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Nice job,like your thinking,the question about the swiss guy using a high temp rated contact cement is a good one,the heat generated on the dashtop thru the screen is very high,he did test it if I remember the details so he based his adhesive on that.
IMO the key factor is WHAT you are sticking it to and that the dash core needs to be repaired properly for the new covering.
In our eco world the use of solvent based contact adhesive is less desirable and I guess become redundant eventually,I have recently used a water based contact adhesive and its rated high temp (190 celcius ) and has way better bonding/strength than any solvent based type I have used.
I haven't tested it yet on vinyl or a dash but that will be coming up soon when I redo my 944 dash.
The very thin vinyl even with fabric backing seems to be multi-directional if warmed by sunlight,I haven't used a hair dryer before but have no issues going around compound curves....dashes are a different story however.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:01 AM
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Thanks Porschetub... we're onto the final leg of this project... Prep'ing the car, dash, windshield and reinstalling.




There's rust around the windshield frame --- in particular, the areas at the bottom outside corners. If you have an older 911 and plan to keep it and have never removed the windshield... you might want to do so to take a look under the rubber seal.

Loose rust is removed and rust reformer liquid is brushed on all along the frame and lip.




Underside of dash has rust too. By the AC vent and the mounting posts. All exposed metal gets a coat of rust reforming spray paint.




Replacing the 4 plastic retaining prongs under the dash (that I cut off) is not happening. The one I did not cut off is seen above. Each of these 5 prongs is positioned about 2" from the 5 screws that secure the dash to the car. This close proximity makes the prongs redundant as I see them. If I have to return to them downstream... I will.




Dash just prior to installation. Am using the old metal washers, old bumper washers (on threaded posts), and new 10 mm lock nuts (7 needed.) Careful with the bumper washers. They appear to be "stuck" to the dash but can fall off unexpectedly.




This confusing image shows the windshield in the process of being sealed to the car using the line-pull method. Pull direction is to camera. You can see the rubber seal being plowed up in front of the line --- this is the "pick up" of the seal. Behind the line the seal drops from the line and is then over the lip of the frame.

Being in a rush to get on the road, I did not "soak" this line in talcum powder. Doing so makes the line easier to pull out from the rubber seal and protects the rubber from damage. After using a talc-soaked line there's some interior clean up to do.

Once the rubber seal has begun to wrap the lip... there's no repositioning the windshield without starting entirely over so good idea to check the position of the window carefully before beginning to pull the line.

I start the pull from one of the vertical sides where the seal can be eyeballed doing what it is supposed to do (as it is in photo above.) If it doesn't fall over the lip behind the line, something's wrong. I wrap the line twice around the seal for good measure.

Too thin a line can cut the seal. Too thick doesn't work well. This line is a hair over 1/8" diameter and works well.

Only the instruments from the console need to be removed from the car to reinstall the dash --- for 1980 and similar. Connections and access routes to same are noted at the beginning of this thread. When positioning the dash and before securing it, check that the dash's AC vent inserts the air feeder correctly. My feeder is floating to a degree so it's possible to fully secure the dash with the vent not seated in the feeder (the floating feeder can be pushed back & askew by the vent.) Lower than normal air pressure at the vent would likely signal an incorrectly seated vent.










We do some projects and in the end wonder... "Why?" This is not one of them.

Total dollars for vinyl material, adhesive, 7 locknuts and 4 screws = $50.
Masking tape, stiff cardboard, 4 clamps, tubing, sand paper, acetone, iso alcohol, rust reformer fluid & spray paint, a few paint brushes and line are not included above as I had them on hand. This stuff I estimate at roughly $120.


If you're thinking about doing your dash, here are a few pointers based on my journey and materials used:

Dealing with the windshield is the beginning and end of a dash job. It's very easy to pull and replace the windshield by yourself when you know what the tricks are. There must be threads on the forum that cover this subject in detail.

The key to not getting stuck in a corner when recovering a dash is to plan each adhesive stage to connect to the next. The challenge is to make each new "wet" seam invisibly butt the prior "cured" seam.

Once this particular vinyl is placed onto the gel, the epoxy cannot be evened out under the vinyl by squeegee'ing it. It doesn't work because the woven backing and thick viscosity of the gel prevents it. This is the reason a thin, smooth application of the gel to the dash is so important.

Application of the gel is done with small pieces of stiff card board with a blade about 1.25" wide. I have various blade widths on hand should they be needed. Only a skim coat of gel is applied to the dash --- just enough to connect with the vinyl's backing material. Too much gel and the covering material begins to "float" on the gel. When the material starts floating, it tends to get waves and those are not easy --- better yet, impossible --- to even out.

When buying automotive grade vinyl material, make sure it stretches in all directions or it will be difficult if not impossible to deal with the dash's compound curves. (A fellow forumer in this thread mentioned that vinyl will only last 2 years and then cracks. While that may be, I suggest any material's life span being variable depending on how much or little care is given it.)

While it's obvious to check a covering material's surface for quality, what might be overlooked is the state of the backing. Any irregularity in the backing might possibly show through to the surface in the finished product as created here --- the backing has to be flawless.

I used 5 minute epoxy gel because it suited my mindset comfortably for this project. I'm sure there are any number of adhesives that will work. Resistance to temperature was a factor raised in the thread which is clearly important. I don't believe there will be any issue with gel epoxy since the gel cures in a flexible state and its bond to a clean, smooth surface (such as a sanded, sterilized dash) AND woven fabric surface (such as the backing) is monster.

The one yard of vinyl material I got... more than half was used to learn what not to do with epoxy gel

My thanks to Timmy2/Dennis and Techweenie for chatting with me prior to my diving into this project. This is an amazing forum with great people!
Credits: Tobluforu for pointing out the specific use of "4-way stretchy vinyl." Manbridge for pointing out the specific use of "automotive-grade vinyl."
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Prior: '77 Copper 924. '73 Black 914. '74 White Carrera. '79 Silver 930. '79 Black 930. '79 Anthracite 930.

Last edited by Discseven; 01-11-2015 at 01:43 AM.. Reason: Add year of car. Add clarity.
Old 07-16-2014, 05:49 AM
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Wow, looks great!
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:30 AM
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Remarkable result........

Karl,

I don't get easily impressed by people but what you have done and demonstrated recovering your dash is outstanding!!!!! I am impressed with your work. You are indeed a real craftsman/artist in my book. You have given some motivation and direction for other people to follow. Thanks for sharing and showing your 'work of art'.

Tony
Old 07-16-2014, 07:50 AM
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This is the kind of post that adds huge value to our community. Great work, and excellent documentation.
Old 07-16-2014, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for compliments --- much appreciated

I've been messaged a few times concerning how the crevice along the top is achieved.

In a nutshell, when doing each top deck section (refer to photos of top deck sections at beginning of thread), I place the covering material so it needs to be pushed just slightly into the crevice. To push the material evenly & consistently into the crevice I used 3/8" outside diameter semi-rigid tubing --- product reference shown below. I'm quite sure I bought this stuff from Home Depot.

Semi-rigid tubing allows both the straight run and the curved area around the console to be done with the same tube.

The top deck areas worked on were done in widths no wider than about 6". Once the covering material was placed and the tubing pushed into the crevice (to mold the material into the crevice,) I held the tubing in place with ten fingers until my 11 minute timer went off.

The length of tubing used is about 8". This allows for the tubing to overlap each section being glued.

I found that even pressure on the tubing section-to-section is important because the epoxy gel will set with memory of the pressure being applied to the cover material. Since the deck material was not forced onto the deck --- rather it was lightly rubbed to ensure the gel penetrating the woven backing a bit --- I did not force the tubing into the crevice. If too much force is applied to the tube, the cover material will "dent" into the crevice. Again, epoxy has "memory" of the pressure being applied to a flexible material with dimension such as we're dealing with here.

It's important to use no more than a skim coat of gel even in the crevice. An abundance of gel and the gel will bludge out of the end of the crevice and if this bludge is not removed before the epoxy sets, it will show through on the covering's surface if the project is continued.

I can't emphasize how critical it is to get just the right amount of gel on the board including the crevice. I tested a number of times to see exactly what worked before proceeding. "Skim coat" is the best description of the amount of gel to be applied.

Below is the tubing used to mold the cover material evenly into the crevice.

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Last edited by Discseven; 07-18-2014 at 10:16 PM.. Reason: Clarity
Old 07-16-2014, 08:10 AM
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Great thread and pics - thanks! I have a couple of questions:

1. How much does professional re-covering typically cost (all-in, if you were to deliver your dash)?

2. What are you sanding in this image? Is this the factory covering/vinyl or the substrate beneath it? I assumed the old covering had to be removed to fill the cracks properly, but the section at the bottom looks like it's vinyl?

Old 07-16-2014, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrino View Post
Great thread and pics - thanks! I have a couple of questions:

1. How much does professional re-covering typically cost (all-in, if you were to deliver your dash)?

2. What are you sanding in this image? Is this the factory covering/vinyl or the substrate beneath it? I assumed the old covering had to be removed to fill the cracks properly, but the section at the bottom looks like it's vinyl?

Ferrino,

1.

I'm not sure if you are asking how much it costs in the market for someone to recover a 911 dash... or... if you are asking me how much I would charge to deliver a recovered dash.

The answer to the market question is "I don't know." I didn't shop this project because I wanted to do it myself.

If you are asking if I were to do your dash... if there is any interest in this, let me know and I will think about it. I have the time and interest so there is potential here. You let me know.

2.

The dash as we are looking at it is the stock dash. There was no prior covering added to this that needed to be removed --- it is the factory-made surface.

I sanded the entire surface of the dash that would receive adhesive. This was to micro-scar the surface in preparation for adhesion and to smooth out the epoxy filled areas around the cracks & dings.

I know some people cut out the area surrounding a crack prior to filling it. I did not. I filled the cracks and dings as they were with epoxy filler and painted the filler black in an attempt to avoid recovering. It didn't like the result so I went on to recover.

Sanding is absolutely necessary over cracks because the dash tends to rise up (like a blooming flower) at cracks.

After sanding, the entire sanded surface is cleaned with Acetone followed by Iso alcohol.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:11 AM
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Is the vinyl the same 4 way type I used on mine that we talked about on the phone?
Looks great, and terrific write up compared to what I put In my thread last year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Last edited by timmy2; 07-16-2014 at 09:52 PM..
Old 07-16-2014, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmy2 View Post
Is the vinyl the same 4 way type I used on mine that we talked about on the phone?
Looks great, and terrific write up compared to what I put I my thread.


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Hey Dennis,

Yaya --- 4-way vinyl for sure. Thanks for your input... I used it!

I missed acknowledging you and our chat at the bottom of my post. I have to correct that!
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:36 AM
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Thanks Karl. I guess either really - an upholstery shop or yourself. Just trying to figure out of this is something I want to add to my growing DIY list or something which is economical enough to farm out.

Re. the stock dash - I guess I misunderstood the construction of the dash from the factory. I thought it was covered in something like a vinyl and that had to be peeled away to prep and recover. it sounds like it is all "one-piece" though - i.e. the texture is part of the substrate. Is that right?
Old 07-16-2014, 09:44 AM
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Excellent work.

A material question that you've probably answered already. Is this automotive grade vinyl? I once did a package tray project and was not pleased with whatever I used as it outgassed a lot and left a film on the window that I got tired of having to remove real quick.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrino View Post
Thanks Karl. I guess either really - an upholstery shop or yourself. Just trying to figure out of this is something I want to add to my growing DIY list or something which is economical enough to farm out.

Re. the stock dash - I guess I misunderstood the construction of the dash from the factory. I thought it was covered in something like a vinyl and that had to be peeled away to prep and recover. it sounds like it is all "one-piece" though - i.e. the texture is part of the substrate. Is that right?
Ferrino,

I'll PM you concerning recovering.

There is a surface "skin" to the factory dash which along with foam and a sheet metal interior looks to be a vacume molded product. The factory's skin is very securely bonded to the foam below it --- there's no peeling that skin off. The slight surface texture in a factory dash (circa 1980) is molded into the skin.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manbridge 74 View Post
Excellent work.

A material question that you've probably answered already. Is this automotive grade vinyl? I once did a package tray project and was not pleased with whatever I used as it outgassed a lot and left a film on the window that I got tired of having to remove real quick.
Thanks and damm good point Manbridge. Yes, this is auto grade vinyl. I made no mention of this factor --- no offense now --- for obvious reasons. Still, this is a key point which should be included with the material image and the summary points. Good thinking on your part to comment on this. Will edit it in now.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:29 AM
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I guess this wont come out a nice if the dash is not just slit but also warped like mine is? Doesnt look like yours was warped?
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:07 PM
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I guess this wont come out a nice if the dash is not just slit but also warped like mine is? Doesnt look like yours was warped?
Mine is warped slightly on the passenger's side near the vent Erik. I did consider doing some filler in the area to eliminate the warp and decided against it because it just isn't that bad as I see it.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:18 PM
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Very nice, top notch, top notch!
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:37 PM
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Hot Damn! Love it!

I have leather waiting but may have to re-think to vinyl, hmmmm??? Leather is same material as the seats I redid last year. hmmmmm????
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:18 PM
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Great work!!!!!!!

And because of that, I sent mine to you for work anonymously!


OOPS! How will you know who to return it to done, if I was so stupid to not have put my forwarding address on my dash!

So when should I arrive for the keg party?
Old 07-16-2014, 09:30 PM
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I had my dash and parcel shelf recovered in leather a couple months ago in VT. I think the labor charge was $75/hr. Seems like a good business for someone as patient and skilled as you......
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:55 AM
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