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How to Replace a Headliner in a Mini Van

by Jenny Carver

The headliner in a mini van is very large and can cause a lot of problems if it begins to sag or fall down. Most headliners are covered in a very thin material that can sag over time. Driving down the road with the windows down allows a lot of strong wind to flow through the mini van, pulling and tugging at the thin headliner material. This is a common cause of sagging or falling headliners in mini vans.

Remove the old headliner first. Start with any trim pieces like dome lights, clothes hangers and entertainment accessories. Use a flat screwdriver to pry the plastic housing around television monitors and dome lights. Once these plastic pieces are off, you can see that the headliner can come down around them without having to actually remove the electronic equipment or wiring. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the visible screws from the clothes hangers. There are plastic strips of trim or molding outlining the entire headliner. Remove the Phillips screws from the molding and pull it down. The headliner should come down now or after gentle tugging. someone to help you pull it out since it is very long.

Pull the headliner down and out of the back of the mini van for easier removal. It is also easier if you have someone to help you pull it out since it is very long. Lay the headliner on a flat surface so that you can reach all sides of it.

Grab a corner or sagging section of the thin headliner fabric and pull it off of the headliner board. The fabric should easily come completely off of the board. Lay the new fabric material on top of the headliner board and cut it to fit, leaving 2 to 3 inches around all edges for overhang.

Lift small sections of the fabric and fold it back. Spray a coat of adhesive glue onto the headliner board and onto the back side of the fabric. Wait 1 minute for the adhesive to become tacky. Press the fabric down on the sprayed section and use your hand to smooth any wrinkles. Do this until the entire headliner has new material glued to it.

Pull the headliner back inside the mini van with the new fabric facing down towards the seats. Have another person help hold the headliner up against the ceiling while you install the Phillips screws into the plastic molding around the edges of the headliner. Make sure to tuck the excess inches of fabric behind the headliner so that it doesn't show. Once the molding it in place, the headliner should stay without someone holding it.

Reinstall the other trim pieces like the plastic surrounding the television monitor, dome lights and the clothes hangers.

Warning

  • Don't inhale the fumes from the spray adhesive since they are toxic.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including lovetoknow.com, autotropolis.com, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.

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