Filling the Gap
Just after some advice here if you have it.
Im installing my screen where the previous headlight and temp controls were in my 72 Mini.
This is in the lower dash pad. The dash pad itself is just a semi hard foam covered in vinyl thats it. As you can see in the pic below there is a gap either side of my screen frame which I need to fill.
It needs to be fairly solid as I would like to have one or two push buttons/usb slots on either side of the screen. Keep in mind also that the entire dash (once the whole is filled) will be covered in vinyl again but better suited to my cars interior.
So what do you suggest that will stick to the vinyl, handle any slight flexes as a result of it being made of foam and also look smooth so there are no obvious lines left over...Sandable would be nice.
I was thinking a thin piece of supported mdf and some kind of sealant at the edges. Then a thin layer of foam over the entire piece then vinyl.
i was thinking some acrylic(perspex) , or maybe some abs sheeting(this would be 'softer'). either would be a little more flexible then mdf, and have better moisture resistance..
Being that the surrounding area is wrapped / soft already, nothing is going be able to bridge the gap without leaving a visible line.
You either have to strip the surrounding area then fill with a flexible plastic (expoxo 88, jb weld, bumper repair,..) then re-wrap the whole piece.
If you don't do that then, secure the monitor bezel to the structure of the surrounding dash, not the soft surface. Then secure some sort of backing foundation (wire mesh, popsicle sticks, whatever) to the back of the monitor bezel and structure of dash. On that, build your bridge surface. You'll still have a noticeable line between the soft wrapped dash and bridge surface. The only way to mask this is by applying a liner first (soft foam) to the entire dash to make a uniform surface, then for final wrap material.
This seems to be a ton of work... Why not just make a bezel that sits in that opening. And give it a textured flat black finish.
Mainly because I had to cut the part of the pad to fit the bezel in. The bezel itself wont be fitted to the pad, it will be mounted to the car frame behind it. I might try and pull all the vinyl off, it seems pretty stuck on however and i dont want to rip any of the foam underneath. I was thinking to bridge the gap just some seam sealer or silicon and yes ill wrap the whole thing in a layer of foam to dull the lines as much as possible as long as i can get the filler flush it shouldnt be too noticeable.
Originally Posted by djvillar
it might be best to rip off the vinyl, sand down the foam that tears to smooth it out, and then recover the whole thing with some new foam. that way, you could make sure that the radio area your creating blends correctly.
Originally Posted by soundman98
It might be feel like more work up front, but its the only way this will work for the long haul on the first try. Take off all the mat so you're marrying a hard surface with a hard surface to... a hard surface.
Make a custom dash install using MDF and then foam it and wrap with leather. Popular mod for most mini owners anyway so plenty of advise online im sure.
I would try and make a piece to fit the outer perimeter of that opening, and fits around your screen as well. You could keep things pretty accessible, and it would still look nice. But you really won't be able to use that trim piece you have in the pic.