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Installation Instructions

Some World Upholstery products can be installed by an amateur restorer. No instructions are provided for products that we feel require a professional trimmer.

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BMW E36 Headliner « Installation « Home   

Questions? Call (805) 921-0100 or (800) 222-9577, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST. Click to e-mail us anytime!

BMW E36 Convertible (318i, 320i, 323i, 325i, 328i & M3 )

BMW E36 Convertible

BMW E36 Headliner Installation Instructions
For Product #s: 336-4503 & 336-4504

To Order this product by Phone, Call (805) 921-0100 or (800) 222-9577, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST

The following information is supplied as a customer service guide only. World Upholstery & Trim recommends professional installation of all our products. No guarantees are granted with regards to the use of this guide.

E36 headliners are prone to failure in several different places. Replacing the entire headliner would require you to tackle different problematic areas. There are 3 kits available (sold separately from the headliner) than can take care of the most of these problems:

  • Bow repair kit (# 336-4507)
  • Side plastic panel kit (# 336-4505)
  • Side tension kit (# 336-4506)

Bow Repair Kit

If your headliner is coming down in the rear and will not stay clipped to the metal bows, the headliner bow repair kit (Part # 336-4507) is what you need. This stainless steel kit repairs the ends of the 3 long plastic clips sewn to and holding the headliner to the top frame. The headliner must be dropped at the end of each clip trimmed. Instructions are included with the kit.

Side Repair Kit

Another very common problem is the breaking of the tabs that hold the end of the strings on the back of the side panels. The answer is the Side Repair kit (Part # 336-4505). These 2 parts glue to the headliner fabric at the rear of the rear 1/4 glass. The tension strings run through 4 protrusions on the back of these parts so the strings must either be re-used or replaced. Re-installing the strings are not for the faint of heart.

Tension String Repair Kit

Even if your plastic side panels are fine, you may need the last headliner repair kit, the Tension Spring Repair Kit (# 336-4506). Sold as a set of 2 kits, one for each side, each kit includes a string, guides and screws as well as a spring. The routing of the string is critical to smooth operation. Replacement is not for the faint of heart. Photos below show strings with top in various positions.

Driver's Side

Passenger's Side

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Over the years, different terminologies have been used for the same parts. To minimize confusion we've collected many of the different names to give customers some reference to the different Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Fiat and Jaguar trim parts that vary in terminology around the world.

Convertible top = soft top, rag top, head, hood, hooding, soft window Targa top, retractable top, vinyl top, top boot, convertibles arriba, converteerbare boven
Carpet = rug, rugs, carpet kit, carpet set, molded carpet, cut and bound carpet.
Seating = seat kit, upholstery kit, leather upholstery, sport seat, recaro seat, vinyl seat, cloth seat, sitzkissen, perforated, perforiert, embossed, sitzpolsterung, imbottitura sedile, asiento tapizado
Sealing = rubber seals, weatherstrips, weatherseals, door seals, window seals, gaskets, dichtungsrahmen
Panels = door panels, linings, trimmings, coverings, sun visor, sunvisor, sonnenblenden, headliner, himmel bespannung, encabezando
Trunk = boot


Leather = hide, side, skin, cowhide, leder, cuero, Connolly, Roser, Bridge of Weir, cuoio, split
Carpet = Abetone, Dorsett, FTV, feintuft, loop, cut pile, Wilton, perlon, tufted, automatico de alfombras, teppich, tapijt, tapis
Vinyl = Spradling, China General, Freudenberg, MB Tex, ambla, leathercloth, rexine, hardura, ICI, vinyle, naugahyde
Topping = Happich, Stafast, STF, Aresma, Sonnendeck, Sunfast, dobby, lienzo, leinwand
Seat Pad =  rubber fiber pad, foam pad, gummihaarauflage, almohadilla
Sunvisor = sonnenblend, pare soleil, domenica visiera, zonneklep