Canopy Headliner Install

Quite some time ago I decided to put in a headliner on the canopy, mostly for aesthetic reasons. The material I chose is a foam-backed suede material from Automotive Interiors and Accessories, Inc. This was one of the only vendors I could find that made any statement about flammability; they say their material meets the FMVSS 302 automotive standard, which is similar to the FAA flammability requirements of FAR 23.853.

Because of the gullwing door configuration, I’m not going to have the headliner go completely down the side the canopy; the bottom 5″ or so will still be painted like most other Sling interiors I have seen. This way, the sill won’t get wet or dirty from stepping into the cabin.

I started with some surface repair using Quikfair material, to smooth out any imperfections. Then, I painted the canopy skin to match the other exposed interior panels.

Surface prep to fill pinholes and even out any dips in the surface
Painting the parts that will be exposed

Next, I created some metal clips to anchor the headliner where it will meet up with the painted section. The metal clips are made from strips of 0.020″ aluminum stock, which I then shaped to the contours of the A/B/C pillars. These clips are screwed into rivnuts that I installed to the canopy inner skin. The clips just ensure a clean flat edge; the headliner attaches to the skin primarily with a special headliner spray adhesive.

Headliner attachment clips
Initial layout of the headliner material
Rough cut of the headliner

I need to do a final cut and then finish the edges with some kind of trim where they meet up with the windows. In a car there would normally be a weather seal or plastic trim that makes it easy to tuck away and conceal the headliner edges, but I will have to work another solution.

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