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Old 02-14-2020, 05:53 PM   #1
mjweimer
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Anthracite headliner retrofit

Hello Group,

I need some of your expertise.

My headliner fabric has started to part ways from the backing material near the sun visors. Given the need for repair, I am thinking of converting from light gray to anthracite.


The biggest hang-up seems to be the B-pillar trim. I have seen reference to the Euro trim being to "thin" for the US cars and several of you have ordered new parts meant for the US cars to get the right fit.

My question is simple - are the thin Euro B-pillar trim pieces meant for slicktop cars (since that is a common config) or is this just a difference across the board between the US and Euro models?

The part numbers are different between the US and Euro cars but I see no reference to sunroof v. slicktop:

US L/R b-pillar - 51437902935/51437902936

Euro L/R b-pillar - 51432699101/51432699102


I have found a nice and complete set of Euro parts but would rather not buy and pay to ship the larger parts that will ultimately not work.


Appreciate any insight.


MJ
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:08 PM   #2
Dave
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Do feel free to buy two sets of the Euro parts if it makes shipping abroad easier, and I'll buy the other...

I'm actually halfway through my process of swapping sand from the slicktop wagon into the sunroof-having wagon, so I can compare the two B pillars next time I am in there. I don't think there's a difference. I think it's a US market safety thing.

I have a guy doing suede for the headliner next month, so I just figured I'd end up having him do the pillars too to match the headliner.

You could also just suck it up and buy a US market ZHP sedan B pillar, no?
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:56 AM   #3
mjweimer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
Do feel free to buy two sets of the Euro parts if it makes shipping abroad easier, and I'll buy the other...
I would be happy to do that and will let you know what direction I end up going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
I'm actually halfway through my process of swapping sand from the slicktop wagon into the sunroof-having wagon, so I can compare the two B pillars next time I am in there. I don't think there's a difference. I think it's a US market safety thing.
It would be great if you could do a comparison between the parts. It would help clarify any difference for my project and those referencing this thread in the future.

My guess based on the parts diagram is that there is no difference between sunroof and slicktop cars.

nickpiper12 posted some great pics of the differences in thickness of the Euro and US parts in this post:

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpo...7&postcount=69

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Originally Posted by Dave View Post
I have a guy doing suede for the headliner next month, so I just figured I'd end up having him do the pillars too to match the headliner.
Definitely an option. I would imagine the plastic slider trim at the seatbelt mounting area could be painted black to match but I don't know how easily they come apart. The A-pillars can be done in the same manner.

I'm planning to buy my material from Veteran Co - BM134. I used this on my old E36 M3 and it was a perfect match for the stock a-pillars and sunroof cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
You could also just suck it up and buy a US market ZHP sedan B pillar, no?
Yes, this is the likely scenario. Since my car already has a black interior I really only need the upper B-pillars. The parts are spendy new but I have not explored the used ZHP sedan market. I could also grab the A-pillars, grab handles, visors and alarm sensor cover from the same car.

I will most likely need to buy new trim pieces for the front microphone cover since they differ on a slicktop.


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Old 02-15-2020, 08:12 AM   #4
George Hill
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Matt,
Certainly a worthwhile upgrade in my opinion.

The US B-pillars are thicker than the euro AND the sliders are not interchangeable, ask me how I know, lol. While you could pull the sliders out and paint them black, I don't think it would last as their are moving parts that would wear the finish.

Buying used pillars is a crap shoot as to how long the material is going to stay stuck. If you have a source for the correct material and have the ability to lay it nicely then I would recover. *I say "nicely" as their is a grain in the material and I've seen plenty of people try to restick it and then end up with a wavy grain.

Also, you can repaint the cargo cover roof brackets.

You'll more than likely need to buy the plastic trim above the cargo windows, I try to remove these on donors (to repaint) and they usually fall apart.

I just finished this on my touring and the next one I would do the following:
1. ZHP handles
2. Painted cargo cover brackets
3. New black plastic trim at cargo roof line
4. ZHP sunshade and surrounding trim (I know doesn't apply to you)
5. Delete interior sensor
6. ZHP/Euro black sun visors and their clips
7. Recovered A, B & C pillars (and A-pillar screw covers)
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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That's pretty much the route that I'm going. I've got all but the ZHP pillars, which I'm supposed to have deal on if the the seller will tell me when to come get them, and sunshade.

Last edited by VpointVick; 02-15-2020 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:45 PM   #6
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I can second everything George said, although I previously assumed you could yank the Euro black sliders from your handle/pillar kit and put them in a ZHP B, so that surprises me. But he's absolutely right that there's no point trying to find a quality used ZHP pillar set. If they're still in good shape, the car likely is too, so they won't be for sale, and if they are for sale, then they're probably about to sag themselves. So just get that part new, even with the sticker shock.

I was incredibly gentle with the cargo uppers when pulling them from the beige interior and they basically crumbled in my hands anyway. The plastic is just so thin and so brittle over time. We should really find a way to do like a group buy for these in black (roof rail delete kits too while we're in this magical fairy land!).
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:37 PM   #7
mjweimer
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Wow - great info here - thanks guys.

I had not thought of deleting the ultrasonic alarm sensor cover but that makes total sense and would clean up the roof line tremendously.

No doubt any used trim is a crap-shoot. I've been looking into the pricing of new pillar trim and it is salty! It is also crazy to see what folks on Ebay are asking for used stuff. I can always default to new B-pillars but will still keep an eye out for a cheap used set that could be recovered.

Will be getting in touch with the folks at Veteran Co to find out if they make a matching fabric to the BM-134 without the backing or with extremely thin backing for the A and C-pillars.

I'll continue digging around for the various bits and pieces and let you know where I end up.


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Old 02-15-2020, 02:44 PM   #8
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oh I am definitely going to somehow tape/putty/combination fill that alarm cover and suede right over it; my dogs are big enough that they knock that right off every time they're in there anyway. And it'd look better without it too.

I've seen re-upholstered A and B pillars that match the suede headliner and they look wonderful. I think it really is just the B pillar with the seatbelt slider that is the issue. We still need to pay up for the plastic bits and handles and whatnot, but I still think just having it redone by someone with good references and track record is a better option than trying to buy all new ABCD and headliner parts.
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