1998 Oldsmobile 88 headliner installation guide

This 1998 Oldsmobile 88 headliner was sagging throughout and just about ready to come loose. We used a small to mid sized car headliner kit to do the job - if the car has rear panels that has headliner material on them, the full sized car headliner kit is needed. The color we used was 2001 graphite.

1998 olds 88 headliner saggingIt may be hard to see in this photo, but the headliner in this car had a large baggy sag in the middle, by the looks of it - it may last a few more months before it was hanging on the drivers head

visor support olds 88

To remove the headliner board from the Olds 88 - everything needs to be removed that attaches through the headliner board. In this picture we are removing the sunvisor support mount - it is a plug type "deal-eo" - pry the  peg out at the back and it will snap out.

olds 88 headliner grab handleThe grab handles over the passenger doors work in a somewhat simliar way - they have 2 plastic plugs that have to be pryed up before you can snap the handle out of the headliner. Once the plugs are pryed out an inch or 2, the handle assembly should pop out.

olds 88 front windshield post trimThe front windshield post trim (plastic on some - covered in headliner material on others) is attached with 2 plastic trim plugs like the one in the bottom right hand corner of this picture. To remove, slide a screwdriver behind the trim, push the center piece of the plug to release it.

olds 88 side post trimThis picture is of the side trim between the front and rear door. It has a plastic plug at the top of it that needs to be pryed out of the hole in order for the trim to come loose. Once the plug is backed out, the trim will fall back far enough to work the headliner board out of the car.

olds 88 door trim rubber sealThe trim around the doors and the edge of the headliner is a rubber type trim and door sealer. It simply pulls off, remove it far enough to remove the interior trim and free the headliner board. It is rubber attached to what we call pinch welt.


headliner wiring harness plugIn this picture you can see the headliner has been dropped down and is resting on the front seats. The wiring harness usually has a plug somewhere, and that plug will need to be unplugged. This plug was on the driver side front, located under the windshield trim.

headliner board remove olds 88
Once the headliner board has been freed up so that it will come down, it can be removed through the passenger side door. It will easily slide through the door opening - most car headliner boards will come out through the passenger side door.

clean headliner boardClean the old foam off the headliner board with a brush, if it's a flimsy board - you will need a soft bristled brush. If a more resilient board, you can use a wire bristled brush. We used a soft bristled brush on this headliner board. The board needs to be free from the old foam - you can't get the old glue off and neither do you need to.

recovering a headliner boardIt would be wise to cover the headliner board about 1/3 at a time. This should insure that the adhesive doesn't dry too much before applying the material. Adhesive should be tacky when applying, if it dries for ove 3 to 5 minutes, you may have to use more adhesive. The material should be worked into the dips for the visors and any other indentions in the headliner board.

recovered headliner boardWhen you are finished with the board, it should look something like this. This one had double lights at the front that needed to be put back in before installing the headliner board back in the car.

new headliner olds 88Once you have finished the board; put it back in the car just like it came out. Put everything back in the car just like it came out or off and you should have a perfectly new top for your car.


Great write-up! Some of the descriptions of the doohickeys helped me pull the board out without breaking anything.

I have a 92 Olds 88 -- not sure if they used a different process for these headliners or if mine was just really rotted away, but the wire brushing (suggested by most write ups I looked at) was not helping at all. I had a LOT of foamy stuff still on there. What really sped along the process was a plain old putty knife. It pulled the rest of the headliner foam right off the board.

Now underneath this was the board and it wasn't really foam, it was some kind of fiberglass insulation -- I was getting insulation splinters before I realized I needed gloves.

Just thought I'd contribute this for anyone who's doing this for their 92 88. It looks GREAT now! Also, I used 3M trim spray adhesive. It seems durable but I only just finished so it hasn't withstood the test of time yet.

Good luck and thanks for the write-up!
A junk yard (salvage yard) is a good place to look.

Can you tell me where I can get sun visor from this same car?
Thanks for posting this. We are planning to order the material and do this soon. This write up will make doing it a lot easier!!!
Thanks for posting this.
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