :)

12-21-09, 11:13 AM
I did the one in my old '88 Fleetwood for about $20. It was $15 for fabric and $5 for headliner glue. You pull it out, pull the old fabric off, clean the old pieces of foam off the fiberboard and then glue the new fabric in place. The hardest part is getting the fiberboard piece out. I had to lay the passenger side seat flat and wiggle it out the front door. At the factory they are installed though the windshield opening before the glass goes in.

12-21-09, 11:45 AM
Once it starts to fall, you can't re-glue it. Fabric has to come off, and the board has to come out. ALL the old foam has to be scraped/sanded off. dirt_cheap has it right.

So easy to re-do, that my mom did it! No really, here's the proof. She is in Ft. Lauderdale, too. Believe she got the fabric from Jo-Ann's. I told her how to do it, and what to buy, and it turned out great. This is her 91 Caprice, btw.




12-21-09, 12:49 PM
Jay, Nice job done by Mom on the Caprice headliner! By the way, where's the airbag in that Canadian spec 91 Caprice?!? I'm surprised Canada didn't mandate airbags in cars 10 years before here in da states. For the love of government, ya know, wouldn't a bad headliner qualify that Caprice these days up there as a candidate for crushing if that car tried to cross the border back into Canada? :)

12-21-09, 01:01 PM
That is a gen-u-ine Flo-rida Caprice! Mom hated the airbag wheel, and the little horn buttons, so I got her a nice Lumina Sport wheel to replace it. Looks great, and the horn works much better. I have the same wheel in my 95 SS. We got airbags on the same schedule as US spec cars.

12-21-09, 01:19 PM
Reluctantly, I "fixed" my '92 Coupe deVille headliner with these corkscrew-type tacks that otherwise looked like they were intended to hold down the armrest covers on a sofa or recliner. (I bought them in a pack of 10 for two or three bucks.) It looks ok and does the job, but it's a far cry from a classy fix that a Cadillac deserves!

My only worry was hitting any wiring while screwing them into the headliner where the fabric sagged, as I did not want to hit any wires or electric harness (did not know if there were any that ran through the roof).

12-22-09, 03:44 PM
Well, offer accepted and paperwork will be completed tomorrow and then the car shipped to me.

It’s a very nice 1992 Brougham, one owner, 78K miles, 5.7, triple medium blue with leather. Not d’Elegance but real wire wheels.

Guess I will find a body shop for the new headliner unless jayoldschool’s mom is near Fort Lauderdale! :)

Thanks for the tips.

Sure I will have more questions after I see the car.

12-22-09, 03:56 PM
Jayoldschool's mom is in Ft. Lauderdale, but I can guarantee she doesn't want to do another one. It took a lot of convincing to get her confidence up to do this one. She just turned 66 last week, and this is probably the first car repair she has ever done. Hey, if my MOM can fix one... :D

03-07-10, 10:31 PM
Ok, going to try to resurrect this old post... :pirate2:

I am trying to replace the headliner in both my '89 and '90. I don't care much for the stock headliner material, and am eyeing different types of fabric to do the job. My wife and I found some cotton-backed vinyl fabric that almost perfectly matches the blue interior of the car(s), and I would like to use it.

My question is this: can I glue the fabric directly to the headliner board, or do I need to find foam to glue in-between? There are many forums based on the question of custom headliner material, but none seem to address this question.

It seems that the heavier material might cause the glue to stress and the headliner will fail prematurely. Using no foam would negate this effect (as it is usually the foam that fails), but it is possible the gap resulting from lack of foam would be noticeable around trim and such. On the other hand, since vinyl is non-porous, the vinyl cloth could certainly be glued to foam easily with the same spray-on adhesive as the headliner itself, without glue coming through as in regular material. Also, if any repairs were made to the headliner board itself, these repairs might be noticeable if no foam is used.

I did find some cotton backed vinyl at the fabric store which had a thicker cotton layer (1/8" perhaps), but they only had one color, and it wasn't the one I wanted.

ANYWHO, hopefully y'all can shed some light on the subject.

03-08-10, 12:33 AM
I did my own and found the material on Ebay. It had the foam already attached to the backside of it. I think I paid about $20.00 for the material. Dont use the 3M spray adhesive that is sold at auto parts stores. Go to a professional paint and body supply and buy the good stuff. It cost about $10.00 for a spray can but, it is enough to do one headliner and the pillar trim.

03-08-10, 03:15 PM
Where I am, I got quoted between $145 up to nearly $200 to have a shop replace my headliner as mine is coming down in parts too. I finally have some money saved up for it too...

... but I'd love to do the job myself to save money. I'm somewhat uncomfortable about doing it. I'm afraid I will get everything undone and the headliner down and tear the crap out of the board getting it out. Or I can't get the new material onto the board correctly (i.e., with wrinkles or bubbles, etc.) OR I actually get the material on, but I can't get the headliner back in without screwing it up or something.

03-08-10, 05:23 PM
James, If I can do it you can do it. :) Dave

03-08-10, 06:01 PM
Use some fabric that already has foam attached to the back. Believe it or not, the foam behind the headliner soaks up A LOT of interior and road noise. I drove around with just the fiberboard in my old '88 Fleetwood for a while and the change was definitely noticeable. It may be more expensive, but you can find whatever type of headliner fabric you want on the internet, just make sure it has the foam backing.

03-08-10, 09:19 PM
I just paid a pro $300.00 to remove and replace it with side panels on my 88 Brougham D'Elegancewith astro roof option. Came out great. looks like a new car! Money well spent.

03-09-10, 08:54 AM
I had headliner sag on my 1992 Brougham, but it wasn't just the fabric falling down. It seemed that the board had detached from the centre of the roof. It wasn't horrible, but it was bad enough that it bugged me. I was lucky when I bought my 1991, as the headliner was perfect. I think it may have been replaced when the vinyl roof was redone a couple of years ago.

04-21-10, 05:12 PM
Jay, new here today, my eldo's fine at the moment, but I got a 91 caprice that needs that Lumina steering wheel. Was the install pretty straightforward, or were modifications needed? I understand this is a Cadillac forum, but I gotta know...

04-21-10, 05:54 PM
The wheel is dead easy to install. Pull the bag, disconnect the horn, pull the wheel. Cut off the bag wire, install the new wheel, connect the horn, install the horn pad. Take out your air bag bulb ;)