I just removed the headliner from my T-Top '81 and had it recovered. Really was not the bad job that I thought it was going to be. Just go slow and take your time. I strongly suggest that you remove the seats from the car (mine were already out for some floorboard repair) as you may have to get in an awkward position at times. Some of the small plastic pins that hold plastic panels in place will not come out intact (especially the two that hold the front roof pillar panels in place and the two that hold the door jamb panel in place). I purchased some replacement pins from NAPA - they have a huge selection to choose from. The headliner panel itself is held in place by about a dozen philips head screws that are hidden behind those plastic panels. The T-top flexible molding that overlaps the headliner panel does not actually have to be removed, but you must pull it outward towards the T-top opening and you can then just let it hang down. I removed the two (on my car) overhead lights from the removed panel myself and then wire brushed the panel before taking it in for recovering with normal cloth material. One of the light fixtures then had to be pop riveted back in after I got the panel back. I got the headliner done in cloth, and the very rear panel and the left side rear panel (with the small compartment) covered in vinyl for $135. Extremely pleased with the results. I did go to six different shops and talked with the owners before picking one. The prices varied tremendously. If you take the panel out yourself and take it in, do not pay more than $75 to have it covered. $50 would be more like it. Recovering in vinyl like it was is not recommended, as vinyl is so heavy compared to the ultra-light cloth headliner material that comes in a zillion different colors. I have some photographs I will send you about my project.
why not get the headliner fabric from a fabric store and some 3M or Permatex spray adhesive and do it yourself. I did both my cars for $40. and it looks perfect. Works for the t-top shades too. Take your time and work carefully and it will look as good as any professional recovering.
I may be wrong in this matter, but I personally do not believe that us normal automotive consumers can purchase canned spray adhesive that is as strong as that being used by the upholstery shops. Headliners get a LOT of heat from the sun baking the roof. I used some 3M fabric/upholstery adhesive to reattach some sagging headliner material in a VW Golf this past summer and it was hanging back down 3 days later. In fact, the can did specifically state that it would not work with headliner material, but I had to try anyway. The guy in the paint department of our local NAPA warehouse advised that there is no adhesive available to us consumers that will work to reattach headliner material. I do agree that new material is a different matter, but stick with my initial belief that the shops have better glue. We are not talking about a lot of money here when you go to the trouble of removing the panel yourself. Besides, the shops I went to had a huge selection of materials and colors - a lot more than available in the fabric stores that I went to.
Recently redid my t-top...you DON'T want to reuse the old shell or any old fabric from a fabric shop. I agree in that you go to a shop that deals with headliners and order the fabric..got 1.5 yards for $19.00...make sure that headliner board is WELL stripped of old foam, and clean...I used the 3M stuff, and the guys at the shop (very helpful and friendly, not sour because I was a "do-it-yourselfer") said it was fine. Application of the glue is important..