Thursday, March 19, 2009

1995 Saab 900: Sun Visor Repair

After having our 1995 Saab 900 S detailed, I took it for a spin and subsequently broke the sun visor out of its ceiling mount. Nice. And to make matters worse, none of the junk yards within easy reach have any NG900s. Sure, I could have contacted English-Swedish Spares, but I really wasn't interested in putting more money into the car. So, I just drove it without a sun visor ... until Monday.

Monday had to be one of the brightest days we've had in a long time. The sun was shining bright enough to warrant a raised hand and a heavy squint. So, I decided that Tuesday would be the day to fix it. And thankfully, that happened to be the day my parents were up to visit as well. And my dad's good at fixing things. Nice timing.

The problem with the visor was not an easy one. The plastic shaft which holds the visor into its ceiling socket had snapped in two. My first instinct was to try super glue, but with constant use, that was sure to fail sooner than later. What to do? My dad looked over the situation and suggested using JB Weld. But with constant use, would it do any better than super glue? Another paternal idea solved the problem.

Dad suggested using the JB Weld to stick the broken piece back on and then to drill down the shaft and "weld" in a nail. The whole process involved "welding," clamping the entire visor in a vise, drilling through the center of the shaft, and then placing a screw in the shaft to help hold the two pieces together.

Now, I must admit that it wasn't as easy as that sounds. The first weld snapped once I put it in the vise. So, I worked on the shaft and connecting the two pieces before attempting the weld again. What ended up working best was drilling the top piece with a larger bit so that the screw didn't grip the sides. Once through the top piece, the screw was able to dig into the smalled hole in the other piece. Does that make sense? The end result was that when I applied the JB Weld, it held very well. And, thankfully, it's still holding two days later!

No comments: