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Thread: Proper dash care??

  1. #1
    Registered User peng155's Avatar
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    Default Proper dash care??

    Hi Guy's

    I've been searching through the old post looking to see if there is a preferred method to care for the original dash in my Z.

    The one thing that I have been able to come away with from previous post is that I should stay away from applying Armor-All to the dash unless I wish to continue applying it on a regular bases.

    I know the car has always been garaged since the first owner. Since I've had the car anytime it's been left outside in the sun for an extended period of time, I've always put a windshield sun shade in place (I'm the 4th owner).

    The dash is showing signs of age, with the black stating to fade (no cracks yet).. I've been thinking about just applying a black vinyl top type dressing to the dash to restore the color. Cleaning wise I don't do anything fancy just a damp rag dipped in a bucket of mild soap, and water.

    Anybody have any other recommendations??

    thanks

    Phil
    71 Series-I
    HLS3010924 - Build 9/70
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    Registered User Nissanman's Avatar
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    I was advised by a Motor Trimmer, after he did a dash re-skin on my 510, to just use a damp cloth to remove the dust.
    Done regularly it will prevent any build up of ingrained dirt.
    He wouldn't endorse or recommend ANY treatments for the dash
    Nissanman - just trying to help
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    Registered User zhead240's Avatar
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    the biggest enemy of the dash if the uv sun rays. it will deteriorate the vinyl. although my dash is in perfect condition i got a rug cover on ebay cheap and use it. your sun shield will protect when parked but while driveing the dash is exposed to uv rays. to hold in place i use these clips with magnets.
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    to be or not to be- shakespeare
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    To my knowledge, there are no products out there that will 'rejuvinate' the old vinyl. A UV protectant will likely be a good option in addition to keeping it covered as does zhead240. I just carry a thick long terrycloth towel to drape over the dash if I park it in the sun.
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    Registered User JimmyZ's Avatar
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    Park it in a museum.

    From what I've seen dash cracks are hit or miss. Maybe it was an inconsistency in the manufacturing that causes this. (something with the underlying foam) My dash has several grand canyon valleys. Nothing a dash cap won't fix.
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    Merchant of Cool Z train's Avatar
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    Do not use anything that has silicone in it.It dries out plastic.And i wouldn't us Armor-all on my neighbors weiner dog.
    Faster than anyone in Oceanside

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    Registered User JimmyZ's Avatar
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    SEM colorcoat and other SEM products are nice. (You had mentioned reconditioning) Years ago I sprayed a vinyl top with SEM and it still looks great.

    PPG sells vinyl paints which are basecoat/clearcoat. You can choose various sheens this way. (Gloss/semi etc)

    2c

    Jim
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    turtle wax has a product in a green bottle formula 2000 or F21 that supposedly has no silicone
    Last edited by Ed; 06-29-2008 at 07:20 PM.
    The 1973 240Z 165540 Slightly modified. L28, 5sp, cam, headers, MSD 6AL, power windows, power door locks, leather seats, custom this and custom that.

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    Hi peng155

    As zhead240 said - UV is very damaging to the vinyl, so is ozone.

    Dashes crack because the as the vinyl looses its plastizers, it drys out. Add a little UV damage and you will see the previous black vinyl turn a light gray. That light gray area isn't faded - its damaged and nothing will "restore" it.

    Once the vinyl is dried/UV damaged - its ability to expand/contact with thermo cycles is greatly reduced. Subject it to direct sun, let it heat the dash up rapidly - and the foam under the vinyl cover expands at a greater rate than the vinyl can - - - cracks develop. (ie. the gap in the coefficient of expansion between the two types of materials is too large at that point)

    All the above is accelerated when some one installs a new radio, or when they have to remove and re-install the dash. In both cases improperly tightening down the dash can put it in a very slight bind.. that introduces additional stress. Some morons hit the dash when they lose their tempers...

    Some Z's have been kept by their previous owners for decades - mostly idle in their garage. Some new owner comes along and the first thing he does is clean/detail/polish/wax the car, He applies brand X protectant (fill in any name) to the dash during that process.

    He get it running properly - then starts to drive the car on a daily basis. At this point the dash is being subjected to wide thermo cycles. The interior of the car is now 130+ degrees F. during the day, and it cools to 70 degrees F. at night. Driving also subjects the dash to a lot of typical road induced shock and vibration...

    About three or four months later what was a "perfect dash" (his words) CRACKS! Then he get on the Internet - and tells every one that brand-X protectant caused his 30+ year old vinyl covered dash to crack.

    Just my perspective - but IMHO that new owner is a moron at best, or just a poor fool stumbling through life like the rest of us. He only noticed the fact that he put something on the dash - and is blissfully unaware of all the chemistry, environmental damage and stresses involved; not mention that he thought any vinyl product over 30 years old - would last forever.

    Personally - - I bought my 72 240-Z when it was new. I've used Armor-All on it since then and to this day. The dash is crack free. I have a second 72 that I bought from its original owner - he too used Armor-All from the day the car was new, and I continue too. That dash is also free of any cracking..

    I will say that it is more than likely that in the past 36 years - newer technology vinyl protectants have most likely been developed... Most now have some type of UV shields, some claim anti-static characteristics. Most of them when used on new vinyl products from the beginning have a high probability of greatly "extending the useful life" of the items treated.

    As I said above - that graying area you see is indicative of UV damage. That area will be more brittle than the area surrounding it. That doesn't mean that the dash will crack - If you take care to avoid the extreme thermo cycles, keep the dash covered and the interior of the car as cool as possible when parted in the sun - - Covering the dash not only shields it from farther UV damage - but it more importantly helps keep the dash cool and allows more time for the vinyl to keep pace with the expanding foam under it.

    As mentioned above - SEM Vinyl Die is a good product to use,to restore the dash to a uniform color.

    good luck...

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    Carl,

    Very well written post. As you point out, UV is the real culprit, followed by thermal stress. Can't do much about thermal stress if you use the car.

    I used armor all on my previous daily driver 240Z dashes. I covered the dashes with a sewn cover when parked in the sun. Cover was made with black cloth and an underlinging of black-out "curtain" cloth.

    Had both cars almost 9 years and neverhad a crack. My white 1971's dash was still good even after it was totaled in 1998 by the moron who hit it while parked.
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

  11. #11
    Registered User peng155's Avatar
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    Hi Carl,

    I saw your past post on the subject during my search... thanks for re-posting in this thread. I did note in your past post that without knowing the whole maintenance history the dash, if a new owner spiffs up the interior, and starts to drive said car on a regular bases yeah I can see where an old aged dash that didn't show or have any significant signs of distress, can now start to show signs the signs.

    My car only comes out during the summer, and it's very limited at that, other wise the rest of the time its under wraps in the garage. I guess the best thing is to go by K.I.S.S.... Keep It Simple Stupid so it looks like a mild soap, water cleaning is probably the best thing.... Luckily the graying that I am seeing is in the finish panel in between the windshield, and the actual dash... The dash itself color wise is still in very good shape, and I hope will out last me.

    Phil
    71 Series-I
    HLS3010924 - Build 9/70
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    Registered User peng155's Avatar
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    Ed,

    I think I did see this mentioned again in one of the past threads that came up in my search... thanks for the suggestion... I'll give it a try.

    thanks

    Phil
    71 Series-I
    HLS3010924 - Build 9/70
    ___________________________

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    Bitten by the Z bug hard bigoak's Avatar
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    Great post Carl.

    Now I'm scared to drive my cars...
    Bigoak

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    Registered User bobc's Avatar
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    Several years ago I switched from Armor All to something called 303 Aerospace Protectant. The label says SPF 40 for your stuff!

    It probably has silicone in it, I don't know. Anyway, I've used it for several years now and no cracks....

    Carl doesn't your web site say something about using vaseline on the dash? Sounded really nasty to me!!!

    Bob

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    Merchant of Cool Z train's Avatar
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    Silicone dries out plastic.Period.
    Faster than anyone in Oceanside

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    Hi Bob:
    We had some discussion on the Z Car List about using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on the dash. The idea was to rub the dash down, let it set for some period of time to soak in - - then wipe it dry. The people that use it say it leaves the dash looking like new. Others said they used it to store the dash, and keep it from drying out.

    It seems to me that vinyls once they are chemically stable (after being molded/formed) would be unlikely to actually absorb anything, but they are porous enough to retain a top coating of some type. Kind of like putting wax on a painted surface... So there might be some preservative value there, in terms of retaining the plastizes within the vinyl - I don' know...

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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