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Emily Koch

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About Emily Koch

  • Birthday 05/30/1993

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    Austin, TX

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  1. I can't seem to find that part anywhere, either! Your best bet might be to find one from a visor that isn't in great shape. I've used Retrobrite to brighten the plastic piece on them when they're discolored. Also, an update! I finished my experiment on replacing the foam, and I think it went alright! Here's a blog on my process if anyone's interested.
  2. A common thing for 2002 owners: How many of you have sun visors that look like balloons? Over time, the foam just turns to dust, and the result is a floppy, poofy, sun visor. I decided to document my first DIY experiment to see if I could keep the original vinyl on a sun visor, but refill it on my own. At the end of the day, it's certainly far from perfect, but I figured maybe someone with steadier hands can iterate and improve on it. For this project, I needed: A poofy sun visor A pair of scissors An X-Acto knife A tube of E-6000 adhesive A sheet of 1/8" thick Volara foam (a 1 foot x 60" wide sheet will be enough for two sun visors) 1 large cardboard box A vinyl repair kit for black vinyl (with fabric included) A bottle of rubbing alcohol Cotton Q-tips A pen Step 1: Open up the visor I started off by using my X-acto knife to cut around the top and sides of the black side of the vinyl, leaving a bit of black on either side so I could seal it up later and hopefully mask the vinyl repair kit work later. Very quickly, I found out that to really be able to open it up, I'd also need to make very careful cuts around where the sun visor usually attaches to a clip on the car. This was probably the most stressful part of the project, because once you cut, you can't undo it! The goal was to avoid cutting the bottom of the sun visor as much as possible, since that's what the driver usually sees. Once open, I removed the metal frame and foam. That's all the sun visor is! I forgot to take pictures of this step, but here's one from later on after I was in the process of sealing it back up, so you can see just where the cuts were: Step 2: Cut foam and cardboard To make sure the sun visor would always have at least a little bit of structure in the future, I decided to add some cardboard to the interior, in addition to new foam. With some trial and error, I found that 1/8" foam would allow the visor to seal with this arrangement. Using the metal frame and the sun visor shell, I used a pen to trace the forms on cardboard and the foam sheet, then cut them out with my scissors. You could also use an X-Acto knife for this step. Here's what I came up with-- two of the foam inserts, and one cardboard insert per visor: Step 3: Glue fabric Next, I glued strips of fabric to the bottom of the inside of the visor so I could seal it up later. I experimented with both hot glue and E-6000, and found that E-6000 was a good choice of adhesive because it was flexible and didn't dry instantly. It's safer to use a larger strip of fabric because you can always trim it. Here's that picture from earlier again: Step 4: Slide in the foam and cardboard This step took the longest, because I wanted to make sure everything fit properly. I slid in the bottom foam insert first, followed by the cardboard, and then the frame. Finally, the second piece of foam! I made sure that the visor would seal properly, trimming the foam and cardboard as needed. . Step 3.5 (optional): Trace final foam and cardboard inserts Now that I knew just what shape the inserts needed to be, I took them all out and traced them on some more cardboard and foam. This is helpful if you're thinking of repeating this on another sun visor since you'll have a master template to work off of. Step 4: Seal up the visor with a vinyl repair kit Once I knew everything would fit inside, I started getting ready to seal! I glued the cardboard to the bottom foam sheet to make sure it would stay in one place. Then, the most important part: IMPORTANT: Before you start sealing things up, insert the screw back into the visor frame, and wrap tape around the portion that goes into the clip to make sure the sun visor frame is aligned properly (see the first picture below)!!! With the frame was in place, I put some more E-6000 on the top of the fabric strips and sealed it, using painter's tape and pressure to get the best seal I could. Once dry, I used the rubbing alcohol and cotton Q-tips to get any extra adhesive off. I left sealing the clip area for last. Since it didn't need any fabric, I just used some more E-6000 on the inside of the vinyl. When the whole thing was sealed, I used the vinyl repair kit to make the white fabric blend in better. The instructions on the particular kit I used said to use a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol to get a matte finish and blend a little better. I didn't use the vinyl repair kit on the clip area since it needed to have a specific fit inside the clip. My painting job wasn't perfect, but here's an example of what one side looked like: Here's the finished product! Structurally, I think it's a big improvement.
  3. Would you happen to have a passenger-side sun visor in good condition? I'd love to see pictures and price if so.
  4. So I guess it's a one and done thing if it bonds to all the vinyl. I actually found a driver's side visor with no mirror for $30. The vinyl isn't nearly as good as what I've got, so I'm planning on opening that one up as a test subject. 😛
  5. Those look great borgpj! How did you end up sealing them back up? And do you remember how wide the gap in your frame was?
  6. Thanks for all the advice and warm welcome, everyone! So from what I'm reading, here are the options mentioned and my own thoughts: Buy OEM parts, but likely wind up with a pair with a mirror on the passenger side rather than the driver's side one. This is the least risky method while retaining genuine parts. For my own situation, it's probably the way I'm going to go. If I can find some for North American cars at the same price point, that would end up being ideal, but if not, that seems okay to me, too. Use the E28 visors, which may not 100% fit or have the correct colour on both sides, but are very similar and a lot less expensive. This seems good for someone who's trying to replace them on a tighter budget, is OK with having all-black visors, and/or doesn't plan to use the visors much. Attempt a DIY fix, which might more risky as I don't think anyone's tried it before. My existing sun visors have vinyl in good shape, so they maybe aren't the best test subject for a spray foam method. Also wondering if they could be resealed using a lower-temperature heat gun blast rather than duct tape... But I do hope someone tests it out! (I'd actually love to try a couple ideas out with some worn-out visors as test subjects...) Leave them as-is, even if they're puffy. Not much to say here opinion-wise. Get them fixed -- the person who offered to fix them told me the mirror would have to go, so probably not going this route considering it's currently a similar price to buy OEM vs. having them repaired.
  7. Hi Jason! Great to see another Austin 2002 owner here. I'm a little unsure myself, to be honest. Might be worth a call to see what they'd do. It seems like, just because of the age of the parts, if I get an OE part I'm bound to hit that degradation sooner or... slightly less soon. Maybe if they haven't been exposed to regular use, that isn't the case? Though, if the upholsterer can actually replace that foam, that should hold up a long time without puffiness. I'm just not sure how.
  8. First time posting here! I recently inherited my dad's 2002tii. While most of it's in great condition, I noticed that the foam on both sun visors is, for lack of a better word, disintegrating because of age. After looking online, I found a lot of the more visible parts supply stores online are pricing them at about $120-150 apiece. However, a local auto upholsterer quoted me for doing repairs at $100 each. The material on the outside and the mirrors on my existing visors are both in pretty good shape. If it were you, what would you do? Or is there an option I'm not thinking of?
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