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Replacing the Roof Lining - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/ICE/HVAC & Other - The Lotus Forums - Lotus Community Partner #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Replacing the Roof Lining

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Hi to all,


I'm totally fed up with the roof lining coming down every year after Lotty comes out of storage, so this morning went to Bridgers Car recyclers and bought a roof lining from a Fiat people carrier, cut panels to suit using the old head lining as a pattern, loosened off front cant rail center rail and side cant rails and slid the replacement totally self supporting roof lining panels in place.

The panels are approx 4 - 5 mm thick made from a dense expanding foam type material, very light, but strong. The colour is not a perfect  match but close enough. Its going to be interesting to see how it fairs over the next year.


post-10113-0-78544100-1402748087.jpg   This is cross section

of panel

post-10113-0-46364100-1402747860.jpg Back of the car 

post-10113-0-49316200-1402748347.jpg Front of the car

post-10113-0-70979500-1402747723.jpg Bits left



to all

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I'd been thinking about this for a couple of months, all the car roof liners i looked at are curved in some way, most were to small width wise to use in the Eclat, it has very wide flatish roof, I was then looking at van head liners, but finally settled on the Fiat people carrier. Will do the same again on the Elite if I have the same problem, funny thing is I stuck the lining on with high temp spray glue good to 27 degrees, it was 26.5 at Gatwick when it fell down for the last time. which is what made me finally go and do it rather than just thinking about it.



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Thanks - what model of fiat people carrier is it from? I have a whole interior to do and this looks like a good idea - esp if there are any black ones available (unlikely in a people carrier. If not I have still got half a large pot of fabric dye which I used to get my "antracite" fuzzy interior pieces back to something approaching black / grey /anthracite instead of the various shades of green that they had turned into. It didn't go completely black but looked much better.



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That looks really nice, wish I`d thought of that !

I had exactly the same problem, which I have fixed not very well ; I scraped off all the congealed backing foam then paint-rollered the old headlining above the back seats  onto  heat-resistant spray glue whilst leaning my head out to escape the fumes. It`s still up, amazingly, but looks kind of.....temporary .

(However if I took it to a professional for the rest to be done, I fully expect to hear the words  :

"what bloody cowboy did this for you ???" )

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I did exactly the same for mine except that my donor was 2 x MK3 VW Golfs (£10 for both).

Any decent brakers yard and stanley blade will suffice - it took 2 minutes to cut them out.


I feel it needed 2 donor roof panels as the width of the excel allowing for the natural curve.


NOTE: I found that cutting out the new template shapes from the 'back side' of the doner headliners first about 1 inch bigger all around, meant that when I then lightly scored the exact shape, I could brake away the firm foam excess and leave the interior facing material to then be glued back giving it a much neater edge and no freys. 

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Hi to all, 


I have no idea what model people carrier, but the advantage of just one panel to do both back and front is colour match between them, the match to the dove grey was brill. I suppose it would also lend itself to a contrast between the cant rails and the roof.


I did not come across any black linings, but I only looked at older cars.


Best regards


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  • 5 years later...

hi guys....

just as a thought........if you made this panel.......I presume if you wanted you could then dye or cover it as required to match the rails etc.......

how many others made this.....? .......did anyone try to match the fabrication with the existing material?

have we got any more info on the donor?............. and are there lots of pics on how to do it?.........

being an idiot I try to find things that are idiot proof so I dont cock it up.........:blink:

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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Im going to seem decidedly thick here.........

the display boards I am finding all seem to have the metal edge.....where do you get just the 'infill' board from???



The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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Also the PVC foam board seems very expensive......

Im finding about £150 for a sheet of 8' x 4'..........

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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Ive found cheap........

and at a guess.....I stuck in 5mm board.......and oversized at 2m x for the front and one for the back.......and at £30 per board seems more reasonable.......

is this the stuff?



ps....does anyone remember how big they cut their sheets to?......Ive not got my car for the next few weeks.....

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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I like the idea of using dizzy gloves, thanks, II have had another thought, the brown appear can be use daily to cove the worktable and retained by masking tape, you can then  the bits of lining material down to it with masking tape while you apply glue. The brown appear can be replaced for each glue session.

i will also be standing the glue in boiling water to make it more runny.


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  • 1 month later...

I have finally finished reliving the Eclat, I can assure you all that the learning curve is pretty steep so I have decided to pass on my experience for the other poor souls who want to have a try. Firstly the equipment 

roll of brown paper

stanley knife


straight  edge

masking tape

disposable gloves

work table

set plastic levers

paint scraper

glass scraper

correcting fluid (tippex)

plastic bin liners


heat resistant glue

sheet 3mm pvc sheet

coarse emery cloth

acetone or equivalent for cleaning

paint brush

clothes pegs

My procedure

Remove front seatbelts from B pillars, pull door seal from right B post and the plastic former complete with its covering. Mark the inside of the former with tipped with an arrow pointing to the front of the car, B .

Repeat with left B post .

Remove interior light from roll bar cover and again mark with arrow for the front.

Pull off both rear cant rail covers again marking with their sides and arrow for forward

Unscrew rear view mirror and both sun visors, pull down the door seal half way along the top of the doors to reveal small metal plate tucked under it. Gently remove the goal post shaped former from over the windscreen and doors., there is a clip in the centre of the doors.

Pull down the rear headlining from the roof, marking with an arrow for front and R for rear

Repeat with the front roof

Pull the liner from the A posts leaving the foam former that goes between the front roll bar and the screen in place

Carefully peel the old liner from each of the formers, again marking each with an arrow for the front and where it goes.

Scrape old glue from the formers and then abrade with the emery cloth in the glue area

Scrape old adhesive from the inside of the roof and abrade with the emery cloth

Clean out the interior of the car, wipe glue surfaces with the solvent.

Take each piece of old liner and place it face down on a piece of brown paper and draw round it, again mark the paper with front and what part it is, cut round the line to make a pattern

Wipe down all the formers with solvent

Clean work table and cover with brown paper

Put on dizzy gloves and roll out some new liner face down, put the pattern on the liner and hold down with the clothes pegs,then cut out the liner and put into a bin liner with its pattern still held in place with the clothes pegs.

Warm the adhesive in hot water to make it more runny

Carefully coat one liner with adhesive on the inside and the inside of the appropriate former, when dry put on new dizzy gloves and fit the liner to the former. It is good to practice on a simple former like the rear cant rails, B post formers have concave surfaces and will be glued on the show faces so leave enough slack to push the material into the corners.

When you have a former finished put it in a bin liner to keep it clean

Measure the rear roof area carefully and cut a piece of the plastic sheet to fit , abrade both sides.

To be continued!




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Coat one side of the sheet and a band 1" wide on the revers side. Cover all of the liner, and a corresponding 1" band  on the sheet.

Carefully stand the sheet vertically on one edge about 1" in from the edge of the liner and lift the 1" strip of liner and stick it to the sheet. Lie the sheet down and pull the liner tight and bring it down onto the sheet, use a paint roller to make sure of the bond.

mark the centre of the back edge of the sheet and put a corresponding mark on the rear window both with masking tape.

coat the upper side of the sheet and the roof.

Climb into the back of the car and lie on your back with the sheet above you, carefully line the marks up and push the sheet into place.

more later






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