Author Topic: Sun visor rebuild  (Read 308 times)

GM

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Sun visor rebuild
« on: December 04, 2019, 17:42:29 »
Hello all,

OK, this may not be as bad as replacing the heater levers, but I think it qualifies me as a glutton for punishment.

Since I was not willing to pay the absurd amounts for new sun visors, and after searching the Tech Manual, this Forum and online for solutions, I took the plunge and rebuilt my sun visors. Yes, I have too much time on my hands. But I also enjoy a challenge.

I'm surprised and happy with the results, since I just jumped into the project and figured it out along the way. Total spend was less than $50 for materials, for both visors. Note that, as you'll see, the finish quality meets my requirements for my high-quality driver, but probably won't cut it for a pristine show car.

The first photo shows what the driver side ('71 LHD 280SL) sun visor originally looked like. You know, the saggy, dilapidated foam collapsing from the inside.

The goal was to rebuild it to maintain originality (unique Pagoda shape, no mirror on the passenger side, light grey color), but also improve the durability of the result using better internal materials. The method I used was to slice open the “blind” edge of the visor (facing the windshield) as little as possible, pull out the guts, rebuild the interior, re-insert the new interior, and then re-seal the cut edge. Since one of the visors was “sunburned” on one side (!) I decided to spray them with a marine vinyl paint/coating. While I was at it, I re-chromed the pivot bar. The result from a passenger (and, indeed, driver) perspective is a new visor.

I started by cutting the blind side at the pivot point where the blind edge seam meets the chrome piece. (see photo) This leaves the seam on the other side of the lever untouched, from there all the way around the visor, to the opposite side of the blind seam. End the cut mid-way through the curve to the straight end of the visor. This allowed me to cut the minimum amount of seam, then “hook” the finished interior under the characteristic visor “bump,” and rotate/slide the rest of the interior package into the cover.

When the slice was complete, I removed the interior parts.
« Last Edit: Today at 18:00:06 by GM »
Gary
1971 280SL
DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex

GM

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 17:48:32 »
(cont'd) Part 2:
Once the guts were out, I did some estimating on the shape of the cardboard core by laying out the wire frame over the finished old visor.

I found cardboard for this online, which was used by a supplier in Mexico. It apparently is used for shoe insoles (and is mildew-resistant!). It is about 1.5mm thick, and very rigid. The Celtec is difficult to find, so you should Google it. I got mine from Shoedo.com (full disclosure - I didn't have to pay shipping because it was in my area). I suppose any number of types of stiff cardboard could be used for this, but I wanted to avoid another floppy sun visor in a few years, so I eventually created a shape that worked for this (see photo).
 
This shape was the key to the whole process.

After getting the shape right, with the back of scissors or a knife I scored (not cut) two lines where the cardboard would bend around the frame.

Lining up the upper part of the cardboard with the edge of the “spine” of the visor, and taping the metal wire frame in with 3M duct tape (from Lowe’s).
« Last Edit: Today at 16:31:24 by GM »
Gary
1971 280SL
DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex

GM

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 17:53:31 »
(cont'd) Part 3 -
Then, closing the clam shell, and taping it.

Now we’re ready for the foam covering. I used a ¼” foam that is sandwiched between two layers of thin fabric from a fabric shop (JoAnn’s - see photo):
 
After cutting the foam to the same general shape as the unfolded cardboard, but oversize, I used 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive on the cardboard and foam and let it dry for 30 seconds. Then I tightly wrapped the foam around the cardboard, starting at the “blind” side and firmly pulling it around the opposite side before returning to the blind side. I trimmed around the visor (except at the foam fold) so that the edges of the foam were about ¼” above all the edges, then used scissors to trim/bevel the edges at a 45⁰ angle so I could glue down the edges with contact cement and the edges would just meet at the edge of the visor (see photo).
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 17:59:19 by GM »
Gary
1971 280SL
DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex

GM

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 17:58:09 »
(cont'd) Part 4 -
The first photo shows the new finished visor interior.
 
After sliding this into the existing visor “shell” I found that it was still a little loose. So I added a second layer of foam, following the same process as before to double the foam thickness.

When this was done, I used a hair dryer to completely heat up the vinyl shell (especially around the edges) so it was flexible enough to accept the new internal piece.

After inserting the new guts, it was time to seal the seam. I explored various glues before finding an absolutely magical product. I’ve used UV-cure adhesives before, but this was absolutely perfect for this application, and I’m sure I’ll find many uses for it on future projects. The product is called Bondic liquid plastic welder (https://notaglue.com/ - see photo). It is available at Walmart, Amazon and Ace Hardware. Just Google "Bondic" for purchasing.

The beauty of this stuff is that it enabled me to slowly creep along the open seam, laying a thin bead of adhesive along the edge of the seam, tightly pulling the sides together about ½” at a time, and then locking it in with the UV light to catalyze the plastic weld. Doing this along the entire seam was gratifying, and the flexibility of this was especially useful around the tight curves at the “notch” in the visor where the rod for the car sun visor clip attaches. The result of the rebuilt seam is shown below.

As I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s along the blind side of the visor that nobody ever sees. I did this myself, and if doing again I’d recommend another set of hands to handle the UV cure light while I held together the glued seam – it might result in a smoother seam. I lightly sanded the edge to smooth out the adhesive overflow to prepare it for the paint.

I’m waiting for the paint, which is SEM Marine Vinyl Spray (used for boat cushions), light grey (M25193).
« Last Edit: Today at 16:29:12 by GM »
Gary
1971 280SL
DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex

dirkbalter

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 18:41:35 »
Gary,
Looks great, I like your step by step instructions.
Dirk
66 230 SL
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18 C300 COUPE

JamesL

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 18:50:56 »
Me too

Very nice work
I’m guessing a foam-board would also work as the hard liner but love your solution
James L
RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

lreppond

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 23:40:58 »
Your workmanship is very professional.  That closed up seam is virtually identical to when it was heat sealed!  Once it’s painted no one would think it’s anything but a new visor. 
Thanks for the step by step instructions and materials list. 

114015

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 02:10:18 »

Absolutely gorgeous, Gary !
Very, very well done!

I will try the same with one of my rotten sunvisors as well.

Me I like the original looks of the old style plastic foil sunvisors much much more  :D
than any of these false leather-retrofitted - W111-Cabriolet-style sunvisors
that so many 113 owners have when they redid their interior. :P


Achim

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chumps

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 03:23:03 »
What great step by step instructions. The pictures are very helpful. I will be trying this in the near future. I hope mine turn out close to what yours look like.
Good job. Chumps

johnk

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2019, 03:44:34 »
Damn nice work!
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
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GM

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2019, 03:58:04 »
Thanks for the kind words, all.
Happy to contribute a small amount to this great Forum. Let me know if anyone needs additional details.
Happy Holidays!
Gary
1971 280SL
DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex

Garry

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2019, 04:09:41 »
Gary,

What would be really nice is if you could load this procedure in the Tech Manual which you are able to do as a Full Member and it is then there for future reference by all rather than only by a search of the Forum.

You can practice in the sand pit prior to get the feel for loading an article ni the Tech Manual.
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery
2005 MB A200
2008 MB SLK 55 AMG
2016 VW T6 4x4 pop top Camper

GM

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2019, 15:31:16 »
Garry,
I'd be happy to add it to the Tech Manual. I'll go play in the sand...
Gary
Gary
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DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex

Garry

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2019, 20:12:25 »
Thanks Gary, many in the future will thank you.😇😇
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery
2005 MB A200
2008 MB SLK 55 AMG
2016 VW T6 4x4 pop top Camper

Benz Dr.

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 22:59:37 »
You're hired!  You can start Monday.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

sandcrab59

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #15 on: Today at 13:54:08 »
Gary:
Excellent Workmanship.
I did about the same thing as you did , experimenting on my old 200D Sun Visors.
I will remove my fill and replace it with yours.
Except for one thing, I never sealed the cut edge.
Did know what to do with it.
So there they sit.
I assumed one day someone will have a solution. Now it has arrived.
I will finish my 200d Visor to see how it comes out.
Then I will attempt to do my 280SL Visors.

I have one question.
You mentioned notaglue .com for the glue.
I went there and there many pictures of products.
Which one did you purchase, and did it have the UV light?
What is the product # if any.

That is one deficiency I see with many people (Not in the club) that state, The product is, but NEVER give the details to order it.
So let me know what product to purchase at notaglue.
Tom M
71 280SL-8  Euro
67 250 SL
72 220 D
1982 300 SD
1983 300SD
1931 Model A Ford Roadster

GM

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Re: Sun visor rebuild
« Reply #16 on: Today at 16:14:02 »
Thanks, Tom.
They only sell one product - Bondic. If you scroll down you'll see a Trial Pack for $19.99. I referred to the website to give the info on the product - many places sell it for less, including Amazon, Walmart and Ace Hardware. I expected people to just Google "Bondic" to price shop. I'll update the step-by-step, and make this more explicit in the Tech Manual.
When you go to do the others, note that the Celtec is difficult to find, so you should Google it. I got mine from Shoedo.com.
I'm glad this can help you finish your project - have fun.
« Last Edit: Today at 16:46:29 by GM »
Gary
1971 280SL
DB180 Silver Metallic
Black MB Tex