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Sun Visors Rehab - Let the games begin

Interior and Electrical

  1. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I bought the extra fabric I needed to cover the sun visors on my 87 Fifth Avenue.

    Started with this:
    IMG_4742.jpg
    Drivers side front

    IMG_4742.jpg
    Drivers side back


    IMG_4744.jpg
    Passenger front

    IMG_4745.jpg
    passenger back

    Notice that the driver's side has a machine sewn seam all the way around.
    But the passenger side has no seam.

    I need someone to look at their passenger side visor. I need you to look at the end with the bracket holding it into the roof.

    How does the end look like it is put together?
    Is it a little glue or is it just wedged in there?

    IMG_4743.jpg

    IMG_4745.jpg
     
  2. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I decided to work on the passenger side first, since it doesn't require any sewing and I only have 2 hours before I lose daylight.

    The fabric is just wedged into a crevice between the two plastic pieces that make up the visor. You will have to remove the mirror insert.

    So here goes:
    IMG_4748.jpg
    This is what the end looks like before I take it apart. You can see there is nothing that is sewn together. There doesn't appear to be any glue, but that could be due to age and heat.
    There isn't a lot of extra fabric so It isn't wedged in the end. A miracle!

    IMG_4749.jpg
    You can just flip up the fabric after you pull it loose from the plastic pieces.

    WARNING:
    I went to the trouble of drilling out the 4 rivets (rusty, rusty rivets) that permanently hold the two pieces together. I don't think you need to waste you time doing it, unless you want to remove the rusty, rusty rivets.

    Check the other side:
    IMG_4758.jpg
    You need to remove the mirror insert.
    On either end of the insert is a plastic lens that covers the light bulbs (two on each side).
    I used my trusty, rusty putty knife and pried the bottom of the lens up.
    Notice there is a small gap.
    Be gentle.

    Also notice that the flanges on the plastic lens point AWAY FROM THE SCREWS.
    This is important when you go to put it back in. You don't want to break the lens flanges or it won't stay in.

    Pry each of them out.
    Under the lens is two screws. Use a phillips head screw to remove them.
    IMG_4759.jpg
     
  3. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Once you remove the screws, you can use the putty knife to leverage the edge of the mirror up. Work it all the way around, carefully.
    The plastic if brittle and thin.

    IMG_4761.jpg
    There are two wires that are attached to the back. They are held on with pressure, so just wiggle the ends and pull them off. There may be some rust, so just be persistent but gentle.

    This is the point at which I realized I had already drilled out the rivets and didn't need to. The only thing holding the mirror assembly in is the four screws.

    But since I make lemonade out of lemons, I removed mondo amounts of rust by removing the rivets and replacing them with new rivets! Wahoo!

    You now have fabric you can use as a pattern to cut a new piece.
    IMG_4763.jpg
    Cut a rectangular piece from the large fabric.
    IMG_4764.jpg
    The old fabric will be curled on the edges.

    I used some straight pins to get it straight enough to mark and cut.
    IMG_4765.jpg
    Marked it with a Sharpie
    IMG_4766.jpg
    Cut the pattern
    IMG_4768.jpg
     
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  4. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I made sure to have the pattern a little bigger than the actual fabric. Figured I could also make it smaller if I needed to.


    Turn the mirror assembly over.
    IMG_4770.jpg
    There is a spring on each side. Use a pair of longnose pliers to gently pull the end up off the plastic bracket. I also used the end of a flat blade screwdriver to encourage it up before I pulled on it with the longnose.

    One end is looped around the plastic bracket. The other end has a bend and it fits through a hole in the metal post at the hinge.
    IMG_4771.jpg
    Used a flat blade screwdriver to encourage the metal post to back out of the hinge.

    Do both sides so you can remove the mirror.
    IMG_4772.jpg
    This is the goal.
    You want the mirror portion removed so you can take a look at the back and front of the mirror cover.
    IMG_4775.jpg
    You need to remove the fabric from the other side of the mirror cover.

    That plastic piece is glued in place. I didn't want to break it, so I used the putty knife to wedge up the ends and didn't muck with the long edges.

    IMG_4773.jpg
    Front side
    IMG_4774.jpg
    Back side
     
  5. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Clean everything.
    IMG_4776.jpg

    IMG_4777.jpg

    IMG_4778.jpg

    IMG_4784.jpg

    Clean the metal contacts - both sides and on the back of the mirror assembly.
    IMG_4782.jpg

    IMG_4783.jpg
     
  6. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Cut a piece of fabric about 1/4 inch larger all the way around ... bigger than the recessed area.
    IMG_4785.jpg

    Use the putty knife to wedge the edge up under the recessed area. Be persistent, be careful, take it slow.

    IMG_4786.jpg

    Corners too
    IMG_4787.jpg
    You may need to trim just a little fabric from the corner.
    IMG_4788.jpg
    Then when you having it looking awesome on one side, flip it over and realize your fabric was just a weee bit too long and is now sticking out on the backside.

    Borrow your brother's knife and put the edge in the gap so you can cut the fabric close. Make sure it looks neat before you put everything back together.

    Just reverse the order.
    Put the metal pins back in the hinge.
    Reattach the spring to the hinge and loop it over the plastic bracket.
    Use the phillips screwdriver to attach the mirror assembly back to the plastic.

    Make sure the fabric is not covering the screw holes.
    Make sure the fabric is not touching the light bulbs. These are the old style bulbs and they get hot. They will melt the fabric.

    Now start back wedging the fabric between the two plastic pieces.
    IMG_4789.jpg

    IMG_4790.jpg
     
  7. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    IMG_4795.jpg
    IMG_4796.jpg
    IMG_4791.jpg
    I still have no idea how to get the end under the roof bracket to stick together.
    I'm thinking some contact cement?
     
  8. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    Looks 1000% better!
     
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  9. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Great tutorial on how to restore the sunvisors! You certainly aren't afraid to jump in and figure things out. It does keep life interesting, and gives a great sense of accomplishment when finished. You did a great job!
     
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  10. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I took the driver side sun visor apart yesterday. It is very different construction than the passenger side. No plastic insert, everything is paper .

    Need to get some thing to stiffen it with from hobby lobby or home depot today before the ctscan. Then will post pictures this evening.
     
  11. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Most sun visors are made from paper / cardboard. Many with lights, are not.
     
  12. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I had this delay of game because the driver side sun visor is constructed differently than the passenger side. I wanted to reinforce it since the interior is pressed paper rather than plastic.

    I've got pictures to post to bring you up to date; however, I realize that one side has a narrow seamed edge and the other side does not.

    No problem-o.

    Go out to the storage building and get my mom's sewing machine. If she were still living we'd be doing this project together.

    Weather has cooled down and today is the day to work on this project.

    Open up the sewing machine box, get a fresh bobbin, select grey thread, need to load thread on the bobbin--- where's the power cord? where's the foot pedal?

    Dang. Apparently, when we were boxing up the belongings to empty the house before we sold it, we didn't keep the sewing machine items together.

    Short delay of game while I pack this back up and go get my machine out of storage. Bummer, I really was looking forward to using mom's.
     
  13. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if I can handle the excitement today.

    Mom's machine (newer) has no foot pedal or power cord - packed in storage at my dad's.

    My machine (older than dirt, made in germany, no repair person has ever heard of) took about an hour to find a needle that fit it.

    My dad had a buddy clean it, repair it, and build a beautiful case for it years ago. It became a very cranky machine after that so I always used mom's.

    Took another hour to oil and grease everything and get the rust off the internals.
    Then another 40 minutes diagnosing the electrical issue. Thank goodness my brother understands multi-meter and could figure this out. I have even less understanding of that type of wiring than wrenching.

    Why I can wire house lights and plugs but get confused about sewing machines -- I don't know. Go figure.

    Turns out the ground was not connected.
    The motor was wired backward (hot lead vs return).
    And of course, all the foot pedal parts were corroded.

    Slowly taking things apart and using the multi meter to check things turns out -- yes, its dead Jim! (couldn't resist the star trek quote).

    New part is only 50 mile round trip manana and then I should have a working machine and can finish the visor.

    Brian - if you are reading this... I will totally be ready to recover your sun visor after this week.... I can't imagine any thing else that could go wrong.
     
  14. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Famous last words . . .
     
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  15. 7T8 Custom

    7T8 Custom Well-Known Member

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    I hope you knocked on wood when you typed that.
     
  16. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Picked up the new foot pedal today.

    Install manana.
     
  17. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Late getting to this but, I'm fixing the sewing machine this afternoon and finishing the visors. More pictures this evening. Need to finish this so I can get to my welding delayed from the weekend. Was too humid and hot for me to stand out there with a grinder today.
     
  18. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Gotta love a lady who can use a welder, a grinder and a sewing machine – all in the same afternoon!
     
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  19. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Well, I did all those things but had to stop the sewing and go help with the mower. Mower quit cutting. Spent some time diagnosing it -- not the gear box, not the clutch, not the pto -- DING DING DING DING -- shear pin sheared.

    About that time, storm blew up and it started raining.
    About 30 minutes later, it quit.
    Another 20 minutes later, finally got both ends of the shear pin out.
    By that time, I'd lost daylight and was working by flashlight and dripping sweat everywhere cause the humidity was back up to 95%.LOL This is just not meant to be today.

    Tomorrow is another day!
    Perhaps I'll get one the visors done manana.
     
  20. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    alrighty.
    Started working on the hardest one first. Passenger side with vanity mirror.

    Oh Lordy am I out of practice on sewing. I already had my fabric cut to size plus seam allowance. Practiced on a scrap piece of fabric.

    Got the tension in good shape, removed the excess oil from earlier lubrication efforts, sewed the outside edges. Turned it inside out and stuffed the plastic insert into it... looked totally nasty.

    Pulled the insert out, tossed the fabric.
    Cut a new pattern with an extra wide seam allowance ... 1.5 inches instead of 1 inch. Much Much better.

    Sewed a stabilizing seam all the way around. Turned it inside out and sewed my primary seam leaving one end open. Turned it right side out and put in a 1/4 inch top stitching seam.

    Oh my. Although I pinned everything and tried to keep the seam even.. it isn't. Dang. But you know. Its good enough for now. Much better than what it was. I just need to practice sewing seams or use my 1/4 seam guide tape.

    Go out to the car to install this lovely jewel. Apparently, when I removed it from the car the plug end in the visor was fine, but the plug end at the roof header must have pulled out from the wire. Testing the vanity lights -- they don't light.

    Rather than install it knowing it is non-working, I'm delaying yet one more day to get newer plug connectors so the electrical will work.

    Meanwhile, continued issues with the mower meant my help was needed to get the mower attached and locked onto the tractor pto again. So covered in tractor oil and grime ended my visor efforts for the day.

    Pictures tomorrow when I get the other one done.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016