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Headliner Removal and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Headliner Removal and Replacement

Tom Morr

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

star screwdriver, Philips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Hot Tip:

For reinstallation, make sure the headliner is slotted in the

Performance Gain:

Clean or replace a dirty or damaged headliner

Complementary Modification:

Repair or replace leaky hydraulic cylinder and/or micro-switches

Normally, the headliner can be cleaned while still installed in the car. But if the hydraulic cylinder above it leaks, the headliner often needs to be replaced.

Regardless of the motivation for removal, the headliner is held in place by nine Phillips screws: three on the leading edge and three on each side. They're all accessible by opening the top halfway. Once the top is partially retracted, remember to turn the key to its OFF position to depressurize the hydraulic system. Also, the top is programmed to attempt to close about every six minutes. Turning the key back on and bumping the switch resets the timer.

Once all nine screws have been removed, the headliner can be slid forward out of the rear channel, then lifted down and out. For installation, make sure that the headliner's rear edge slots into the channel above the rear window. On the sides, the headliner also needs to slot into the rails. These have molded-in clips that seat the headliner flush against the rails' inboard edges.

Mercedes-Benz offers a variety of products that are recommended for cleaning the headliner and other interior software. For textile headliners, these include Car Shampoo (#001-986-41-71-MBZ), Stain Remover (#001-986-28-71-MBZ), Textile Cleaner (#001-986-25-71-MBZ), and Plastic Parts Cleaner (#001-986-51-71-MBZ). For SLKs that have fake-leather headliners, Mercedes-Benz cautions against using products that contain solvents such as naphtha.

Three Phillips screws (arrows) retain the headliner's front edge to the roof.
Figure 1

Three Phillips screws (arrows) retain the headliner's front edge to the roof.

Each side rail has three star screws (arrows).
Figure 2

Each side rail has three star screws (arrows). The rear-most screws are above the top's cables.

Once all nine screws are removed, the headliner can be lifted out.
Figure 3

Once all nine screws are removed, the headliner can be lifted out.

The headliner is easier to clean when removed from the car.
Figure 4

The headliner is easier to clean when removed from the car. If hydraulic fluid leaks on the headliner, some SLK owners chose to replace the headliner or investigate re-cover options at local upholstery shops.

This is a prime opportunity to lube the top's latches and inspect the hydraulic cylinder (arrow).
Figure 5

This is a prime opportunity to lube the top's latches and inspect the hydraulic cylinder (arrow).

For installation, make sure that the headliner slots into the rear channel (arrow).
Figure 6

For installation, make sure that the headliner slots into the rear channel (arrow).

On the side rails, make sure that the clips (arrows) are behind the headliner and not visible, unlike here.
Figure 7

On the side rails, make sure that the clips (arrows) are behind the headliner and not visible, unlike here.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dave Comments: Can my '98 SLK230 be driven without the headliner while I wait for the new one to show up?
December 5, 2016
BriMac Comments: Has anyone had any success removing the hydraulic oil from the board and re-covering it?
November 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Once oil residue is present, nothing will stick. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dan Comments: Can I remove the old headliner and re-glue fabric and then reinstall
October 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I am aware of. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Shiloh Comments: What if I can't open the top to the halfway position?
October 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can open it manually. The procedure is noted in the owner's manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: My headliner is sagging in the rear. Can I reglue or is it better to replace.
1998 SLK 230
August 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It will just fall again or in a different spot if glued. I would replace it. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
gjpaul1 Comments: Will this work on a slk320?
June 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: maybe on an early model 320

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Randy Comments: Rear windows won't go down????
May 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When and on what vehicle? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lon Comments: The screws on the side are Philips on my 2001 SLK 230
April 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Wayne Comments: The six screws on the side are not phillips, they are star screws.
March 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Marcos Comments: Fantastic THANKS!
March 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tbpark Comments: Thanks I need to replace or reattach the fabric now. !
January 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rick Comments: This is great help. I looked all over for this information or video. nothing on U-Tube You might want to put one on. Thanks for this great Help!!!!
September 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
nicosmit Comments: Thank you for the invaluable information, just bought a 97 230k and the headliner has sagged like a pregnant fairy, this will help me to remove, re glue and replace. Nico , Pretoria, South Africa
March 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This tech article illustrates removing and replacing the headliner for Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 R170 (1996-04) models. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:27:37 AM