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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As many of us with hard tops will know, over time or due to storage conditions the lining of the hard top begins to come away from the inner trim (sometimes referred to as the “biscuit”) and sags down resulting in the lining ending up sitting on your head when driving or as a passenger.



The obvious solution to this is to sell your hardtop and problem solved! However, this can be a drastic move for something, which is very simple to repair, even for the non-technical novice (think of it as easier than putting together an Ikea unit).

Anyway, Tools required:
Trim removal tools (cheap as chips and wish I had bought some years ago)
Thin screwdriver/blade – if not using trim removal tools
2x8mm, 18mm head "fir tree" fittings – if not using trim removal tools
Allen Key H5 or Torx T30 if no allen key available
Stiff brush
Wire brush (optional)
Head lining fabric - Fabric is usually 1.5 metres wide, a 1metre length is more than sufficient tp reline an headlining
Adhesive
Scissors
PVA sometimes known as wood Glue (If available)

To make things difficult for myself, I removed the headlining while the roof was still on the car, however; removal is the same if the roof is off the car and a damn sight easier as well :)

Open the clamp brackets to enable access to the bolts and then with the allen key undo the bolts, there are six bolts in total, three either side. I couldn’t find my allen keys so improvised with a Torx T30 bit which did the job :)



Picture showing clamp removed.



At the rear of the hardtop use, the trim removal tools (or stand in item) to remove the two “fir” tree push fittings. I have previously used a screwdriver/pliers/blade to remove these and have always broken them, the trim removal tools remove them whole and they are the best 99p I have ever spent on fleabay.







If taking out lining whilst fitted to the car, undo the rear hardtop retaining clips, as this is required to allow the front of the roof to be lifted to aid removal otherwise, if the roof is off the car, the biscuit (lining) can now be lifted off. Please note: some older roofs will also have Velcro strips to hold the biscuit on the outer edges where the windows come up. Not all have this, but it is good to know as the Velcro can make it feel as though the lining is stuck.



With the biscuit removed, place it face down and peal back the fabric lining from around the biscuit,



With the fabric lining pealed from the back, it is just a matter of turning the roof over and pulling the lining off the biscuit.



As can be seen from the following picture, there is a high amount of foam still stuck to the biscuit, which is required to be removed to ensure adhesion of new fabric lining to biscuit. This part of the process usually takes longer than any other part.



Using the stiff brush remove all the foam and glue, which is remaining on both the front and the rear of the biscuit.



Some of the glue on the rear of the biscuit, especially on the front edge is difficult to remove, I therefore used a cheap (£1 pound shop) wire brush to help remove the glue.





Once the biscuit has been prepared ready for the new head lining fabric, find a suitable location where, if you have it available seal with PVA as this will help to stop the glue being absorbed into the biscuit. Once the PVA has dried you can spray the adhesive onto the biscuit prior to fitting the fabric lining. There are a number of different adhesive products on the market for headlining’s, I’ve previously used trimbond built have found Screwfix’s no nonsense adhesive to do the same job at a lot lower price.



If you have purchased the fabric lining online there is a likelihood, the fabric has been poorly packaged, arriving with a number of creases, etc. I usually buy off cuts of headlining fabric so I’ve got used to it arriving creased, but find using a steam iron on it will revitalise the fabric removing most creases.

Prior to ironing



Once ironed



I only used the removed fabric lining as a template for the very first headlining I replaced, this can be used if necessary, however; I now just glue the headlining fabric and trim to size once the glue has set and glue to the upper side once trimmed. Picture is for info for those who wish to make a template prior to fitting.



With a suitable place found to spray (or hand paint if not a spray) the glue on and to have the fabric ready use whatever method to apply the glue to both the biscuit and foam side of the fabric.



I placed the removed fabric under the new to keep dirt off



Wait between 40-60 seconds (or as advised on the glue container) before laying the headlining fabric onto the biscuit. One of the reasons I do not make a template prior with the headlining fabric is once the fabric is placed onto the biscuit, there is very little change of lifting and relaying if placed incorrectly. Also make sure you lay the headlining fabric the correct way around...I once lined a roof with fleece material and dropped it onto the biscuit the wrong way around!



Once fixed on the facing side, trim the fabric and apply glue to the upper side, wait required time and fold into place.(picture below not in sync as forgot to take it whilst outside)



Trim the areas where the hardtop catches go and make holes in the rear of the fabric where the fir tree fitting fit with your scissors.



Once prepared, realign the biscuit onto the hardtop and refit catches and fir tree fittings. If the roof previously had Velcro this can be refitted if required, however; I have never bothered with it.



Total time for relining, started at 11:30am and finished at 1:30pm. Time included taking pictures and doing this write up. Time taken to place onto forum 45 minutes :O

One last point, when cleaning the foam and glue off the biscuit, there will be quite a lot of dust so it may be wise to choose where you do this carefully. I used the roof of one of my TF's which has left it slightly messy



 

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Nice job. You are right about the creases. In the leather I bought I could not get them out. I suggest unfolding the fabric a few days before you need it and hang it up so the creases drop out. Ironing leather in my case did not work. When it is glued on, the creases are smoothed out.
A nice how to. Looks like the weather was on your side as well.
 

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mgf
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Very timely!
I have been trying to decide how to reline my hardtop and your how-to came around at just the right time.
Your biscuit was definitely in better condition than mine. The Japanese guy who relined mine last time really laid on
the high strength glue. It`s like plucking a very large chicken getting the foam off!
After reading your how-to I scrapped my idea of using vinyl for the fabric and have ordered some suedish foam-backed headliner
material off E-bay.....colour matched to my car! Should be interesting. :surprise: I will post photos of the finished product
 

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mgf
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I finally managed to get the last of the foam off my biscuit (Sounds kinky doesn't it!)
I ended up using a sanding disc in a cordless drill to get the glue residue off.
My biscuit seems to be earlier than yours It's made of a brown fibreboard and is delaminated at the edges,
probably due to the last person just tearing the original cover off. I think I will be using epoxy resin to reinforce
the edges before I recover it.
 

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Nice write up and can be applied to any car with a biscuit for the headlining.

One word of caution - make sure your spray adhesive is stable at high temperature as the roof of a car can get very hot and the last thing you want is for the glue to fail.
 

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mgf
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Dert, I followed your advice and ordered some foam backed headliner fabric off E-bay. I was surprised that it showed up rolled and not folded.
Two yards at 60" wide is a lot of fabric! I think I will be looking for more things to cover. :smile:
I have epoxied the edges of my biscuit back together and will glue on the fabric this weekend Wish me luck!

Surprise Package!


Foam Backing


Suedish Fabric
 

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mgf
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Job Done!
Attaching the glued fabric is a stressful job. I had two helpers holding the corners of the fabric
and started pressing it on at the center of the biscuit working my way to the edges.
It's not quite 100% but I am happy with the result.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Job Done!
Attaching the glued fabric is a stressful job. I had two helpers holding the corners of the fabric
and started pressing it on at the center of the biscuit working my way to the edges.
It's not quite 100% but I am happy with the result.

Never seen a white interior on one, contrast of colours looks good :)
 

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mgf
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This was an alloy hardtop that I bought from Mike Satur when he moved shop last year. I think it may have been a development unit an had a
number of fastener holes drilled in the fibreglass framework. It did come with a fibreglass liner which would cover the entire interior but
I decided to go the factory route and used the biscuit from my old donor hardtop and patched the holes. I couldn't find a grey that matched the windscreen trim so I went with old English white. It will be interesting to see how it fits in visually. At least the inside of the car will be nice and bright!
 

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1996 MGF. Followed your guide to the letter and all went surprisingly to plan. Thanks would probably have messed it up without your help. Now for the rear window zip.
 
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