Replacing Headliner in Van

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

My van is old and the headliner is falling down. I just watched a video showing how to replace it. It doesn't look too difficult. I built my own house, so how hard can a little piece of fabric be? Am I clueless?

Are there any tips someone experienced can give me?

Also, where do I get the foam backed upholstery material? I found a place online that sells it for 8.95 a yard (60" wide). That seems to be the cheapest place ( Has anyone ordered from them? Or is there a place you recommend? Would an auto supply store have it or be able to order?

Any and all suggestions are welcome. I feel like the sky is falling anytime I'm in my van. LOL


Missouri City, TX

Have you checked with any local body shops?

They might also give you some hints about installing it.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

don't forget to check youtube, instructables, ehow and any Forum specific to your vehicle.

Even Ebay. Sometimes there are sellers there that can also direct you to instructions for using the product they sell. Say you find a replacemnet headliner on Ebay already finsihed to size - the seller may have a website with instructions.

I bet there's help out there for you somewhere.

Richmond, TX

I have the same problem - falling headliner. Let us know how it works out.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I did find instructions and you tube videos for replacing the headliner, which are what made me think I could do it myself. I built my house so I'm thinking, how hard can replacing a headliner be? I was hoping someone here had done it and could tell me how hard it could be and what pitfalls I need to avoid. I've decided to keep my van at least another year, and I'd like to be comfortable in it and not have the sky falling on my head. LOL

I may go ahead and order the fabric and attempt it. I guess I couldn't mess it up more than it is already, ya think?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

The better JoAnn Fabrics have it in stock. I haven't looked at their price in 3 years

Missouri City, TX

I did repair the headliner in our crewcab once. Knew it was a temporary thing, but squirted a LOT of spray adheasuve on the foam and pressed /gently rolled the fabric back in place. Lasted another 18 months, but gradually started falling again.

Finally junked the truck after saving the 454 engine and transmission.
At 4-6 mpg, it had long since quit being a daily driver. Cost over $40 in the early 80's to fill it up, today that would be $150.

Richmond, TX

I did a similar temporary fix by stapling the headliner back up. It has a rather pleasant quilted appearance and is still okay today after about ten years.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I've stapled mine temporarily. But where I tried to glue it before that, the glue shows--an ugly dirty cream color. It's a mess. And it didn't work.

I haven't tackled the headliner yet, but I probably will since I've decided to keep the van another year or two. The rest of the van is in great condition considering it's a 1996. The seats and dash are in tack; the carpet is pretty clean. Only one small dent in a door. But the headliner is rather embarrassing.

Elmwood Park, IL(Zone 5a)

Here is another more indepth video on how to. It looks like it is from a company that does them for a living.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

That's the video I saw a while back that made me think I could do it. I still haven't done it yet. But I keep thinking about it. Another one of those projects... LOL

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I ended up having my headliner replaced for $120. The guy discounted it from $200 since we took the headliner out of the van and cleaned the "fiberglass coated cardboard", getting it ready for the new fabric. Oh boy, does it look awesome! Now I have a 2012 headliner in a 1996 Caravan. I'm stylin' and prolifin'! LOL

Thankfully I watched the video above so I knew how to prepare the headliner for the new fabric. I was afraid I wouldn't have the patience to smooth out the new fabric properly, and with the cost of the fabric and glue, it was almost as cheap to have the professional do it. I know I wouldn't have made it look as nice. And now the "Chicken Little Syndrome" (the sky is falling!!) has been cured. LOL

This message was edited Dec 24, 2011 2:47 PM

Richmond, TX

I need to do the same!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

It's a lot cheaper than buying a new vehicle. I've been looking for one, but haven't found one I like better than this van, except a new van which I can't afford. I have looked at 2007 model that has more miles on it than my 96 model. I've had this one for 13 years so I know how it's been cared for. It has a few minor issues, but my brother suggested that I just get them fixed and keep the van since it fits my lifestyle. It still looks nice inside and out and hasn't been wrecked. With the new headliner, I feel like I've gotten a new vehicle.

Porkpal, if you can't do it yourself, talk to someone at an auto upholstery or body shop. They might discount their price if you take the headliner out and clean it off like I did. If you do it yourself, check Ebay for the foam-backed headliner fabric. That was the cheapest place I found it when I was looking.

Richmond, TX


Fort Worth, TX

Well, my 1975 chevy truck's headliner is suffering from puppy syndrome. Pup caught a slight droop and the situation is falling fast. may have to see what I can do about fixing it. I didn't know the fabric was foam backed, I thought it was a single knit spray glued to the foam. I learn something new every day. Thank you

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