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Discseven Discseven is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Miami, FL USA
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Am on top deck ahead of the passenger now. Here you can see how the material can be folded back with a straight edge to the right. Note also the straight edge being created along the top edge of the dash. The plan is to work the material onto the dashboard in 2 planes. The top deck is one plane. The face of the dashboard is the second plane. Once the top plane is attached, I'll pull / stretch the cover material down the face resulting in a tight wrap along the curving edge between the dash's top and its' face.

An even turn-up from the deck to the high points of the dash --- I call this the "crevice" --- can be achieved by using a short section of semi rigid tubing of a suitable radius. Semi-rigid tubing is firm enough to do the straight parts and flexible enough to do the curve in the console area. Doing the top deck in small sections is a multi-purpose approach...1. small sections allow sufficient time to apply and smooth the gel. 2. it allows the tubing to be held in the crevice with even (ten finger) pressure along the length of a working section. I'm working deck sections that are roughly no more than 6" wide.

The plan is to leave extra material along the entire front edge of the dash including the fresh air vent areas to "waterfall." When the dash is installed, the extra material should "naturally" tuck down against whatever is ahead of it. I plan to leave about 1/2" around the fresh air vents and about 1/8" beyond the front edge of the dash.

Nothing will be trimmed until the entire dash is glued.

A straight edge along the entire top edge is important --- it allows easy handling of the face material. More technically... it allows the face plane cover material to now be stretched down evenly across the face.

I'm dividing the face into two working sections... will do passenger side first, followed by driver's side. The center area of the dash just to the left of the AC vent and where the console curve begins is a natural dividing line.

Above, a view of the first masked-off area on the passenger side. Might seem possible to do a larger area than is masked but I'm intentionally keeping the working areas small due to the need to constantly ensure the gel is smooth including --- most importantly at this moment --- the joint between the new adhesive edge and the old cured edge along the top. This is obviously a highly visible area which should be flawless.

The top deck material was not stretched when applied except slightly into the crevice. The face will be stretched to some degree beginning with this section.

In some areas it's easy and even necessary to hand hold the cover material in place while the epoxy sets. In other areas hand-holding is not practical or even feasible --- clamps are required. Where clamps are applied, I never clamp over areas that are curing as the impression of the clamp on the cover material will likely mold into the curing epoxy and so be a fixed impression showing on the covering's surface. Clamping is therefore always on non-glued surfaces.

For good measure, this 5 minute epoxy is --- by timer --- always given an 11 minute hold / clamp time beginning after mixing a batch is completed.

This photo shows there being a good deal of extra cover material front-to-back. This extra material turned out to come in very useful as it allows pulling and clamping the material in ways that would not be possible were the material "trimmed to fit" before attaching it.

There is half a yard sitting on the front-to-back axis here --- the face material is wrapped under the dash and so cannot be seen. (and 54.5" in width.) Notice how little vinyl is left on each end.

The top deck and face on the passenger's side is done. Next, onto the driver's side face and it's compound curves...

A heat gun (hair dryer in my case) serves to soften the cover material so it can be more easily stretched to the contour of the console area's compound curves.

Last area to attach is the ends. This is passenger's end. Here the material is best cut to fit before it is glued as it allows the corner material to be easily compressed.

With the addition of the covering material's dimension to the dash, the AC vent will now not insert far enough into its dash cavity to attach securely to the dash. (The spring claws are not making sufficient contact with the metal lip provided in the cavity.) I could force the vent in... but a good push in on the vent could tear the vinyl. The immediate conclusion is... I've come to far to F**K THINGS UP NOW!

A more gentle approach is to go with two stainless flat head screws on each side of the vent. Holes are drilled into the vent from the outside. Counter sinking is done by spinning the counter sinker by hand on the inside --- there's no space for a drill inside (unless you have a very small drill.) Hole positions were pre-planned to allow for the counter sink inside the vent.

The foam of the dash is soft enough so the screws go in easily with no pre-drilling of the dash. 1" screws are used. The vertical plastic spring walls that insert into the vent will cover the screws. Still... the screw heads are painted black after being secured as there might be a visible highlight from the screw heads otherwise.

Here's the vent showing its' spring claw. There's a claw top & bottom on each side.

I've just finished trimming. The waterfall material at the front can now be seen.

Total number of individual epoxy stages: 48. With each stage given 11 minutes to cure before releasing hand-holds / clamps, there's a total of 8.8 hours of adhesion time alone. Add pondering, test time, and misc time... and we're around 12 hours into this.

Before installing the dash, there are a few related matters to attend...

Karl ~

Current: '80 Silver Targa w /'85 3.2
Prior: '77 Copper 924. '73 Black 914. '74 White Carrera. '79 Silver 930. '79 Black 930. '79 Anthracite 930.

Last edited by Discseven; 09-21-2014 at 02:58 AM.. Reason: Clarity
Old 07-15-2014, 05:15 AM
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