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Dash Repair Process/Pictures

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The dashboard in my car had some serious cracks along the top but I couldn't pull the trigger to send it off for rework because of the cost. I wanted to try to repair it somehow though, I had to try something!

Here's a few pictures of the cracks. Because of the limit on pictures in each post, I'll upload the balance of the pictures and the materials used after this.

Bruce

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I beveled the edges of the cracks on both sides, this would enable the filling materials to get underneath the crack and have something to hold on to. I backed the cracks with simple masking tape and filled the cracks with Great Stuff, insulating foam sealant, available at Ace Hardware of course.

Here's a picture of the cracks after I sliced down the foam and the materials I used. I was concerned with all the voids in the foam. I had expected something solid but realized all those open holes would provide an excellent base for the SEM plasticized bumper repair which was applied next. I had to apply two coats of the bumper repair plastic. It was easy to work with and feather edged nicely.

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Very interesting work so far. I've used that Great Stuff on other applications (none automotive) and it is as advertised.

How do you plan on replicating the grain pattern?

Keep us updated!

Steve

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After the repair areas were finish sanded, I scuff sanded the rest of the dash with 220 grit paper and cleaned the surface with SEM plastic/leather prep.

After that, I sprayed the complete dash with SEM's texture coating. I followed the directions on the can. I kept the spray nozzle approximately 20 inches from the surface and when the coating was finger dry, I knocked down the texture with scotch-brite.

I let the dash dry for 24 hours and then lightly scuffed the complete surface. I cleaned again with the plastic/leather prep and then applied two wet coats of SEM's Trim Black for my finish coat.

Here's some pictures of the finished product, it isn't perfect but it exceeded my expectations. I don't think I would have attempted this repair if the dash was in the car. Total cost was approximately $60 and maybe five hours of labor total.

Bruce

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Bruce - I think you've done an amazing job of resurrecting your dashboard - The end result appears well worth the effort you put in. Congratulations.

GWGarrard

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Very sharp for what you have in it! Looks better than it cost!

Now for the real tests, time, heat, and UV.

You are in agood spot for all three!

Will

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Very impressive, Bruce. Maybe you should moonlight and do a few dashes in your spare time? I bet you could sell that one for good money on eBay!!

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That is amazing! Very good job. My Z is an Arizona original and the original owner put on a dash pad to cover the cracks - then the dash pad cracked. I may just have to try this, especially if it proves tough enough to withstand the heat.

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Hi Bruce,

I've used SEM product to renew the carpets, center console and ash tray/fuse cover on my '71. However, I was not aware of these products. Great job! As Will said, it'll be interesting to see how it holds up.

Gary S.

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You know, that SEM texture finish looks like it would be great for repaired 240Z consoles, too. Like Gary, I've used SEM in the past with excellent results, but not these particular products.

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WOW!!

Great job. I am a big fan of SEM products. You did an amazing job.

I would have never thought to use Great Stuff to fix a Dash.

I guess my Dad was wrong.

He always told me there are only two things you need in your tool box.

1.) Duct Tape - If it moves and it's not supposed to... Apply Duct Tape

2.) WD40 - If it doesnt move and it is supposed to... Spray WD40

I guess now you can add:

3.) Great Stuff - If it cracks fill it with Great Stuff

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Excellent job of blending in the contours and applying the finish!!! My guess is that with exposure to the regular exspansion and contractions of heating and cooling, you will likely start seeing cracks develope in or next to the repaired areas over time. In the event this does happen, just purchase a full dash cap ($100.00) and put it on. Nice work however!

Tom

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Where do you get SEM products?
Typically at auto body supply shops, or sometimes at better upholstery shops.

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Very sharp for what you have in it! Looks better than it cost!

Now for the real tests, time, heat, and UV.

You are in agood spot for all three!

Will

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

Yep, this repair has to pass the test of time here in the desert proving grounds. By this time next year I'll have an initial idea on how well this will holdup.

Since I plan on keeping THIS Z for the rest of my life, I'll post if/when the fateful day occurs, I realize it's probably only a matter of time. My plan "B" is a Dashcap.

Bruce

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looks great, Bruce!

i wonder how tight the foam will hold the pieces together.

let us know how it holds up in the Az sun.

if it lasts, i would definitely consider following your lead.

good work!!

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Excellent job!! Your dash looks great in the photos. Thanks for sharing with the club.

You can get a dash redone for approx $400. New dashes, unfortunately, are around $1,500.

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I'm impressed, especially as the cracks in your dash were huge, much larger than in the two Series I dashes I have. I might have to give this a try. I have a full dash cap standing by, but might try your method first. Thanks for posting. Gary D.

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Simon,

The dash looks the same as when I made the repairs back in November. I'd take some pictures but the car is masked for painting, (again!).

Our winter weather lows range from the mid 30's to the low 40's at night but the car is stored in my garage so it never got exposed to the cold.

The real test is coming up because the "mean" season is right around the corner. I'll post what happens to the dash sometime this fall.

It's an economical repair in both time and money, you might want to just go for it!

Bruce

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G'Day All

I have the original dash from my 1973 car in my garage. It was replaced with another some time ago. I have been wondering how to repair the original dash.

Being located in regional Australia could present a problem, but can someone enlighten me on what can be done to "renew" the old one. I could then have it ready for the inevitble replacement of the current dash.

I would not have the skills that Bruce has shown in doing his dash!!!

Thanks for your help in anticipation.

Regards, Jack

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Jack,

There are several companies around that restore dashes, such as Dashboardresorations in Queensland(http://www.dashboardrestorations.com.au/index.htm) or Dept of the Interior at Carlton (http://www.consoles.com/). There was another company called Restoradash at Milperra, however I am not sure if they are still operating.

Hope this helps.

Geoff

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