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Removing Headliner from a 244 (with sunroof)

Sinbad the Sailor

Master Destructor
Sep 22, 2003
San Jose, CA
Read the Whole Article Before Attempting as there may be some procedures that you do not wish to attempt!!!
All standard disclaimers apply. It's not my fault if you mess it up.

(I don't think that there is much difference between removing the headliner from a car with a sunroof as opposed to one without but you might want to try to find a different way to get it out of the car.)

As most people that have ever removed the headliner from a 244 know there is really no easy way to get it out. Four small doors are definitely not better than two large doors in this case. But for those that have never done it follow along as there is no section in the Bentley Bible for this and the last thing you want is to mess up a nice headliner as they are becoming harder to find.

Tools needed:

8mm socket
Philips screwdriver
Flat head screwdriver (Not absolutely necessary)

Estimated time to complete:

30 min - 1 hr

Level of Difficulty:
1 (If you can unscrew a screw you can remove the headliner)

First you will need to disconnect the battery. Then remove the sun visors and the "oh **** handles" (for lack of a better term) these are all held in place with 8mm screws. Four for the handles (two on each side) and three for the visors (Two on the swivel and one on the clip) Use the flat head to pry up the covers over the screws on the handles.



Once you remove that you will remove the sunroof crank and the rear view mirror. The sunroof crank has one Philips screw on the crank and two on the plate under the crank. To remove the rear view mirror you have to pull down on it. Do not try to remove the plastic cover over the rear view mirror first as the clips can only be accessed from the backside. Then there are three philips head screws holding the plate under the rear view mirror. Be careful when you remove this as there are two metal bars on the backside that are not held in place and will fall out.



Now there are only two things holding the headliner up. The seal around the sunroof and three clips by the rear windshield. To remove the sunroof seal you just pull the metal clip away from the sunroof and the rest of the seal should come with it. Now for the clips at the back. Here you can use the flat head if it is large enough but it is not necessary. These clips twist either right or left 90 degrees and then just pull out. Now there should be nothing holding the headliner in and the rear part will be hanging but the front is stuck in the plastic lip at the top of the windshield. Just pull back to remove. Now you need to disconnect the wires for the overhead light. If you are removing the headliner from a car you will be using before you install a new headliner you will need to tape off the end of all the wires as some of them are live when the car has power.


Now comes the tricky part how to get it out? I removed all the seats and tried working it out through the rear driver's side door. No go. So what I did was I got a knife and VERY CAREFULLY cut the backing fiber board right at the rear edge of the sunroof opening. Even though I was careful I did manage to cut a small tear in one side. So for future attempts I would recommend scoring the backing board almost all the way through and then bending it to make sure you don't cut the vinyl cover.

After cutting and bending removing the headliner was very easy as it no fit just fine through the rear driver's side door. Also it makes it unnecessary to install it in the recipient car in the parking lot.

I have heard tell of being able to "pop" out the rear windshield and take the headliner out that way but I was unsuccessful in removing the rear windshield of the donor car and I did not want to mess up my car.

Installation is the reverse of removal however you would probably want to put some duct tape or something to hold the two cut pieces together to prevent sagging or something of that nature.

edit: I installed the headliner that I took out with the method above. I went in fine with the seats in you just have to recline them all the way (with no rear seat). It looks okay but there are some problem areas.




I'm thinking that it might be better to cut all the way through and then find something that looks good to repair the cuts. For the sunroof motor I just cut out the hump in the headliner. It looks bad but I am thinking a plastic cover will fix that.
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the last thing you want is to mess up a nice headliner as they are becoming harder to find.


I have heard tell of being able to "pop" out the rear windshield and take the headliner out that way but I was unsuccessful in removing the rear windshield of the donor car and I did not want to mess up my car.


First off, nice write up as its good to see someone take on a project like this as it can be intimidating so I'm not busting your balls so dont take it that way.

I disagree about this being a good way to do this and mayby its just in the picture but I wouldnt be happy with my headliner looking like that with all the effort going to replacing it.

The rear window does just "pop" out. You have to be gentle with trim as it its old but once its out the windows practically pop out like any older style rubber mount glass. Disconnect the rear window defroster harness and out it comes. Reinstallation with a small rope and some soapy water and the glass goes right back in. You would be surprised.

I pulled mine from a donor car this way and it was about a 10 min job of out and in for the glass so the car would stay sealed (not counting all the interior screws ect).

For reinstall I went with the windshield route. I was getting new glass and and it stripped prior to the glass guys showing up. they pulled the glass, I slid the new headliner in place, and then the replaced the glass as i didnt want to chance the possibility of damaging my rear tint.

Hope this helps because your right its a shame to waste a good headliner.
I understand that you aren't busting my balls, thanks for the comments, but I tried to get the back window out with no luck. I guess I will go back and try it again this weekend. If I can do it I will post up pics of that way as I know that it would turn out better. Thanks.
It may help to have 2 people. One inside to push and 1 outside to work the seal and "catch"

When its finished it looks awesome.
Try a plastic bicycle tire iron to pry back the inside of the rubber seal on the window,
and put small sticks to keep it flipped up.
It should push out pretty easily bottom first if possible.
I just got back from the JY and it turns out popping out the rear glass isn't that hard. Here's what you do:

Get two flat head screw drivers


There is a thin metal piece that runs around the rear window that needs to be removed. To do that there are two places where it joins that have "covers" get your flat head screw driver put it against the edge of the cover and gently tap it until it slides off the joint. Then very carefully pry up on one side until you can get your other screwdriver under the metal strip and slide the screwdriver under the strip around the window until the strip is removed. Repeat for the other side.


Then what you want to do is carefully wedge one screwdriver in the seal and pry up on the window until you can insert the other screwdriver under the seal and the window. Then run the screwdriver around the window under the seal until it pops up. I did one side and the top as far as I could reach and then the other side and the top as far as I could reach. Don't worry about the bottom.


Now the window will pop up from the body and just very gently grab it and pull it back to get it out of the frame. Should be very easy if it isn't try loosening more of the seal.


Now just pull the window out and set it on the trunk.


I didn't disconnect the defroster wires before pulling the window out, if this is your car I would recommend doing that but it's a JY car and the wires just pulled apart when I removed the window.

Now you can take the headliner out the back window very easily.

Reinstalling the headliner is the reverse of removal, however I did not put the rear window back in the JY car so I do not know how difficult reinstalling the window is. I am just going to wait until I get my front windshield replaced and put the headliner in then.
Don't suppose pics are still available? I'm trying to get my liner out from a car with a sun roof and I'm stuck...