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How To: Replace your Headliner

Discussion in 'Explorer - Ranger Interior Accessories' started by Tbars4, April 5, 2009.

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    1. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...This will work on most Ford vehicles...I chose to do this on my Ranger as it decided to start falling apart in the last month...

      ...The headliner is a cloth material with a foam backing already attached...You can find the Headliner material at Wholesale Fabric suppliers...This is the place I get most of my auto material from...The prices on their site have not been updated in a while...
      http://www.a1foamandfabrics.com/site/index.cfm

      [​IMG]
      _________________________________________________________________________________

      ..This job is a little tough to do if you are not so inclined with patience...Do not attempt to do this if you are short on time...This is one of those projects that the finished product will show your impatience...;)

      This is what I started with and this is in front of the driver...I cut a piece of this to verify material and color..
      [​IMG]

      ...This piece at the rear of the Ranger was cut out, just in case the sun had discolored the above pictured piece...
      [​IMG]

      ...This is what I purchased for my Ranger so verify quantities for your vehicle..

      Material's

      Medium Grey Headliner
      The Headliner material I bought was sold in 50" length, and you buy it by the yard...Different supplier's will count yardage differently...My supplier counted my material as 3' width x 50" length = 1 yard - Cost = $13.50 pl. tx.

      Adhesive
      The contact adhesive I used to apply the headliner with was my suppliers own brand at $8.50 a can pl. tx....You can find it and 3M adhesive here...
      http://www.a1foamandfabrics.com/site/department.cfm?id=CE2A554A-ADD4-46A9-AD3B218AFAC6F771
      [​IMG]
      Total Cost was $24


      Total Time

      ...Again, time is not an issue when doing this so be prepared to take as long as needed...The amount of time to remove the old product varies greatly by the size of what you are working on, and the amount of old product that needs to be removed off of the cardboard...These times are for my Ranger with minimal removal having to be removed from the cardboard...

      Time Remove and Re-install headliner = 1/2 hr. total

      Time to remove old product from cardboard = 1 hr

      Time to final clean, let dry, and final wipe cardboard = 1 hr.

      Time to cut, adhere, and final trim headliner material = 1 hr or so
      Total time for this project was about 3-1/2 hr.

      ...If you are planning to do your Explorer or another vehicle with a large headliner, I would plan on devoting the whole weekend to it...;)
      ________________________________________________________________________________

      The Removal and Replacement...

      1) Do a visual of all the edges and note which ones are not covered by plastic moldings...These will be the ones you have to pay the most attention to...

      2) Start removing all grab handles, visors, hanger clips, interior lighting, etc...Keep all screws and clips with the part in which they came off with...Keep each part and it's screws seperate as other parts may have similar but different screws/clips...

      ..This is a pic of behind the interior light on my Ranger...It only has three screws but note all the holes...One of the screws go thru the bottom electrical connection pictured here...
      [​IMG]

      3) Remove remaining plastic molding the holds up the headliner...Some headliners have holding clips that don't have to be removed...They do swivel to make removal and installation of the Headliner easier...
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      4) Remove Headliner and inspect...I noticed moisture marks on top of the Headliner and so I quicly checked the interior of the roof for signs of a possible leak...It was all good, no leaks...I did not notice any thing on the bottom of the Headliner before so I figure this must have been a condensation thing...:dunno:
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      5) Find a starting point...Look at the headliner and find a point to start removing the old product from the cardboard...
      [​IMG]

      ...Note the paper backing on the old material...You want to get your hands under this and slowly lift up all the material you can without ripping this backing or leving it attached to the cardboard...Take your time removing this...
      [​IMG]

      6) Removing the hard stuff...This is where it gets time consuming...Anything that you can't easily get off by hand, will now need to be removed from the cardboard...This means the foam, paper backing, and most importantly, the old adhesive...
      [​IMG]

      Removal of the old adhesive can be done by using a stiff scraper but, you do not want to damage the cardboard...This is a close up pic of the the old adhesive still stuck to the cardboard after the removal of the foam...
      [​IMG]

      7) Final cleaning and prep...After getting all the old adhesive off, you will need to remove all the old dirt and such off of the cardboard...I used about 14 different damp, clean, shop paper towels to do this small piece...The key to this is for the paper towels to only be damp (and not soaking wet) in order to wash the cardboard down while removing all possible dirt...
      [​IMG]
      I let this air dry for an hour or so before I dry wiped it down with more clean shop towels in order to remove the remaining dust residue...

      8) Installing the new Headliner material to the cardboard...From here, you need to follow the manufacturer's of the contact adhesive directions...Mine said to apply at temps above 65 degrees...(we shall see)...I applied the adhesive and carefully worked in sections...The whole time paying close attention to the placement of the material and being sure to leave overhang at all edges...As I went, I trimmed larger overhanging pieces so the weight of the material would not pull the newly installed material up from the cardboard...Be sure to leave at least an inch overhanging so you can come back and easily do a close trim...Anything less than 1" will be very difficult to handle while cutting...
      [​IMG]

      ...I let this sit for a while and dry before i did my final trim...I next cut out all the little holes for the visor's and etc...

      9)Reinstall the reverse of what the removal was...It takes a little longer to reinstall everything...The visors were probably the biggest pain next to carefully getting the new headliner back into position and lifted up to the ceiling...

      10)The final product...It's not factory but it sure beats what I was looking at yesterday...:biggthump
      [​IMG]

      ..For those looking to do there Explorer, these tools come in handy from Harbor Freight for removing your buttons on the ceiling...;)
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: December 4, 2009
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    3. Hitchhikingmike

      Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

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      wow bravo! great work... I think I'm going to tackle this project in my mom's old 14 year old jeep grand cherokee after this school semester ends. I will definitely reference this thread when the time comes.
       
    4. BrianDye

      BrianDye I'll have another... Elite Explorer

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    5. cybergasm

      cybergasm B

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      Cool I'll be stopping by with the Van soon for this :p:
       
    6. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...I will be waiting here to watch you do your headliner too...:p:
       
    7. cybergasm

      cybergasm B

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    8. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    9. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ....I can't picture that...Would that be thick or thin material???
       
    10. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      It was a roll of fabric that's about as thick as a seat cover, so it wasn't very thick. The material isn't stiff, so it's flexible. I tried spray on adhesive in my friend's car, but it didn't hold. I used a can of cove adhesive for my fabric. That's the stuff they use on rubber baseboard. I know that it's good since it's still holding after all of this time. I made the visor covers on a sewing machine. No paste was used on them.
       
    11. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...Cove adhesive will do the trick...:biggthump
       
    12. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...Bumpin for the new guys...:D
       
    13. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      TBars,

      Thanks for the how to, going to do this next week. On the A-1 site, where exactly did you go to get the fabric. There are several different options, then there is the auto OEM. if you could guide me a little more, thanks!

      -Martin
       
    14. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      oh wait, nevermind I was looking at the wrong stuff. Figured it out

      -Martin
       
    15. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...Good luck with your project...:biggthump

      ...I was just looking at my X this weekend and I'll probably be re-doing it's headliner within this year....

      ...3m sells some really good headliner adhesive products also..They are a Little more than what I wanted to spend at about $13-$23 a can...The reason I went ahead and used the product shown above, I had used it before on another project a couple of years ago and it has held up after this time...
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187427

      ...I have had my Ranger from the Beach to the top of the Rockies, In rain, snow, and extreme heats of the desert...I figured it would last well for a headliner...;)

      ...You had also asked about how they shipping for these products..:dunno:...I went to them direct and picked the stuff up...
       
    16. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      Just received the material in the mail, they are quick to ship but after you give them your card info you never hear from them. Anyway, midnight blue on a tan leather EB, we'll see how it looks... EB nautica package. Anyway, I am tearing into it next week, I'll post pics when I'm done.

      -Martin
       
    17. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...If I don't ask, someone else will...Why did you go with midnite blue on a tan interior???

      ...Do you have any pics of how the items were shipped to you??..It might be useful for others who want to order also..:D
       
    18. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      Tbars,

      I don't know, just wanted to mix it up a little bit.... we shall see what it looks like. As for the shipping, it came as a bolt on a cardboard tube wrapped in plastic.
       
    19. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...Heyyyyyy Koolaid...:D

      ...Have you gotten this done???...:popcorn:...I hope all is going well on your project...
       
    20. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      Yeah, finished it up last weekend.... I had a fiberboard headliner, pulled off the old material and scraped it down lightly with a wire brush until I hit the old adhesive, couldn't remove that without damaging the fiberboard so I just glued on top of it. The install looks pretty darn good, I kinda like the color, I'll post a picture when I get home.

      -Martin
       
    21. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      here we go

      [​IMG]


      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    22. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...That is different and it looks good...:biggthump

      ...Are you going to add that same color elsewhere in the interior???
       
    23. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      Might, but not sure yet, have an A/c problem I need to get done first
       
    24. GRNMACHINE

      GRNMACHINE Elite Explorer

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      HATS OFF to you both, both headliners look great. I always wanted to have black suede installed for headliner.
       
    25. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...Are you saying you will be doing this soon???...I would like to see a black suede headliner...If your turns out great, I might have to try it in the Ranger...:scratch:
       
    26. koolaid81

      koolaid81 New Member

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      Black Suede, that sounds interesting.... maybe a little Gothic... please post pics when you do this!
       

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