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Explorer Sport door arm rest cover

Joined
December 9, 2021
Messages
23
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City, State
Flagler Beach
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer Sport XLT
Has anyone ever had any success trying to glue the rear portion of the armrests off a 2003 Explorer sport? Mine are in good shape, but the I guess the Florida heat has them popping up on the outside, unsightly and uncomfortable. I searched around trying to find a replacement, but must be like hens teeth.

IMG_20211231_124744129.jpg
 



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Stupid question but is that an end view of the center console armrest, or rear view of the door armrest? Sometimes the vinyl shrinks and can be stretched back out by heating with a hair dryer, as long as you hold it in the stretched position while it cools. Then again if it gets stretched too much, could crack, and is likely to shrink again over more time if yo don't find a mechanical way to tack it down... maybe a sheet aluminum plate and tiny screws? Hard to tell from that pic.

Other options for the center armrest include a new cover kit, or whole new lid, or buying a piece of vinyl or leather from a fabric store or online then DIY.

 






Stupid question but is that an end view of the center console armrest, or rear view of the door armrest? Sometimes the vinyl shrinks and can be stretched back out by heating with a hair dryer, as long as you hold it in the stretched position while it cools. Then again if it gets stretched too much, could crack, and is likely to shrink again over more time if yo don't find a mechanical way to tack it down... maybe a sheet aluminum plate and tiny screws? Hard to tell from that pic.

Other options for the center armrest include a new cover kit, or whole new lid, or buying a piece of vinyl or leather from a fabric store or online then DIY.

It is the door arm rest. The other is the same on the passenger door. I did heat it up with heat gun a bit and it got a little bit softer, but didn't want to melt the vinyl or foam. I did think of securing it with screws and plate, but there's just a thin plastic frame there. Wish I knew what they used at the factory.
 






Ford probably used the same gauge plastic on that as on my arm rest / center console lid.
Just so happens I redid mine last night (don't have upholstery staple gun so initial install was poor of new cover material) using a crude but effective macguyver approach; I ran screws w/ zip-ties all across underside with zip-tie pressure as well (as you can see) and nothing broke loose etc...holding like a champ and looks great imo. (A cover plate goes over all this so nobody's the wiser)

A REST.jpg ARM REST 2.jpg
 






Ford probably used the same gauge plastic on that as on my arm rest / center console lid.
Just so happens I redid mine last night (don't have upholstery staple gun so initial install was poor of new cover material) using a crude but effective macguyver approach I ran screws w/ zip-ties all across underside with zip-tie pressure as well (as you can see) and nothing broke loose etc...holding like a champ and looks great imo. (A cover plate goes over all this so nobody's the wiser)

View attachment 425097 View attachment 425098
Looks great!
 












/\ That's who I got my grey cover from.... yeah, can't beat the price.
 












I like it a lot, at a glance it can pass for real leather..
 






It makes that blotch on side of console and off roading dust around cup holder stand out!... have to get to cleaning that up tomorrow.
 






It makes that blotch on side of console and off roading dust around cup holder stand out!... have to get to cleaning that up tomorrow.
My interior is prairie tan I got to get the console cover for mine
 






Unless you happen to have a upholstery staple gun (unlikely right?) .... go with my method. (** I tried an Arrow T25 staple gun to no avail...) Or if you don't mind dropping $40 go with complete ready to go lid (these weren't on Ebay when I got my cover)...see here:

**These covers work best if you ONLY have cracks in existing padding....holes / large pitting of foam will noticeably transfer through, as you can see that spot on mine. I used expanding foam to fill in hole, and then plumbers putty for top surface and smoothed like one would bondo, and although pretty decent considering, still reveals imperfections, as expected, but a thousand times better overall then what it was prior.
 






Unless you happen to have a upholstery staple gun (unlikely right?) .... go with my method. (** I tried an Arrow T25 staple gun to no avail...) Or if you don't mind dropping $40 go with complete ready to go lid (these weren't on Ebay when I got my cover)...see here:

**These covers work best if you ONLY have cracks in existing padding....holes / large pitting of foam will noticeably transfer through, as you can see that spot on mine. I used expanding foam to fill in hole, and then plumbers putty for top surface and smoothed like one would bondo, and although pretty decent considering, still reveals imperfections, as expected, but a thousand times better overall then what it was prior.
Mine just cracked my foam is still good
 






It is the door arm rest. The other is the same on the passenger door. I did heat it up with heat gun a bit and it got a little bit softer, but didn't want to melt the vinyl or foam. I did think of securing it with screws and plate, but there's just a thin plastic frame there. Wish I knew what they used at the factory.
I reattached the peeling vinyl on my arm rest with staples and it held up pretty well. I believe I used the shortest staples I had (3/16" or 1/4") and they were wedge pointed which helped to not shatter the plastic armrest core when I stapled into it.

The foam under the vinyl was so dry, I think it would have torn off of the vinyl if I tried to epoxy it. I think small screws might work okay, but the vinyl may "creep" around the screw heads in the heat over time.
 






Thanks, that was the route that I was thinking. What kind of staple gun did you use? I was thinking about heating up the vinyl along the top/edge to soften it up a bit.
 






Just an old manual heavy duty one I have laying around, a Bostich maybe? It takes T50 staples.
 






Just an old manual heavy duty one I have laying around, a Bostich maybe? It takes T50 staples.
Thanks, that's what I have, an old manual one. May see what Harbor Freight has in electric or pneumatic.
 






Unless you happen to have a upholstery staple gun (unlikely right?) .... go with my method. (** I tried an Arrow T25 staple gun to no avail...) Or if you don't mind dropping $40 go with complete ready to go lid (these weren't on Ebay when I got my cover)...see here:

**These covers work best if you ONLY have cracks in existing padding....holes / large pitting of foam will noticeably transfer through, as you can see that spot on mine. I used expanding foam to fill in hole, and then plumbers putty for top surface and smoothed like one would bondo, and although pretty decent considering, still reveals imperfections, as expected, but a thousand times better overall then what it was prior.
Lol I have a upholstery staple gun I use for recovering vinyl seats

I just bought the whole lid
 






Lol I have a upholstery staple gun I use for recovering vinyl seats

I just bought the whole lid
I do not have the full type console, I have the short one with the flip up top that has the removable bag. That lid will not work on this I believe. The cheapest correct one I found is from Tasca Ford at around $70 plus shipping. I already bought the metal base in place of the original plastic one that always breaks. Plus this post is referring to the door arm rest, not the console lid, check previous answers.
 



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Yep, sorry explorersport1 ..... I slightly veered off topic but similar application, and then we ran with it and hijacked your thread! oops.
And shame on you donalds, you happen to have an upholstery staple gun and yet you splurged and bought the complete lid anyway! ....you better have had damaged foam pal....;)
 






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