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Cracked dashes and other lost causes
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Cracked dashes and other lost causes Reply with quote

Remember back when I got that weekender from down in Phoenix? Remember the dash that was sun damaged and cracked like the floor of Death Valley? Remember how The Missus laughed and called me the patron saint of lost causes? Remember that 10 bucks you borrowed from me in that joint down by Matamoros? (Okay, all but that last one...)

Anyway, here's what it looked like 'before'.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And, after a few months of messing around with it:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now ain't you sorry that you took up sides with The Missus? I told you that old bat don't know nothin' about Westies. In fact, she is simply the worst dunder headed....

"Uh, what Darlin'? No, no; I was just chattin' with the usual deadbeats in the garage. Yeah, I was just sayin' how smart you was, and how much help on the Westies. No, I said that was Jazzydog that don't know nothin'..... OH, Uh, just pry her jaws apart a little, willya and I'll get the iodine..."


Dogbit Uncle Lon
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok,

You need to share with the rest of us knuckleheads with cracked dashes what you did to that dash!

It looks great!

Dave
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levi
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe...
But the lighting on the first shows every wrinkle, and on the second its Dark, kinda like before/after pic's for a wrinkle cream.
Hmmmmm Think Think
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levi
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe...
But the lighting on the first shows every wrinkle, and on the second its Dark, kinda like before/after pic's for a wrinkle cream.
Hmmmmm Think Think
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, since you are begging to know how I did this, and since you now suddenly remember that 15 bucks you owe me...

First, I got some bodacious mean sandpaper and smoothed the surface as much as I could. Then I tried the SEM vinyl repair stuff in a tube. I didn't like it none at all! It worked okay at filling the cracks, but it didn't dry static. Rather, it was rubberish, and I couldn't sand the stuff well at all. Plus, it didn't dry smooth, but had little pits in the finish.

Then, I figgered that even though the dash was vinyl and 'padded', it wasn't exactly soft. In fact, it was hard as a rock. So I filled the cracks with red glazing compound, like you would use to repair rock chips on the paint. I used a very thin layer, and rubbed it in vigorously with my finger until all the cracks were filled. Then I used the rough sanding block again and got it all smooth. In fact, the hardest part was smoothing the filler, but leaving the texture of the original vinyl cover. Then, I used SEM vinyl paint and gave it six coats. If I'm lucky, the vinyl paint will help bind the filler and keep the surface somewhat flexible.

But most of all, I didn't have to remove the dash to do the job. In case you haven't had the pleasure, removing a westy dash is just about as fun as trying to pry a donut away from Patty Preameaux, the 300 pound hoochie coochie dancer over at Bubba Boudreaux's Bait 'N Booze.

And I know it's a different color. My carefully thunk out plan was to match the tan of the upholstery panels and the door cards. It'll be easy to go back to the darker color if I want, but I'll see what this does for me first.
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ThankYouJerry
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks really nice Lon! FYI... Today at GoWesty I saw a brown dash they had refinished in... wait for it...... leather. Delish!!! They said any good upholstery shop can do it for about $300-400. I was amazed at the look/quality. They also said for some reason the brown dashes always crack way worse than the black ones.
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThankYouJerry wrote:
Looks really nice Lon! FYI... Today at GoWesty I saw a brown dash they had refinished in... wait for it...... leather. Delish!!! They said any good upholstery shop can do it for about $300-400. I was amazed at the look/quality. They also said for some reason the brown dashes always crack way worse than the black ones.


Jerry, when I first started thinking about what to do with this dash, I asked my upholstery guy, Sam the Slasher, what he thought about it. I still remember the sad way he looked at me. I still think he could have done it, especially since I have now paid for his house and put two of his kids through college. The problem with a covering is the little coin tray which would have to be pieced in. Still, I bet one in leather looks good!
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ThankYouJerry
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No piecing in with the leather dash I saw today. Regardless, I think yours turned out really nice!
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThankYouJerry wrote:
No piecing in with the leather dash I saw today. Regardless, I think yours turned out really nice!


Well, I'll keep the forum informed about the results. I worried about using a rigid bondo-like material to fill the cracks in what was originally a flexible surface. However, I think it held well and the vinyl paint should hold it together. There were still small cracks in the surface and you can see the imprints of some of the larger ones which were filled. Still, it only took a day and about $30 worth of materials. And I avoided taking the dash out, which was a job I wasn't looking forward to tackling.

U.L.
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