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Dash Repair Process/Pictures

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Wow, excellent work guys! This whole thread is a huge inspiration! I currently have a dash out of my wrecked '81 280zx. That will be the test, for this project. It is sitting outside, as I think of where to start. It looks like I have a lot of different options. I may attempt the Dupli-Color bed liner, since my dash will be black. I am going for an all black interior in my '82 280zx slicktop.

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Hi all...

Well, I too am diving into this repair process head first.

I had a full dash cap, but decided to try this repair process instead.

Napa does not stock the bumper repair material any more. They have a few floating around the US, but I decided to go a different route.

I am using SEM Flexible Polyester Glaze. The SEM part number is 39482. http://semproducts.com/Catalog.asp?prod=122

It will be interesting to see how this stands up compared to the other materials detailed in this thread.

Process to date...

- Beveled all large cracks and filled with Great Stuff foam. Small cracks will be filled with finish material.

- Cut down the foam using a thin piece of diamond coated cutting wire - worked great and made flush, clean cuts! I happen to work for the company that makes this material. ;)

- Applied first coat of SEM Polyester glaze. Filled and smoothed out well.

- Second coat applied. Smoothed out and feathered around the edges very well.

I have to apply the final filler coat this weekend and finish up the surface prep. There are still a few low spots that I need to finish up and the lines ofer the gauge arcuse are a PITA when you are out of practice doing body work! :D

Once this is done, I need to decide which "texture" I will go with. I am doing a COMPLETE interior color change to gray. I will be using the SEM color over the texture finish.

I hope to have this finished in 2 weeks or so. It all depends on how much time I have left after the spring "Honey-Do" lists are completed...

A couple of BAD cell phone pics attached. I have taken GOOD photos thrughout the process and will post them once the process is finished.

I LOVE these car forums!

Tim

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- Cut down the foam using a thin piece of diamond coated cutting wire - worked great and made flush, clean cuts! I happen to work for the company that makes this material.

Tim

Tim, hello.

So I did a quick google search for "diamond cutting wire colorado springs", and came up with a number of listings for Diamond Wire Material Technologies. Is this your employer? Can you provide more info. on what you used specifically, and if it's available to the general public?

Thanks,

Gary S.

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Tim, hello.

So I did a quick google search for "diamond cutting wire colorado springs", and came up with a number of listings for Diamond Wire Material Technologies. Is this your employer? Can you provide more info. on what you used specifically, and if it's available to the general public?

Thanks,

Gary S.

Hi Gary - Yep - That is me... (don't own it - just work there!) :Dhttp://www.dmt-inc.com/

I just used a little bit of our scrapped material to do this. It slices through the foam "like buttah"... NOTE: It will cut through your skin the same way!

We do sell material to the public. However, it is usually done in volume orders for specific saws and cutting applications. The wire has 6 sizes ranging from 140 microns to 420 microns in thickness depending on the application.

If you are looking for some "official" uses for this material, I can link you up with the right folks.

If anybody is looking for this material, please shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to see if I can help.

Note - Somebody could also use a "wound" steel guitar string (maybe a "D" string) and get nearly the same result.

Thanks!

Tim

Edited by SSuspect

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Note - Somebody could also use a "wound" steel guitar string (maybe a "D" string) and get nearly the same result.

Yeah but my Martins & Gibsons are not the best cutting tools. :D

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Yeah but my Martins & Gibsons are not the best cutting tools. :D

True, but some of the players can shred pretty good!

And i prefer a G-string

LOL! Me too, but I prefer so see somebody else using one rather than me! ROFL

Edited by SSuspect

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OK... Got to put some good time into the dash this weekend. Here are a couple of teasers. Coming along NICELY! But, it has been a "project" to say the least. :tapemouth

I will post a full writeup once it is done and back in the car (another week or two). Until then, here is a "work in progress" comparison. Initial ""before and after" pics.

The white color is a plastic primer. Using it to find highs and lows. Will be sanded off tomorrow night (I am on a mission now!). I still have a couple of small areas to finish (around center gauge and hazard switch). Should get these done this week. I would like to have the new texture finish applied by next weekend if I can.

Thanks,

Tim

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Looking good, Tim. Did you use anything to reinforce the backside of the dash in the areas with the holes (center pod area in your pic)? I fiberglassed the backside of the dash I repaired where it was cracked completely through.

From your previous pics it looks like the polyester glazing putty works well for the repair. Keep the photos coming!

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Looking good, Tim. Did you use anything to reinforce the backside of the dash in the areas with the holes (center pod area in your pic)? I fiberglassed the backside of the dash I repaired where it was cracked completely through.

From your previous pics it looks like the polyester glazing putty works well for the repair. Keep the photos coming!

Thanks Kenny. Great input!

Since the dash is still out, I should at least throw some resin and a couple of glass strips on the bottom side. I currently have Gorilla Tape under there. It sticks well, but is definitely temporary.

The polyester is working well and is easy to work with. Longevity? We'll have to wait and see. LOL

The attached pictures are of the white plastic primer after it was just sprayed and still wet (will be sanded off). But you get the idea. Again, bad cell phone pics, but it is coming out nicely. The "body work" up top is complete. Still need to address a few other issues with the dash before I finish it.

MY GARAGE (AND EVERYTHING IN IT) IS COVERED WITH SANDING DUST (look at the Z in the background!)! It will take a good weekend to clean all of this stuff up!

Thanks again!

Tim

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Edited by SSuspect

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Well here are a few pics of my repair. I actually did two dashes however I haven't put the final coat on the second one. I used metal screws and cut the head off them and then carfeully worked them in. It gave the foam something to attach itself to, or that's the train of thought anyway. NOTE to all who attempt...BE PATIENT! Not difficult

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Dashboard Repair.doc

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Well... I went ahead and pulled the harness and everything out of the dash. Tried to avoid it, but I can't help but to dig deeper and get everything done at the same time rather than to re-do it later...

The dash is ready for final finish and final color. All "body/finish" work is done!

I painted (almost) all metal surfaces with flat black rust encapsulant. This stuff is thick and does not lay out smoothly, but it is a great coating! It is behind the dash and will not be visible anyway. I will paint the last areas when the dash is installed and all grounds are in place. I also applied 2 layers of fiberglass to the underside of the gauge area. I hope this helps with future cracking issues (thanks for the tip Kenny!). I also need to paint the area on top of the dash where the air vents come through, but will wait to do this after the rest is finished.

Regardless, I will most likely end up with a carpeted "Dashmat" to help keep the dash safer in the future. Too much work into this to let it get messed up!

I am hoping to have the dash finished (final color in place and all gauges installed) and back into the car in about 2 weeks.

I will post an update when there is something worth posting. :D

Thanks,

Tim

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Edited by SSuspect
More Info

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Guys, I've been following this thread for a while. I'm going to be doing this repair soon. Must admit, this is probably THE best thread I've found. I've always hated the fact that I was going to have to use a dash cover since I didn't want to pay the crazy dash restore prices. This fix is something I can do and live with. NICE JOB!!!!

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Finally got some time to kick this into gear! I just finished the color coat about 2 hours ago.

Yes - I know that it is not black. Yes, I know that this is not traditional. But, I am not restoring the car to OE anyway. The entire interior is changing to gray. I like "different". ;)

Finished up the bodywork and sprayed it with the SEM texture coating. It went on fairly dry and had some high spots. I knocked it all down with 400 and then applied 3 coats of SEM "Presidio Gray" Flexible Color Coat.

I am VERY happy with the results! There is some minor variation in the finish in different areas, but it is not something 98% of the people would notice.

Speedhut speedometer and tach will be here next week.

I will post more as it goes into the car.

Thanks,

Tim

One "before" and several "after" shots.

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Quick update...

Speedhut gauges are installed. Wiring harnesses are in place, but I need to adapt all of the new gauges and sending units. Then I need to install of the air ducts. I am hoping to have the dash back in the car within the next 2 weeks...

I know that a lot of folks here are not crazy about the interior color change and gauge changes, but it is coming out VERY nice. Can't wait to get everything put back into the car. I do these things for me and really do not follow the crowds too much... :devious:

Tim

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I know that a lot of folks here are not crazy about the interior color change and gauge changes, but it is coming out VERY nice.

Indeed it is Tim. It's your car, make sure that YOU are happy with it. Who gives a frack what others think.

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Hi Tim, the dash is looking great. How did you mount the Speedhut gauges? Did you retain the stock clear plastic lenses? I have a set of Speedhut gauges I need to install in the dash of my V8 Z project.

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Thanks guys. I definitely don't worry too much about what others think. It is all about me! LOL

Kenny - I have "almost" all of the pics to do a full writeup. Got impatient toward the end and did not take the final pics. I only missed the part where I mount the metal gauge cups back to the rear of the plastic cups. I can talk you through it.

I am only using the Speedhut speedo and tach. I am not using the stock plastic lens. I did not like the look and had issues fitting everything. I am sure that it can be done and keep the lenses.

I will take more pics of the rear of the dash and wiring harness later this week.

Cliff notes...

- White 4" plastic caps from plumbing section at Home Depot. For sprinkler line - not regular ABS.

- Cut out solid part of cap to gauge diameter and cut cup to gauge depth

- Install Speedhut lock TIGHTLY ring into trimmed white cap (Note - ring is tapered - install THIN SIDE IN)

- Screw gauge into cap and tighten - mark top center for alignment in gauge cup

- Place into gauge cup and align as needed - hold with tape

- Mark points on plastic cap that align with the metal tabs on the metal gauge backing cup. These areas will need to be ground down in order to clear tabs

- Unscrew gauge and paint plastic cap black (keep paint out lock ring of threads)

- Install gauge back into painted cap

- Install into plastic gauge cup

- Install metal backing cup and tighten small factory screws

- Install into dash

See attached pics. Definitely trial and error, but they came out nice and they are solid! I will add more later or will start an entire install thread.

Thanks Tim

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Edited by SSuspect

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I am glad that i found this site. I will be repairing my own dash now. It cost 2500.00 for a new dash and no way that i want to pay that much for it. I have a 79 280zx and will keep it till my son takes it from my cold dead hands.

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I am redoing mine and i cant get an even texture with the sem, i have sanded it down about 5 times now. i think im going to have to use bedliner or something else, my fingers hurt.

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This thread is awesome - I found it years ago and finally got around to doing my 1980 ZX dash. I used the same SEM products mentioned in the original page of this thread and they've worked great. I ended up doing the textture coat twice though, and NOT knocking it down - knocking it down showed too many blemishes and, hey, it's different now ;)

Tracking down some replacement center gauge bezels right now, as mine's tabs cracked when I removed them - after that, it's in with the dash - I'm really liking it and will post photos once in the car (plus the "before" photos). This took me a long time but with patience anyone can do it!

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I am glad to have found this site, and thread. I don't have a Z car, but am in the process of doing a ground up resto/mod of a 1970 Falcon. My dash pad is huge, and has plenty of damage. Just got off the phone earlier today with Just Dashes, and got an estimate of $950-$1000 plus shipping both ways. After a big gulp, I started to do some searching and found this thread. Sure glad I did, and will try this method in the very near future as well.

Thanks,

Otto...

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I'm new to the forum. In fact, this is my first post. My wife and I inherited her grandfather's 1974 260Z several years after he passed away. Unfortunately, in the interim it was parked behind his barn with the windows partially down and the hood up thanks to my wife's cousin. To say it's a mess would be a gross understatement. The dash, in particular, is in very sorry shape. The car had a half dash cap installed on it but the cap had a large crack in it on the driver's side. Upon removing the dash cap I found a badly cracked/worn original dash. This thread has been VERY informative in planning my dashboard's restoration, but like some I had questions as to the suitablility of the Duplicolor truck bed liner material for use in this application. The results posted so far of applying the truck bed coating to dashboards looks good. In fact, it seems to good to be true. Therefore, I have decided to do a little research on this material. I bought a can of Duplicolor truck bed coating and I have already prepared one sample of it on the surface of a cardboard folder. I plan to test the material for: flexibility/resiliency, heat resistance, UV resistance, abrasion resistance, ease of cleaning/detailing, and solvent resistance. I'm attaching pictures of my dash and of the material sample. I'll update everyone and include pictures as I test the material.<br>post-26681-14150818227678_thumb.jpg

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