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Discussion Starter #1
So if you have a convertible, you likely know all to well about the headliner where it attaches or does not attach around the rear window!

This on top of the rear window coming unglued, been fighting with that lately, so I decided to try to solve, understand why the headliner will not stay in the U channel around the rear window.

I know all about some special clips that are listed in a VW Technical Bulletin, however, I did not want to visit the dealer and order the parts, plus I really did not think the clips would fully resolve the problem.

I have fought with the rear headliner coming loose from the rear window many times over the 10 years of ownership.

So I checked out what was going on a bit further. What I found is the plastic ring that the headliner is connected to is too small in diameter. When you seat one side in the U groove, the ring is pulled loose from the opposite side.

So I decided to make a cut in the plastic ring at the 12 and 6 o`clock position. I now have 2 half moons that are not connected, the headliner can stretch a bit to allow the plastic to separate a bit. This will allow the plastic ring to fully seat in the U groove without pulling the opposite side!

I need to see how well this works over the next few weeks/months. If needed I may also make cuts at the 3 & 6 o`clock position to distribute the needed stretch a bit to more than just 2 places on the headliner.

If then I still have issues, I will look into the special clips, however, I do not think I will need them now that I can fully seat the plastic ring in the U channel around the inside of the rear window.

Will update results toward the end of the Summer with multiple top down days!

T
 

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Thanks for that. Mine has been off for a long time. I had the clips redone at dealership when VW had the factory recall for that problem. That probably lasted enough time for me to drive from dealer to my home. Now I have the fabric peeling off the glass (on the outside) and maybe this is related to what's happening inside. Please let us know if your fix works. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Darkmann,

You need to get on the glass coming loose FAST. You want to repair it before it comes loose too much as it is MUCH easier to sort out while the window is stall connected.

Check this link for rear glass info - http://newbeetle.org/forums/new-beetle-convertible/61019-convertible-back-window-off.html

The headliner inside may be more likely to come off when the rear window starts to separate from the top, but what I found was the plastic loop the headliner material was sewn to is too small and when you seat one side, the opposite side pulls out.

The cut I made is now has about a 1/2" gap. Note sure how well the clips would work when the plastic loop cannot be fully seated in the U channel.

Get the rear window glued back in SOON.

I have had good luck with the process and materials I used. if it pulls again, I can easily reglue the glass, but so far, so good. I am just buying time until I have to replace the top.

I the top replacement tools here now, brackets and pliers, so if anyone needs to rent them, let me know.
 

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Darkmann,

You need to get on the glass coming loose FAST. You want to repair it before it comes loose too much as it is MUCH easier to sort out while the window is stall connected.

Check this link for rear glass info - http://newbeetle.org/forums/new-beetle-convertible/61019-convertible-back-window-off.html

The headliner inside may be more likely to come off when the rear window starts to separate from the top, but what I found was the plastic loop the headliner material was sewn to is too small and when you seat one side, the opposite side pulls out.

The cut I made is now has about a 1/2" gap. Note sure how well the clips would work when the plastic loop cannot be fully seated in the U channel.

Get the rear window glued back in SOON.

I have had good luck with the process and materials I used. if it pulls again, I can easily reglue the glass, but so far, so good. I am just buying time until I have to replace the top.

I the top replacement tools here now, brackets and pliers, so if anyone needs to rent them, let me know.
Thanks for the advice. My daughter has been driving the NBC and I just noticed the anomaly yesterday. Nearly 3/4 of the fabric is off the glass so I am in for a treat. To make matters worse, lots of debris has found their way onto the open epoxy, so I have some work to do. I am probably going to start on it this weekend - cleaning the surfaces with rubbing alcohol is probably going to be Step #1.
 

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Daisy's Mae's Mom
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I was reading your reply to my post about the issues with my car and I was wondering if your cutting at the 12 and 6 o clock positions solved the problem with the headliner?

Is it possible for you to take a picture of your back window so we can see exactly what you did and how it works if it solved the problem?

Thanks! You're awesome as always! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My repair seems to have permanently resolved the problem with the headliner attachment around the rear window.

Unfortunately pictures at this point would not really be helpful because the way I modified the inner ring, it is covered by the headliner and you would not be able to see what was cut.

I will again try to explain what did.

The convertible headliner has a ring sewn into the headliner that is designed to be pushed into a "U" groove around the inside rear top glass. What I found on my car, and assume is the case on most cars, is the ring it too small in diameter to allow the ring to be fully seated into the "U" groove channel around the rear window at all locations.

You seat the headliner in one side of the "U" groove, then as you work your way around the window seating the headliner, you then find the ring is too small and it will then pull the plastic ring out of the opposite side of the "U" groove.

So I realized that if I was able to cut the plastic ring in 1/2 or into 1/4 then it would allow the ring to seat into the "U" groove without pulling out of the opposite side.

So what I decided to do it cut the plastic ring inside the headliner fabric at the 6 and 12 o'clock positions to start with. I realized this would cause a stretch of the headliner fabric, but thought that it would be worth a try and I would see how it worked out.

So with the headliner totally loose from the rear window, which is likely the "normal" situation on the convertible, I carefully rolled the headliner/plastic ring so I could easily see the plastic. I used a pair of strong shears or diagonal cutters to carefully slide under the headliner fabric and cut the plastic ring. The headliner is stitched to plastic ring, so you have to be careful not to cut the headliner, but it stretches and you should be able to get the shears between the headliner material and plastic ring.

Once the plastic ring has been cut, reinstall the headliner as usual and there should be no problem with the headliner pulling out of the "U" groove.
 
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