How to CORRECTLY reupholster your headliner for $15 ! dropped headliner solved! - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-12-2012
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How to CORRECTLY reupholster your headliner for $15 ! dropped headliner solved!

Reupholster your top for just about $15 (correctly too- this isn’t being cheap!)

Its about $300 to buy it at the dealer, but its pretty simple to do it yourself. In the below example, you’ll see I cut out a giant hole for my head. That’s because I’m 6’9” and every little inch counts. For me, I think it looks good and was worth it for the space, but for others I presume you’ll just reupholster the whole thing. In fact, the instructions will remain exactly the same, so don’t let that hold you back!

Here’s what you need: Vinyl (of whatever color you want) and spray glue (get the good expensive stuff, and make sure the one you get says it works for upholstery on the back. This one says its good for high heat and upholstery, plastic and foam- good mix for this project!



I bought it all at JoAnn Fabrics. Note to men out there- being a man in a fabric store is like being a woman in the bar. Your allowed to act clueless and instead of people looking down at you they try to help you. I didn’t have any coupons or any discounts- the fabric lady gave me 10% off of the already low clearance price and the other lady gave me 40% off the glue, all because I was a clueless man who asked a lot of stupid questions. Its OK!


I really wanted a black top, but the really nice leather top was $35, the cheaper black was $15 (which I was going to go with), but then I found a perfect factory match for $8. I went with the factory match:


Once you have everything back, take a sponge or brush and scrape off the loose glue and foam. It took me about 10 minutes to do the whole thing and it did wear out my arm. It comes off though:



Once your done scraping, it looks something like this:


I then used a paper towl to make sure I soaked up as much oil from my top leak as possible. I squeezed the oil out of the foam and it DID rebound.

Now lay your vinyl on top of the top. The one mistake I did was doing this outside on the grass. Stupid Me- glue sticks to grass. I recommend doing this on a piece of cardboard or wood. Shame on me.

Once you lay it down across the top, fold half of it over on itself. Follow the instructions on the can- for the loctite, you Spray glue on the vinyl AND on the top, wait 2 minutes, do it again, wait 2-5 minutes for it to to be tacky, and then push them together. It holds a tight bond and the vinyl flexes enough to cover the whole top.


Next we Fold back the part that hasn’t been glued yet and repeat what we did before. This time however make sure you really get glue inside that gap where you are folding it in the center so it doesn't droop there. Also be sure not to fold it so tight you cause a crease in your headliner!


Now that you’ve successfully finished the top, flip it over. My camera died, but I then cut all the way around it with approx 1-2” left on the outside. Once your done cutting, glue the back side of the headliner and the vinyl, just like you did before, and fold it over. I also cut the center hole for the manual cylinder lock and folded it over with glue


I let the top dry about 48 hours even though it probably didn’t need that long. Drill holes for the 3 screws up front (you’ll be able to feel the holes/divits through the vinyl). Don’t forget to stick In the center cap for the manual cylinder lock.


Slide the back into the groove and then screw in the front 3 screws. That will hold it while you screw in the two side plastic pieces with 3 screws each (9 screws total if you forgot from removal…

And voila: there it is.
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#2 Old 05-12-2012
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Excellent work, and I hope you don't mind me moving it over to the R170 "DIY" thread!

One question, did you consider using the same method to cover the roof panel where your head fits?


Just as an aside, you can accomplish the exact same results as a man looking lost in "Hobby Lobby"! :-)



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#3 Old 05-12-2012
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Originally Posted by UK-C200 View Post
Excellent work, and I hope you don't mind me moving it over to the R170 "DIY" thread!

One question, did you consider using the same method to cover the roof panel where your head fits?


Just as an aside, you can accomplish the exact same results as a man looking lost in "Hobby Lobby"! :-)
Thanks for moving it to the "right" place.

I did consider it- initially I was just going to do black (so it matched the roof), but when I switched colors it crossed my mind. Then I thought every mm counts, and thats like 3 mm I would have lost. Sounds silly, but that tends to be my mentality. In retrospect it may have actually looked goofy if I covered the roof first, With the well-upholstered edges that end up butting up to the black top, it looks intentional. It looks nice and when your in the car you'd never know it wasn't supposed to be like that. Even though the hole LOOKs big in a photo, when your in the car you can't even tell its there. If I did it again I wouldnt have covered the top first- I'd either cut the hold for a tall person like me, or I would have upholstered the whole thing if I was shorter.

It tends to go against male nature, but there are a few places that trick works. "Will swallow pride for discounts"
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#4 Old 05-12-2012
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Great job, thanks for taking the time to put this DIY together.
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#5 Old 05-13-2012
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Great job and writeup! It really is just that easy and inexpensive.

One extra trick(tip). I'm not sure how it would look with thin vinyl, but if foam-backed cloth is used the latch hole doesn't need to be cut out. I just tossed the cover in the owners manual attache. I'll cut the hole and install the cover if I ever need to manually open the top. Until then it has a nice clean look.
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#6 Old 12-15-2012
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Arachnnyd! You're the bomb!!!! Awesome job!
I start thinking about changing mine to black too =) It has a few blemishes after hydraulic leak. Nothing major. I can live with few wrinkles around the whole =) But you gave me some food for thought! Thanks again!
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#7 Old 02-12-2013
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I might have to do this sometime soon, I have been doing a lot of little things and I have a wrincle area I want to take out. This post will def. help I'm sure
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#8 Old 02-15-2013
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Great work, its hillarious you cut a hole for your head... The guy I bought my slk from was also 6'9... He picked us up from the airport in his new car... A mini Cooper

Was this due to a leaky actuator? My headliner is drenched in oil since Ive been driving it as is for a year...hopefully the glue will stick to mine with enough prep work

My friends dad did uppholsteryn high school, he always used a course brissle metal brush. Ive done several and it gets the glue off quickly with little effort, just make sure its not tearing up the backboard on the slk headliner for some reason
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#9 Old 02-16-2013
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Originally Posted by 99SportSLK View Post
Great work, its hillarious you cut a hole for your head... The guy I bought my slk from was also 6'9... He picked us up from the airport in his new car... A mini Cooper

Was this due to a leaky actuator? My headliner is drenched in oil since Ive been driving it as is for a year...hopefully the glue will stick to mine with enough prep work
Mine was due to an oil leak. You can see the oil stains on the top. I really squeezed out all the oil though, and it stuck OK. Its been 9 months now and its still great!
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#10 Old 07-27-2013
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How do you remove the top to replace the headliner? Is it difficult to do?
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#11 Old 10-28-2013
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How Do We Remove Current Headliner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpoppitt View Post
How do you remove the top to replace the headliner? Is it difficult to do?


Yes, How DO we remove the current "bad" headliner in order to install the "new" headliner?

Thanks
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#12 Old 10-30-2013
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Yes, How DO we remove the current "bad" headliner in order to install the "new" headliner?

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https://www.slkworld.com/r170/hliner.htm
BTW it's in the SLK Encyclopedia in the R170 section of the forum.


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#13 Old 02-28-2015
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Mewwwwww is there a way to take headliner out fully without opening the top? I suspect mine is leaking from the locking hydraulic and i dont have a manual cap to unlock the top sooo can i do it with the top up
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#14 Old 02-28-2015
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No, there are nine screws that you can only get to with the top open a little.

There are three screws on each side and in the front.

You can open the top manually.

Good luck!


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#15 Old 03-01-2015
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My next question then.... How fo j open the gop manually... I do not have a key or key opening and pump is out of fluid
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#16 Old 03-01-2015
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Courtesy of Leapyfish:

Top Operation
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#17 Old 01-07-2017
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Where are the pictures? Why don't they stay on the site?

I really appreciate when you post them.
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#18 Old 01-07-2017
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Where are the pictures? Why don't they stay on the site?

I really appreciate when you post them.
The pictures posted by OP are no longer available because instead of uploading the attachments to our site, they preferred to use a hosting service like imageshack, etc

then when one does not pay the bill or leaves the forum, the hosting site says, where is our money and the pics go to never never land

also, fyi, this thread is 4 years old and original poster has not been back since
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#19 Old 01-20-2017
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The pictures posted by OP are no longer available because instead of uploading the attachments to our site, they preferred to use a hosting service like imageshack, etc

then when one does not pay the bill or leaves the forum, the hosting site says, where is our money and the pics go to never never land

also, fyi, this thread is 4 years old and original poster has not been back since
Last Activity: 10-15-2013
I still track this stuff and get the emails... I couldn't figure out how to reset my password on my cell phone and nolonger have a home PC to use.

Sorry about the pics. I'll try to track them back down and figure out how to upload them.
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Welcome back! or pm me for my email and send them to me for uploading


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