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Bikini Inspector
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay more like the minor leagues, but who doesnt like saving $500 plus dollars to use on the ponies? Cmon baby, Daddy needs a new Getrag...:nana:

Overview:
Brink back the Old girls Luster

Parts Needed
Typical cracked Opel Dash $Free
Can Of Urethane Supply Company Padded Dash Filler $21 Shipped
Can of Duplicolor Black Vinyl paint $8
Can of
Gordons Nipple Clamps $Ewe
180 Grit Sandpaper $5
Dust Masks $3
3M or equivalent bumper plastic repair $optional
JB Weld stick for vent repair $optional
A whole lot of character building patience and tolerance $priceless
A couple dammits, a pinch of Fbombs and a cup of Ill finish it tomorrow.

Part 1:
Remove Dash, Assess damaged areas. If your dash is to the point of cracking just touching it, or many many cracks, I wouldnt attempt. This project is for typical one or two cracks in dash. Remove vents and glove box and set aside for now
If corners are peeled up, use glue of choice with firm bond, and use clamps to re firm up the corners. Super Glue worked remarkably well here.




Part 2:
Using a Utility knife, or razor blade, trim the cracks, to where there is no raised lip above sea (dash) level. From the heat and continued exposure the dried up plastic pulls up. Trim enough to where, when filled it will be flush with rest of dash. Trim the lips and edges around screw holes if cracked too.

If careful enough, you will be able to repair cracks and maintain factory textured surface. In my case i decided to go with SEM textured finish, I figured I might see the transition. Didnt want to put this much effort to regret later on. I chose to sand at this stage. I used my Random orbital palm sander with 180 grit. It is amazing to see the 42 year old surface of the plastic just want to come off. You can tell the UV and ozone degraded it. Now it is Exfoliated!

Part 3:
Lather that baby up with some Padded dash filler. Just like bondo, less you put on the less sanding. You can always put more on. Use super glue for occasional lifted edge or miscellaneous tools to dig and lift vinyl, and repair accordingly with dash filler or 3M plastic repair.


Tinker until you,re happy and its ready to paint with texture coating. Areas around screw holes and in the corners require a steady hand and dremel if available. Were going for great dash for years, not months. Unless you like taking out your dash.

I am currently working all my repairs for double checking, smooth out the edges etc. I will be painting tomorrow. I learned to help thin the filler for better smoothing to mix in a little cup and add a solvent to thin it. Alcohol worked for me, thinner probably will too. I then brushed it on with hobby brush to feather it further. I do not want to see a raised edge! I tested the vinyl paint in the sun etc and am super impressed with it. I am very hopeful because of these tests.

Cant call it restoring a car if you don,t try your hand at renewing versus replacing.

Stay tuned....:wiggle:
 

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Resident Whippersnapper
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You haven't seen my original, unrestored dash yet, have you? Ooooh, you're gonna be jealous...

To be clear, this didn't come with the car, I spent hours laying on top of the engine bay of a friend's GT completely re-doing the headlight wiring to earn it. It's a pain in the a** to solder heavy-gauge wire in the cramped confines of a GT engine bay, but well worth it.

I'll take some more pictures come tomorrow morning, these are in the dark with a flashlight.
 

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Patrick
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Someone needs to make one out of carbon fiber... That would be impressive.....:cool:
 

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That's a cool idea. Not one I could afford, but I saw photos on the Ford Focus ST forum (one of my other cars) of a guy who had wrapped some of his dash trim in this 3M carbon fiber film, and it looked like the real thing. He said it was easy as pie to do too... just use a heat gun and it shrink wraps the part.

http://compare.ebay.com/like/110971363147?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

Not sure how it would work on a large surface like the dash, but I'll bet it would look cool on the instrument panel.

It would be cool to try it on a sacrificial dash and see how it works. The cracks would all need to be filled in, as this stuff is a thin film. I'll see if I can locate photos of the Focus dash that the guy modified and post a link.
 

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Carbon FiberWrap

Here you go, scroll down and you'll see the dash parts he's wrapped. He might have overdone it imho, but the stuff looks pretty realistic.

BensBlackST Build

I'm thinking about doing this around the gear shift on my GT. Didn't some of the GTs have a fake wood grain panel there originally? I seem to remember that mine did, but it was already warped by the heat when the car was only two years old so I tossed it.

EDIT: Here's a video I found too. I think I would have removed the panel from the car first, but it shows you how easy the stuff is to work with.

 

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Bikini Inspector
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5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am no stranger to vinyl wrap. No thanks. Our dash has too many curves and would end up being frustrating. I'm trying to keep the car more period correct. Hydro dipped? I'm trying to save money.

Heliman I believe did his dash in real carbon fiber.
 

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Patrick
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861 Posts
I have a sacrificial Bezel and some 3M CF vinyl... I'll give that a go for fun, however I don't think it will contour to the inside instrument bezels too well.... More news at 11....:veryhappy
 

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Bikini Inspector
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I originally thought of going the wrap route on the bezel. Just the flat face in vinyl, the insides of round openings leave alone or paint black.

Then I got worried about about the circles being cut perfect etc. And just feel carbon fiber just isn't right on an a GT.

I love CF but not here.
 

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Patrick
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Hydro Paint wood grain... That's the one..... Do it... :veryhappy
 

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I originally thought of going the wrap route on the bezel. Just the flat face in vinyl, the insides of round openings leave alone or paint black.

Then I got worried about about the circles being cut perfect etc. And just feel carbon fiber just isn't right on an a GT.

I love CF but not here.
Yeah, I get that it might not be right on an early '70s car. I might try a gear shift surround though just to see.
 

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Patrick
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I agree... However I'll give it try... On the real side I'm going to have the other extra bezel hydro dipped in some sort of wood finish.....
 

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Hydro Paint wood grain... That's the one..... Do it... :veryhappy
I thought you were kidding... but that's actually pretty cool! Never heard of it before.

 

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Bikini Inspector
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fellas, I respect you dearly, but my dash restoration thread is veering off course. I don't know how else to say it, but I'm trying to make Opel dash history here.

Many guys attempted with other products and looked great but did not last.

Sorry and thank you.
 

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Patrick
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Well there ya go... I think it looks cool. Will it last well... If it doesn't we will do it again.. They don't last forever. Put your mark on it and call it good... :veryhappy
 

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Fellas, I respect you dearly, but my dash restoration thread is veering off course. I don't know how else to say it, but I'm trying to make Opel dash history here.

Many guys attempted with other products and looked great but did not last.

Sorry and thank you.
Guilty as charged, lol. I'm actually looking forward to see how you make out with this. I have a coupe of cracks in my dash too (who doesn't?) If it works I just might UPS you my GT and let you have your way with it.
 

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good luck
i decided to cover mine with the vinal stiched cover, i like the look
it was leather covered but its shrunk by about a quarter
im just deciding on the glue but now i think ive found some high temp contact glue
it gets v hot in Greece 40 c + sometimes
better get my dash out and try it (dont want to balls it up)
i was thinking about stainless or ali plates around the air vents as this is where it shrank worse before
good luck anyway

i was also thinking carbon fibre sheeting for the door cards
 
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