This is a very good write up on how someone tackled a DIY headliner job. The average owner would have paid a high end upholstery shop for this project. It's a big job, but the Yacht Master has tackled it the only way one can; by breaking it into individual tasks. He has done a five star job of documenting each of those tasks with both photographs and text. I'm very happy to say that he was willing to share his work here.
For those that are unfamiliar with Alcantara, it is a composite material that has the look and feel of suede, but is much more durable and stain resistant. Alcantara is used in a number of luxury vehicles. Some examples are Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Audi, and BMW.
Here we have a 1999 E 430 "the victim" due to old age, and major disruption, the headliner is falling.
I did a roof rattle repair 2 years ago, and that may have caused some of my headliner problems.
As well I had the windows tinted last summer and after that the headliner fell.
I think the disruption played a part, but the headliner fabric has a foam backing and that is what deteriorates over time. Touching it or rubbing it will cause it to come lose before it's time.
First thing I needed was the sun roof door. The forward inside edge has a black plastic cover that opens the sun roof door when you open the sun roof. It has little tabs on the ends pry them inward and pull down on the plastic cover to remove it.
Here I have released the end tab and am pulling the part down.
Here is what it looks like removed.
Now open the sunroof.
Close the sunroof door.
This is one of the 4 sliders that support the sunroof door.