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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of painting my headliner in the '66 Super. I took off the visors and was wondering what may be recommended to clean the metal base plate that attaches the visor to the roof/headliner. The metal has no rust but has a chalky residue. It almost appears to be aluminum but figured I'd check before applying any (potentially nasty) cleaning materials.
Thanks.
 

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From your description, your visor base plate is the same as my Sprint GT's. I completely stripped mine apart for refurb last year.

To do this, first I unscrewed the visor arm from the visor itself - just loosen the special nut and withdraw the end of the arm, and keep the nut/bolt safe. Now look under the visor plate - you'll see that the arm passes through the base plate and there is a spring behind it which is held in place by a bent split in the bottom of the visor arm (can't think of a better way to describe it). You can carefully trim away these split metal 'prongs' with a small Dremel cutting wheel, removing the spring and withdrawing the arm from the base plate itself.

Now you can have your arm zinc plated, ditto the two screws that secure the base to the roof. The special nut/bolt that sits in the corner of the visor itself appears to have been 'blued' like a gun barrel, so that's what I did to those, too. The base plate itself is aluminium and can be polished back until you hit bright metal. You could start with 000-grade fine wire wool lubricated with WD-40 to remove the worst of the 'chalk' and then proceed with a fine liquid metal polish. However, owing to humidity in the air, this base plate will almost immediately start to deteriorate once again, and there's not much you can do about that unless you know of some kind of clear coat or plating process to keep it quite shiny. Just remember that you won't be able to easily re-polish the base plate once it's been refitted to the roof, as you're likely to mark the surrounding headliner.

For the next stage you'll need a drill and a suitable threading tap. The idea is that you drill carefully into the end of the arm where that little spring sits, take your tap and lubricate it, then tap that hole to take a (short) machine screw whose head is going to be fractionally wider than the diameter of the spring, but still narrow enough to pass through the hole in the headliner. I cannot recall which size I used, probably M3 but I'm not sure.

Once you've done that, you push the end of the visor arm through the base plate, slide the little spring over the end, then fit the machine screw into the hole you've made in the end of the visor arm and tighten it down so that the spring is held tightly in place. Finally, push the other end of the visor arm into the hole in the corner of the visor and refit the special nut/bolt (you might have to feel around until this is correctly located). And that's it!

One word about cleaning the visors. I tried a variety of products on mine to clean them up, and the best combination I found was a combination of a very strong solution of biological washing powder, followed by repeated applications of bleach soaked onto a damp cloth, then wiped clean. The main thing to avoid is getting any moisture inside the visor itself. I plugged up the holes for the visor arm with a generous lump of bathroom silicone sealant and carefully applied a thin bead around the mirror aperture, both of which I left to dry for several days before doing anything more (the idea being that this silicone must be allowed to solidify so that it can easily removed). Then get cleaning! Provided the foam core of the visor is in good condition, they can be brought back to life. I've tried to get Matt Jones at Re-Originals to commission new visors in pale cream vinyl as he already sells the same version in black, but no luck yet!

Best of luck :)

Alex.

PS: Those in Europe might like to try the product in the photo below, made by HG Products (you'll find it on their website under Flooring > Intensive Cleaning). Since refurbing my visors I've discovered this product and it's quite incredible for shifting the most stubborn stains specifically on vinyl, so I have a theory that it will work very well on my headliner (it doesn't produce any nasty residual fumes).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the excellent details. Do you see any problem with clear-coating the base after polishing? I would think that the clear coat I used on aluminum wheels after refurb/painting would be okay. I could test this on the back side.

Since the visors themselves are in good shape, I was going to mask off and de-rust the small part of the visor arm that is visible and that has some minor scale rust on it.

I'll also try the cleaning approach you recommend. I have the cream-colored visors and they are in good shape except with some dirt/discoloration here and there. So far the easy dirt cleaned up using glass cleaner but I'll escalate that a bit. Has anyone tried painting the visors? I'll probably just clean them but did think (since I am painting the headliner) that possibly painting the visors could work. However, not sure I could match the color. I saw this link and they are going to town with painting an interior....

http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2006/02/ProjectMXInterior/index.php
 

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