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Fiberglassing over a vinyl dash

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  • Fiberglassing over a vinyl dash

    Hey newb here. I found this site a couple days ago, and I got to say I love it!! Been reading non stop for ideas for my project car. Heres a question I couldnt find a straight answer for and its too important for me to just wing it. I have a 240sx that I am modifying the dash on. The dash is very thin plastic covered with a type of foam then wrapped tightly in vinyl like material. The dash has 2 cracks in it through the vinyl and foam that I need to repair and I am also trying to fiberglass in a triple guage pod to the center of the dash. My question is should I try and peel off all of the vinyl and foam and deal with the flimbsy plastic dash if I can? Or should I clean the vinyl best I can and just work on top of it? This will eventually be a show car, so I need the dash to look good. Im not worried bout glassing in the structure of the pod, but I have to make the rest of the dash match as well so I figured some resin/fiberglass mat and a ton of sanding. Do any of you have any suggestions for experiance?? Thank you very much.

  • #2
    Don't glass on top of the vinyl as it just wont stick properly. You could have a hard job getting it to stick the plastic depending what type it is. To give it as good a chance as you can make sure you give it a good sand with some rough paper.
    You can actually buy vinyl repair kits that will sort the cracks nicely. They come with embossed paper, you put the goo on the cracks then use the embossed paper that matches the original pattern. If done properly its an invisible repair.
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    • #3
      Thats pretty cool I didnt know about that. The only problem is I am trying to glass in a triple guage pod to the dash as well. So Im going to have to use resin and fiberglass. Which i need to figure out how to stick

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      • #4
        you could try an adhesion promoter if you need to stick stuff to vinyl. They normally use silanes which act a bridge between two incompatible materials. you should be able to get some in a place that sells car paints for helping the paint sitck to plastics. not saying it will work but it may and it is chemical so much better than mechanical keying.

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        • #5
          Ill go check on something like that, im not in a hurry since I dont drive the car. What do you mean by mechanical keying?

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          • #6
            Cant you find some way to bond it on the inside? Kinda like an L from the underside of the dash through a hole to the inside of the pod? I would say as you want it as a show car you would probably be better to strip the dash. If you want a patterned dash then once you have it all done either get it re-covered or have a look at some of the textured paints that are available.
            Visit my site V8 Scimitar

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            • #7
              mechanical keying is roughing up the surface so the resin 'keys' into the grooves. it isnt perfect as there is no chemical bonding but it is widely used and sometimes the only option but best used in conjunction with an adhesion promoter cos then you have a greater surface area and mechancial gripping.

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              • #8
                just rip the vinyl/foam off of the plastic and go from there, once you get down to that plastic you can really change the look of your dash which will make for a fun project

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice guys. I just wanted to do this right lol. Ive done fiberglass sub boxes but never built ontop of an existing structure before. Thanks for the help. I will prob try and rip vinyl and foam off, rough up the plastic and use an adhesion promoter. Thanks a bunch.

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                  • #10
                    Ive started working on it, seems the foam mostly shapes the dash, which i like, so I might just completely soak it in resin till its hard too keep the shape. Plus the under plastic dash is a weird shape. Ill update on it lata.

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                    • #11
                      Check that its open cell foam and not closed cell. If its closed cell it wont soak any resin up and it will just sit on the surface. Also check with a little bit of resin in a bit you cant see just in case the resin dissolves the foam.
                      Visit my site V8 Scimitar

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                      • #12
                        I spent a bunch of time on the guage cluster to figure out it wouldnt work and started another one a diff way instead of trying resin tonight. Im going to try and start that tomorrow. Is there a method or adhesion spray I can use if it is close cell?

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                        • #13
                          if you take off all the foam/vinyl you will find that you have a quarter inch or so to play with in the actual build up of the dash, (which would give you the clearance neccessary for fleece,glass,foam pad,vinyl) making all sorts of different shapes for gauges screens clusters easy, its just a matter of mocking it all up where you want it to go, drafting some bezels and fleecing them.

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                          • #14
                            I would personally take that dash and try building the gauge pod ontop of it, or worst case scenario, buy a new dash and buy the AIT gauge pod...

                            the dashes for your car are fairly easy to acquire for about $100-150ish. and the gauge pod off the top of my head i don't remember. What year is it?

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the advice. I got a lot of the dash fiberglassed. The glass and resin seem to bond well to the dash foam thank god. I got the guage pod fleeced out, but after reading some more topics on here I might look into the renshape foam.

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