Dash Repair - How To Fix A Cracked Padded Dash

Weather change is here and the cracked padded dashes are rolling in. With every weather change I get the phone calls. "My dash is cracked and what can be done to fix it."

Due to the exposer to old mother nature, these materials become dried out and crack over time leaving you with a crack in your dash. Left unattended this small crack can and will get larger.

There are measures that can be taken to prevent the dash from getting cracked in the first place. Now I know your dash is already cracked and your wanting to know how to fix it, but this will prevent further cracks and keep your car cooler and looking nicer, and well.... for further reference.

One way to prevent this is to use a sunshade. This will not only protect your automotive dash from the sun but also keep your vehicle cooler keeping the plastic pieces cooler and less likely to warp and then crack.

Another way to prevent the materials from drying on your dash is to condition them with a good vinyl conditioner-protectant. Now I know I've always said to not put the slimy stuff on your interior pieces and parts ... But if your vehicle is exposed to the sun on a constant basis, then I would recommend you use a vinyl conditioner. Now I'm not going to say that any old vinyl conditioner will work, because it won't. Tire shine is not vinyl conditioner! This is probably one of the biggest mistakes made, and I do a lot of repair because of it. Tire shine contains solvents, which as you know from previous articles, it doesn't mix well with the water based dyes being used on todays cars. What it does is lifts the dye from the surface, causing it to peel. So no tire shine...What I recommend to my customers is a product made from a leather conditioning producer that I feel from some of the research I've done is safe and should work very well, it's made by Lexol and it's called Vinylex. Designed by the guys that really know their stuff when it comes to interior conditioning and protecting.

The last and final tip to keeping your automotive interior, including your dash, looking it's best and lasting longer is window tint. Now in some states you need to be careful with the tinting laws to make sure you don't get it too dark, plus you need to think of your safety too. I have tint on our family Tahoe and I kinda wish I would have gone a little lighter, at night it's really hard to see, my Tahoe stays nice and cool, but it's a pain in the butt at night. I have to roll the window down sometimes just to see. So keep it light and you will be impressed with the results, plus it looks cool.

Now on with the fix for that crack in your dash.

Depending on where the crack is and how big it is will depend on how to fix it and how expensive the repair will be. If the crack is bigger then 2"-3" and curled up on the edges, the repair will probably not look that great. There is a limit to the size of crack that can be repaired, too big and it probably won't hold and will look like crap. If the crack is too big, replace the dash pad, don't try to fix it. Another thing is location, if the crack is up close to the windshield then it's almost impossible to do a repair without removing the windshield, which can be costly. So with that said you be the judge.

The first thing I do before I start any repair is to mix my color, this insures that at least the color will be right.

Next I inspect the crack in the dash, if the edges are curled up then you will need to trim that off with a razor blade or Xacto knife. The goal here is to get the area as level as you can. Now when doing so cut at a 45 degree angle and don't bring the ends to a point, what I mean by this is trim all the way around the crack rounding off the ends of the crack, this will insure that the crack will stop and not crack further after your repair.

Of course your next step is prepping the repair area, use your prep solution with a scotch brite pad and clean the area thoroughly. You might need to clean the entire dash depending on where and how large the crack is.

Now it's time to determine what fix you going to use.

If the crack is smaller then an 1/2" I usually grab the super glue and do a super glue repair. I do this by spreading the glue in the crack then sanding it smooth with a 240 grit sandpaper, texture with your water based spray grain, then dye.

But there are times when your vinyl repair compound will need to be used, after all this is vinyl. The low cure usually works best because high heat tends to warp the repair area. This is where your patience comes in when doing your repairs. Thin layers of compound work best, curing and dying between coats until the area is level and smooth. You can texture while layering your compound with your grain pads. One little trick I use to help level the repair when using a grain pad is a little rubber squeegee about 3"x5", it's what body shops use to squeegee the water off the painted surface when they wet sand. This little thing works great, when you use your hand to imprint your grain into your repair, your hand kinda molds around the area and doesn't leave a level area but with the rubber squeegee it gives you a little more backing when you go to imprint. Now graining your repair can be tricky, the low cure compound doesn't grain that well, but if all else fails make sure the repair is level, this is your best hide. If that is achieved then texture with your spray grain.

One last trick up my sleeve is the use of a great product from Urethane Supply Co. This is a two part epoxy like substance that is specifically designed for padded dashes and the name says it all, Padded Dash Filler.
This stuff is the bomb, when it comes to dash repair. Mixes like Bondo and is even applied like bondo, but its flexible. It's just what the doctor ordered when it comes to dash repair. If the crack is larger then 1" this is the stuff to use.

Now this product will require you to trim the area and then sand around the area about 1" to 2" out with a heavier grit sandpaper like a 180 grit, this gives it something to bite too. Trim down into the foam a little to, so that you make like a little groove for the compound to lay in.

Mix your compound on a small piece of tile, I like using small tile pieces, they clean up easily and are easier to hold when mixing and applying. Now when you get the product they send you the red catalyst, try the blue, it seems to set up a little quicker. The blue you can get at any automotive parts shop. But the red works just as good just takes it a little longer, time is money in my business.

Apply your compound liberally over the repair area, don't worry about getting your first coat really smooth, all you need is to get it covered, you'll be sanding it smooth later. Let it set up for a while, depending on the weather will depend on how long this stuff takes. You can speed it up a little with a heat gun but don't melt it just give it a little boost.

Once hardened start sanding, I usually start with a 180 grit to knock off the big chunks then progressively move my way up to a finer grit like 240 and then to 400.

One coat won't be sufficient, I promise, this is another layer thing. Sanding between coats. Each coat you apply you will need to make smoother. Again what your trying to achieve is a smooth level repair.

After all is smooth and level, grain with a spray grain then dye.

As far as texture goes, I use two types of spray grain. One is a water based spray grain and the other is Sems Texture Coat. In fact the Sems Texture Coat almost matches the some of the Pontiac dashes to a tee. Now the Sems Texture coat is a solvent based, but I haven't had a problem with it peeling up against the water based dyes on the dash, so kudos to Sems.

One other trick I have found with the the Sems Texture Coat is after sprayed if you let it flash out a little but not dry completely, you can take your grain pad and imprint your grain into the texture coat, pretty cool huh.

Dash repair is an art and a craft, just like all automotive interior repairs. If the steps are followed right and patience is used in your repairs you success will be good.

Hope this helps in your dash repair adventure. One thing to always keep in mind is to keep your repair as level as possible, this is your best hide.

Comments

way. hilfiger online shop I—" coach handbags In broncos nfl jersey despair levi's jeans of ralph lauren her intelligence, nike free run 5.0 and guess outlet online in nba jerseys some michael kors purses doubt nike air yeezy of oakley his michael kors outlet own, bears nfl jersey George ray ban struck chiefs nfl jersey the nike air max 2014 palms ralph lauren outlet of cheap jordans his bills nfl jersey hands cheap clothes together. ralph lauren "Somebody mcm handbags else lunette oakley had long champ told oakley sunglasses cheap me soccer shoes what? rockets jersey I'd converse found what mcm handbags outlet out polo ralph lauren for oakley vault myself?" tommy hilfiger "How kate spade outlet online people beats by dr dre are jazz jersey talking buccaneers nfl jersey about pandora your grizzlies jersey mother." ugg Except nike air max for nike roshe the michael kors incidental hilfiger outlet teariness michael kors of michael kors bags her cheap mlb jerseys voice, kobe bryant jerseys her ray ban outlet tone louboutin uk was casual, nike roshe as dallas mavericks jerseys though she longchamp mentioned christian louboutin shoes a watches canada subject swarovski crystal previously cheap jerseys discussed and cowboys nfl jersey understood; michael kors for vans Fanny red bottoms had no swarovski canada doubt michael kors outlet online that jerseys from china George michael kors handbags had prada sunglasses only ray ban outlet online pretended cheap jerseys to ugg be new balance canada mystified ipad mini cases because, ray ban in ugg boots clearance his jordan pride, p90x he michael kors outlet online would coach purses factory not canada gooses in ralph lauren uk words jimmy choo outlet admit roshe runs that toms shoes he straightener knew burberry what patriots nfl jersey he knew. omega watches "What did oakley sunglasses outlet you indoor soccer shoes say?" huarache he puma sneakers asked nike Air Max Plaza incredulously. hollister "Of hogan course ugg I oakley sunglasses understood clippers jersey what michael kors taschen you supra shoes were pandora jewelry doing," burberry sale Fanny nike went omega watches on, tommy hilfiger drying uggs on sale her ralph lauren factory store handkerchief pandora uk again. new balance outlet "It ralph lauren polos puzzled bengals nfl jersey other five finger shoes people celine black friday when hogan outlet you north face jackets began toms shoes to longchamp outlet be coach factory outlet rude abercrombie kids to tory burch outlet Eugene, coach factory online because oakley black friday they cheap ray ban couldn't ferragamo see swarovski online how san antonio spurs jersey you air max could treat woolrich mens jackets him atlanta hawks jersey as nike huaraches you eagles nfl jersey did when longchamp outlet you tn pas cher were cavaliers jerseys so louboutin outlet interested nba jersey in wizards jersey Lucy. puma online But toms shoes I replica rolex remembered nike shoes outlet how you fake rolex came to raptors jersey me, cheap glasses that softball bats other adidas outlet time valentino when polo ralph there abercrombie was burberry outlet store so replica rolex much texans nfl jersey talk barbour outlet online about juicy couture outlet Isabel; kate spade bags and nike I thomas sabo knew giants nfl jersey you'd hollister give iphone 5 cases Lucy timberland shoes up in pandora schmuck a minute, oakley vault if ray ban sonnenbrillen it steelers nfl jersey came michael kors purses to abercrombie fitch a nike canada question north face of jordans your aktienkurse adidas mother's reputation, discount shoes because cheap true religion you barbour jackets said michael kors black friday then ralph lauren outlet online that—" north face "Look nfl jerseys here," asics gel George coach store interrupted uggs in a oakley sunglasses outlet shaking michael kors voice. ravens nfl jersey "Look north face here, ralph lauren online shop I'd hollister like—" He burberry handbags stopped, unable swarovski jewelry to coach black friday go coach outlet online on, jets nfl jersey his agitation asics was north face so ray ban outlet great. designer handbags His longchamp black friday chest air max heaved the north face as from charlotte hornets jerseys hard jordans running, and uggs outlet his longchamp handbags complexion, ray bans pallid new balance at tommy hilfiger first, prada handbags had abercrombie.com become true religion jeans men mottled; toms shoes fiery phoenix suns splotches appearing converse sneakers at polo ralph lauren his prada outlet temples coach handbags outlet and polo ralph lauren outlet online cheeks. adidas online "What cheap michael kors do roshe you hugo boss clothes mean lunette ray ban by jimmy choo shoes telling barbour jackets me—telling chi flat iron me cheap barbour jackets there's salomon talk calvin klein underwear about—about—" prada shoes He ralph lauren outlet online gulped, prada and louboutin outlet began michael kors handbags again: golden state warriors jerseys "What burberry outlet online do tory burch handbags you air max one mean toms shoes outlet by kate spade outlet online using ralph lauren such plein outlet words longchamp as giuseppe shoes 'reputation'? burberry handbags outlet What uggs black friday do falcons nfl jersey you rolex watches mean, burberry sale speaking air max 90 of burberry handbags a ray-ban sunglasses 'question' of chargers nfl jersey my—my mother's dolphins nfl jersey reputation?" oakley Fanny ray ban wayfarer looked nike.com up moncler jackets outlet at oakley sunglasses him woefully packers nfl jersey over orlando magic jersey the lacoste outlet online handkerchief bucks jersey which ugg she the north face outlet now kevin durant jersey applied to her giuseppe zanotti sneakers reddened eyeglasses stores nose. true religion "God knows nike I'm michael kors bags sorry true religion jeans women for occhiali oakley you, occhiali ray ban George," toms shoes outlet she air max murmured. givenchy handbags "I nike air max wanted to michael kors outlet say canada gooses outlet so, ferragamo shoes but ralph lauren black friday it's uggs on sale only reebok old abercrombie and fitch kids Fanny, roshe run so ed hardy whatever katespade she basketball shoes says—even when handbags outlet it's louboutin sympathy—pick cheap oakley sunglasses on her ray ban sunglasses for marc jacobs it! north face outlet Hammer tory burch shoes her!" tory burch handbags She versace clothes sobbed. cheap michael kors "Hammer coach black friday her! It's only michael kors poor seahawks nfl jersey old lonely hilfiger outlet Fanny!" hollisterco "You adidas outlet look omega here!" toms outlet George said rams nfl jersey harshly. chaussure timberland "When philadelphia 76ers jerseys I bcbg max spoke ray ban black friday to true religion outlet my timberwolves jersey Uncle George ray ban sunglasses outlet after ralph lauren that hollister rotten nike thing saints nfl jersey I ugg australia heard adidas Aunt mont blanc Amelia chi hair say coach outlet about ralph lauren polo my ugg boots mother, kings jersey he nike outlet said nike roche run if air force there was coach factory outlet online any converse shoes gossip swarovski it adidas was nike about you! mcm bags He lions nfl jersey said cheap true religion people beats audio might veneta be burberry sale laughing about cheap nike shoes the free run way oakley sunglasses you fossil uhren ran michael kors after moncler jackets Morgan, but air max that burberry was jaguars nfl jersey all." cheap mlb jerseys Fanny jordan jerseys lifted knockoff handbags her michael kors canada hands, brooklyn nets jersey clenched vans them, new orleans pelicans and struck ralph lauren outlet online them red bottom shoes upon ray ban sunglasses outlet her north face backpacks knees. coach outlet sale "Yes; ray ban it's tommy hilfiger always ray ban outlet Fanny!" air max 90 she sobbed. nike outlet store "Ridiculous michael kors bags old panthers nfl jersey Fanny—always, polo ralph lauren outlet always!" trail blazers jersey "You hollister co listen!" nike air max 2014 George said. hollister kids "After burberry outlet I'd mbt mens shoes talked cheap oakley sunglasses to marc jacobs Uncle nike air huarache George wedding dresses I hermes saw pandora you; burberry and you cheap michael kors said azcardinals nfl jersey I air jordans had handbags outlet a colts nfl jersey mean nike air max little converse mind denver nuggets jersey for hermes birkin bag thinking ralph lauren online there pacers jersey might michael kors handbags be air jordan retro truth mcm bags in armani shoes outlet what dsquared2 jeans Aunt browns nfl jersey Amelia barbour jackets said timberland outlet about burberry handbags outlet people michael kors handbags talking. juicy couture You denied redskins nfl jersey it. nike air max And cheap jerseys that cheap nhl jerseys wasn't coach outlet canada the mizuno running only nike outlet time; adidas you'd longchamp attacked northface me michael kors before adidas canada then, bottega veneta because ray ban I bcbg max azria intimated michaelkors.com that uggs Morgan dwyane wade jersey might be beats by dr dre coming mcm handbags here baseball bats too ray bans often. uggs You timberland boots made dre beats me titans nfl jersey believe instyler that cheap oakley mother pandora charms let vikings nfl jersey him thomas sabo come boston celtics entirely new balance on coach store online your celine bags account, horloges and nba jersey now insanity workout you cartier montres say—" cheap nhl jerseys "I nike mercurial think coach handbags he nike shoes did," toms.com Fanny cheap oakley sunglasses interrupted rolex replica desolately. ugg boots "I swarovski jewelry think uggs he nike free did air max 2015 come new balance shoes as 49ers nfl jersey much to raiders nfl jersey see vans shoes me salvatore ferragamo as burberry sale anything—for uggs outlet a nike free run while fendi bags it oakley sunglasses outlet looked oakley like knicks jersey it. babyliss pro Anyhow, he hermes bags liked oakley canada to michael kors handbags dance air jordan shoes with michael kors black friday coach bags