Headliner removal and replacement

hkpierce

'02 140 Hi BlueBlk Pass
I know that lots of people have done this; but I have been able to avoid doing it until the snow tore off my antenna. So into my Sprinter manual, and it certainly gave the basics, but also seemed to miss some points. Another good write-up is here: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18615

I have a passenger van, and it was absolutely necessary to remove the first row of seats for working space. All screws for the full job are T-9s. Long T-handled or long shafted T-9 tool are best. The combo set I used (see pic #4) was barely adequate for this job. This job would be so much easier with 4 hands. But, as usual, I was on my own.

Per the manual, A-column fascia and the supporting yellow-white foam have to be removed. The foam has to be removed not only because the upper part is supporting the headliner; but when the time comes to lower the headliner, it will need the room to fall down. Start pulling off the door's gasket - it is held on by compression only - no glue. I only removed the upper part of the gasket.

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Now things get interesting. The manual says remove the seat belt and B-column fascia. I found that removing the seat belts were not necessary. As for the b-column fascia, the manual says use a straight stick to push back the clips. But the don't say where they are. The first and most important clip is located about 2 inches from the top-middle of the fascia. It needs to be pushed down. Once that is loose, a couple of clips are barely visible looking from the back of the van towards the front. I actually used compression to release the top ones. However, I did not remove the B-column fascia - just got about 2-inches if play at the top to release that portion of the headliner.

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Remove the visors.

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The manual says remove the grab handle. This is a real pain for short-shafted T-9 drivers. Once I had the headliner out, it seems that the screws only mount on a metal clip to the headliner - not the frame. Ummm.... [EDIT: I have since removed the headliner without removing the grab handle above the front passenger seat {the one pictured here}. It is not necessary to remove this handle - and saves time.}

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The headliner will now drop down and land on the mirror. Now to work on the back. The manual says gentle remove the headliner. How??? There is no mention of the fact that there are 4 clips holding on. By dumb luck I managed to pull it down without causing damage to to either the headliner or the clips. If I had known I could have slipped in a panel removal tool and speeded up the process.


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hkpierce

'02 140 Hi BlueBlk Pass
Now the rear of the headliner drops onto the B-column fascia. Move to the front and lift the headliner up and back and clear the mirror in the front, then slide the headliner forward and down to disengage from the B-column fascia. The headliner is now free to drop and be removed.

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Some views of inside of the Sprinter's forehead. The metal is much thicker than the flat body panels - very little vibration. I see no reason to add any other anti-vibration material. here. Also visible are some of the harness and the antenna related wires.
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The headliner out of the van.
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The part number of the headliner. Note the reference to NAFTA.

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Tooth Fairy

Away with the fairies.
Now the fun bit, putting it back in......lol
 

hkpierce

'02 140 Hi BlueBlk Pass
Now to replace the headliner.

While I don't think there is much noise coming from the upper front of the van, that is not the case with heat. I have measured heat up to 164 degrees: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showpost.php?p=56127&postcount=17. The gap between the roof and the headliner has significant depth. Years ago I had stuffed lots of fiberglass insulation through the cabin light hole. As I had the headliner out, I could get most of the area with a single hot-water tank blanket.
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Now the fun part - get the headliner back in single handedly. I found putting both front seats into their laided-back position helped a lot. I slid the headliner in the reverse direction as to how it came out back up and over the B-column fascia, then over the mirror. Now it is balanced. Next, I pushed up and aligned - then wacked with my hand two of the clips.
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Moving forward, - it is not possible to use the screws from the visor to reset the headliner - they are way too short. So I used 2 of #8 1-inch screws to help set the visor. Then using my shoulders as a 3rd hand and wacking on the headliner to set and align both front and back, I first got one visor set, then did the same on the other side. Then back again to use the original but smaller screws. Hand wacking is the best tool for alignment.

Now the B-column fascia - wacking the headliner to align the edges to make them flush permits the upper clip to go in. BUT WAIT - the seat belt shoulder height adjuster is all a mess..never mentioned in the manual ...... The slide is flopping about and the whole fascia won't fit. What is happening is that the should height adjuster's lever is not set. It needs to fit into the cup shown on this picture:

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Try finger aligning the lever to the hole - they are right above the opening shown here from underneath:

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If your adjuster fell apart - try this link for help - even though it is in the NVC3 sections: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37490&highlight=Seat+belt+adjuster

Now, wacking the fascia, set the clips. The A-column foam and fascia now go back. Next, the rubber door gasket needs to be reset over the headliner and B-column fascia. More hand wacks on the gasket, fascia and headliner, and it all went back together.
 
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Paul_E_D

New member
FYI for others, I was able to replace my antenna through the dome light hole without removing the headliner. One could also insulate by removing the visors and reaching in from where the headliner meets the glass.
 

pfflyer

Well-known member
FYI for others, I was able to replace my antenna through the dome light hole without removing the headliner. One could also insulate by removing the visors and reaching in from where the headliner meets the glass.
Now you tell him. Another great write-up from hkpierce anyway.
 

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