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Replacement Headlining - Excel

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The headlining and associated trim comprises 4 removable sections, plus two large rectangles, possible with a sunroof in the front section of the roof, 2 'b' pillars and the sun visors.


I used 6 metres of foam-layered fabric from Woolies Trim or other specialists;

(5 mts should be sufficient, I had to redo the sunroof after getting it wrong on first attempt)

1 litre high temperature contact adhesive

Solvent for thinning glue.

I didn’t have too much trouble removing the old material. The rear roof section looked like a hammock anyway.

It has been mention elsewhere that if possible sections of roof lining that can be removed intact can be used as a template to cut the new material. This was not possible we mine.

Also, ensure that a well ventilated area is available. We have an integral garage and the vapours for the adhesive got everywhere.


Remove the rear seat, the backrest is secured by three metal twisted tabs accessed through the boot. The bolsters have screws on the front and rear edges. Pull the door aperture rubber seals away from the upper edge of the door cavity. It may be worth considering replacing these at the same time, if needed. The seat belts anchorages from the b pillars should be removed. Note have the bolts and washers fit together, along with the coat hooks if fitted.

The Front fibreglass section is held in place by 6 screws, 2 behind each sun visor and 2 holding the rear view mirror bracket. This will drop freely once these screws are removed. The sun visors are held in place by nuts. Once removed carefully push one stud into the visor until it can be removed.

Rear cant rails. These are secured by a single plastic push-in lug close to the top edge of the rear windscreen and are removed by easing out from the roll bar end, ease off the clip and flexing the trim over the edge of the rear seat.

A single retaining screw holds the roll bar cover. This is accessible when the courtesy light is removed. The tops of the b pillars also hold this trim. Gently pull the b pillar inwards and down to provide clearance to push the roll bar cover up and over the top. It is not necessary to remove the ashtrays or the b pillars.

Remove the existing material from the trim pieces, this wasn’t too difficult on mine as it was held on with double sided tape (and this car cost £28K new……)

If a sunroof is fitted this will need removing. To remove mine a tilt only version, I first took out the glass panel and then removed the rubber-retaining band in the lower section. This allowed the fabric covering to drop and expose the retaining screws. With these removed the outer roof section lifted off while the inner half is removed through the passenger compartment.

Remove old fabric from the roof. Be careful not to tear the foil that is an earth for the aerial. For the b pillars, remove the fabric carefully around the join with the leather trim. A sharp blade or modelling knife may be needed, again being carefully with the leather. The rear roof section fell away from mine.

Ensure the surface is the cleared of any loose bits of fabric or backing foam that could cause lumps under the new material.





Fitting the new material

It is very important not to press too firmly on the material as it is offered up to glued surfaces. This could lead to adhesive soaking through on damaging the appearance of the new head lining.

I did the sections removed from the car first. On all sections the material was glued in place.

Lay the fabric over the section, or gently lay the section onto the fabric. Cut larger pieces than required to allow the material to wrap around the edges.

The front and role bar sections I covered in a single piece, each. There a 4 mesh grill that I glue back in place on the role bar cover. These were given coat of black paint prior to refitting.


The rear cant rails required two pieces each. One for the box section to the parcel shelf, the other on the long run above the rear side windows. At the edges where they meet I ran the square piece from the box section a few mm down the window length. The long length was then rolled under itself a little at the join. The provided as clean edge.


Once you are happy with the fit of the material, apply adhesive to the fibreglass formers. Allow to become tacky, as directed on tin, and then very gently lay the material over the former. Do not allow to crease, gently pulling and moulding into the shapes of the formers.

Once dry mark the holes for the sun visors, rear view mirror etc. This will make them much easier to identify in the refitting process.

The above process was repeated for the b pillars. Again using adhesive over the whole area and gently shaping the fabric into the contours. I again used a small role of material to form a clean join with the leather. The excess fabric around the upright edges was simply tucked behind the pillars.

The sun visors had almost fallen apart on mine. I used pices of cushion floor to reinforce and give shape to the individual visors. These were then cover wrapped in sponge to return the ‘soft’ feel and covered in the headlining material. I used black felt material to replace the black heat welded plastic, this was the only section that required stitching. Once dry the visors were fitted to the front header rail.





For Roof sections I cut suitably sized squares of material. The contact adhesive should be applied the roof with a brush, covering the whole surface. I did the front panel first, cutting out the sunroof section once the material was securely in place. I may have used more adhesive than really required, but I didn’t want the material dropping again…..

The material can be gently smoothed over the surface with light pressure of the hand or a soft cloth. The cloth option is best in case there is any adhesive on your hands.

In practice this is not dissimilar to wallpapering.



This is then repeated for the rear section. For the edge at the rear screen I left an extra 5-10mm and used a wall paper scrapper to push this edge into the gap over the roof panel and rear screen.



To Re-fit the trim panels was in reverse order of removal. Easing the b pillars out to allow the role bar cover to be refitted. I then replace the ancillaries, mirror, courtesy lights seat belts etc..





Leaving the sunroof ‘till last

This I had expected to be easiest, it was actually the hardest. Cut an oval of material that will wrap around the inner retaining ring. Glue this on the side that will mate with the roof. Once dry cut the inner away. Apply black mastic to the outer ring and place on the roof. From inside the car mate the inner ring to the rook and start to add the screws. Once this had dried I then pushed the material up and over the inner edge of the sunroof replacing the rubber-retaining collar. Trim the upper edge of the with a sharp knife and replace the glass panel.







Replace any coat hooks and door trims remaining. Vacuum the materials out of the passenger compartment. Replace the rear seats, ensuring the retaining tabs are bent back over in the boot area.

Stand back and admire.

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That is an excellent description of the work. My Excel now needs a new headlining and I was wondering whether the trim you used was Woolies A285 foam-backed beige material, which they say was used on Jaguars. I'd be grateful if you or anyone else could confirm.


John Hartley

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very useful :)

Question, is there stitching required in the corners at the front cover and near the rear parcel shelf?


Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed. : Albert Einstein

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You can (just) get away with no stitching on the rears trims, but stitching means less tension on half of the width.

For the front a join is necessary, at the point that the sun visors outer edge lines up with. There is a cheat if your stitching is not up to the job (other than getting somebody else to do it), glue one piece in place and for the second piece, stitch it to make it look like a join but simply fold it back on itself and stitch it like that, then glue the second piece on top, taking care where the glue goes.

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For my S1 elite I bought replacement headlining from SJs. Not cheap, but a good match. I don't know what fabric Excels used, but SJs can doubtless comment.

I would emphasis, from a previous failed attempt, that high temperature fabric spray is essential!



(with smug grin of someone who isn't planning on doing a headlining again for a long time)

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question on the high temp glue

1: how much is needed, Woolies sell 1 litre tins. Is one enough or do you need more?


Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed. : Albert Einstein

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Thanks Andy :)


Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed. : Albert Einstein

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