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madkaw

Full dash cover installation help

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I've been searching and can't seem to find a thread where a member has documented the install. Now I know someone has done this and has some hints for install:)

Thanks

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Looking for more info like;

Do the guages or anything else need to be removed during install?

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The gauges, vents, etc., stay put. IIRC, the only thing I pulled out of my 73 to put in the cap was the plate between the dash and windshield.

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Make sure that the old cracked dash is clean, sand it , make flat spots on the cracks edges in order to bond the new cap with GE silicone in galore amounts. Good luck ;)

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Make sure the cap and the dash are warm...direct sunlight is helpful, and a heat gun used very carefully can be a useful, also.

Cheers, Mike

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I took off the finisher panel around the steering column. Be careful when you are seating the cap. The area of the cap around the tach and speedo

is very thin and it got hung up on the rim of the speedometer and bent the edge of the dash cap. check the alignment of the glove box door

before the glue dries. Mine was a little off. Not sure if my dash had warped over the years or it was my install. I had to adjust my glove box

door a little by slotting the holes on the bottom.

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Okay,

so I just read that there might be an alternative to glueing the cover in place-anyone would like to share procedures and results?

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I left mine unglued for a summer. Not to hot here in seattle. It warped, I would glue it down (full cover 77 280z).

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madkaw, if you read my latest " wish I paid closer attention" thread you will see I have an issue right now with removing my tach and speedo. I have the full face cover in place and wished I had found another way to attach it. It is glued down with silicone. I tried to remove the tach again today with a couple thin shims and some oil and no luck! It actually sounded like it was starting to crack! I don't see one yet but it sounded like it. I may just remove the cap and re-install with some 3m double sided tape and hope it works. I don't have time right now to restore the dash or I would be doing that instead. Good luck and post results!

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I was reading your thread and a member said that is why he DIDN'T glue his down. So I was hoping he would chime in here or someone else about other possibilities like double sided tape.

Good info to know about the gauges

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Well I recieved my dash cover and can't believe the instructions(lack there of) that came with the cover. Nothing as far as application hints, where to place glue, trimming, NOTHING!

Just a tube of silicon and a generic one page instruction that covers all models I guess.

You might say that there is nothing to it, but you would think that the manufactuer would know from R&D what works best as far as application. I know MSA wouldn't give you any additional instructions-they probably haven't tried the product themselves.

So again any tips that did or did not work for you I would appreciate to hear

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I found these instructions googling

https://www.dashcaps.com/dashinstall.pdf

I guess they warn against using silicon in the "center" sections- I am thinking they only want the edges glued to the center will be able to expand? But they also don't want silicon on the edges-or atleast 1" from the edge

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Well I recieved my dash cover and can't believe the instructions(lack there of) that came with the cover. Nothing as far as application hints, where to place glue, trimming, NOTHING!

Just a tube of silicon and a generic one page instruction that covers all models I guess.

You might say that there is nothing to it, but you would think that the manufactuer would know from R&D what works best as far as application. I know MSA wouldn't give you any additional instructions-they probably haven't tried the product themselves.

So again any tips that did or did not work for you I would appreciate to hear

Hi Madkaw,

What brand full dash cap did you buy? How does it fit over you old dash witout any glue? How does it look appearance wise, does it look like a cap? Is the grain of the plastic similar to the original finish of the factory dash?

I am debating getting a full dash cap vs bitting the bullet cost wise and sending the dash out to Just Dashes or Dash Restorations.

Edited by mgmoreau

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Working on the fit right now.

Things I would recommend removing before install

hazard switch

Ignition lock assembly-unless you want to scratch the cover-very close

Steering wheel-why work around it when it is so easy to remove

I will report back as I go

It is a Dash Top Brand that MSA sells. Grain looks good and color

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Working on the fit right now.

Things I would recommend removing before install

hazard switch

Ignition lock assembly-unless you want to scratch the cover-very close

Steering wheel-why work around it when it is so easy to remove

I will report back as I go

It is a Dash Top Brand that MSA sells. Grain looks good and color

Can you post pictures of the dry fit? If possible, would love to see a pic of it on your dash before I pull the trigger. How much did you pay for the cover? Today is the last day MSA has it on sale for $98.96.

Are you doing this with the dash in the car? My dash is out of the car and all gauages have been removed.

Thanks,

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I will try and add pics- but this is not plug and play at all.

Everyones dash will be different, but the cover seems sprung laying on the dash. Sprung enough that I wouldn't trust the silicon to hold it in place.

The worst area has been in the hazard switch and blank plug area. The cover seems to sit to high off of the dash.

I have resorted to a heat gun and reforming the cover. I am shooting for the cover to lay on flush everywhere on the dash.

So far not too bad of results, but be careful with the heat gun- it will do some damage quickly

The dash is in the car

Edited by madkaw

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Steve,

A few more pieces of info for you that may hopefully help. My car is a late model 260Z and so may be a little different from yours.

I installed / re-installed 2 of these last year on the same car. The first one I used was from MSA and the product itself was OK but as it turns out the lack of any instructions or guidance caused me to have to have to repeat this process. The issue that I had was that I applied WAY too much of the silicone adhesive, especially in the middle / top part of the cover. On top of that, I placed small pieces of plywood on the dash, with fairly heavy weights on top of that to try and get good adhesion between the cover and the original dash. Big mistake. Once it dried I could see impressions of the boards and weights in the new dash cover and it looked awful. I will also say that the areas around the light dimmer and trip odometer reset needed to be trimmed with a dremel and I also needed to do the same thing around the "Datsun 260Z" emblem just above the glove box door.

So the second time around I purchased the cap from American Dash Caps. They also gave you the option of having the cap painted and decided to take this route as the original one from MSA was a little off color in my opinion. So I purchased a new one from this company and had it pre-painted Satin Black. This color was much better in my opinion.

Also, American Dash Caps provided instructions and explicitly stated to only use the silicon around the edges and no where else. I've also seen another web site that sells similar products and they state that their warranty will be voided if they find silicon anywhere but the edges!

I still ended up having to dremel out some of the same areas as the first one, but the installation looks 150% better.

So my advice to you iis to spend a lot of time getting it to fit, pre adhesive. And once you are ready for adhesive, use it sparingly and only use it on the edges.

Hope this helps and good luck with your install.

Mike.

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Thanks for your input Mike. Yep-preperation is everything, that's why I got the heat gun out. I was so unhappy

with the fit that I wasn't going to even put it on unless I could make it look better-and i still might not.

I must say that the heat gun and pressure works pretty well to get the dash cap to hug the corners.

IFFFFFFF I had time , andIFF it was my car, and I had other reasons to pull the dash, I would probably go with a repair.I don't like the fact that the cover does NOT COVER all the areas. Not sure why the cover comes up short on the ends. This cover comes up short at the bottom of the dash center section down by the console-again--why?

The last problem is that I am a perfectionist, and this seems like such a bandaid fix. Of course I am installing it so I will know where every imperfection is, but most people will think it looks good and better than two large cracks at the top.

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Mike, can you tell if you will have any issues with tach or speedo removal? That is the issue I am having right now, not being able to remove either one through the front. I have the MSA one installed.

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Color! The cover seems a bit grayish-but since I have never seen an original dash color, not sure if that is correct. The cover color actually matches the glove box door pretty well, but the lighter grayish color is a stark contrast to the defroster panel that is very black. There is a contrast of color to the original dash vinyl that is not covered by the cover. The original dash is definetly darker.

I really didn't want to paint this cover, but I want it to blend in better-any one else deal with this or how did you deal with this..

Pictures are tuff in the garage because of lack of light.

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Steve,

I had the same issue with the first cap that I purchased from MSA. So after I decided to removed it due to the installation screw up that I mentioned in my last post, I went with one from American Dash Caps (probably the same folks that MSA gets theirs from). Aside from the more detailed instructions they provided, they also gave the buyer the option of having the cap painted prior to being shipped. Given that I did not like the color of the one from MSA (same issue you had-too light in comparison to the rest of the interior) I had them paint my new one satin black. Much much better than the version from MSA, who did not offer the painting as an option.

This may not work for you given where you are in the install, but this is how I solved the issue that you are now having.

Mike.

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