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Hi, guys,

It looks like something hit the front of my dash (kids? or maybe that new 19 inch monitor?) and put a small crack in it. I also have a small crack in the vinyl on one door (up near the window).

Anyone out there have any suggestions on how to repair these before they get worse?

Thanks!
 

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Oh joy...... :shock:

I "might" know of a good blue one in Tacoma.... Upper dash is fine, but you'll need to change out the air vent "slats", these are uh,... "rotting". Either way, they don't look that great...

This same yard also has a decent looking Black one... I think Chad Zemer was also on my waiting list. Mary Paragate was also on the list, but I have not heard from her in awhile....

At anyrate, it's going to be awhile before I pull some more upper dashboards.... I still need to send Skip Camantegue his Black upper pad & I need to clean up & send out the Maroon one that I got for Scott Hamons a few weeks ago.... So my place is kind of full at the moment...

Aw shoot.... And I forgot Bob Sully was looking for a Blue one also.... Uh, WHOEVER needs the Blue one REALLY BADLY at the moment, get's first dibs.... :? :p
 

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CJSREDPRA said:
Oh joy...... :shock:

.... I need to clean up & send out the Maroon one that I got for Scott Hamons a few weeks ago.... So my place is kind of full at the moment...
What do you use to clean them Chris? I'm getting ready to detail my interior this weekend so she can look all "purty" to meet the guys on the following Saturday. The cloth/rug I was going to use a steam cleaner (my mom has one of those tiny mini hand held ones) but was at a loss for the dash and plastic trim... I was also gonna try the steamer on that...but not real sure...
 

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Bob,

There's 2 different ways that I clean them. One is the "in-dash" version, the other is the "after I've pulled the dash out of the junkyard" version.

The "in-dash" version: Get a damp cloth to get the dust off, then use ClearGuard protectant. I generally just go over the large flat surface of the upper dash, the glovebox door, and "some" parts of the lower dash & the center console.

The "after I've pulled the dash out of the junkyard" version: (this is ASSUMING that the upper dash is sitting on either my lap or on my workbench). Get a damp cloth to get most of the dirt & dust off. Then I use the ArmorAll CLEANER (NOT the protectant) and start going over all of the large flat surfaces to get the rest of the surface dirt off. Since at the moment, I've only done 9 Black dash pads and 1 Maroon pad (which I've just "barely" started at the moment), for the Black dash pads, I'm using Mothers Back to Black to do the final cleaning & shining on the flat surfaces. I'll also do the same for the instrument cluster hood. At the same time, I'll also unscrew the 2 switches that are on the sides of the cluster hood & clean off the dirt on the switches (or knobs if they are the early 82 - 83 ones).

While I'm cleaning the upper dash surface, I also undo the brass clips that hold in the side window defroster ducts & take them out. I then use a wet paper towel & clean out all of the dust that is inside them, then install them back on the upper dash pad.

At the same time, I'll also unscrew the mounting screws that hold in the main air vents that are on the sides, & the main air vent assembly that is in the center of the dash. I'll then take apart the air vent assemblies & use a wet cloth to get all of the dirt & dust out of everything. Reassemble, then screw them back into the upper dash. After everything has been reassembled, I'll then bubblewrap the whole upper dash & box it & prepare it for shipping.

Now for Scott Hamon's Maroon upper dash pad, I may do things a bit differently. Since I'm not sure how well Mothers Back to Black will work well w/ the Maroon color, I'm not going to go this route after I'm done w/ the initial cleaning w/ the damp cloth & the ArmorAll Cleaner. Since Scott is trying to keep the Maroon color consistant on all his parts, I'm going to use the Meguiars Protectant Wipes on his dash parts (since that's what he's using at the moment), & see if that get's everything clean & shiny. I'll try some Mothers BtB on some other spare Maroon parts that I have & see how it turns out.

I have not had the chance to clean any Blue or Terra Cotta dash pads yet..... Sorry.... :p

Hope this answers a few questions. When the dash pad is still in the car, I don't really do a "super" detailing on my dash, I only do it, if I'm cleaning the dash for someone else that I got the dash pad for.
 

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Wow Chris!! I didn't know you were going to do that thorough of a cleaning job before sending it out! :shock: Greatly appreciated since it's an additional step I wasn't expecting and I'm sure others are thankful also. After hearing of the discoloring issue, from both you and others, that seems to be associated with ArmorAll protectant I've since switched to Meguiars spray cleaner/protectant. Who is the manufacturer of the Clear Guard?

I've never thought of using back-to-black on the softer dash pieces. I have used it on plastic of other colors, not just black, and have had mixed results (mainly due to the type of fading not because of the plastic colors). I've used back-to-black on instrument cluster switches, dash vents, inside and outside mirrors and interior door handles. I don't know what it is about the maroon door handles but everyone I've seen is aged with a creamy white coating. I scraped/lite sanded the surface of the handle to remove the outer whiteness then rubbed and rubbed with back-to-black. Results were OK at best on the handles but every other maroon plastic piece came out looking good.

I'll experiment with back-to-black on the old, dry and cracked dash tonite. There are still some portions where I might be able to pull up the hiding color.

Bob, something else you may want to try for cleaning out the vents is a vacuum. If you have a vacuum cleaner with an attachment which has soft bristle brushes around the perimeter and the vacuum hole in the center, use it. The attachment needs to have the longer bristles, 1.5-2 inches not the short 1/4 inch bristles. But don't be too rough, you don't want to break any of those vent slats. The bristles will get into every little nook, cranny and corner of the vents and remove all the built up dust and debris.

If you wanna get truely anal and clean even deeper into the vents, deeper, than that which the short bristles can reach, use a bottle brush. Bottle brushes can be found in almost every conceivable size, shape and diameter. The softer the better. Set the fan to high, insert the brush into the vent slats and don't forget to close your mouth. Just be VERY careful of the vent slats!

Another possibility is to find a small, rod type of duster with synthetic fibers. I have a long duster but the pole would be too wide to fit between the slats. Maybe smaller ones are available.

Take your whiskey home.
Scott
 

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jefe_not said:
Hi, guys,

It looks like something hit the front of my dash (kids? or maybe that new 19 inch monitor?) and put a small crack in it. I also have a small crack in the vinyl on one door (up near the window).
Anyone out there have any suggestions on how to repair these before they get worse?
Thanks!
In regards to the original topic. I've used silicone to repair small cracks, not on the dash, but on the top padded interior door trim cover. If the crack is only a split and doesn't have any missing material this process may help. As long as the material is soft and you can pull the tear together so there is no gap this will work.

Clean the area of the tear with a good cleaner/degreaser to remove any oils. Test the cleaner on a hidden area to be certain it will not affect the color. Do a few dry runs in order to figure the best way of drawing the plastic back together and to find the exact position for the two puzzle pieces to sit while having the smallest visible line.

Dab a SMALL amount of clear silicone into the hole and, using a toothpick or similar, push the silicone into the foam material around the hole and under the hole itself. Using some heavy duty duct tape, apply it to one side of the hole, then pull it to the other side bringing the two seams together. Remove any excess silicone that may seap out from the crack before placing the tape. Leave the tape on for a day or two making sure the silicone is completely dry before removing.

You could also use epoxy for a quicker dry time but that would also result in creating a hard spot in the foam.

Auto parts shops may sell specific kits for fixing vinyl and leather but I'd suspect the repair material and technique might be similar. This is by no means a way of hiding the tear/crack nor will it be a professional fix. There will still be a small, visible line where the two halves had created a seam. One advantage is that it should keep the tear from spreading.

Rip 'n tear.
Scott
 

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For fixing the cracks in the dashs you should call around to the local detailing and upholstery places. A lot of them fix cracks and other vinyl/interior problem fairly reasonably. If you get a good one you'll never know it was fixed. You could probably ask the used car managers at local dealer who does their work. Used car lots have this stuff done all the time.

As far as cleaning the interior of your car a good collection of brushes are your best friend. What works best on dash pads and the like is to get a paint brush and cut the bristles down to 1/4" to 1/2" long. Then spray vinyl cleaner in the area and use the brush to sort of scrub it (not too hard though). This will get all the gunk out of all the little grain lines and cracks. Clean everything up a with a towel and some cleaner and then use some protectant to finish it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, guys

Thanks for the input, guys.
Chris, mine just has a small star in it so Bob might get the first one.
It's not in the top of the dash but the lower part that faces the seat.
If I can't get it fixed, please keep me in mind for the second!

Jeff
 

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Glad to see I am still on your list, Chris. I did get a pad from Dean Anderson, but it had a dent in the top that I can't seem to find a way to get it out. Let me know if you do find a very nice black one. Cheers.
 

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Most auto supply stores sell patch kits for dashes.. pretty cheap too... it comes with patch material, cleaner, color match stuff, texture pads and an iron. I've used these before and IF done right it looks almost dead on perfect.
 
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