Headliner Cargo Net Mod/DIY

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
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chrispbacon
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:44 am

Headliner Cargo Net Mod/DIY

Post by chrispbacon » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:17 am

Hi all,

I wanted to share this mod with you guys. I am very interested in car camping and I wanted more storage in my 03 Vibe so I installed a cargo net on the roof headliner. Just finished installing it and it came out great! I've included links in the post down below. So here is how to do this...

My first problem with this project was that the 03 Vibe has grab handles for all seats except the driver's seat. I needed an anchor point above the driver's seat if the net was going to stretch across and stay put. I previously did not know if there were existing holes in the chassis for the driver's grab handles to screw into, so I had to remove the headliner to find out. Indeed yes there are (2) holes there to install the driver's grab handle, so once verified, I reinstalled the headliner. I went to the junkyard and pulled a grab handle from the passenger side of another Vibe. I then used a wood boring spade drill bit to drill out a hole through the headliner in the approximate location where the grab handle anchors go. I believe I started with 1/4" and then widened it to 1/2". Once the holes were made I inserted the grab handle anchors into the holes and screwed in the bolts. It was a perfect fit and very strong too. So at this point I had 4 of the 6 anchor points for the cargo netting (I still needed anchors in the back near the rear of the vehicle).

From here I removed the (2) plastic clips holding the headliner in place adjacent to the rear interior light. I replaced these (2) clips with (2) Hillman D-Ring Large Picture Hanger clips I got from Lowe's (~$3). Just a side note/FYI, we looked for other anchor points (wider out laterally) to install clips for anchoring the cargo net and this was the only legit/logical/convenient place to anchor it. The rest of the chassis is recessed behind the roof liner and there is no place to anchor it otherwise. There's a gap. Trust me, we inspected it carefully. If you anchor it anywhere else you risk buckling the headliner which is not ideal. Its important to note that when installing the D-Ring Picture Hanger clips, you must install them perpendicular to the length of the car. This is because the chassis where you attach/screw into is narrow and runs flushly in a narrow extruded channel limiting your options. So for each clip I used a #14 3/4" stainless steel panhead screw (~80cents). This screw goes perfectly into the preexisting hole on the vibe chassis. However I did need to use a drill bit to widen the hole on the actual D-Clip. Now in the adjacent hole I used a self-tapping 3/4" panhead screw (~80cents). Together this forms a very strong anchor. I then bought a 22"x38" stretchy cargo net from Amazon ($25) which fit perfectly onto the anchor points. Be forwarned the caribeaners are not top quality (can be replaced by dollar store ones) and I did have to remove the riveted caribeaner clip to fit it on the grab handles but all-in-all it came out great. I also have a storage space now to store my sun shield which I highly recommend for Vibe/Matrix cars because it fits perfectly for that windshield.

Once caveat here though is that doing this on a Matrix would require a little more modification because the headliner does not have recessed pocket dips for the grab handles like the Vibe has. Yes you could probably do this mod somehow, but I haven't figured out how. My g/f wants to do the same mod on her Matrix but the headliner is slightly different. Any ideas anyone? :?:

D-RING CLIPS
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hillman-4-Pack ... rs/3029190

CARGO NET
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JV ... UTF8&psc=1

FOLDING AUTO SHADE
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Motor-Trend- ... k/52084060

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joatmon
Posts: 9369
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:19 am
Location: SMC MD

Re: Headliner Cargo Net Mod/DIY

Post by joatmon » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:27 pm

cool idea and well done

Only critique is I've seen too many "Final Destination" movies, so whatever you put in it, make sure it can't become a death missile during panic braking or a front end impact

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