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Decided I should try and salvage my headliner today. I figured I'd try fiberglass repair as I've never tried it before and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Started by tearing everything off a while back, some came off easy while other parts took chunks of the structure with it. I would have liked to just scratch the foam off like I've seen in videos but mine was detached in a lot of places so I tried to get it all and made a huge mess.

Now I went along and screwed the edges into scrap pieces of wood to keep them straight and hopefully the fiberglass will hold it strong enough not to have waves but leave it flexible enough to re-install. I rolled on a first coat of resin, took 3 liters (Canadian lol) and really soaked it up. When it as still tacky, almost wet I put some matting over the holes and soaked them. Hindsight I should have put something like tape or whatever over the hole and it would have been easier to keep it straight, getting real messy at this point. I can always use body filler to smooth it out after. It says it hardens in about 30 minutes so I thought I would have to work fast but using a 4" roller it really didn't take long to do all three panels.

Just finished lunch so I can go see what kind of mess I got. Feel free to give me any pointers like don't touch your nose etc.....

Sean
 

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Ok so I learned if it’s thicker it dries quicker. I poured some left over in a depression and it was dry while the rest was tacky still. So I decided to run strips along the edges and put on another coat.

it suddenly started to gel just like body filler so I scraped that off and now I wait.

Sean
 

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As you mentioned, you need to make sure it stays somewhat flexible, as you need to be able to bend it a bit to re-install.Your next course of action will really depend on what you are going to upholster it with. If you have something with a bit of a padded backing, you don't need to go too nuts with how smooth it is. However, if your finish is something like black Alston or similar, it's going to show imperfections. (obviously, from previous experience we all know foam is a no go for backing). I'm still a fan of the Ripple Grey, with a flat finish, spun poly back it hides some of the imperfections. I also prefer a lighter color, black ceiling makes the interior pretty dark.
 

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I like the ripple grey but I think it might look funny with the dark colors I have, dark grey and black. I'd have to see it.

I had enough for today, I had a bunch of other things on the go as I was doing this. This was easy but I'm beat. Not sure if it's halfway successful or a failure yet. I know I have to sand it but I'm not sure what I'm going to end up with.

The front looks pretty good and will need a light sand, the rear is where it flashed over on me and I had to scrape it so it will need more sanding and possibly another coat. The middle sucks. It bubbled up all over the big flat areas so I'll have to sand it all off and probably start again. I think that I should have waited longer for the second coat instead of trying to use up what I had mixed or maybe there was something on it like left over adhesive.....not sure.

The edges turned out pretty good and I think will give it enough support but it seems to flex alright. I have a roll of matting and lots of resin so I'll see how it cures and how flexible it is, maybe just lay mat over the entire thing. One thing, it sure does stink up the entire garage even with all the doors wide open.

Sean
 

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If your panels don't work out, I have an extra middle and rear. Could get them to Calgary probably.

My truck is all black seats (Puma front and rear) and slate grey trim. The Ripple Grey just makes the interior a little brighter. Iv'e been in some of the newer trucks when at the factory that had the Alston black headliner ( I was going to go that way) but it doesn't reflect any light, so the whole lower portion of the interior is really dark, almost claustrophobic feeling. Was kinda unhappy with that because I thought it would feel better than it did. (but hey, everyone has an opinion, right?)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Do you have pictures of your interior, not sure if I’ve seen it? I might take you up on that lol.

thank,
Sean
 

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Hard to tell from this one, but the lighter roof helps illuminate everything else.

450176
 

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I think you got me sold on this, my eyes are getting pretty dim from all the welding lol

Sean
 

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Never done a headliner but as for the fiberglass part: DO NOT work with this stuff without at least a half-mask respirator, even in your garage. At best you will kill some brain cells and it certainly won't help your liver. At worst you can develop a sensitivity to the chemicals that will cause a serious adverse reaction anytime you go anywhere near it.

That goes for sanding it too, perhaps even more so. That **** is nasty.

A bit late, but why add FG to the existing board? I can see wanting to take a mold of it and make a new one or using it to make mods, but if you already have the board, can't you just clean it up and recover it? Isn't it just heavier and more difficult to work with now?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah I wear a mask for sure. My son and I were bouncing on the trampoline yesterday and I could smell it coming through my air vent in the garage.

It’s actually still pretty flexible and light and I’ll be sanding most of it off, I’m just building it up to get smooth and a little bit of structure. It was like wet cardboard.

actually if it doesn’t turn out maybe I will just use it as a mold.

Sean
 

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Back at it. Hit it with 40 grit on my da sander, like sanding steel. Gonna try a flap disc on the angle grinder.
Thought I’d do the worst one first. Pretty smooth but I think I should do one last thin coat when I’m done. Scott already has some of his ripple grey headliner on the way, not sure how smooth I actually need it to be.
Filling in a dent with resin was a bad idea, too stiff, gonna grind it out and patch it. The fabric along the edges holds it nice and straight but still flexes.
 

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Okay ready for material. I patched up the hole I cut out and put another coat on the really bad one, turned out really nice and glassy but I forgot to take a picture. Sanded it down to get rid of the little nubs etc and get it ready for the next step which actually probably wasn't really necessary, but not having the fabric I figured I'd rather have it smooth and not worry about it.

I did a very thin skimcoat of Upol Gold body filler on all three, it's flexable, feathers out nicely and sticks to anything (still got some on my garage floor from a few months ago), also much easier to lay where you want it and sands a lot easier. You can see where the fiberglass didn't want to go. Almost good enough to paint now but I'm sure I missed some little bits. Fabric was supposed to show up today, I'm almost glad it didn't or I'd still be out there, hopefully tomorrow.

Sean
 

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Had a stretch of good weather so I put everything on hold to do some more camping and motorbiking with my son, decided to give this a try yesterday.

I started on the rear after watching a few videos etc but with the shape of these headliners and how it curves down and around the corners it takes a bit more thought. I've never done this before so I wasn't sure how it would form. It does stretch but not like vinyl or leather, it takes a lot of force and if you go too far it gets really thin. I did a test piece and put it out in the direct sun, tried stretching some scrap pieces etc but it's tough to really test out what you need to do.

I started on the rear doing one half at a time, sticking it in the center and working my way out like all the videos I watched. Well that didn't work so well and required some major pulling and smoothing out to get it up the corners. It turned out okay but wasn't the best procedure in my thought.

Sean
 

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So on to the next piece I tried a different approach and this is the way I would do it if I have to ever do it again......hope not.

I gave a good coat of adhesive to both surfaces using an HVLP spray gun with a 1.8 tip, by the time you finish spraying it's about ready to start (Helmiprene 4510). I was worried about it soaking through but Scotts headliner is good quality and that didn't happen. When starting the center section I try to offset it from the actual center and rather have the first seam line up on a corner, not on an open flat surface. Not sure if that makes sense but I've had leather stick itself together when folding over to do the second half and create a line, if you pull it apart it stretches and never smooths out.

I'm working by myself so I covered the board with cardboard and then pull it over just sticking on the first part smooth to hold it. I continue out the "rail" I guess you'd call it trying not to stretch or deform it, then I pull out the cardboard and lay it on the other side pulling it just enough to keep the center from touching and drape it over the outside corners. Next I started in the middle working outwards on the edges, just pushing it down bit by bit to get it to stick in the curves and corners and then smoothing it with a CLEAN towel lol.

Once I got to the outer edges I was using some good force to stretch it around the window cut outs, it takes a lot but it should go. I just try to get it to the edge for now and don't worry about wrapping it over. Trimming the excess down a bit also helps as well as some relief cuts close to the outer edge. The ends I like to fold over and squeeze together then cut he folds off, I usually brush on a little more adhesive and press the edges down snug.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had a little trouble on the front panel right by the rear view mirror mount. I had some cardboard underneath that had some overspray on it and it stuck to the fabric, when I pulled it off I stretched the fabric too far and couldn't get it to lay down smooth. I gave it a little shot of heat and tried to work it out as best I could, left it overnight and this is what I got pictured below. Dumb mistake but I'm lucky my roll cage will cover it, or I'll have to but an overhead console lol.

Also did a quick strength test with a 5 gallon bucket of paint, held good haha.

Thanks to Scott for the suggestion of color as well as supplying a quality product and quick shipping.

Sean
 

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Thanks, I'm happy that it seemed to tighten up. You really have to look at it from all angles when smoothing it out, it actually hides a lot. Also any of the little divets or marks in the shell don't show through as long as nothing is protruding up.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay, I'm going to take a stab at this today, any pointers before I go? I seem to remember the rear and front go in first then the center section last but I've read a couple posts that say start at the front and work your way back so now I'm doubting my memory which isn't so good lol.

Sean
 
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