View Full Version : How to Fix Sagging Mesh Pockets (and remove headliner) - Gen II GTS

05-09-2014, 03:40 PM
How to Fix Sagging Pockets (and remove headliner) - Gen II GTS

This is a dual purpose “How-To.” The main point of this is to show anyone how they can remove and restore the crappy sagging mesh pockets in your Gen II Viper. A significant component of that, which I found didn’t have a great “How-To” is removing the headliner. SO I’ve included that in the title so it’s more easily searchable.

I’ll be including details for both the overhead pockets as well as the rear center console pocket. The basic overview here is as follows:

- Remove the seats, center console, and necessary trim
- Remove the pocket bucket from the rear center console
- Drop the headliner
- Remove the speed nuts on the pocket wire frame from headliner and pocket bucket
- Either replace with new mesh pocket frames from Mopar, or remove ratty elastic and replace with fresh new elastic
- Reverse order – put everything back together.

So – here we go:

1. First thing is to remove the seats – 4 bolts, pretty standard. The seat belt guides up by your shoulder come out with size 20 torx screws I believe. I removed them from the seat and left them on the belt. We won’t be removing the belts from the car.

2. Next step will be to remove the center console. I’m not going to do a step by step of this one as it’d be somewhat redundant given there is a bunch of info on it. This is a great video reference if you’re not familiar with how it comes out: http://youtu.be/zsI-2Vgevls Short version is remove the face plate around the radio, unhook controls from behind, remove shift knob, remove 4 screws from center console, lift off with e-brake in fully upright position. Most important thing is to go slowly and be careful – it’s easy to scuff the dash on this part.

3. Finally – remove the 4 screws holding the rear center console piece to the back wall. The large grommets tend to stick to the plastic, but aren’t actually permanently attached (2 screws behind each seat).

Next, you’ll need to remove the interior trim pieces that start up in the corners by your head and go back into the trunk area. This is a multistep process:

4. Start by opening your hatch glass and propping it up in its fully upright position. I used an extendable painters pole and taped it to the latch so the pole wouldn’t slip out while I was working – the reason we’re doing this is that we now need to remove the bottom of the window struts: Using a small flat blade screwdriver, simply pry up gently on the spring clip which holds the bottom of the of the strut to the ball receiver. You can either pry up just enough to then pull the bottom away, or you can remove the clip entirely and the strut just slips off. On the driver’s side, there is a wire that goes through the hole and clips behind the trim piece – we’ll unhook that in a minute.

5. Next step is to pull back the weather stripping along the sides of the hatch - just gently pull and it will come away cleanly. Eventually you’ll need to do this along the top edge as well, so you can do that now too. Behind the glass hinges is a bit tight, don’t worry about getting it all the way out in those spots.

05-09-2014, 04:08 PM
6. Once the bottom of the strut is disconnected, you can remove the 4 screws holding the trim piece on – You’ll also likely need to remove the screws from each end of the rear trunk trim piece to free the back side of the the upper quarter panel piece.
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7. Now that the trim piece is loose, this is where you’ll need some finesse. There is a tab down in the corner of the trim piece holding it behind one of the other interior trim pieces – you can gently flex the trim to get this free (not using tools, just your hands). This is a pic of the small tab once it's been pulled to the front:

05-09-2014, 04:16 PM
8. Once this upper quarter panel trim piece is free, you can unclip the defrost wire from behind it on the driver’s side. Both pieces can then be removed. Again, this takes a bit of finesse, but I found it worked best to rotate the top of the trim piece toward the interior of the car while sliding the whole thing slightly forward. With a bit of flexing, some patience, and wiggling they will both come out.

Almost out

From this point you can either pursue the headliner or the rear center console piece next – we’ll start with the rear center console:

9. The rear center console piece can now easily be removed. It’s slightly deceptive as the small vertical carpet section on the top back side is all part of the rear center console piece and is actually “locked in” at each end near the B-pillar. If you press the whole rear center console piece toward the back of the car and, using just your fingers, pull gently out at those backside carpeted corners, it should pop free so you can lift it slightly and bring it forward. The seatbelts will still be going through their holes so just go slowly – the whole unit can just rest on the center console once you’ve lifted it over the bump in the back.

This is the area where it's sort of "locked in" or tucked under - hard to describe, but it'll make sense when you get there:

Here you can see it pulled out and the circled section which you just had to unlock from from behind (pay no attention to the missing pocket bucket - you're almost there). As you can tell, the seat belts are still in and aren't in the way, but you did have to lift this whole piece over the seat belt reels to move it forward.

05-09-2014, 04:30 PM
10. Now, stick your head behind with a Philips screwdriver and a flashlight and you’ll see how the rear center bucket is held in – little metal strips, each with two screws joining the “bucket” to the rear center console. You don’t need to remove the ones attached to the larger rear center console, just the inside ones that fasten the “bucket” section. Once you remove them all the way around, the rear center mesh pocket bucket all come out together.
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Set that bucket aside, let’s move on to the headliner.

11. If you haven’t yet, remove the weather stripping along the top of the rear window. Again, don't worry if you can't pull it back much right behind the hinges, it will still come out.

12. Then, remove the sun visors – one screw each side – pretty basic (don't you just love detailed pics of the hard stuff?).

05-09-2014, 04:53 PM
13. Majority of the headliner is held up by fuzzy Christmas tree tabs – there are 8 of them. They pull straight out and can be reused (I think dealers currently want like $8 a piece to get new ones) if you’re careful. I recommend using one of the trusty tools from your trim panel removal kit ($10 or so from amazon or harbor freight or wherever) – a kitchen fork can also work in a pinch. Just slide it behind and pull down being careful not to scuff up your headliner. The Christmas tree isn’t actually grabbing the headliner, it’s grabbing a paper-clip-shaped slot in the roof so you don’t have to worry about breaking a tab or messing up the headliner itself when you’re pulling down. Don’t be violent with it, but it’s pretty safe to pull firmly so long as you’re pulling with even pressure around the circle and don’t crease it.
(Sort of a bad picture, but they're pretty standard minus the fuzzy headliner matching front side)

14. Once all the tabs are out, the final thing hold the headliner in will be 2 screws – one in each corner between the B pillar and the rear hatch glass hinge. Remove these screws and the rear of the headliner will drop down. The front edge of the headliner is simply held in by the lip of the windshield trim so letting the rear drop a bit, and pulling the whole piece rearward 2 inches will allow it to drop down freely.
Here's a pic of one of the screws half out to make it easier to see:

At this point, how far you remove it is up to you – I didn’t want to mess with the dome light wiring so I didn’t pull it all the way out. If you want to remove that, it’s stapled in along the top side of the headliner molding in several places. I decided to simply prop the rear of the headliner on the upper rear panel and sit in the foot well facing backwards to work.

Unlike the upper rear center console bucket which you already removed, the pockets on the headliner don’t have a separate assembly which can be unscrewed from the rest of the headliner piece. As you’re working with the headliner, be careful with the dome light wiring – some of those prongs are sharp and if you slip in the next steps, you can cut yourself pretty bad (ask me how I know).

Here's what you'll be looking at up close:

05-09-2014, 05:01 PM
15. Both of the pocket assemblies are sewn on to a wire frame which has posts sticking through the headliner/bucket. Those posts are held on by tiny press on speednuts. You need to remove each one of those speednuts and the pocket wire assembly will come out easily. This takes some patience – I used a combination of needle nose and my tiniest screwdriver to pry up the edges of the speed nuts so I could actually grab them with the needle nose and twist. I found that twisting back and forth while pulling up was the easiest way to get them off. You probably won’t be able to pry/bend them much nor pull them straight off. Be patient.

Here are a couple pics to show the situation - these shots are actually mostly of the new speed nuts that I re-installed, but the premise is the same. In the side-by-side, the speednut on the right is what comes on there from the factory - the one on the left was the smallest one my hardware store sells for when I put everything back together:
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Now that you removed all the speednuts, you have both pocket assemblies out, it’s time to find someone who can do a bit of sewing – in my case, I had my mother help me (who is amazing by the way).

I believe the pockets are still available from Mopar so if you want to skip all the sewing repair stuff – you can probably just put new ones in. For those that would rather fix it because they can do that sort of thing, here’s the basics:

16. The old elastic can easily be removed by using a seam ripper and going slowly (noticing a trend here)? This is what it looks like all off the frame:

05-09-2014, 05:05 PM
17. Next – get some new elastic – matching shouldn’t be hard as it’s just a simple black piece folded in half and ironed – so get some, fold it in half and iron it.

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18. Once again – this is best done by someone familiar with the craft, but from here it’s a matter of pinning on the new elastic so everything is straight and sewing it back on to the mesh & fabric (essentially the reverse of what you did to remove it). To complete the stitch with a machine, you may have to cut some of the seams holding all the cloth/mesh to the wire frame in order to be able to pull everything tight and give yourself enough space etc.

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If your pockets are like mine, the fabric you’re stitching to in the above step has likely stretched as well. You may need to play with it a bit to keep it even and not sew a big fold or wrinkle in it – just take your time.

05-09-2014, 05:06 PM
19. Now comes putting in new grommets which go over the posts (you will have noticed these on the old elastic when you removed it – the little rings and the tool are handy at major fabric/craft stores. On mine, the only ones which needed to be replaced were the top ones so that everything would stretch tight properly (and obviously because your new elastic doesn't come with any)
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05-09-2014, 05:14 PM
20. The last step is pulling the grommets over the posts and re-stitching anywhere you cut to pull away from the wire frame or give you more room to work with the machine (mentioned a couple steps ago). Truthfully if you’ve gotten this far in the repair, you don’t need me to tell you where it needs to be sewn – just finish the stitching so everything is pulled tight around the posts and the frame.
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05-09-2014, 05:25 PM
Congrats! You’re essentially done – everything goes back together in pretty much exactly the reverse order.

You just went from this:
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To This!
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Give yourself a massive pat on the back and don't forget to send a thank you card to whomever helped you with the sewing if you couldn't do that part yourself!

Here are a couple reassembly tips:

1. As mentioned, the speednuts you took off the wire frames aren’t that much different than what you can find at any decent hardware store for like $0.13 each. Make sure to get the push on kind and not speednuts made for screws. The ones I got were a little too small so I ended up having to use a needle nose to open the hold on each one just a bit before putting it on. You a needle nose to press them on (they go on a lot easier than they come off).

2. When you raise the headliner back up, put a single Christmas tree tab in at the middle and/or use the middle of the top weather stripping to help hold it in place while you put in the two corner screws. Just make sure you line it all up and that the front lip is fully seated behind the windshield trim.

3. Those upper rear quarter panel pieces rotate in the opposite way you rotated them out. Make sure the upper rear center console carpet pieces are “locked” back in the corners the way they should be before putting the quarter pieces back in. Also, don’t forget to plug in the defrost wire before screwing in the driver’s side.

4. If you removed the spring clip from the rear hatch glass struts, the best way to put it back on is to place the strut on the ball joint and then use a needle nose on the inside of the clip to help you open it and slide it back on. Pretty simple.

05-09-2014, 05:31 PM
nice job !

05-09-2014, 05:34 PM
Thanks Thawk!

Fatboy 18
05-09-2014, 05:48 PM
Top Job :dude3:

05-11-2014, 11:34 AM
Great effort!! Very informative!

Thank you.

02-21-2015, 10:13 PM
I was wondering about this.

Good lord its a relative crap ton of work just to access everything.

05-15-2015, 08:59 AM
agree with mblgjr, insane amount of work to fix this annoyance. Appreciate the work you put in to this tutorial though, but wow, I think Ill just live with the sag

07-14-2016, 09:19 PM
Does anyone know whether it is possible to get to the dome-light wires without taking out the seats?
I want to run additional wiring for a dash + rear-view cam, but want to minimize the amount of things I need to disassemble.

07-14-2016, 10:47 PM
Seriously impressive. That is an intense level of work just to fix those.

Could you put a slightly larger, new piece of elastic over the old, sagged one? Like just fabric glue it in place? Possibly rivet it at the ends? Then you would have new elastic and the old piece would be hidden?

It's been a bit since I had my gen II. One of my favorite games was to try and accelerate so fast that the garage door opener flew out of the mesh pocket and landed in the one between the seats. 5 pts for landing in the cargo area, 10 for a clean landing in the pocket between the seats. Enjoy. Share your scores!!

07-15-2016, 11:28 AM
How about stitching back and forth by hand, in place, black elastic thread where the elastic is?
Just a thought.