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Thread: Anyone up for a bit of problem solving?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Anyone up for a bit of problem solving?

    I've got an 86 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. The "dash pad" (top part of the dash, speakers are in it, and whatnot, usually where people toss their junk.) looks like the grand canyon, thanks to the Arizona sun beating it up. I don't wanna patch it up, this stuff is brittle to the core, I could easily snap it in half. Some parts still retain their original sponginess though. It appears that it was molded out of some sort of rubbery foam.. I'm new to fabrication, but I'm willing to give this a shot. I want to re-make this whole thing, I don't care what I make it with, as long as it's semi-light, and i can base it off the original (preferabbly using it as a saran-wrap lined mold somehow). My reason for custom and not restoration is that in these cars, there is a TON of room under this, and I'd like to add some stuff to it. Also, the original has built in speaker grills, which are actually just holes punched in it that collectively for a circle, it looks slick and all.. but I want to recess the speaker area and put my own grills on them so they stand out a bit. Let me know your ideas! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate AJ3000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Ipswich UK
    its quite hard to know what you want to fabricate without seeing some pics, but could you not make a fresh one out of mdf and fiberglass?
    East Coast Audio UK

    Daewoo Lanos "Woo of Doom" Show Car

    Fabrication 4%
    Bodywork 0%
    carputer 1%
    Finish Line - not even in sight!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Here's some pics. Can you drill through and screw into fiberglass? I might have forgot to say that's how it mounts. Also, the way the sides go down, not sure how I'd do that with MDF, would I just joint some thin side pieces, then fiberglass them up to size? The material seems to be a rubbery foam on bottom, a black hard surface that it's all bound to, and then a gray foam padding on top that's coroded.

    This is a new one being sold, not exactly my model though.

    This is a closeup of the inside

    This is a shot of the whole thing

    And this is where it goes!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Did a little research. The yellow spongy parts are urethane foam, the black part is a solid core that can be extracted and re-used, and the top is a vinyl that is put over the urethane foam. So, If anyone has experiecne with urethane foam or vinyl, let me know your advice/tips on how to do this!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Vinyl would prolly be your best bet. You can get it from a fabric store and it is relatively inexpensive (this is subject to change of course!). I would suggest taking a sheet or roll of vinyl and wrapping the entire dash. it would add like 1/4 inch to the actual thickness, but you can do whatever necessary with it. If you want speakers and grills to protrude from the top, merely cut the dash piece to fit the speakers, the wrap and tuck the vinyl around the new hole. fit your speakers, mount them and you are all set. is that kinda what you are looking to do?

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Denver, CO
    i don't know... i think maybe i'd go with something a little more solid than any kind of foam or fabric... especially with the sun doing what it does.

    I'd say get your hardpoints i.e. any speaker rings or mounting points and any curves you want to match you want cut out and mounted to the factory sheet metal. Join all those things with mdf, wooden dowels, screws, hot glue etc... and remove the whole piece then so you have a sort of skeleton part outside the car.

    Do the fiberglass thing, get it solid smooth and clean. and then use whatever color you want and a satin or flat clearcoat to protect it. Just observation, but i think under the sun, paint usually seems to outlast vinyl.

    I think it's a very labor intensive way to do it, and there are many opportunities to screw something up... but if you're talking about going custom, the sky is the limit to what you can do and I think it can freshen up the look of the interior somewhat as well.

    consider yourself $.02 richer.
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
    Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

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