Before I start this, let me say I have ZERO experience with headliners other than removing my original. I've never put one in, never seen anyone put one in, or even seen a reproduction in person before!
I picked up a Distinctive Industries brand headliner from Ecklers warehouse in Titusville, FL. The kit included the headliner, sail panels already covered, and sunvisor material. I opened the box while I was there for a quick look to compare the appearance to a piece of my original GM. It was a good match appearance wise. In the photo below, the three small pieces are sitting on the Distinctive sunvisor material.
After getting it home and really looking it, here's what I found..... and need some questions answered.
1) Compared to headliner sample pieces I got from TMI, PUI, and Legendary, the Distinctive was the closest in appearance to a piece of my original GM headliner that was tucked under and had never seen the light of day......The pattern of the TMI and PUI are correct but both have a little duller sheen than the GM piece. The Distinctive's sheen was spot on the GM. The Legendary sample was nothing like the GM......So appearance wise, the Distinctive is great!
2) Out of the box, the Distinctive has a very strong vinyl odor! Exactly like if you took a brand new vinyl shower curtain out of it's packaging and how strong it smells....I couldn't take smelling that every time I got in my car...….Is this normal? Do all brands smell that way out of the box and would it fade over time?
3) My biggest concern is how you would mount these sail panels. The original GM's had four brackets fastened to the back of the sail panel. A clip went in the bracket and then the clip was pushed into holes in the sail panel structure of the body. The distinctive sail panel has no brackets for the clips to fasten to. There are patches of reinforced cardboard on the back with small holes in it. My guess is maybe you are supposed to put your clips in these holes. The problem with that is that first off, you need four clips per side and there are only three holes, the holes are too small to put an original clip in, and the holes are close but not in the same position as the clips on the originals. Two of the at least an inch off! I have no idea how I would mount these.
So I'm needing opinions on this Distinctive headliner and sail panels. Is what I'm seeing here (and smelling) here the norm with all manufacturers or should I return these and look for something better?
ps....For what it's worth, I measured the thickness of all the samples I have here. I'm not sure if the differences are significant.
TMI .0210 inches
Distinctive Industries .0220 inches
My original GM .0235 inches
PUI .0240 inches