Lotus Elan

Interior Headlining

PostPost by: types26/36 » Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:48 pm

O.K. I've finally got round to fitting the headlining, ripped the old one out and fitted the new one on the bows then in place, it does'nt fit well, lots of ugly creases which I can't seem to get rid of. :( The corners are the worst, strech it front to back and the corners are all sloppy! have'nt stuck anything yet , now should I start at the front/back or sides? fit the sun visors first? I heard to get creases out heating with a hair dryer helps anyone tried this? any other tips?
Thanks Brian
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PostPost by: Unibrain » Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:36 pm

I used a bunch of binder clips to stretch the fabric into place. After letting it sit in the warm garage a couple of days I stretched it again. I did this three or four times until all the wrinkles were gone.

When it came time to glue, I removed a small section of the headliner in the center rear, glued and re-clipped. After the center rear was done I moved to the rear sides and continued to stretch, glue and re clip. When the rear was glued, I waited for the glue to set and moved onto the front using the same procedures and then the sides. After all was done I ended up with one wrinkle just over the drivers head. I think I could have worked this out but didn't want to pull off some of the already set glue.

After everything had set, I removed the clips and trimmed the excess. As soon as possible after removing the clips and excess I installed the windows and the side rubbers to give more clamping force on the headliner. I didn't want to risk anything coming loose.

After a summer, no additional wrinkles.

I used the hair dryer and binder clip tricks on the side door panel vinyl and it worked well.

A few more <a href='http://www.unibrain.org/motorsports/elan/gallery/headliner' target='_blank'>pictures</a>

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PostPost by: paul_adamson » Sat Aug 28, 2004 10:25 pm

The bulldog clips are a great idea.
I hadn't thought of that.
What I did (twice) was utilise a cheap "Glue Gun".
You've seen the things in B&Q the thing they are best at is instantly gluing in Lotus Elan (& Plus 2) headlinings.

Watch you don't burn your hands.

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PostPost by: Mohe » Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:16 am

very useful ideas = I have to do thisd soon. Where do you get a headlining from? Did you make it, have it made or buy it. Geoff
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:51 am

Thanks for the tips, I was useing pegs from the wash-line but they do not grip the h/lining too well, I'll get some binder clips.
Geoff,
I got the h/lining from P.Matty as I'm in the U.K. it was about ?90 + vat but I still do not think it fits very well considering its the correct one.
I'll report the progress later.
Brian.
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:04 pm

I am just about ready to have my headlinner installed on my coupe. Information from the west coast US is that the pre-cut linners (UK) are not that great, can't find one here, and to have good auto upholstery shop cut and install or at least cut. My question is for Jim, with the fine web site, or anybody, the hard board that fits just below the light that gets covered with the headlinner, originally was it a flat surface? My board has a curve or maybe it's just warped. Both sides seem to be warped the same which leads me to believe, maybe it's the way it was designed and I do not need to replace it. Also I'm replacing the hard board behind the seats and along both sides that goes under the doors. they are in riveted sections. I've been told that to save money lotus used small sections and one board with no cuts will work. It seem to me it would cost more to patch it together. There has to be a good story beind that one. thanks Sarto
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PostPost by: Unibrain » Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:25 pm

The original boards behind my headliner where badly damaged. When I had the headliner remade they cut some flat hardboard which I trimmed a bit to make fit. The original had a slight bend but it really didn't make much of a difference. On my car this is all behind the rollbar so any additional room couldn't be seen anyway.

The side panels have the riveted sections to give a little more footwell room. On right hand drive models, the space around the throttle is a bit tight, so I've been told. When I replaced my side panels I omitted the bulge and have no problems (left hand drive).

Thanks for the compliment on the website. I started it as a notebook for my restoration and am glad others have found it useful.

If you have time, add your car to the registry. We're almost to the 100 cars that will force me to start working on rev2 and finish the todo list!

<a href='http://www.unibrain.org/motorsports/elan/registry/' target='_blank'>Lotus Elan Registry</a>
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PostPost by: type36lotus » Fri Sep 03, 2004 8:34 pm

Sarto,

In the US I ordered mine from;

Automotive Interiors
P.O. Box 492
Wilbraham, MA 01095

It was not the same pattern, but only an expert would even know. Did mine in a similar fashion to Unibrain (Jim?), except I wasn't smart enough to do a test fit first. Did use many, many of the same paper clips as he did. I also made the mistake of taking them off well before fitting the gaskets and sure enough the Florida heat, plus the tension, the contact cement released at the edges. So lesson learned, do not remove the clamp until ready to fit all the gaskets.
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PostPost by: Unibrain » Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:16 pm

I got the idea for the clips and the warning not to remove them too soon from you. I've said this before, and so have others, this and the email list are great places.

- Jim
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:58 am

Mike, thanks for the US headliner supplier, I?ll contact them soon. Sorry for the delay as I?m on vacation in Peru and finally found a computer here. Also I have found the Elan manual from a lotus Elan owner from Japan who has made a copy for me as a gift. WOW!!! Lotus owners are the best.
Thanks again, Sarto
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:11 pm

Update on headling fitment:
The headlining is now fitted with no creases, used Jims (unibrain) idea with the binder clips and they work well. Spread the job over about 2weeks leaving in the sun and streching each time, working from the centre outward untill all creases had gone and useing about 100 binder clips.I then used an industrial glue in a spray can, refitted the screens and door rubber seals and it look great :rolleyes:
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