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Has anyone here ever replaced an Aerostar headliner?

Discussion in 'Aerostar Forum' started by joshhemming, June 25, 2016.

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    1. joshhemming

      joshhemming Member

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      Ten years of sitting under the West Texas sun has caused the gray headliner fabric in my 2003 Aerostar to begin disintegrating.

      I saw a YouTube video where they removed the headliner board from anther model of van, scraped the old material off, applied adhesive and recoated it with fresh material. Have any of you Aerostar owners ever done this on your Aerostar? I was just looking for suggestions and tips.

      Autozone sells headliner kits but I can't tell from their small online color samples whether light gray or dark gray would match my Aerostar's original interior best.
       
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    3. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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    4. Number Twelve

      Number Twelve Active Member

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      You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din. I wouldn't even try to compete with a professional job I can get around here for $100-$150.
       
    5. joshhemming

      joshhemming Member

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    6. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I did this many years ago on my 1988 van. I used a roll of fabric that you could get in any fabric store. I removed the cardboard headliner, cut fabric to size, applied cove base adhesive, then placed the fabric on it. All of the edges were taped to the back of the headliner. I used a sewing machine to make covers over the visors out of the same fabric.
       
    7. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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      Carpet tile adhesive is what I used.
       
    8. joshhemming

      joshhemming Member

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      Brooklyn and Josh P:

      Do you remember what method you used to remove the original headliner's foam backing remnants from the cardboard headliner? I've tried scraping it off with a putty knife like they've shown in some YouTube videos. Unfortunately, the headliner is actually several thin layers of cardboard-like material with a sealer on the top coat. The old foam is glued to the sealer coating and when I scrape it the sealer and one or two of the thin layers underneath come off. What I'm left with is a board that is unsmooth and fuzzy. I don't think the spray-on adhesive specially made for headliners will adhere to that fuzzy surface.

      I'm trying to figure a way of prepping the fuzzy surface so the adhesive will bond to it. Perhaps painting it with latex housepaint first to get rid of the fuzzy surface? Then once it's completely dry spraying the adhesive on it and applying the new foam-backed headliner material.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    9. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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      Fine grit flap wheel on a drill and a very steady hand.
       
    10. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The headliner from my 1988 van didn't have fabric on the cardboard. It's a cargo van, so the headliner was cardboard with some sort of painted coating. I glued fabric directly onto the cardboard.
       
    11. joshhemming

      joshhemming Member

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      Thanks, I'll pick up a flap wheel for my drill. Would a 3" wheel with 120 grit be sufficient, or is that still too coarse?

      And were you able to do the entire headliner with just the one wheel?
       
    12. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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      I have an assortment that I used. 120 or 200 will do the trick. It was a nasty job. Post pictures when you get it complete.
       
    13. joshhemming

      joshhemming Member

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      I put a coat of black latex paint on the cardboard to seal the fuzzy surface and hopefully get a better bond with the glue. It's drying overnight before I put one more coat on it. It should be ready to glue day after tomorrow. I doubt that it will look like a professional job. I'll just be happy if the glue bonds the new headliner material to the board. If it turns out smooth I'll be even more ecstatic.

      I'll use the flap wheel on the larger of the two headliner boards. I haven't removed and messed that one up yet by trying to scrape the old material off. I definitely recommend NOT using the scraping method!
       
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    14. joetater

      joetater New Member

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      I recently replaced headline with purchasing new gray fabric and several cans of headliner adhesive from JoAnn Fabrics. Carefully removing all fasteners and interior panels to remove old front and rear headliner panels, patiently scraping off old material and glue without damaging panels. I viewed a YouTube video of a guy demonstrating applying glue and fabric, with assistant to ensure smooth even finish... worked out great
       
    15. joshhemming

      joshhemming Member

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      I used the Heads Up kit from Pep Boys and the adheisive from the same company. The grey foam-backed material went on beautifully....looked great. There's just enough material in the SUV size roll to do the complete 2-piece Aerostar headliner.

      I was really happy with it for about a week. Then the days got hotter and small sections started coming unstuck. I could push it back up and it would restick for a few days. Eventually almost all of it came unstuck, probably due to the summer heat. Fortunately, the Aerostar has enough of those push-in retainers and dome light brackets to keep the material from coming all the way down and becoming a nuisance. It still looks better than the old falling-apart headliner.

      My advice for anyone considering headliner replacement in an Aerostar would be to use the Heads Up material but find some other adheisive to stick it with. The Head Up brand is expensive (about 12 bucks a can, with a minimum of 2 cans needed for this vehicle) and it just doesn't stick well in hot climates. And prepare yourself for several hours of meticulous work in removing the old material from the board.
       
    16. Adam_tinkerer

      Adam_tinkerer Member

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      That's interesting, I don't think I've seen many Aeros here in NC with that problem. GM cars, like our '98 Bonneville, and the Cutlass Ciera and Buick Century that preceded it, were a different story! Since the Bonnie has a black interior, I thought eventually I'd just take the liner out, remove the fabric and foam, and just paint it. But since I don't drive it much, it's low on the list.
       

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