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Dash Repair


Contributed by dubois Saturday, 07 March 2009
This is intended for those with cracked dashes, that would like something more visually pleasing. It should provide results that although will never compare to a professional restoration, can be much better than having to look at the Mariana trench in front of you. Here is a list of supplies and tools you will need:

Sand paper 180, 240, 320 dry, 600 wet
Red scuff pad (3M or equivalent)
Razor blades
Masking tape and paper
A good degreaser
a small DA (if you have a compressor), or sanding block and pads if you don't
Bondo spreader, or a flexible piece of plastic to apply the vinyl repair stuff.
A brush to clean the debris and a ShopVac
A water spray bottle
Rags
Latex gloves
Permatex Vinyl Repair Sealant Kit from (any auto part store, less than $10)
Dupli - Color truck bed coating (auto parts store or automotive paint store)
A can of SEM flexible semi gloss black paint in rattle can, or Wurth satin black trim paint
A two part kit of SEM flexible plastic repair (part no. 39927).






This repair method requires that:

A) You either remove the windshield or
B) remove the dash

There is simply not enough space to adequately reach all affected areas otherwise.

NOTE: Having the windshield out is probably the best option in my experience. Re-installing a repaired dash, may induce some stresses and crack the dash again. This is because the dash has to be pushed to clip on the front bulkhead. So if you choose this route, proceed with caution.

1) Make sure all oil, grease, dirt, Armorall is completely removed from the entire dash. Paint or vinyl repair products do not stick to grease or silicon.

Plan on refinishing the entire dash, even if the repair is only located in one area. The reason is, that it is easier, since blending the repair, is tricky and should be left to professionals.

2) Scuff with a red scuff pad the areas that will be refinished. (you can get an idea, of what that would be, later)

3) Identify what areas are in need of repair. Simply push with your thumb, anything brittle, will crack, and will need to be repaired. Better now than later. So, you may end up with more damage than initially thought. That is ok.

4) Remove all brittle vinyl. Do not worry if this extends the repair area.

NOTE: There will be raised areas on both sides of the cracks. These areas must be cut or sanded. This where a small DA can save a lot of time. This step can enlarge the repair area. No worries, Permatex should be able to cover these.

5) Apply Permatex vinyl repair product, liberally, to fill in the crack. This is more like a filler and works well for large deep areas. It is sandable to a large degree, but it does not feather well.

6) Use a sharp single blade razor to cut off the excess Permatex, to eliminate high spots. You can also use a small DA or grinder, slow speeds.






NOTE: When cutting or sanding Permatex, make sure is completely cured and dry. You may have to wait up to hour depending on temperature, humidity, etc. In doubt, read the product directions.

Once you are satisfied, that the repair areas are as level as possible, it is time to apply the two part SEM flexible plastic repair. You can push the product out of the cartridge with a wooden dowel. Mix it with a small wood stick. The stuff has only a 5 minute working time, so mix very small quantity at first (about 3 cm in diameter)

7) Apply SEM using a single blade razor blade, the strokes should be perpendicular to the direction of the crack. As you move away from the crack, try to push the material to feather itl on the adjacent area. This is an excellent product, the idea is to provide the last layer, which will blend to the existing vinyl, without leaving a mark or a step.



NOTE: When cutting or sanding Permatex, make sure is completely cured and dry. You may have to wait up to hour depending on temperature, humidity, etc. In doubt, read the product directions.

Once you are satisfied, that the repair areas are as level as possible, it is time to apply the two part SEM flexible plastic repair. You can push the product out of the cartridge with a wooden dowel. Mix it with a small wood stick. The stuff has only a 5 minute working time, so mix very small quantity at first (about 3 cm in diameter)

7) Apply SEM using a single blade razor blade, the strokes should be perpendicular to the direction of the crack. As you move away from the crack, try to push the material to feather itl on the adjacent area. This is an excellent product, the idea is to provide the last layer, which will blend to the existing vinyl, without leaving a mark or a step.





8) Start sanding this with 240 - 320 dry to remove about 50% of the material just applied. Finish sanding with 600 wet. Feel the repair areas with the tip of your fingers to make sure that is even. Abrupt changes, voids or chips will be very visible after paint, these must be addressed to guarantee a nice finish.

Repair areas should look like this now:



NOTE: Notice how well the repair area is feathered on the top pad.

Once you reach this level, you are ready to mask, texture and paint.

9) Mask at least 18 inches around the dash. There will be some areas that will require, back taping, or other technique, to provide a nice transition from the areas being sprayed to those that are not.



10) Spray Dupli Color truck bead coating on the entire dash. This is best done on short bursts and from about 12-18 inches.

CAUTION: Each time before you start spraying, spray first on the masking tape, just to make sure the product comes out evenly.

CAUTION: The application should not look wet. Apply about 3 light coats. Make sure that you can't see the repair areas.





11) Before Dupli Color dries completely, it is possible to pad it down with texture paper to duplicate somewhat the vinyl appearance. There is a small piece that comes with the Permatex kit. This demands perfect timing and touch (no pun), which the author did not have.



Another view of the dash after Dupli Color:



12) The last step is to apply a few coats of satin black trim paint to the dash. This approximates the correct shine. You can tell the difference between the top pad (painted) and below (unpainted).

NOTE: For better results trim paint must applied with full strokes all the way across the dash




OPTIONAL: wet sand lightly prior to applying trim paint to reduce the texture and to smooth the surface to the touch. (I may try that myself!)

Enjoy your 1, 2, or 3 piece dash now!


2 Comments

What happened to the pictures...

Found this other dash repair on Bimmer forums. Think I will go with this one. http://forums.bimmer...epair-Pic-Heavy