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Thread: Repaired the dash!

  1. #1
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    Default Repaired the dash!

    My friend and I both own 240z's, and both of us had cracked dashes. Also, both of us hate covering up problems so a simple dash cap was not gonna do it. However, we are both lacking in high monetary compensation from our jobs so we decided to experiment and find a cheaper way to repair our dashes. This involved the use of silicone, bondo, light gorilla glue, jb kwik, and finally "Flex Seal".

    We began with the silicone, but quickly found out this really only works well for larger cracks, and also tends to have some small air pockets as well as it tears away from inconvenient cracks, still leaving medium to small size cracks un-repaired. To remove the excess silicone a 3" sanding pad was used on a drill for speed, but in some tight areas, such as around the three small gauges, the 3" is too big and abrasive and starts to dig into the vinyl. However, in certain areas it is necessary to sand down to the foam for a smooth finish, as when the dash splits, the two separated pieces of vinyl stick up. This then led to the use of bondo for the small cracks, which worked for the small cracks, but not the bigger cracks, as it just crumbled out. Then I used some light gorilla glue for some really small cracks, and finally, jb kwik to fix any big crack and small cracks that the previous methods did not work for. In between each method, we sanded with 60, 180, 220, then 600 grit sand paper to make the finish as smooth as possible. We were originally going to use filller primer so I decided not to worry myself, or cause more damage, by sanding some areas down more. However, while at the hardware store, I realized we can use Flex Seal, that stuff you see on TV, and although steep in pricing, $18 a can, is perfect and only one can is needed. It is flexible should the dash flex, it fills in small cracks, its meant for outdoor roof repair so it is good against the sun, and the texture is close, but not exact, to the original dash texture. It worked! However, I later realized I should have sanded down some areas a little more, but it came out with no cracks, original looking, and doesn't add any parts like a dash cap! Now, on with the pictures!
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  2. #2
    Registered User LeonV's Avatar
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    Nice job Yoshi, you'll have to bring your Z by my place sometime!
    2/74 260Z

  3. #3
    Registered User HermanM's Avatar
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    That looks pretty good man!!! Makes me want to see what I may be able to do with my dash. May have to host a BBQ/Get together in my neck of the woods to see what I can get done

  4. #4
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    Wow, wish I'd known about using Flex-Seal a week ago when I had the windshield out for replacement!

  5. #5
    Registered User mlc240z's Avatar
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    Weird question, but what does it smell like?
    Figure it's some kind of rubber based sealer and might stink up the interior when sitting in the sun.
    Bart

    5/71 240z, HLS30-31306, mostly stock, ZTherapy SU's, Pertronix, Eibach ProKit, KYB, Poly bushings, 60 amp alternator w/Dave's plug bypass, headlight and parking light harness upgrades.

  6. #6
    Registered User zhead240's Avatar
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    wow!!!! that's got to be the worse cracked dash I've ever seen. I know you stipulated covering was out of the question but I think a full dash cap would be the way to go. turned out pretty good though.
    to be or not to be- shakespeare
    do be do be do- sinatra
    vehicles owned
    72 240z
    2009 honda civic exl
    1973 triumph tr6
    wife's
    2002 vw jetta
    68 390 mustang coup

  7. #7
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Too late, I guess, but I've got a full dash cap for sale... $50.

    Unfortunately, I'm at the other end of the country:


    There are a couple other pics in the craigslist ad:
    Datsun 240Z 260Z 280Z Dash Pad Cap Cover Nissan

  8. #8
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    That dash cap looks nice! but I personally don't like just covering up problems, I'd rather try repairing them first. Thanks though! And Leon, I will drive over there as soon as the car is back together! Mlc240z, I have yet to put the dash back in the car as I am doing a full rewire, but I had it in the sun all day yesterday when I was installing gauges and what-not and it didn't smell at all, but inside the car it could be a different story, I'll try to keep this updated! I would also recommend to sand more than I did, but hey, live and learn and its still better than before! And thanks everyone else for the words of encouragement! I am also installing new vdo gauges (tachometer, oil pressure, and water temp), as well as an afr gauge as I just rebuilt the engine and the non-working stock gauges weren't cutting it. The oil pressure wasn't installed yet, but the vdo tach looks pretty much factory, and I relocated the gas/amp gauge to the driver side air vent. Probably not to everybody's liking, but hey, I think it's not half bad!
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  9. #9
    Registered User HermanM's Avatar
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    Dude, you're rockin it! New location looks pretty cool. It's your car, make it how you want it. Thanks for the cool ideas

  10. #10
    Registered User HermanM's Avatar
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    How's the smell on the dash after a few more days?

  11. #11
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    Looks pretty good. Here's how mine turned out...


    Before & After
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    The after picture is with texture coating only. After the picture I followed it up with SEM Landau black.
    Last edited by Scaotty; 06-25-2013 at 03:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Registered User EuroDat's Avatar
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    I think when winter comes around again, this will be my next project. The results you guys are getting are excellent. Top job and motivating to say the least.
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

  13. #13
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    I love threads like this.

    It inspires me to pull off my dashcap and see what lies underneath. I will have to try this before it gets to hot.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

  14. #14
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    What did you use to texture the dash with?
    1976 280Z
    HLS30288273

  15. #15
    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    That looks GRRREEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT Scaotty! Please tell us more of what you used and where you got it. I bought a half cap for mine but now I thinking the same as EuroDat and Z_K of pulling mine over the fall and repairing it like you did. If you have any more pics we would love to see them as well.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  16. #16
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    A friend of mine and I restored it. He builds and customizes dashes for a living. He does fantastic work as you can see. Im not sure of all the materials he used, but I know we used SEM texture paint. If anyone is interested in having theirs done, I can guarantee his price would be much more fair than most dash restoration places. Here is the final result.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Scaotty; 06-29-2013 at 11:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Great work guys!

  18. #18
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    Y'all have convinced me (who has no experience in dash repair) to repair my own as well. I will be picking up a spare dash for my early 260 soon and starting to restore it following everyone's tops and posts but I will be trying to do this with items that I can pick up at the local hardware store on a decent budge that anyone can do. Here goes nothing... Looking forward to seeing some results and sharing my progress

  19. #19
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    I am going to do the same, with a spare 240 dash I have lying around. I'll post progress/results as well. If its any good, I'll install it in my project car and then fix the other one, and maybe sell it....start a mini business here in GA....to pay for the car..

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