Hardcore Weight Reduction: Headliner removal

Yep, pulled the headliner off last Monday. No more sunglasses storage, no more b-pillar covers, no more oh-shit handles, no more soft touch up top. Over 18 pounds shaved off the car with this mod. And it’s all from the absolute highest point on the car, which should help with handling in addition to the straight line performance boost.

The process was overall pretty simple (probably made easier by my lack of interior already). All told it took around an hour of actual work, and 20 minutes of frustration before I pulled my head out of my ass.

First things first, remove the lower door frame trim, front and rear. Next, remove the screws holding in the lower portion of the B-pillar trim. These can be exposed by pull the seatbelt towards either side of the pillar. With those screws and the trim removed, the lower b-pillar panel should easily pop off.

Next, pop off the cover on the seat-belt mount (with the slider button on the side) to expose the seat belt mounting bolt. This bolt comes off with a T-50 socket, be careful with the initial ‘breaking loose’ of the bolt, you don’t want to strip it (do NOT use an extension while breaking it loose).  Once that T-50 bolt is removed, there should only be a single screw on the bottom of the upper trim, which can be easily removed, and the whole piece should pop free.

Once that is done you can move to the only thing really holding up the back of the headliner. The oh-shit handles are held on by by 2 bolts each. These come out easily with a small torx bit, and the handle pops free…oh shit, no it doesnt. The wiring harness clips into the back of the housing, and it is a bitch. There’s just no real good place to get to it. I ended up just sort of fudging in there with a flathead screwdriver and getting it to release.

With the Oh-shit handles removed, you can go up front and pop the three bolts out of the window visors. Note that the passenger side visor catch also has a bolt that needs to be removed to get the headliner totally free.

One recommendation before you go any further, remove the passenger side A-pillar and unplug the wiring connector at the base. This connector hooks into the headliner harness for things like the overhead console, and the lighted visor mirrors.

After that, if you have a sunroof, pull the vinyl weatherstripping from around the opening, as this is part of the support for the headliner.

Once you do that, gently pull down the headiner, and pop the wires free from the visors, and gently set them down.

Then you’re free to butcher and break it while trying to pull the headliner out. I have no advice to give on that, other than have a helper.

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