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Best solution for repairing dashboard cracks and how to finish?

3878 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Matches
I've been researching what I need to do to finish repairing my dashboard, and with all of the different ideas i've read about I'm really not sure what the best solution will be for my '82 celica supra dash. I'm trying to figure out what the best material will be for filling the cracks and what the best process for finishing will be.

So far it seems like the two most popular methods for filling the dash cracks are some type of silicone filling or a type of flexible epoxy filling. I'm thinking the flexible epoxy is probably going to be the better choice, but maybe i'm wrong? Or is there a different filler material that would work even better on these old supra dashboards? Is there any specific brands that you recommend? Something local possibly?

The other decision i'm stuck on is what to do for texturing and finishing the dash? Both painting and frocking the dashboards seems to produce a decent end result, however I don't have any experience with either of these processes for interior restoration. Can anyone give me any advice for either of these? Do they both usually produce a nice result, or is one method normally better than the other? Is there any other way to finish the dash so it will look good?

Please let me know what you guys think. I appreciate any and all input.
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There's people that do this for dealers that go around fixing scratches and cigarette burns professionally for cars they resell. That would probably be your best bet finding one of those guys. If you have the usual grand canyon size cracks going on I don't think there is much you do that is going to look factory fresh. I that case your best bet is one of those snap over dash caps or the expensive route of wrapping the dash in upholstery.
1. Here's one method I used on my Porsche with good results:

2. Silicone is too soft and epoxy too hard. Polyurethane glue has just right amount of give to match. I like Loctite PL line of construction adhesives from Home Depot. Excellent adhesion with flexible-joint. Apply with pointy tip then smooth with plastic spatula. I've used it to repair broken motorcycle fairings, glue tile on walls, attach hard-wood panels to floor, etc.

3. After patching cracks, layer of paint can tie it all together. I like satin polyurethane paint as it's flexible and won't crack like lacquers or enamels. Can even add plasticizer to make it even more flexible if you want. This is common additive for painting bumper-covers.
SilverMK2 I appreciate that idea, and may consider it for the future if i ever decide to try and restore all of the interior i just switched with my parts car, but for now I am searching for a solution I can use by myself. Sorry, I should have mentioned something about that in my first post.

dannoxyz- so after cleaning the cracks up and sanding down the raised edges, would it work to fill the cracks with the polyurethane glue, and then cover with padded dash filler?
something like this?:

Also, do you have any experience with using plastic welding to fill in the dash cracks? Does anyone else have any experience or preference with using plastic welding? It seems like either polyurethane glue or plastic weld to fill the cracks and then covering with padded dash filler, sanding, and painting is going to be the best DIY solution for me here. However, I don't have any experience with using plastic welding or polyurethane for repairing anything.
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It seems like for all the material and time it will take you it would be far easier and cheaper to do one of these;

On a side note these things have gotten a lot more expensive lately...
I've read mixed reviews about those, SilverMk2. I've heard multiple cases and I think I even read a couple threads on here where the dash cap ends up lifting off the dashboard after a year or a few years... do you have any experience with them lifting off? If it was the dash I'm switching with my parts car, and it's grand canyon of cracks, I think that might be the only realistic solution actually. But the one that's going in doesn't have too many cracks, and it already has a brand new dash carpet that looks nice on it, I was just hoping to fill them in though so it doesn't feel like i'm sweeping dirt under the rug lol.
@pdupler did it forever ago on one of his cars I think. IIRC he said he used an Eastwood kit or something like that. Hardest part is getting the texture to match.

Follow the steps these guys used in the video. It's a ton of work.
Not me. I've tried DIY vinyl repair with one of those kits. Total disaster. I since found a local professional leather and vinyl guy and have had him do a few car restoration projects for me over the last ten years or so (even a leather sofa). But when I showed him a cracked Supra dash, he said no way. He explained that when the vinyl is still soft and pliable and the crack is due to abuse or crash damage, he can often fix it or he has decent luck with backed vinyls like on a seat or door panel that has a woven backing material to glue together. But when a molded foam and vinyl part like a dash pad is all dried out, he said that he can't get his materials to stick and the crack will reappear almost instantly because it expands and contracts with sun exposure vs the old hardened vinyl. I started to reply earlier but didn't want to discourage. I'm hoping our OP finds a solution as there are a lot more Supras remaining than there are uncracked dash pads and often the vinyl trim is all that separates a viable restoration candidate from the scrap heap.
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I tried using plastic filler and a Bondo like product to repair my badly cracked Corona Mark II dash, and it really didn't work out well. No doubt part of the problem was the knucklehead doing the work (me) but cracks appeared just trying to reinstall the darn thing.

My Supra dash is as bad as I've ever seen any dash... the whole car is severely sun damaged.. I'm just gonna go with the dash cap and some SEM paint to get close to the factory blue
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