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Old 03-25-2020, 04:57 PM   #1
JochenWoern
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Loose Fabric on Interior Pillar Parts

I am wondering how to fix the loose fabric on the interior pillar pieces on my daughters 2003 330i? (See attached pictures).

- Can these parts be easily removed? Are there any instructions as to HOW TO?
- Can these fabric pieces be re-attached by a good Upholstery Shop?
- Does one need to purchase new parts in order for it to look right?

Thanks very much in advance, any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:14 PM   #2
JochenWoern
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Just searched on YouTube and seen this video where the guy simply removes the fabric.



Is that the way to go? Will it look cheesy?

Has anyone done this with a tan interior and how does it look? Any pics?

Thanks Guys
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DAUGHTER's 2003 BMW 330i, 111k miles.
Sport & Premium Package, 2 Tone Black/Natural Brown Interior, Harmon Kardon, PDC, Navigation, Xenon Headlights.

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2011 BMW X5 (WIFE's)
2004 GMC Yukon (OURS)
2010 BMW R1200R (MINE)
2002 KTM 400 MXC (MINE)
2004 KTM 250 EXC (SONs)
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:21 PM   #3
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Many of us are in the same situation with our interior cloth. Like our bodies, sagging with age.

Im looking for an adhesive I can lightly brush on to simply tack it all back into place without having to remove any of the pillar trim pieces. The A pillar air bag covers are nearly guaranteed to break when you try to remove them.

I got a quote of $175 from a good local auto upholstery shop. I passed since its something I could easily do with the right adhesive. Anyone have suggestions?
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:25 PM   #4
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I just bought some new fabric and Ill be redoing my headliner and all of the pillars. Ive re glued before and it never looked good. Headliner is racked up right now lol


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Old 03-25-2020, 05:49 PM   #5
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I was having the same issue in my car. As a member previously mentioned, both 'A' pillar tabs broke when I tried to reinstall them. I used the Permatex spray adhesive to re-glue the fabric. You can try it yourself, but take your time and don't use too much adhesive. Though, in my opinion it's not worth the effort. The fabric is too thin, delicate, and difficult to glue back on properly, and the glue tends to seep through. Don't expect perfection. You can try finding pieces in better shape at your local U-Pull scrapyard. That's what I'll be doing as my local dealer wants $160 CAD for each side (not surprisingly).
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:07 PM   #6
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I had some minor sagging from the A pillars on a previous E46 and glued them back with a clear adhesive, taking care to apply a very thin layer on the pillar and very lightly stretching and pushing down the cloth with a plastic putty scraper. If the adhesive soaks through the cloth it will be visible after it dries. But clear adhesive is less visible.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:14 PM   #7
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Elmer's Spray Adhesive will bond most things. Unless you do the entire piece, you will have to mask other areas. You can purchase headliner materials from various sources, and Elmer's from local merchants or online.

https://nanaimo.coastdistributors.co...DHESIVE-397-GM

https://www.automotiveinteriors.com/...ks-s/17351.htm
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Newbimer View Post
Elmer's Spray Adhesive will bond most things. Unless you do the entire piece, you will have to mask other areas. You can purchase headliner materials from various sources, and Elmer's from local merchants or online.

https://nanaimo.coastdistributors.co...DHESIVE-397-GM

https://www.automotiveinteriors.com/...ks-s/17351.htm
Right, Ive used the spray adhesives for when the trim was removed from the car. But a liquid adhesive that could be lightly applied with a tool would be way less work. Any ideas for that?
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:56 PM   #9
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I had had all 6 pillars reupholstered for $100 last year. Removed them myself and took them to a mom and pop upholstery shop. They did a fantastic job. Instead of the light gray, I went with a black upholstery.

I'll and find pics somewhere and post later.

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Old 03-25-2020, 07:17 PM   #10
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Found em...

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Old 03-25-2020, 08:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 325ciLover View Post
I'll and find pics somewhere and post later.
That would be great, thank you!
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:54 PM   #12
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The issue with recovering the A-pillars is that the fabric is very thin and getting it to tuck down into the screw channel recess is very challenging. As in, I've never seen anyone do a "factory" job of it. The tolerances are so tight in that area.

I've considered trying to find an SEM interior paint color to match the gray and trying to "texturize" the plastic before spraying it... Kind of on the back burner now though.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post
The issue with recovering the A-pillars is that the fabric is very thin and getting it to tuck down into the screw channel recess is very challenging. As in, I've never seen anyone do a "factory" job of it. The tolerances are so tight in that area.

I've considered trying to find an SEM interior paint color to match the gray and trying to "texturize" the plastic before spraying it... Kind of on the back burner now though.
Original poster, see my pics above.

And spanner you nailed it on the head. My a pillar strips bulge out. But unless you know the e46, it doesn't look bad at all.

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Old 03-25-2020, 09:14 PM   #14
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The original headliners, etc. are done with a spray adhesive applied with a paint type spray gun, obviously when out of the car. Its the best type to use and when applied properly will allow you to get that nice crisp and tight fit around every corner. Unfortunately once the foam under-pad begins to deteriorate, which causes the fabric to loosen, its pretty much toast. You can re-glue the loose areas but it will continue to worsen, only solution is to redo them entirely, better still, get new ones. For liquid vs spray and what to consider using where, check out the link.

https://innovatecar.com/liquid-or-ae...iner-adhesive/
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:40 PM   #15
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Just a head's up for the people suggesting the self-glue on the headliner and pillars. The environment in a car is FAR more demanding than a typical glue, and certainly than most spray on fabric glues can handle.

This is a truly challenging thing, and I have a fair bit of experience restoring cars and have failed at this endeavor - glueing fabric in cars. Every glue I've ever tried in a car has failed on a hot day and I don't even live in a hot climate. It gets to oven temps in a parked car in the summer.

So I don't want people to get all excited and spend hours pulling trim and reglueing it proudly, only to find it fail in about a month. As it is fabric, there's a better chance you will be pissed that the glue simply soaked through on application day and now the materials all look mottled.

The professional suggestion seems like a good one. If you're picky enough to want to repair this, you're too picky for the home attempt which may end in disaster.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:19 AM   #16
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For my c pillars, I used Elmers glue stick and seemed to work well. Just apply lightly to prevent bleed-through like any other glue.


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Old 03-26-2020, 02:40 AM   #17
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Same problem here. I've already taken out the A and C pillars once and re-glued the original fabric after sanding the off the foam, the C pillars lasted a couple weeks, the A pillars lasted a month or two, and now my B pillars are getting saggy too, along with the covers for things on the headliner. If I re-do them again I'm probably going to learn to work with vinyl wrap and use new material instead of trying to save the old stuff. I've seen a couple examples of people doing that , and I thought it would look good since I'm not worried about originality. My plan was to get a couple big sheets and get a feel for working with the stuff before I try to tackle a shape as complicated as the interior pieces, as it'll probably be pretty tricky to get it to conform well to all the curves with zero experience. I would still be a bit worried about the adhesive staying put though...

The interior pieces aren't hard to get out at all. It's a little nerve wracking pulling on them so hard, and you'll probably break some clips, but it's not that big a deal. I found a wobble joint and extension really helps with the bolts on the A pillars.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Many of us are in the same situation with our interior cloth. Like our bodies, sagging with age
Then how do I explain the bulging?

3M's Spray 90 is good for this sort of thing- Bali, I have sprayed it into a cap and used it as a 'liquid tack', as you describe.
It's pretty thin in liquid form, so not easy to work, but I've used it since the mid '90's and it's about as durable as you or I can buy.
The other things that work are 3M's 'super trim' adhesive. There is a clear version that flows pretty well.
Also their 'emblem adhesive' works, too, oddly.
I'm not a 3M rep or anything, it's just that I've found their products work.

As one might expect, applying it's 90 percent of the problem. They all lose their
carrier quickly, so it's really hard to get the thin, even coat you need.

But, really, it's not a fabric or glue problem, it's a 'foam rot' problem, and the only real
cure is new foam. I like the plastic dye idea- I might try it on a spare panel or 2...

t
it's the rot
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:48 AM   #19
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I have a tan interior. I peeled back the fabric, sprayed on 3m spray adhesive and laid the fabric back down. (I used a lot of adhesive so it didn't dry too quickly and I had time to work) Turned our great. Use acetone to remove any adhesive that may seep through. Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:37 PM   #20
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2nd the Elmer's glue stick, must be the "Extreme" permanent one. Avery also makes one. Has held up to socal heat for over a year now. It's not a perfect solution but it allows you to do a decent repair without taking the parts out of the car. I applied to both surfaces, no bleed through. Allow to dry for several days without the car getting hot in the sun.
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