It happens to us all eventually, luckily a Delta roof is easier to fix than bingo wings!
Here we have a nice Evo1, with a black leather interior, and a grey Alcantara headlining with serious sagging issues.
The 1980s adhesive used by the Fiat group gradually turns to dust, this change to dust, and the roof lining's sag happen so gradually, you don't really notice until the fabric touches your head!
So let's get it fixed.
Removing the roof lining isn't difficult, it's cleverly suspended by the fitments around it. The grab handles and coat hooks come off the sides, the interior lights and fixings come off the back.
The front needs the sun visors and clips, windscreen pillar trims and the interior light and fitting removed. This is straightforward except the interior light bezel. Lever out the interior light from the plastic casing, and you'll see 2 screws holding the bezel to the car, these need removing. Some casings are pulled down without these screws being removed, this breaks the plastic securing lugs. Remove these with the 3 mirror securing screws
and all will be ok.
It's easy to remove the interior mirror then pull down the
plastic console, this is bad, it'll snap the delicate plastic lugs that
secure the front of the pod. That's been done previously on this car.
Keep the screws with the trim items they secured, the different lengths are important. With everything removed, drop the lining and take it out of the tailgate.
Turn it over on a clean surface, mark one end and remove all the screws holding the cardboard lining to the plastic frame, again keep the screws safe and note there are 2 types of screw used, remember where they fit.
Remove the plastic outer frame and put aside carefully. Turn the cardboard centre over again and the fabric can be removed. Our roof lining is Alcantara, so I stretched it out on our cleaned patio and sprayed on some Vanish in small sections, and gently scrubbed the material. Then I hung it over the washing line to dry in the sun, I hoovered it when dry.
Sun, sun, sun,
it was perfect Spring day
for drying a roof lining.
The Vanish worked well, I brushed small areas at a time, then vacuumed it off when the fabric had dried.
Turning to the cardboard backing, the old glue needs scraping off into a bin, I did this, then brushed the dust off, then vacuum cleaned it.
I stopped for lunch, allowing the fabric on the line to dry.
After lunch, with the fabric dry, and on the advice of Mrs.Gralingham, I sprayed half the panel with contact glue and stuck that side of the fabric on, then repeated with the other half, she was right.
Check the cut outs in the fabric are placed correctly, then gently squeegy the fabric down with a filler spreader or similar, wrapped in a sock, or similar.
Gently smooth the fabric down with a felt squeegy or a fabric covered filler spreader.
Be gentle, a rip will be a disaster.
When that's all done brush the fabric lightly to smooth the pile and put the covered centre to one side, put the plastic frame face down on the table, then place centre panel face down on the frame in the position you noted,
pull the fabric tight and fit the screws.
As already mentioned, there are 2 kinds of screw, fit them all in the correct places.
That won't take long and the lining will be ready to re-fit into the car.
Put the lining assembly in through the tailgate, then get in and push it up, it will stay up on its own, there's a friction plug in the centre of the panel that with careful positioning will poke into a mounting hole on the car roof, and the edge of the plastic panel surround will clip over the door pillar trim.
Then carefully fit the interior trim items, make sure you get the grab handles the right way up! With all that refitted, and the Alcantara clean and brushed nicely, the interior will look much better. That's a good Saturday job!
Here's the finished job, there are some undulations in the cardboard, like gently rolling countryside! But the fabric is well stuck to it.
The materials Fiat used around this time are 3rd world quality composites of who knows what! I said 'plastic', and 'cardboard', but they could actually be anything!
But the Alcantara is on show here, and that looks great.
Clean, brushed, and tight to the top, the car's interior looks much better with it's smart headlining, and it didn't cost much to do.