GM's lousy headliners

Back in the 70's I owned several GM vehicles and a few non-GM cars too. Most of those cars were in much worse shape than the ones I drive now. Yet, I NEVER had problems with the headliners, nor did the
rear view mirror fall off at least once a year. I recall one car I had back then having a solid ceiling. sort of like a semi-hard board material, with tiny holes every quarter inch or so, and it had a woodgrain finish. (similar to a ceiling tile). I do not recall what car had it, but it was durable and never sagged or fell.
Every GM vehicle I have owned from the mid to late 80's, up to my present current 92 GM extended cab pickup truck has had these really crappy rag on the ceiling glued to a solid backing, Every damn one of them has fallen, hung down on top of my head, blocked my rear view, and generally annoyed the hell out of me. Worse yet, you can't just rip down the rag, because there is this sticky glue embedded foam that is stuck to the backing, which falls all over the car and sticks to everything, making a big mess.
My last car, an 89 Chevy station wagon, as well as the 85 Olds station wagon I had before the Chevy, had the same problem. I tried apolstery tacks, a staple gun, pins, and even poked small holes in the rag and sprayed some sort of fabric adhesive. Nothing lasted for more than a few months, and I'd be right back to that damn thing annoying me. In both of those station wagons I finally just ripped out the whole ceiling, including that backing, because nothing removed that sticky junk under the rag. Having a bare tin roof really was not as bad as I expected, although the dome light wire had to be duct taped to keep it up.
So, here I am with this 92 pickup and the same damn thing. Apparently GM is in love with these rag ceilings, because in at least 8 years they have used them, they must have gotten many complaints. GM makes good vehicles, and I prefer a GM over any other brand, but they really need to get rid of these crappy ceilings.
Anyhow, this pickup has a much smaller ceiling, so before I rip it down, I thought I'd ask and see if anyone knows of any way to PERMANENTLY keep it up on the ceiling???? Now, if you're going to tell me to either replace it, or to take the whole thing down and reglue it, dont bother. I will spend a few bucks on fastners of some sort, but not willing to spend to replace it. Nor am I willing to rip it down and reattach it. If it comes down, it stays down and will be removed completely. But before ripping it down to bare metal, I thought I'd ask.......
As far as the mirrors falling off, I'd like to find the moron who designed mirrors to be glued to glass. I'd like to glue this moron to a plate glass window on the top floor of a tall skyscraper and wait for the hottest day of summer or coldest day of winter, when this lousy glue lets loose. I've carefully reglued them year after year and followed instructions carefully. One year or less, and it's on the floor again. I dont need to ask how to permanently fix that, because I make a piece of steel, glued the mirror to this steel with JB Weld, and screwed the homemade bracket to the metal frame above the windshield. That solved that...... Now why can't GM do the same thing?
LM
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The headliner and mirror are the only two things that have not fallen apart on my GM cars.
I'd drill a 1/4" hole through and use a bolt with a fender washer on the inside and some silicone sealer on the outside.
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I don't know what you're doing to your vehicles, but I've never had the headliner drop on any of my vehicles, and I've been driving a lot of years.

Well - you certainly keep your vehicles longer than I do. My oldest right now is a '94.

What in the heck are you hanging from your headliners to suffer this problem so frequently? I could see a problem with one vehicle over the amount of time you've owned cars, but if you're having this problem with every vehifcle you own, it's got to be something you're doing.

Years ago every manufacturer that used the glued on mirror suffered the same problem. Especially if the vehicle sat out in the sun a lot. I haven't seen this problem on any regular basis though, for years now. When it was a problem, I gave up on the super glue type of kits they sold. I switched over to using clear RTV and never had a mirror fall off again.
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news:4e143$4a06bde0

I remember this glue situation being a problem since the 80s with GM. ( I mostly owned GM for the past couple of decades). I cant remember a GM that the mirror didnt fall off and have to be reglued.
RTV is good technical solution, I guess, but looks kind of shabby.
I would suspect that our problems in the hell temperatures of Texas would be a challenge for any cyanoacrylate type glue.
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Before the '80's I think. But I haven't had one fall off unless it got smacked. The auto store kit glues have always worked for me. Have to prep carefully. I used a clear epoxy once and when the mirror got smacked it took a little piece of the glass off with it. Luckily not a big piece, but I don't recommend using anything but the kits designed for the purpose.
--Vic
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Probably true on the time span.. I have replace a ton of them with the kits, which all seemed to work successfully.
On one particularly hot day here, my mirror slid down the inside of the windshield as if the glue had melted. Was an eye opener.
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wrote in message

That was the good part about using RTV - it did not look cobbed. Clean up the excess around the edges if you get any squeeze-out, and it looked just like the factory job. Lasted forever.
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On Sun, 10 May 2009 07:43:26 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

No, it's not anything I'm doing, I drive just it like anyone else. Now I do open the windows in summer and the wind makes it worse. Maybe you just use the AC. I also live in the ciuntry and rural roads are rougher than city streets. Other than that, it may just be because they are older vehicles than yours, Either way, they are crappy headliners.
What is RTV? Is that like silicone caulk? I was wondering if that would work?
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I do use my AC more than just opening the windows probably, and maybe that does have something to do with it. I too live in the country and travel rural roads, so I doubt that's got anything to do with your situation. Though... it may just be that you keep your cars so much longer than I do. Like I said, my oldest is a '94. I'll keep it until it just won't run anymore, but generally speaking 10 years is about max for me.

Yeah - it's a clear silicone product. A little bit goes a long way. Just get a nice even application on the shoe. Clean up any squeeze-out around the edges so that it doesn't look cobbed up.
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I may be wrong but RTV means "room temperture vulcanizing" and can be clear or blue. Maybe other colors as well.
If you use it properly, it is a potent product
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Most silicone caulk is based on RTV products.

Many other colors, I've seen red and black as well.

Be careful, there are hazards, including the release of acid while curing that can lead to problems in the future.
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

The only fix is to pull the cardboard down and clean it thoroughly, and glue up some new headliner cloth. The problem is actually the cheap foam backing which disintegrates over time. this is not a GM-specific problem; I remember seeing it in Fords and VWs as well. What I did on my '84 GTI was to rip the headliner down, clean the cardboard, and glue some black sheet vinyl on it instead of new headliner cloth (both are available at your local fabric store.)
Like you I am surprised that this crap has been in common use since the 70's and is still used even though it's been recognized as crap for decades. I remember my uncle's old Chevy station wagon having the same exact stuff in it, and yelling at us kids for leaving handprints in the headliner (before it fails completely, if you push up on the foam, it doesn't bounce back, and leaves a permanent mark. Of course, for a little kid, this is irresistable, something like bubble wrap.)
nate
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That's easy the NHTSA rules say the mirror must "Displace" when your head hits it. Every manufacture, foreign and domestic, uses the same process to attach the mirror so it displaces.
You can chose between the mirror needing to be reattached on occasion or you can have the hole in your head repaired. You will notice the difference if YOUR head hits your solidly attached mirror. Most glass shops will reinstall the mirror at not cost if it falls off after they have reinstalled it, in any event ;)

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I've seen modern cars with the mirror attached to the winshield header. They simply have a pivot at both the header and the mirror head. Problem solved.
And yes, glued on mirrors are a PITA. I used to have to reglue the mirror in my Scirocco every time I took a certain highway (of course, this was near Detroit, and the car had 15" rims, H&R springs, and Koni yellows. Not an optimal combination.)
nate
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wrote:

Yea, more stupid government regulations, supposedly making things safer while they actually make driving more dangerous. How likely is it for someone to smash their head on the mirror? I'd say maybe one in a million, and that would be some moron who's doing 110mph while drunk and rolls their car into a ditch. Even if I was to have a major crash, the mirror is not directly in front of my head, it's off to the center of the car.
Of course anything is possible, and just because someone smashed their head on the mirror, now everyone has the option of repairing the assinine glued on the glass arrangement, or just drive without a mirror. In the past 10 years I have probably been without a mirror 90% of the time, because I just refused to fight with that glue on crap any longer.
If they want a safe mirror in an accident, how about using a swivel on a solidly mounted (to metal) shaft. Or a firm rubber that retains it's position, but will flex under extreme conditions like in an accident. With all the technology we have these days, I'm sure the car makers could come up with something better. But then we have big brother government protecting us from ourselves, and requiring us to wear seatbelts which restrict movement when we drive, causing us to remain in one position and thus become more sleepy than we would if we able to move around on the seat. And then we have big brother taking away our cigarettes (tobacco is a natural product) while they continue to allow harmful chemicals to enter our environment.
And last but not least, if they want these mirrors to fall off, why not just use a suction cup like on these mapping computers they are selling now, that people stick to their windshields. At least that way, if the mirror falls off, it only takes a second to reattach.
But for now, I made a solid steel bracket for my mirror and if someone wants to arrest me for it, at least I will be able to see the red lights flashing behind me when they pull me over to inspect my mirror and make sure I am wearing my seatbelt and not smoking.
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You must be assuming mirrors fall off all cars, they don't. I own a 1971 and a 1983 both of which have their original mirrors still firmly attached.

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wrote:

Considering all of mine have fallen off in both the 3 GM vehicles as well as a Ford pickup I had for awhile, I am assuming they do all fall off. Apparently some are actually glued on well, according to what you said. I think that after-market glue they sell to re-attach them is pure garbage. Of course, if it's Super Glue, I have never found Super Glue to be good for much of anything. For most other repairs, I use epoxy, and it works well on most stuff except some plastics. I thought about using it on these mirrors, but it drys too slow and I cant see keeping that metal tab in place until it drys. It could become a big mess.

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On Sun, 10 May 2009 05:32:08 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

My '88 Celebrity liner dropped by year 2000 and my '90 Corisca liner is hanging close to my head for a couple years. 10 years versus 17. I'm thinking about using the upholstery type "screw" pushpins for the Corsica. I might add a touch of glue to the shanks when I do it. Probably try wood glue since the backing is cardboard. Have to get to JoAnne Fabrics to get some of those pin, where my wife says they have them. On the Celebrity I tried the straight pushpins but they drop out after a while. I sliced the liner like this !--! and used liner glue and that was a waste of time. Lasted a couple weeks. Tore the material out and scraped the foam off with a putty knife, and painted the cardboard with a flat blue latex, which matched the seat color. No dome wire work, as they run under the cardboard. Actually didn't look bad compared to that liner hanging down. Might not be as much work with a PU. Big mess, so get ready to vacuum that foam, which is flaky and floats all over. I've heard it doesn't cost much for a pro replace the liner like new, so you might check it out. Think I heard somebody say they had it done for $150. If I thought I'd have the car for 5 years before junking it, I'd get it done by a pro. I've had other old GM cars, including Chevys, with no liner problems, so I'm not sure what the pattern is.
--Vic
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