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DIY Dash Recovering: Removing original vinyl

 
Old 08-25-2017, 03:12 PM
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Michael Benno
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Default DIY Dash Recovering: Removing original vinyl + Crack Repair

I have a spare dash with many cracks that I am planning on re-comvering with new vinyl. I am researching the process. I see that most people Dremel out the cracks and use fillers to get the surface smooth again before recovering. This seems like a reasonable approach and well within my skills.

However, I came across this video where the guy removed the vinyl cover from the foam backing by using a heat gun to heat the vinyl and stretch it off of the foam.


This seems like it would yield a soother surface and would require less prep for the new vinyl and would avoid building up the surface.

I would assume the 944 dash was made in the same manner as the 928 dash. Has anyone tried this?

Last edited by Michael Benno; 10-19-2017 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:25 PM
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NickTucker
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looks interesting. Wonder if taking the dash out would make it easier...
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:30 PM
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karl ruiter
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Cannot tell from the video and I have never had my 944 dash apart, but it looks like it may be different. Both seem to have a outer vinyl that is thin and hard. But the foam layer on the 944 looks like it may be soft, where the 928 foam layer between the vinyl and the metal is pretty hard, and when the 928 dash splits and buckles the foam splits and buckles too, splitting down the to metal and pulling away from the metal. Later, the foam wants to hold that buckled shape. It might be that you could get it to go back to flat with a heat gun, but it is not going to go by itself, I think.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:53 PM
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Rodrv6
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Originally Posted by karl ruiter View Post
Cannot tell from the video and I have never had my 944 dash apart, but it looks like it may be different. Both seem to have a outer vinyl that is thin and hard. But the foam layer on the 944 looks like it may be soft, where the 928 foam layer between the vinyl and the metal is pretty hard, and when the 928 dash splits and buckles the foam splits and buckles too, splitting down the to metal and pulling away from the metal. Later, the foam wants to hold that buckled shape. It might be that you could get it to go back to flat with a heat gun, but it is not going to go by itself, I think.
My Father and I recovered his 944 dash a year or so ago--the foam on it is pretty hard and had split in numerous spots. We peeled the original vinyl and sanded down the high spots in the underlying foam. We used some body filler to fill in the cracks in the foam and sanded everything smooth. We then covered it with vinyl using contact cement, pretty much as shown in that video. We did remove the dash and did all the work on a workbench. It came out great and has held up, so far!
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:20 PM
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superock
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I just redid my Dash and Pod and in the process changed from Brown to Black.
If you want some tips PM me. It was a long process but it looks great now.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:25 PM
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heres a Pic in the middle of the process :


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Old 08-26-2017, 04:28 PM
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Heres the Dash now :

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Old 08-28-2017, 09:16 AM
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Shawn Stanford
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Well done!
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:09 AM
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Superock.. Looks really good!.. Did you happen to document the process?
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:41 PM
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Weissach
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Originally Posted by superock View Post
Heres the Dash now :

Looks arrow straight, glovebox & console are going to lineup nice now
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:52 PM
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I took some pics during but i should of took more.
The secret is Gorilla Glue in the cracks !!
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by superock View Post
I took some pics during but i should of took more.
The secret is Gorilla Glue in the cracks !!
Doesn't gorilla glue get soft in the heat? Came out solid!
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:27 AM
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Put Polyvance Padded Dash Filler over top of the Gorilla Glue as a last coat. The GG is just the filler.
It was a lot of work but good now -Thx for the compliments guys !
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:46 PM
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Michael Benno
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Default Vinyl Removed!!!!!

Inspired by the video in the first post, tonight I decided to take a heat gun to my spare dash and see if I could peal off the old cracked vinyl. It was surprisingly easy. Check out the videos. Why they hell have we not done this before and spent untold hours grinding and filling cracks. The foam is totally smooth and I don't think there is a need to do any filling. What do you all think?


So my question for you all is, since the surface is totally smooth, do you think I need filler?

Second question, for those who laid their own vinyl, where did you get your supply and did you use a heat gun or steam to get into all the corners? How long did you let the glue dry? Tips appreciated!!!!
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:36 AM
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I've done other dashboards, and have found that you do need to fill the cracks in the substrate before putting the vinyl on. Else there will be a noticeable divot over time.

The idea of using Gorilla Glue is one I hadn't previously considered. For those not familiar, Gorilla Glue starts out as a clear liquid, expands into foam when exposed to moisture. You would fog the foam --very lightly-- with water, probably after opening the cracks slightly. Then a --very thin-- bead of Gorilla Glue in the crack and let it sit for a few hours, maybe overnight. The glue will foam up some, usually a lot more than I think it will. Use a coarse sanding block/sponge to carefully shape the repair so it's flush and smooth with the surrounding foam. If you make a mistake you can easily hide voids or other damage by repeating the trim-clean- glue-cure-sand procedure as needed. Gorilla Glue foam is stiff/firm to hard when it's cured. I'd be sure to do a separate test piece to make sure it gets along OK with the contact adhesive you are using for the vinyl.

Just looking, my areas of concern for the vinyl would be the end panels and getting the corners there just right. My general rule for vinyl or any fabric formed to curves is to resist the urge to stretch it any more than is absolutely necessary. Stuff I manage to stretch seriously to get it to fit will eventually pull back after some heat cycles in the sun, pulling on corners and around places where it can bubble or lift away from the substrate. Some vinyls seem to be better suited to the stretching and shrinking with steam heat. Using a heat gun risks hot spots and damage to the surface texture if you hang out in a spot for too long. Steam requires more patience but seems to be a lot more forgiving.
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