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Dash Pad repair options ?

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Old 11-30-2017, 09:56 AM
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lakerider57
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Default Dash Pad repair options ?

I have a dash pad from a 1980 which has cracks in it.







I would like to know what the best options are:

1.) I could repair the cracks with an epoxy and then paint the dash black

2.) I could repair the cracks and then cover with a ABS Plastic dash overlay

3.) I could repair the cracks and the cover with black marine vinyl

4.) I could buy a new dash (but they are pricey)

5.) or something else ??

What are the better options (I prefer to fix it) ?
Richard
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:08 AM
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Panzerino
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Hi Richard ,
ive the same problem with my dash , Iíve a 1978 , Iíve taken the dash out and I am going to cover the whole dash with a soft leather cover , in the same colour ( dark blue ) , these covers are available here in the Uk for around £125.00 , but you would need to repair the cracks with epoxy like you have mentioned and key the whole are to bond the leather cover on , hope this gives you some kind of option , but as we all know these dash pods do crack with heat and age , covering with leather will give it more longevity, if you need any more info on how to get one of these covers let me know I can pass on details .

Regards
Mike.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Panzerino View Post
Hi Richard ,
ive the same problem with my dash , Iíve a 1978 , Iíve taken the dash out and I am going to cover the whole dash with a soft leather cover , in the same colour ( dark blue ) , these covers are available here in the Uk for around £125.00 , but you would need to repair the cracks with epoxy like you have mentioned and key the whole are to bond the leather cover on , hope this gives you some kind of option , but as we all know these dash pods do crack with heat and age , covering with leather will give it more longevity, if you need any more info on how to get one of these covers let me know I can pass on details .

Regards
Mike.

Hi Mike,

Yes, please provide more info on these leather covers (where to purchase, colors, thickness, etc..) if you can and what you are using to bond it. Are these covers already specifically cut for these dashes.

thanks,
Richard
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:00 AM
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Panzerino
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Originally Posted by lakerider57 View Post
Hi Mike,

Yes, please provide more info on these leather covers (where to purchase, colors, thickness, etc..) if you can and what you are using to bond it. Are these covers already specifically cut for these dashes.

thanks,
Richard
Hi Richard
glad to be of help, if you use eBay , then use this item number 351255237185, the company is called JF cistoms, they are based in the uk but will ship worldwide
the listing is under
GREY STITCHED DASH DASHBOARD LEATHER SKIN COVER FITS CORVETTE C3 -1977-1982.
these skins are cut and shaped to fit your dash , they look excellent with stitching to your specification they will also make the skin to your interior colour or very near match , they also do other custom leather skins for later vetts and accessories.
The skins are really nice and are very soft/thin leather, I am going to use an industrial strength glue, for leather , hopefully you can source this in the US . hope this has helped

regards
Mike
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:25 PM
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7T1vette
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I suspect that your dash pad has either been exposed to heat/sun or the car has been outside with sun exposure on the dash for long periods of time. Basically, the core material of the dash pad is shrinking and causes separations in the surface vinyl covering.

It is possible to fill any gaps with some epoxy material to improve integrity of the core. But, the core material has already begun to decompose and the part will never have the strength and integrity of a part with 'normal' use. If you choose to do the 'gap filling' method, you can then use a polyester skin film at the surface (using as little coverage as possible via masking, etc) and imprinting the surface grain with a similar piece of vinyl into the skim coat when it is nearly hard...or using a small tool to manually put graining into the surface.

Once that is done and cured completely, a final color coat of vinyl dye (not "paint") should make the part look decent cosmetically. But, the core will always be weak and could crack further with any undue pressure/force applied to it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:33 AM
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You could use Plastic Fusion to repair the cracked ABS, then use the vinyl repair kits that you can buy at your local parts store to repair the outer surface (get the one with the heating tool).

If you are going to re-skin the thing then you'd want to fill the cracks with silicone and use a ice cube to spread it over the top. If you cover it with a crack the crack will show through the cover over time. If you fill it with silicone and make it smooth the crack wont show. Using a ice cube to spread it works great because the silicone won't stick to the ice and you can spread it smoothly.

Personally... I'd just replace the pad. To much labor involved in doing this. I understand the poster in the UK wanting to do this because the shipping on the pad to him would be off the charts and I'd never use the ABS dash pad caps..... they suck IMHO.

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Old 12-01-2017, 03:33 PM
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Just finished installing a new dash pad in my 79 today. It was quite a job. I thought the instructions were counter productive. I tried to save $ and bought a pad that had to be dyed. Turns out it was an original pad with a cap on top. Too thick to reinstall switches etc.
All in all I am pleased with the way it looks. Its pricy but pretty good quality.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:33 PM
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The worst thing you can do is attempt a repair with epoxy.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:58 PM
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general ike
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7T1vette could you elaborate on what " polyester skin film " is? I have tried making repairs to vinyl and leather and the biggest issue I have is finding a material that will stick to the old material. What is the material you are referring to? Thanks

By the why taking "SARAN" wrap and balling it up then dapping the setting material will often times produce a nice grain pattern.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:25 PM
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For anything with a vinyl covering that has cracking, the cracks need to be filled with something that will bond with the interior core material and that is at least as sturdy as the core material [many epoxies will work just fine]. Then, any protruding edges of the vinyl covering need to be trimmed back to flush. Finally, the area without any vinyl covering needs to be masked off and then given a skim coat of polyester filler to bring the surface up even with the rest of the vinyl covering. Masking can be removed as the surface filler hardens, and it can be feathered smooth with light sanding and surface grain added [manually or with grained material being pressed/rubbed into the filler].

It isn't brain surgery....you can always sand down/trim any "mistakes" off and try again. Once the surface looks decent, recolor the surface with interior matching vinyl dye.

You can find tubes of polyester body filler at any car parts store.

Last edited by 7T1vette; 12-01-2017 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:56 AM
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7T1vette thanks for the details!!! Ike

Last edited by general ike; 12-02-2017 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:55 AM
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shipahoy
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I just bought a 79 Corvette and it has cracks in the dash. I am going to replace the entire dash pad myself.

The color is light doeskin.


Last edited by shipahoy; 12-04-2017 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:18 PM
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Check out this thread to see how someone 'wrapped' the dash with generic vinyl purchased from any fabric store:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...the-cheap.html

I followed his example and did this to the dash on our 79, as I had already blown the budget on other necessities and couldn't afford the $500 for a new dash. My son was pretty skeptical (since we were building the car for him), but it turned out good, and after 4 years, it still looks like new. It's definitely more work and requires a little skill, but if you absolutely can't afford the cost of a new dash, it might be an option.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:09 PM
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Going to all the expense and trouble of replacing that dash pad...just because of a visible crack on the satin black surface...is definitely overkill, IMO. A satin finish is pretty easy for hiding imperfections. You just need to stabilize the crack (so it won't enlarge/change), fill the imperfections to be level with the rest of the part surface, and recolor that area (or the entire pad).

I would certainly attempt a fix and a 'spot' recolor, just to see the improvement. There would be little cost/time to lose in that process....and a LOT of potential cost/time savings. That's my .02....
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 7T1vette View Post
Going to all the expense and trouble of replacing that dash pad...just because of a visible crack on the satin black surface...is definitely overkill, IMO. A satin finish is pretty easy for hiding imperfections. You just need to stabilize the crack (so it won't enlarge/change), fill the imperfections to be level with the rest of the part surface, and recolor that area (or the entire pad).

I would certainly attempt a fix and a 'spot' recolor, just to see the improvement. There would be little cost/time to lose in that process....and a LOT of potential cost/time savings. That's my .02....
If you're referring to the dash shown by "shipahoy" I think you need to look at the photo more closely. I see at least two minor, two major and one severe crack/open hole in the tan portion of the dash pad. Some certainly appear to have reasonably well-done previous repairs that have since failed.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SwampeastMike View Post
If you're referring to the dash shown by "shipahoy" I think you need to look at the photo more closely. I see at least two minor, two major and one severe crack/open hole in the tan portion of the dash pad. Some certainly appear to have reasonably well-done previous repairs that have since failed.
And there is more damage than what appears in the photo from the dealer. Plus I have the time and the money to do the work. I'm retired!

Last edited by shipahoy; 12-04-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:55 PM
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Hey, if it works for you, go for it!!
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