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First Gen Tacoma Headliner Removal

July 23, 2017.

I needed to drill a hole in the roof of my truck. Crazy? Yes. Necessary: Yes. Curious why? I covered that here.

So. Removing the headliner. I searched and searched for visual instructions on this and didn’t find any, though I did have the FSM info which turned out to be pretty reasonable.

…armed with that, I got started. First I removed the passenger seat to get some room to work. Then, the two clips in the rear of the headliner.

Next, I tackled the back panel. Tape on the end of my screwdriver really helped here. And pry carefully - that upper back panel has been baked in the sun for years on our first gens. If any of the metal clips that hold it on come off in the back wall, you can use a small magnet to retrieve them before you reinstall the garnish.

Garnish removed, you have easy access to the bolts that hold on the back-seat rest. Remove those; lift out.

Now you can remove the back panel. Carefully. Start on one side and slowly pry out the plastic clips. Pull it out. When you’re done, the rear wall is completely exposed.

Time to start on the side quarter panels. The rear seatbelt pries up when you stick a screwdriver in the slot. The passenger seatbelt cover pops off. Then, remove the 14mm bolt for each.

Pry off the plastic cover of the rear window to expose two Philips #2 screws (actually JIS, but Philips works) which you will remove.

Then remove the four #2 Philips screws in the door threshold and remove the threshold, since the end of it overlaps the quarter panel.

Carefully pry off the quarter-panel (all those little white clips) like you did with the back panel. At this point, you are mostly home free if you aren’t taking the headliner all the way out.

The only fasteners that are left are a couple screws in the dome light and two screws, clips, and bolts for the sunroof (if you have one).

Remove the trim around the inside border of the sunroof. It just pulls off - a friction fit. I only pulled off the rear half of mine, so I could drop the back of the headliner, but wouldn’t have to worry about re-positioning the border trim.

And with that, carefully pry the back of the headliner out of the rubber trim along the top of the back window. Be careful to not bend the cardboard in the headliner as you do this. When you’re done, the headliner can be dropped down a good foot or so along the back - plenty to gain access to the roof.

Oh, and your truck will look a mess.

If you need the headliner down completely, then you’ll need to remove the A-pillar trim. And that means taking off the handles, which are tough to get out (but once you do, the trim comes off easily) and then the entire headliner comes out.

And then, you can get on with whatever project you were planning to do. And hope you never have to service that project in the future :).

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