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Old 12-02-2012, 12:38 AM   #85
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Worcester, Ma
Posts: 387
My Ride: 2004 330Ci ZHP
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Pillar reupholstery

After a few months of owning my car back in 2010 the C Pillar trim fabric was sagging so back then I decided to use 3M 90 Super adhesive to tack it back up. It worked great since then up until November 2012 when it started to sag along with the B Pillar and a corner of the front A pillar trim fabric.

The past few days I decided to reupholster them with new fabric.
Well, the problem is what fabric to buy and what do I want for the look. Having done a few stereo installs through out the years I have used different fabrics from Hancock Fabric store and Jo-Ann fabrics. The issue with using them is that if you do not use a UV protection agent like scotchguard the fabric will fade.

That turned me to buying a yard of Carbon Fiber cloth and 2 yards of Mellotone Speaker grill fabric. The Carbon Fabric cloth I bought from Ebay for $22 for a linear yard. The Mellotone Speaker grill fabric I bought from Parts Express, that runs at $24.50 per linear yard.

I just got those 2 items in and went ahead with reupholstering my C pillars since I have them out already.
Now, i didn’t go with the carbon Fiber cloth for this install because it is very thin and the OEM felt surface was very uneven so it wouldn’t be very smooth looking. I settled on the Mellotone…

On my install I went and bought 2 different spray adhesives that have worked for me in the past. The first one is the Permatex Heavy Duty Headliner and Carpet Adhesive which you can buy at Advance Auto parts. The second is the ForceField Headliner Trim and Laminating Adhesive in Professional Strength.

Next thing I did was strip off the OEM BMW fabric from the C Pillar covers.

Now this is the trick i use so the fabric sticks on. I bet you have tried time and time again to re-glue yours and they fall or sag after a few days or a few months. I did mine real quick back in 2010 and had started to sag 2 years later but that was using the 3M adhesive. Ok, back to my trick.. What I do if the Pillar covers have the felt on them is that I saturate them with the adhesive then let that cure. I then give it another coat and let that cure some. What this does is that it “rubberizes” the felt surface and this allows the final coat of adhesive be fully functional when it cures.

For the fabric you want to use the Forcefield Adhesive on the back side. Make sure you are a good distance away when spraying the adhesive, like 12"- 14" or so away from the fabric. I let mine set in for about 3-4 minutes and you start seeing that the adhesive is curing some and looks and feels tacky/rubberized. DO NOT INSTALL THE FABRIC WITH WET ADHESIVE, you will have seep through. even though the Mellotone is thick it can seep through.

Now with both sides tacky/rubbery pull the fabric on top of the part working it in and making sure the fabric does not wrinkle or the front side touches the pillar cover. I tend to use my thumb or my palm to work the fabric on the surface. this is where having the semi cured surface comes into play as this is the part where you will make the adhesive seep through if it isn’t cured enough. I made sure I had extra fabric so I could wrap the fabric around the back. I also used the ForceField adhesive for tacking the fabric to the back. I just sprayed some adhesive on the news paper and with one finger grabbed some and spread it on the back of the areas on the C Pillar cover where the fabric would cover.

On the picture you can see how it looks with 2 coats of Permatex and a final coat of ForceField adhesives. The ForceField adhesive has a nice spray pattern and lays down smooth as long as you have a steady hand.

Here are the OEM fabric, Carbon Fiber fabric and the Mellotone speaker grill fabric.

Here is the OEM fabric on the C Pillar:

Here is the Carbon Fiber fabric on the C Pillar:

Here is the Mellotone and what I chose for my project:

And a few shots of the finished product:
Ok, So this is project C Pillars done, next are B and C Pillars.
WARNING: This modification is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm due to the extreme G forces once turbo kicks in. ~ Nivo
The rest of my signature is reserved for pointless modification bits like: Halos | window Tint | carbon fiber roundels | short shifter
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