How to Repair a PBA or FOP Shield Car Mount Holder

Replacement suction cups and screws for PBA shield holderPBA (or FOP) shields are a New Jersey thing, perhaps also New York.  I have never seen them in other states.  It works like this.  You have a close relative that’s a current or retired police officer.  They receive a limited number of brass police shields and give them out to their close relatives.  That person displays them inside their car in plain view.  When and if they get pulled over for a minor infraction, the officer sees the shield and might give them a warning instead of a ticket.  At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.  I know for a fact that it doesn’t always get you out of the ticket as it depends upon what you did and the individual that pulled you over.  These shields aren’t for sale.  The only way to legitimately receive one is through a close relative.

That prior paragraph was a lot longer than I anticipated, as this article is about how to fix one of the mounts or holders that comes with the PBA or FOP shield, not about the shield itself.  The mounts are typically made of Plexiglas with a screw that bolts the shield onto the mount.  It’s often reinforced with some Velcro.  The mounts generally are shaped in a cross or triangle with three suction cups at each corner or ending.  These suction cups points upwards towards your windshield for attaching the holder to the window.  An example of what I am referring to is the Shields Up! Suction Cup Shield Badge Holder for Police FOP PBA PBMA Shields.

It’s those suction cups that often are the reason that people are looking for a new mount.  The difference between a well made suction mount and a poorly made model is the quality of the suction cup.  Weather extremes dry out and rot the suction cups.  Especially the suction cups on most PBA shield mounts.  As time progresses, these suction cups no longer hold onto the windshield.

While you can certainly purchase a new PBA holder, it’s unnecessary if it’s just your suction cups that are failing.  It’s a quick repair and less expensive than a new shield (if you can find them).  You need a screwdriver and a new set of suction cups.  Maybe some screws too.  The parts are shown in the photo that accompanies this article.

I have had good results from using suction cups made by Adams Manufacturing paired with 8/32″ machine screws.  Adams makes a lot of suction cup types.  You need suction cups that have pilot holes molded into the top.

The type of suction cup needed has a top pilot hole on them.  This allows you to secure the suction cup with the screws that were used to hold the suction cups onto the mount.  Simply unscrew the old suction cups, then use the same screws to hold the new suction cup.  Be very careful not to screw too deeply because you don’t want to break through the suction cup as that will severely affect the adhesion ability.  You should try to use a machine screw if available as a wood screw is pointed and this has a greater chance of breaking through the suction cup.  I find the medium size suction cups work the best.

I recommend purchasing at least six of these suction cups and expect to change out the suction cups every few years, possibly more often.  These suction cups aren’t made as rugged as some that are included with quality smartphone or GPS mounts hence the need for frequent replacement.