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Old May 20th, 2012, 12:27   #1
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Last Online: Feb 22nd, 2018 22:06
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oxford
Default Guide: 745 headlining

I'm kicking myself that I didn't do a proper guide at the time so this is a bit of a reconstruction in response to a request from another member. I had to take some new photos, which is why it looks (misleadingly) as if I have tired of the zebra stuff already and am taking it out.

This isn't the only way, or necessarily the best way, but it worked for me. People who have done it seem to have done it successfully in many different ways, so removing bits in a quite different order is definitely possible.

Do also read and re-read all the guidance available in the 700 FAQs. I found a lot if it quite hard to follow but there is a lot of info and experience there.


1. Disconnect the negative lead from the battery. If you don't, you will almost certainly blow a fuse when you remove the wiring connectors from the interior lighting. It is the 15 amp fuse in slot number 5 in the fusebox (as I found out when I stupidly blew it).

2. Remove the sun visors by removing the 8mm bolts that fix the plastic end pieces to the roof. Wiggle those plastic bits out (the ones nearer the sides of the car are slightly wedged under the A pillar trim but they do come out). My car is at the bargain-basement end of the market and has few luxuries. I assume there must be some that have fancy stuff like lighted vanity mirrors in the sun visors, as on my V40. If so, you'll have to work out how to deal with that wiring when you come to it.

3. Remove the rear-view mirror. The bolts are hidden under a plastic cover. I broke the clip at one end of this cover getting it off, and I like to think that I would have managed not to if I had had a photo of what it looks like and how it fits on to the black plastic underneath. There are slots at the left- and right-hand sides of the black plastic, only just visible because of the fluffiness of the zebra fabric and the useless unfocussed photo. These slots hold the clips at either side of the white piece. Once the cover is removed, there are another two 8mm bolts holding the mirror on. Remove them and catch the mirror as it falls off. (No need to pull the mirror's ball joint out of the plastic.)

4. Remove the central interior light by grasping it and pulling it straight downwards to free it from the two plastic clips that grip the edges of the central hole in the headliner board and that also grip the light. Before disconnecting the wiring, take a picture of the interior wiring for the light so that when you have to put the connectors back again you know which one goes where. Remove the connectors and put the light wherever it is that you are carefully storing all the bits you are taking off the car.

5. Remove the four admirably-designed, simple and easy clips that hold the central part of the headliner board to the roof. You simply turn them 90 degrees with a screwdriver and pull them out.

6. Remove the three grab handles over the passenger doors. These have a soft plastic strip along their length which is a push-fit into the surrounding plastic. So ease a small flat screwdriver between the strip and the surround and lever up one end of it. It can then be easily pulled out to reveal the cross-headed screws underneath. Remove those screws and the handle comes off.

7. Above the driver's seat, instead of a grab handle, there are two small flat plastic covers hiding the screws. Flat screwdriver under edge and they pop off (possibly breaking the bit of white plastic underneath to which they are clipped. If it breaks, glue it together before refitting). Remove the two screws thus revealed.

8. The removal of the grab handles also frees the flat trim pieces above the doors that are what hold the edges of the headliner board up along the length of the car. You will see that they have grooved and shaped ends so that they slot together satisfyingly when correctly positioned.

9. Lift off the two long flat trim pieces that run above the four doors. Weirdly, I can't quite remember whether to do this I also had to loosen the top of the B pillar trim. If I did, I must have levered out the round trim cover pictured below and removed the screw thus revealed. Whatever it was, I'm sure I didn't do more than just loosen that B pillar trim. I definitely didn't remove it completely. At this point the headliner board should still be held up securely enough both at the rear and by the strip of plastic along the top of the windscreen.

10. Go to the back of the car and carefully lever out the light in the trim above the tailgate area. There's a small slot for your screwdriver on the left-hand side of the light as you look at it. The light has plastic protuberances that hook under the right-hand (again, as you look at it) edge of the surrounding trim. Easy to break (yep, I broke 'em) if you don't know in advance how it's made. So lever out the left-hand side, then move it to the left to get it free. Take a picture of the wiring, disconnect, and store it safely away.

11. Behind the light there is a large black plastic screw. Remove it.

12. Unscrew the seven fasteners holding up the plastic part of the roof above the load area. Go carefully because they are brittle. This plastic bit of interior roof trim will then fall down on your head. Put it somewhere safe.

13. The next step requires a bit of explanation.

My headliner board was then held up:
(a) at the front, by the narrow plastic strip across the top of the windscreen;
(b) at the rear, where its rear edge was held under a piece of metal going across the car that is revealed by the preceding step 12;
(c) along the sides at the rear by the flat trim running between the C and D pillars;
(d) unknown to me, towards the rear of the car, by adhesive joining it to a foam block stuck between the board and the metal roof of the car.

I didn't want to try to remove the strip above the windscreen because I couldn't see how it was fitted and was scared of breaking it. The metal at the back couldn't be removed because it seems to be a fundamental part of the car's construction. But there wasn't enough flexibility in the board, so far as I could see, to get it out of one end while it was held at the other. So I got out a Stanley knife and cut the board, at the rear, across the width of the car along the edge of the metal holding it at the back edge. (After I got the board out, I was able to remove the rear edge of it that I'd cut off from under the metal – it was only about 2cm of board. Anyway the theory is that this doesn't matter, because when you replace the board its rear edge will be held up anyway by the plastic interior roof trim that covers the metal and extends a good bit further forward than it. If you want, you can, in replacing the headliner board, also add more foam blocks and adhesive between the board and the metal roof of the car, to ensure that the board is firmly held at the rear.

14. Some people say that you now also have to remove the flat trim at the sides of the car between C ad D pillars to get the rear part of the headliner board free. I managed to get it out without doing this. By manipulating the board and bending it a bit I was able to get its edges over the flat trim, so that they were free. This was also when I discovered the sticky foam block. Pull the board down to free it from that (you may be able to get a hand in there to help get it off, if you have this issue).

15. Pull the board backwards and it comes out of the plastic strip above the windscreen and drops on to the four headrests.


Replacement surprised me by being so much easier than I had feared.

What I did was:

16. Put the board on the headrests.

17. Lift up the rear of the board and get it resting on the flat trim strips at the sides of the car between C and D pillars. Rather like a schoolboy shoving his head through the railings of a fence, putting it back on these strips is much easier than getting it off them was.

18. Go to the front of the car and get the front edge of the board back in the plastic strip across the top of the windscreen. What I did was to use the hole in the board where the interior light goes to get a good grip on the board, so I could push it firmly forwards into the slot.

19. Replace the long flat trim strips above the doors, refitting the grab handles (and the other screws and bits of trim above the driver's seat).

20. Replace those four pleasingly-simple and well-designed clips holding the board to the middle of the roof.

21. Go to the back of the car and refit the plastic above the load area.

22. Refit the rear-view mirror, sun visors, and interior lights.

23. Admire your work and count the many many pennies you just saved.

24. Question: Why won't my car start?! Answer: You've forgotten to reconnect the battery, you fool.

Link to original thread
1988 745 B230K (Phoenix)

Last edited by cumbrianmale; May 20th, 2012 at 12:44. Reason: link back
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