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Rusted dashboard advice


MARHD
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For some reason the message got deleted,

 

"Hello again,

 

Initially I thought my dashboard just had a bunch of cracks in it, but after removing it, I realised that the backside of the dash was rusted, and in some places, to the point where the mounting tab fell off.

 

I just wanted to know what you guys think I should do to fix the dash, should I sandblast the back and apply new foam, maybe wirewheel and then do the same, or are there any other techniques I could use to save this dash, or should I just give up on it and try to find a better condition two piece dash.

 

The only issue I am having with the last option, is that it seems to be very difficult to find a RHD two piece dash for sale, especially one willing to ship to South Africa, since the shipping expenses would be large."

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46 minutes ago, esty said:

the rust on the back is minor compared to the cracks....unless you are capable of restoring the cracks or having it professionally done, you're beating a dead horse...

 

i'm sympathetic because i can image the rarity of your dash

 

I see, hopefully I can find a decent used dash even if it has some smaller cracks, if not I'll try find someone capable of at least making it look decent 😂.

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That, folks is the result of a leaking windshield gasket...so beware!

 

That being said...Were it my dash and I had little chance of finding another, I'd just wire brush the loose rust off that back side, paint with some anti-rust paint--the same as you'd do for the car's underside or other spot than exterior sheet metal--and reinstall. 

 

There are lots of FAQ board discussions on DIY cracked dash repairing; most are successful in the short term, but long term--especially in areas with wide temperature swings--is still up in the air.  

 

A friend here in Dayton repaired his badly cracked dash (makes Marhd's look good) with very fine Fiberglass cloth (almost like silk) and epoxy resin--we'll see how it fares in our hot summer-cold winter environment.  If it survives the winter without re-cracking, I'll ask him to share his expertise.  

 

mike

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2 minutes ago, Mike Self said:

That, folks is the result of a leaking windshield gasket...so beware!

 

That being said...Were it my dash and I had little chance of finding another, I'd just wire brush the loose rust off that back side, paint with some anti-rust paint--the same as you'd do for the car's underside or other spot than exterior sheet metal--and reinstall. 

 

There are lots of FAQ board discussions on DIY cracked dash repairing; most are successful in the short term, but long term--especially in areas with wide temperature swings--is still up in the air.  

 

A friend here in Dayton repaired his badly cracked dash (makes Marhd's look good) with very fine Fiberglass cloth (almost like silk) and epoxy resin--we'll see how it fares in our hot summer-cold winter environment.  If it survives the winter without re-cracking, I'll ask him to share his expertise.  

 

mike

Thanks, I was thinking of doing wire brushing myself, might still do it. Let us know how that dash holds up😁

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I worked on my dashboard in April 2019. The dashboard was still in the car, but the windshield was removed. 1) I started by using my Dremel tool for smaller cracks and a utility knife for larger cracks to open them up for the next step. 2) Then I used Polyvance padded dashboard filler, allowing them to stand proud. 3) Sanding was the third step, not just on the now-filled cracks, but the entire dashboard. 4) I cut a pattern for the top of the dashboard out of paper and used it to cut finely-woven, fiberglass veil cloth. 5) After mixing up polyester resin and with a brush, applied it to the dashboard, then laid the fiberglass on top, smoothing it out and putting a thin layer of resin on top to make sure the fiberglass was properly wetted. 6) Sand and then recoat with resin until you have a smooth finish. Repeat as many times as necessary to remove all ridges and valleys. 7) Spray on a primer. Lightly sand and repeat any previous steps until you are satisfied with the finish. 8) I finished the project with numerous light coats of flat back spray paint.
 
Now, in December 2020, the only problem area is along the metal substrate that is mid dash along, on American cars, the seat belt display and goes from the foremost point of the dash to the leading edge of the dash. That area of eh dash developed a crack after last winter. I repaired it using a much heavier patch of fiberglass, repeating the steps of sanding and reapplying layers of resin, then primer and flat black. This winter, there is a much smaller crack developing along the leading edge of the dash and heading back about one inch, tracing the path of the metal substrate. Otherwise, the dash still looks very good. Good luck with your project.  
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