Sun visors

The sun visors that came with my car were, like many of the interior pieces, obviously home-made. You can see in this photo of the interior, they're oddly puffy and warped.

tr6 interior

They were a layer of soft foam and vinyl on each side of the wire visor frame, sewn together and a vinyl binding sewn around the edge. While I appreciate the charm, they look messy with everything else getting updated. On the other hand, I wasn't excited to pay $150 for a pair of brand-new ones, and I'm sure that any originals I might find will be a bag of crumbling foam that wasn't much better.

I figured I could make something similar to the original style with pieces I have around the shop.

First I removed and stripped the passenger visor as a test.

old visor parts

These are the pieces: the cover on top, frame in the middle, and mounting post on the bottom. The post has a slight bend in it which creates the friction to hold the visor in place when flipping it up and down. I cleaned up and painted the metal parts, though the frame was originally just bare steel. 

I'm not even sure what the new visors are like exactly, but I wanted a visor that is padded but thin and firm, and covered in black vinyl to match the interior.

Digging around, I found some 5/16" thick closed-cell foam that seemed about perfect, so I cut out a test piece in the shape of the old visor.

visor frame and foam

I'm not sure if the visor is supposed to be the size of the frame, but the ones I had were larger, and an extra inch of height seems useful when I'm tall enough to almost look above the windshield.

I like the thickness of the foam, but also didn't want to have the frame showing under the vinyl, so I split the foam along the edge so I could encase the frame.

splitting the visor foam

I installed the frame into the foam.

visor foam frame edge

I used a little contact cement to seal the edges together to make the foam and frame solid.

visor foam installed

For the vinyl, I decided to use pieces cut from the old soft top that I just replaced. I tried a couple of tests with some water-based contact cement, but ended up using the same 3m spray contact adhesive that I used for the main soft top gluing.

visor adding vinyl

I didn't really have a good pattern for the vinyl, so I just glued one side and started working around the curves. If I had a better form I would have use a heat gun to stretch the vinyl for smoother curves. I'm not sure if the contact cement will hold these fiddly pieces, so I decided to sew along the edge to make it more secure. It also helped to smooth out the pointy curves.

visor edge sewing

The result isn't quite a slick as I was aiming for, but I like them a lot better than the old ones.

visor finished

They fit in the space great and in use you don't see the sewing and extra seam along the top edge, so I like them.