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Guide: DIY Interior Refresh Project - Beige to Charcoal

STAGE 3: LOOSEN B PILLARS / REMOVE HEADLINER

Step 1. Remove lower B pillar
There are two pieces to the B pillar - the lower one has to mostly come out before you can get the top one out. Start with the lower door sills on the front and back seat. These are held in with clips, but using the plastic pry tool, you can lift away from the B pillar to expose the torx screws holding the lower B pillar to the frame. See pics of front (screw already removed) and back (screw still in) of the lower door sills below. Once these screws are out, there are a bunch of plastic and metal clips holding in the B pillar piece. CAUTION: this is where I broke the most clips, because the mount points are pretty far recessed into the hollow core, and it's hard to pry them out without good leverage.

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Step 2. Loosen upper B pillar.
Once the lower B pillar is out, there are a few metal clips holding in the upper B pillar, and a plastic hook/tab locked into a slot in the ceiling. Pretty straightforward - pull straight out toward the center of the car, then tilt the bottom up to release the piece. BLOCKER: As far as I can tell, I can't remove the B pillar without removing the seatbelt mechanism. I'm not at the point where I want to mess with the safety equipment without knowing exactly what I'm doing, so for now, I'm just getting the B pillars out of the way to remove the headliner.
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Step 3. Remove torx screws holding in the headliner in the center of the car (below the crossbeam). Prepare for hell.
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Step 4. Start from the back of the car, and pull the headliner loose. In the very back section, there are five clips attached to the frame. These are the only clips as you remove the headliner - the rest is held in by some very tough "velcro" type fasteners. Picture below shows where the clips are (a couple stayed in the ceiling). All the black square are the velcro fasteners.
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Step 5. Make your way to the front of the car, firmly pulling the velcro fasteners loose.

Step 6. At the front of the car, remove the mic panel (between the map lights) by pulling on the short side closest to the passenger cabin. This is held in by two metal spring clips, and hinges out when the clips are loose. Disconnect the two wires from the mic panel.
IMG_6726.jpg


Step 7. At the very front, there are a few things now holding the headliner in (very hard to take pictures here). First, make sure the map lights have disconnected from the housings. Half of the housing (with the lens button) disconnects from the circuit board in two halves of a plastic case. Next, a bunch of wiring is taped/glued to the inside of the headliner, so start getting that loose. One of the wires goes to the rear map lights, so you'll have to follow that wire along the driver's side, around the rear, and back to the rear passenger side to get it loose. I put it into a coil and jammed it in the mic housing frame to keep it place while I was working. The last thing holding in the headliner is the friction fit between the ceiling, windshield, and rearview mirror plastic housing. It was really hard to see back here, but by jiggling around the housing on the rearview mirror (where it connects to the windshield), the housing loosened a bit and I was able to pull the headliner free, whereby it promptly fell on my head.

In this pic, the mic housing is on top (where I jammed the coiled map light wiring), and half of the map light boxes at the bottom of the pic. Remember the orientation of the plastic lens pieces in case they fall out - the cross shaped piece should be front and left on both lights in order to actuate the switch on the circuit board.
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Here's another shot of the passenger side, where you can see how they attach the wire bundles to the headliner.
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Once they're all loose, you just have a bunch of dangling wire bundles - I secured them to the ceiling using electrical tape.
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Step 8. Pull the headliner out of the rear hatch.
This is the second most cringeworthy part of the process so far (the first being putting the newly painted headliner back in). Basically, you will need to turn, wiggle, and flex the headliner out of the rear hatch. Probably 100x easier if you have someone to help, but still, the size and awkward angles make it pretty tedious, and you will hear some noises that will make your heart drop. It's a pretty resilient piece and a lot of that noise came from things just rubbing against each other, but be careful and take your time.

Step 9. Relax, enjoy a beverage, and try not to think about the reverse process that's looming on the horizon.
 
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STAGE 4 PAINTING HEADLINER AND PUTTING EVERYTHING BACK

Step 1. Remove map lights from the headliner. I don't have pictures of this, but basically there are squeeze clips holding the visible circles on the outside to the black housings on the inside, sandwiching the liner. Release the clips, and the circle will come apart from the housing and both will come apart from the headliner. For the front map lights, you can clearly see these clips. For the back map lights, you have to open the black housing before you can see the clips.

Step 2. Pretty straightforward, layer on a bunch of coats until you get an even color. I went through about 2.5 cans of paint just on the headliner alone...helps to have a larger space to paint...this project is a bit tough in an apartment.

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Step 3. Once you have it painted, replace the map lights - larger circles are rear lights, smaller circles are front lights. Remember to pay attention to the orientation of the cross-shaped protrusion so they will actuate the switch on the circuit board. OPTIONAL: wrap the circular pieces in the vinyl of your choice...my choice was obviously more carbon fiber. :)

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Step 4. Get headliner back in car
Once you're done with paint, this bad boy has to go back into the car, except now, you have to be careful not to scratch up all your hard work on the various edges in the car. Sorry I don't have pictures of this, but basically you reverse the process to get the headliner out, inserting it diagonally, then flexing it enough to get through the hatch and fully into the main cabin.

Step 5. Rettach headliner
Gravity sucks. It really helps to have another person helping, but if you don't, you'll have to find the right uncomfortable position to hold the headliner up in the middle, while reinserting the torx screws below the crossbeam on one side, then repeat on the other side. While it's still loose, get the wire for the map lights and replace it in the channels/clips that you pulled it from originally and plug the rear map lights back in. Next, work from the back to the front again, reinserting the clips along the back edge, then pushing the "velcro" pieces back together firmly. Once you get to the front, you'll have to resecure the wire bundles to the headliner. Once these are secured, you'll have to get the front edge of the headliner back under the rearview mirror base housing, and finally line up the front map lights with their housings and clip them back in. Once everything is back in place, plug in and replace the mic housing. OPTIONAL: I did a combo paint and wrap on this guy.

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Step 6. Replace A and C pillars, and the center cross beam.
Reverse the steps from earlier. For the A pillars, feed the clips at the front back into the slots by the windshield speakers, then work the pillar back into place and replace screw. For the C pillars, place the painted piece in first, then replace the black plastic piece holding the tray rails. For the center cross beam, reattach the plastic hangers, then clip it back into place. Remember, I haven't removed the B pillars, so they're still beige until I figure out this seat belt issue...

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There are still a few minor alignment issues I'm working on before replacing the sun visors, but the finish line is in sight!
 

joefee

Active Member
May 29, 2011
1,295
726
WA
Elon autographed my passenger sun visor when my Sig was delivered to me. The service center recommend I take it off for safe keeping and gave me a replacement. I tried to remove the replacement to put the autographed visor back on (to sell the car) but was afraid to mess up the plastic. I can see where you started to pry it off but can you give more detail (for dummies) on the process? eg continue from the point you show from the inside "C" lifting it up as you go??? Thanks
 
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@joefee congrats on the autograph!

Did you get the "C" piece off? If so, the rest is a piece of cake. There's a T-15 (IIRC) Torx screw on the windshield side of the base that needs to be removed, then you sort of rotate the visor "leg" toward you to get the hook-shaped part of the visor out of the ceiling mounting point. If it helps to visualize, when you're sitting in the seat, the hook is pointed towards you.

If you haven't gotten past the "C" - there are 5 mini tabs total holding the C to the base. Two of them are in the front near the opening of the C and will essentially be free once you get to the point in the picture. Two more are on the "top" and "bottom" of the C (toward the front and back of the car), and the final one is on the back of the C, towards the outside of the car. The hardest part is just getting that first part loose! Definitely use a plastic pry tool (vs. a metal screwdriver) to minimized damage to the plastic trim.

Let me know if you need more detail!
 

joefee

Active Member
May 29, 2011
1,295
726
WA
@joefee congrats on the autograph!

Did you get the "C" piece off? If so, the rest is a piece of cake. There's a T-15 (IIRC) Torx screw on the windshield side of the base that needs to be removed, then you sort of rotate the visor "leg" toward you to get the hook-shaped part of the visor out of the ceiling mounting point. If it helps to visualize, when you're sitting in the seat, the hook is pointed towards you.

If you haven't gotten past the "C" - there are 5 mini tabs total holding the C to the base. Two of them are in the front near the opening of the C and will essentially be free once you get to the point in the picture. Two more are on the "top" and "bottom" of the C (toward the front and back of the car), and the final one is on the back of the C, towards the outside of the car. The hardest part is just getting that first part loose! Definitely use a plastic pry tool (vs. a metal screwdriver) to minimized damage to the plastic trim.

Let me know if you need more detail!
Thanks so much!!!!!
 

buttershrimp

Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode
Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2017
3,268
8,720
ATX
@joefee congrats on the autograph!

Did you get the "C" piece off? If so, the rest is a piece of cake. There's a T-15 (IIRC) Torx screw on the windshield side of the base that needs to be removed, then you sort of rotate the visor "leg" toward you to get the hook-shaped part of the visor out of the ceiling mounting point. If it helps to visualize, when you're sitting in the seat, the hook is pointed towards you.

If you haven't gotten past the "C" - there are 5 mini tabs total holding the C to the base. Two of them are in the front near the opening of the C and will essentially be free once you get to the point in the picture. Two more are on the "top" and "bottom" of the C (toward the front and back of the car), and the final one is on the back of the C, towards the outside of the car. The hardest part is just getting that first part loose! Definitely use a plastic pry tool (vs. a metal screwdriver) to minimized damage to the plastic trim.

Let me know if you need more detail!
I've thought about removing my sun visors to improve field of view since I'm tall. Curious to know if it's ugly under there, or how long it will be before I tire of using the hand for sunvisoryness
 
STAGE 5 THE DREADED B PILLARS

Honestly this part took the longest time because I really didn't want to deal with it. If you recall from previous posts, the seat belt runs through the B pillar, and I as dumb as I am for taking on this project blind, I wasn't going to be so dumb to disassemble the seatbelts. Ergo, I had to come up with a creative (read: horrifying) alternative to painting the B pillars. I have not taken any pictures of the process, since I don't want it to come up in the court of public opinion. Basically, I pulled the seatbelt to its farthest extension, allowing me to get the B pillars outside the car (though still restrained by the belt), and I painted those suckers in a fabric bag in order to try to keep the aerosol paint from escaping. I covered the seatbelt itself with painters tape so I didn't end up with painted belts. Anyhow, there you go, my secret is out there, please don't report me to the authorities! Now that that's out of the way, here are some pics of the painted pillar with the hideous beige plastic piece still unaltered:

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Under direct sunlight - ignore the streakiness, it's from dirt on my windshield.
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And because those plastic pieces look awful in beige, I continued my carbon fiber crusade and wrapped those as well. These are a really weird shape, and again, because the seatbelt runs through them, I had to work the vinyl around the belt. I basically had two pieces: (1) a small fill piece for the underside of the top flat part (top side of the seat belt slot), and (2) a single piece cut to cover the face of the bracket. Because of the seatbelt, I had to made a single cut near the front of the slot - the natural shape of the bracket kind of messed up the parallelism of the fiber pattern, but I wonder if I hadn't written that if you would notice:

From a distance, passenger side
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Up close, driver's side
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FINALLY I NO LONGER SEE ANY BEIGE WHEN I LOOK INTO MY CAR!!
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A few final notes as I reflect on this journey:
1. This is not for the faint of heart, I take no responsibility for what happens if you attempt this yourself.
2. Definitely recruit a second person to help you remove/replace the headliner - it was quite unnerving and frustrating wedging it out and in by myself.
3. Instead of charcoal, I probably should have gone for straight black...there's just a slight mismatch between the pillars where they meet the interior plastics.
4. The paint may have slightly warped/shrunk some of the pieces, since they don't fit together exactly as I had remembered, but then again, fitment has not been Tesla's strong suit.
5. If you like feeling soft fabrics on your pillars or ceiling, this is not for you. The surface is definitely rough to the touch.
6. It helps if you have somewhere you can leave your car with the windows open so it airs out before you have to drive an hour to work inhaling paint fumes (best day of work ever!)

Anyhow, I think that's about it for the writeup - thanks again for your patience reading this far, and if you have any questions, I'll be keeping an eye on this thread (or slide into my DM).

Eric
 
@kWhynot, I love your DIY summary here, and also your choice of carbon fibre at various small details.

I have a while back ago got my hands on a P85D black interior. That is black alcantara headliner, dashboard (with the alcantara), and the nextgen seats. This I plan to retrofit into my veteran P85+ which I had delivered in September 2013. At that time I specifically asked for a black headliner, but it was not an option yet at that time.

This has been a big headache for me as I also heard that I had to get the windshield out for replacing a headliner. You have made me belive it is doable now :) Thank you. I'll make sure to have a second person helping me out.
Now by biggest headache is the B-pillars and its replacement as the seatbelt goes through it.
Any suggestions to solve this is highly appreciated.
I don't think I dear start to paint anything as this would definitely come out as a color mismatch.
When (or if) I find the time to do this project I will happily post some pics.
 
@kWhynot, I love your DIY summary here, and also your choice of carbon fibre at various small details.

I have a while back ago got my hands on a P85D black interior. That is black alcantara headliner, dashboard (with the alcantara), and the nextgen seats. This I plan to retrofit into my veteran P85+ which I had delivered in September 2013. At that time I specifically asked for a black headliner, but it was not an option yet at that time.

This has been a big headache for me as I also heard that I had to get the windshield out for replacing a headliner. You have made me belive it is doable now :) Thank you. I'll make sure to have a second person helping me out.
Now by biggest headache is the B-pillars and its replacement as the seatbelt goes through it.
Any suggestions to solve this is highly appreciated.
I don't think I dear start to paint anything as this would definitely come out as a color mismatch.
When (or if) I find the time to do this project I will happily post some pics.

Glad you enjoyed it! Feel free to PM me with any questions, but yeah, that B pillar is a real B. If that's the last piece remaining after you've done everything else, it may be worth it to just bite the bullet and have a professional wrap them (or replace with your parts for perfect match). I would think it's a pretty small job for a pro to wrap it or be able to undo the seatbelt to swap the part, but there's also the ever present "Tesla tax" when you try to get anything done on this car...

Looking forward to your pics and good luck!
 

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