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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just out of curiosity -- my otherwise great looking 89 looks like it's trashed because of the headliner. It has fallen down completely, and from talking to other owners, this seems to be a very common problem with 80s Volvos. Is that your experience?

I haven't gotten around to getting a new one installed (for somewhere around $350) yet but plan to do so when I take a day off.

Cheers,

Ed
 

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Yepper all 3 if mine had "The Sag" I am not sure which year that Volvo improved the headliners, but my buddies 91 740 had no problems at all.
 

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Skull:
Its the canvas(cloth) material that covers the interior roof section of the car. I am not sure if a poor adhesive was used on the earlier models, but mostly all of them fall down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, mine did a combination of disintegration and falling down -- the resulting rust-colored dust is a delight, isn't it? At any rate, I've questioned whether it's worth replacing -- too bad that the car is otherwise in such great shape! Thanks for the response. This had me curious.
Cheers,
Ed
 

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In that case, yes mine is sagging a bit in the back.
It blows in the wind a little when I drive with the windows open.
I'm assuming I can get it re-glued.
Anyone done this?
 

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I should add that my interior is otherwise perfect.....I will replace if necassary but since the cloth is in excellent shape and not "disintegrating" at all, I am hoping to just re-attatch the sagging part. Can I glue it myself? Should I bother taking it to an upholstering shop?
 

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As to answer what year they fixed it, let me say that my 1990 740GL also had a sagging headliner. Either they fixed it in 1991, or the one in your friends car was repaired before he bought it.

As for repairing it yourself, I wouldn't bother trying. I tried to fix the one on my Mothers car (Ford) a while back, and I ended up just taking it to the local upholstery shop. The re-upholstered it for $125 and I re-installed it (back in 1989 or 1990). That very well could have been with the 'professional discount' as I was working in a new car dealership at the time and probably went under their account.

From what I can tell, the headliner is attached to a foam insert maybe 1/8" thick. It seems to me that the foam is disintergrating and the headliner drops. This is evident because when you peer above the cloth, there is a brown layer of foam on the top of the cloth (indicating that the foam failed, not the glue). A friend of mine repaired his GM headliner (yes, they had a HUGE problem with them) by putting long strips of plastic from side molding to side molding (driver to passenger). The plastic took the arc of the roofline and spaced every 6" or so apart, nothing hung low. I can't for the life of me remember where he got the plastic strips. IIRC they were about 1" wide and 1/16" thick.

Please realize that if you do pull down the headliner (cloth) the disintegrate foam will constantly leave a coating of brown dust everywhere (as EdinDC had pointed out).

Lastly, I do remember working on a GM that was plagued by a hanging headliner. It wasn't until I got right up to the car that I noticed that the owner had fixed it. Imagine my surprise and the sound of my laughter when I got inside the car and saw that the owner had STAPLED the headliner back up! I laughed so hard! When you think of it, naturally a staple will not pierce the sheetmetal of the roof, so the 'tabs' bent out along the roof and the staples held. I do know that the headliner in my Mothers ford had a kind of 'cardboard' insert. I don't know if the GM's or Volvo's do also. I can't imagine the headliner being attached directly to the sheetmetal, so it does stand to reason that they would.

Good luck and let me know what works the best (well, I'd guess that replacement would be the "best").
 

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I just cut mine out. Except for the dome light wiring, it looks kinda cool, and there's no difference in sound level, like I expected.

Price of removal=$0

No hanging material=priceless
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree with deadken that this is one area not worth it for a diy'er. Whether I want to spend $350 to have the car look sharp instead of trashed, I haven't quite decided, but there's no way I'd mess with putting a headliner around the sunroof (cutting out the piece that precisely, etc.) I've seen the staples method in other cars. My dad (who had the car before) tried 2 sided tape also -- but nothing worked with the disintergrating foam.
 

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Just a quick tip...to get it to stay up use a moderately warm travel iron...sounds wierd but it worked for mine...it reactivates the adhesive...hope it helps
 

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I recently got an estimate of $280 Canadian dollars to put a new one on.....not way to much but a little pricey......aparently re gluing doesnt work for very long because you cant adhere to the *** foam.
I will try the travel iron thing but I expect this will work very temporarily at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That sounds like a pretty good price -- not that it's cheap, but a place near me that I know is reputable would charge $350 (probably the sunroof raises the price a bit.) Wish I had known about the travel iron!
 

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Yeah, that price was not including the sun roof...it is mint right now and they can match the material no problem so I wasnt going to replace the liner on it.
I hope the iron works......my only question about that is whether or not to use steam from the iron...???!!?!?
 

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The Iron thing didn't really work that well. It only stuck up there for a day or two and then fell down again. I did indeed tear/cut it out and am getting a new one put in next week for $280 CDN dollars.....not that bad.
I finally got a digital camera so I will take some before after pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the update on the iron. I think I'm going to bite the bullet myself and get it done professionally. Just a thought for you: my sunroof headliner was fine for a lot longer (over a year after the rest of the roof) but recently came down. I don't know if you want to take your chances or just have it all done at once. Good luck.
 
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