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The older Classics have a problem with the roof headlining, which collapses after a number of years. Mine was no exception and this happened within a week!

The foam-backed fabric is mounted on moulded carboard and when the foam disintegrates the fabric falls down, supported only by the roof lights, grab handles and speakers!

Everybody told me the only satisfactory and durable fix for this is to replace the headlining, so I went to see specialist Trevor Edwards at Nationwide Trim in Redditch. He says that by the time most vehicles get to him the cardboard backing to the headlining is damaged beyond recovery, so he replaces it with fibreglass mouldings trimmed with the appropriate new fabric.

This is how it's done:-

On my vehicle the headlining is in two sections, but later models have a single piece. It gets more complicated if there's a sunroof, which I don't have.

Carefully remove the trim studs from the join in the middle of the roof, unscrew the grab handles, sun visors and remove the rear-view mirror, which only leaves the light fitting holding up the front section - it's easily removed and the headlining is taken out through the front passenger door.

 

It is necessary to unbolt the top mounting for the rear seat belt on one side, so that the rear corner can drop, to angle the headlining.

 

The spare wheel has to be removed too, so that the rear headlining can be taken out diagonally. Remove the two rear corner trim studs carefully, as you'll need them for re-fitting. Unclip the rear edge of the headlining and disconnect the speakers. Once the light unit is removed, the lining drops down and can be removed.

 

This reveals the rear wiper motor, mounted in the top left hand corner of the roof (in older models it's behind the D pillar trim panel).

 

The speakers are transferred to the new headlining.

 

Look out for the various wires which are suspended from the roof by gaffer tape and make sure that they aren't under tension. Also, make sure that the light connections are dangling in the correct locations as it make them easier to find through the holes in the headlining.

Fitting is a reverse of the process, but take care not to leave dirty marks on the fabric. The backing material has an open foam, so use a thick sponge block to prevent making indentations, although they will come out over a period of hours.
Start with the rear section and make fitting the roof light the first job, as it supports the lining, and then you can do the rest easily.

Thanks to Trevor and Dean for a neat job.