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2003 Discovery 2 SE7
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Stripping the fiberglass shell and painting it is the only way to go. Fabulous pebbled finish, and it will never sag again.
This. My third (admittedly not great DIY) headliner is sagging, and I've given up.
 

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Here's more info about painting a DII headliner.

I've learned not all DII headliner shells are created equal. I've been told that others don't have the nice, pebbled texture when stripped. That may be the '03s and '04s; I don't know.

Whether you choose to paint or replace the fabric, you'll need to remove and strip the fiberglass shell. Once you do that you'll see whether or not you have the pebbled shell.

Here's a link to my write-up from 13 years ago about removing the headliner, prepping and painting it in my truck. Pics in post #36.

 

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2003 Discovery 2 SE7
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Here's more info about painting a DII headliner.

I've learned not all DII headliner shells are created equal. I've been told that others don't have the nice, pebbled texture when stripped. That may be the '03s and '04s; I don't know.

Whether you choose to paint or replace the fabric, you'll need to remove and strip the fiberglass shell. Once you do that you'll see whether or not you have the pebbled shell.

Here's a link to my write-up from 13 years ago about removing the headliner, prepping and painting it in my truck. Pics in post #36.

My 03 is basically just cardboard underneath.
 

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2003 Discovery 2 SE7
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That stinks.
Yeah, tell me about it. Can't get any glue to stick to it well enough, and since it's been out of the car 3 times now, it's starting to crease the base material and fall apart itself. Not fun.
 

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It would be a lot of work, but you could perhaps remove a headliner from a pre-facelift truck, strip it, paint it and install it in your truck.
 
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· Bleeds Green
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'04 here, just cardboard like V50's '03. It's pretty fragile. I removed mine and had it professionally redone in 2017 and it's holding strong. Looks and feels brand new.

FYI for anyone who is considering removing the headliner: If you have rear AC, leave the vents in the headliner and remove the headliner as one piece. The vents are not attached to anything but the headliner. They're "sealed" to the air duct by a foam surround. Attempting to remove the vents while the headliner is installed will break the fragile retaining clips. If you break them, you have to repair them, there are no good replacements. When I've found replacements for sale, the clips are always broken. You can remove the vents when the headliner is down, but do so very carefully because, as I said before, the clips are VERY fragile.
 
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'04 here, just cardboard like V50's '03. It's pretty fragile. I removed mine and had it professionally redone in 2017 and it's holding strong. Looks and feels brand new.

FYI for anyone who is considering removing the headliner: If you have rear AC, leave the vents in the headliner and remove the headliner as one piece. The vents are not attached to anything but the headliner. They're "sealed" to the air duct by a foam surround. Attempting to remove the vents while the headliner is installed will break the fragile retaining clips. If you break them, you have to repair them, there are no good replacements. When I've found replacements for sale, the clips are always broken. You can remove the vents when the headliner is down, but do so very carefully because, as I said before, the clips are VERY fragile.
EXCELLENT point re: the rear A/C vents for the 7-seaters.

As for the sagging headliner fabric, it's not the adhesive that fails, it's the thin layer of open-cell foam between the fabric and the shell that degrades/deteriorates over time.
 

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2001 & 2004 Discovery Series II SE7, with AND without SAI
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Doesn’t take much effort to remove the headliner. Think I’m gonna have the headliner in the 01 redone and put it in the 04. The cardboard liner in my 04 is flimsy and useless with and without that foam & cloth.
 

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2003 Discovery 2 SE7
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So how much does it increase the noise level if you remove the headliner and just paint?
Completely without the headliner? Quite a bit. I drove mine without it for a while and the wind noise is pretty rough. Sound deadened it, then put it back in. A world of difference.
If you mean sound difference before w/ stock headliner and after with painted headliner, I can't imagine it being much more. You could always get some Amazon Basics sound deadening for cheap (it's surprisingly effective) and that'll help a lot.
 

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No, was wondering about just paint as some have recommended. Thanks for the reply; about what I had expected. I have owned a 99 D2 for about twenty years and the headliner is beginning to have some sags now. Wonder if I could just staple into the backing?
 

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No, was wondering about just paint as some have recommended. Thanks for the reply; about what I had expected. I have owned a 99 D2 for about twenty years and the headliner is beginning to have some sags now. Wonder if I could just staple into the backing?
You can on the later material, not sure about the earlier stuff. It doesn't work very well though - it doesn't look great and isn't very effective. I'd drop it and paint it - it's pretty easy on these trucks.
 

· Bleeds Green
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Wonder if I could just staple into the backing?
I tried that on an '87 S-10 Blazer in my younger years. The ends of the staples didn't get folded, they went in "straight legged" and ended up falling out and stabbing me in the rear when I sat down. Not an ideal solution. I tried straight pins at angles which actually worked, but again, kind of a stabbing risk. I suppose fishing hooks would work well because the barb would retain them, but you'd never get them out in the future without significant damage so probably not worth it. The best solution is to just pull it out and spend the couple hundred bucks to have a professional recover it.
 
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Recovering it yourself is an option that's cheap and pretty easy. Just make sure to get the stretchiest upholstery fabric you can get and use quality adhesive.
 
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