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-   -   Recovering Dashboard Using Epoxy Gel Adhesive (http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/820657-recovering-dashboard-using-epoxy-gel-adhesive.html)

Discseven 07-14-2014 11:31 AM

Recovering Dashboard Using Epoxy Gel Adhesive
 
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405360875.jpg

Takes roughly 5 minutes to carefully push out a windshield as a complete unit (I have aftermarket glass --- not sure if that makes a difference) and about 30 minutes to detach & remove the dash... most of this time given to slowly wrenching the board's 7 lock nuts out from very tight confines. (Vintage: 1980 911 Targa)


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361048.jpg

5 phillips head metal screws secure the leading edge of the dashboard's material to the car. Above is one of the screw holes in the dash's material. There's no way to get to these without removing the windshield.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361102.jpg

Black arrows = 5 forward phillips head screw locations
White = 7 (10 mm) Locknuts
Orange = 5 plastic prongs

4 locknuts on driver's side of AC vent can be removed through instrument holes. 3 locknuts on passenger side can be removed through front trunk through the far passenger's side cavity. The hardest passenger-side nut to get to is the one closest to the center AC vent. Difficult but doable.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361269.jpg

A plastic expansion prong. I cut these all off below the deck except for one. I heard stories about breaking dashboards on removal and just didn't want these plugs to possibly mess things up. I'll deal with them later. The one you see here pop'd right out so perhaps cutting them was a mistake. There is a metal interior to this dash so I'm now wondering how a dashboard would "break."

To extract the dashboard (after fasteners are off) the top first needs to angle up at the front up so the plastic retaining prongs (if present) and two vertical threaded posts above the console are free from the metal sub-dash... next, with the top still raised the dash needs to be pulled towards the rear of the car so the five horizontal threaded posts are free.

My dash got hung up on one of the vertical posts --- I needed to push the dash forward slightly then it came up easily. Pulling it to the rear is relatively simple --- it only hangs up slightly on each end.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361360.jpg

Epoxy filler was used to fill cracks & dings. Then entire exposed surface was sanded... then cleaned with Acetone first followed by Iso alcohol.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361383.jpg

Covering material is a textured, 4-way stretchy, woven fiber-backed automotive grade vinyl. Material's width is 54.5" ...leaving just enough extra on each end of the dash to wrap the ends.

Material cost: $13 a yard. 1 yard is typical minimum purchase measure. (Half a yard is more than enough. Rest is good for testing.)


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361506.jpg

Here's adhesive I'm using. Dual plunger. Bought 6 of them. Total cost was around $38. I'm going to waste more than is actually needed to ensure having more than enough mixed for each section.

Why epoxy gel? I don't see contact cement holding the covering material down in the areas of the dashboard's compound curves. There's also the fact that with contact cement there's one shot to place the material correctly. Even using a slip sheet technique I don't see it working well. With 5 minute epoxy, there's a few moments to get things in place. And once this adhesive is cured, the woven-backed material's going to stay in position.

The trick with epoxy gel in this application: it has to be applied very evenly and very smoothly to the dashboard as irregularities in the adhesive will show through to the vinyl's surface. My goal is a smooth finished surface. If the finished surface is bumpy :( ... I'll be starting over!

I tested to see if it was possible to remove the covering material from the dashboard after the epoxy is cured. It is possible with a good measure of force --- and the dash was not ruined... BUT... there's no use in thinking about a partial removal & readhesion as the vinyl cannot be re-adhered without looking terrible. The reason being, the dried epoxy in the backing gives added dimension to the cover material.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405361713.jpg

Testing also revealed that progress is best done in small sections and the adhesive edge between each section needs to be a straight edge. Above is the starting point --- the top deck over the console. I'm masking each area to achieve the straight edges. This "straight-edging" is important because it allows the covering material to be folded back and the next section of adhesive applied so that this new adhesive butts evenly & smoothly up to the cured section next to it.

Before beginning to apply adhesive, the covering material is positioned on the dash to clearly allow extra at both ends and more than enough forward and aft. I've checked positioning a few times as I don't want to screw this up. The 54.5" material width is a VERY tight fit. After the material is sitting in the right place, it is folded over itself to reveal the beginning section as you see it above. I'll work the top deck out to both sides from this starting point.

No gloves. This allows any epoxy on the fingers to be immediately felt and so cleaned off. I found when I did get epoxy on the covering materials surface, it was best to rub it off with clean fingers. A fibered cloth of any kind transfers fibers into the adhesive and doesn't remove the adhesive from the vinyl as well as a bare finger rub. No liquid cleaning agents are used on this vinyl. Acetone in particular will instantly ruin this material. Surly other similar agents will as well.

TO BE CONTINUED

HawgRyder 07-14-2014 12:11 PM

You might find that heating the material with a hot air gun will help in stretching the material over some of the compound curves.
Bob

DaveMcKenz 07-14-2014 12:54 PM

There are other epoxies at hardware stores that are not "5 minute" type. That would give you a little more time for final adjustments.
Nice job.
Dave

TCracingCA 07-14-2014 01:18 PM

I am not liking this idea with that material (expoxy) at all!
 
I think that type of epoxy works well bonding two rigid type of materials together, but not foam or upholstery, etc.. The set up time is frustrating and clamping when using these is recommended, because you aren't going to be able to hand press on the whole length of that piece to hold it down till the epoxy sets up. Thus epoxy will harden just about every time when you aren't looking, but won't harden when you are watching it! :D But I lack a ready off of the top of the brain recommendation for you! Some of the contact cements (goop yellow) might be a better choice, but it would be good also with those to clamp it somehow, but those work better on larger surface areas whereas epoxy is better suited for a smaller repair type situation!

Discseven 07-14-2014 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawgRyder (Post 8163620)
You might find that heating the material with a hot air gun will help in stretching the material over some of the compound curves.
Bob

I'm with you on the hot air Bob --- Thanks!

Discseven 07-14-2014 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveMcKenz (Post 8163701)
There are other epoxies at hardware stores that are not "5 minute" type. That would give you a little more time for final adjustments.
Nice job.
Dave

Thanks Dave. More time would allow more area to be done and adjustments but I found from testing that the majority of areas worked on should be no larger than I can hand hold. Other areas that allow I'll clamp. Given the small working areas 5 minutes till cure works fine in my case. Your recommendation is none the less appreciated.

Discseven 07-14-2014 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCracingCA (Post 8163732)
I think that type of epoxy works well bonding two rigid type of materials together, but not foam or upholstery, etc.. The set up time is frustrating and clamping when using these is recommended, because you aren't going to be able to hand press on the whole length of that piece to hold it down till the epoxy sets up. Thus epoxy will harden just about every time when you aren't looking, but won't harden when you are watching it! :D But I lack a ready off of the top of the brain recommendation for you! Some of the contact cements (goop yellow) might be a better choice, but it would be good also with those to clamp it somehow, but those work better on larger surface areas whereas epoxy is better suited for a smaller repair type situation!

TC --- Too funny about epoxy not setting when you watch it and setting when you don't!

Not to boot you but this gel actually works really well with this vinyl material given the woven backing. The gel penetrates the backing to a degree so once it cures the bond is monster. And I will be clamping where form & space allow.

I'm quite sure there are any number of ways to skin this dash-cat. Some will swear by contact cement. Must be other adhesives that will work as well. Great thing about this forum is sharing different ideas as we do. Thanks for your comments TC!

TCracingCA 07-14-2014 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Discseven (Post 8163828)
TC --- Too funny about epoxy not setting when you watch it and setting when you don't!

Not to boot you but this gel actually works really well with this vinyl material given the woven backing. The gel penetrates the backing to a degree so once it cures the bond is monster. And I will be clamping where form & space allow.

I'm quite sure there are any number of ways to skin this dash-cat. Some will swear by contact cement. Must be other adhesives that will work as well. Great thing about this forum is sharing different ideas as we do. Thanks for your comments TC!

We are totally cool, and that would have been my next recommendation to test different ones. I thought you would have to get a soak in to the materials to have it take a good bond and I thought it would probably absord too much that it would wick some volume from the other surface to where you would have to let some applied to the base to be glued to and the material you are gluing to set up a little tack before joining! I if I am bonding my materials will now give that a try myself when I get down the road from the current engineering and fitting of the hard parts.

PS I like to see guys doing things themselves. I never take much of anything ever to any shops except for machine work. Thumbs up to you!

smooth 07-14-2014 06:25 PM

There's a Swedish guy-leicktbauer on this forum (hot rod projekt) that recovered his dash using bi-elastic vinyl (no cloth backing) so it could stretch around the curves and he used Renia german contact cement that can handle the high temps. Looks perfect from the pictures. Any idea where to get this Renia cement? I'm watching your progress on this project as I want to save my dash as well.

Elombard 07-15-2014 02:41 AM

Like to see how this turns out. Great work.

tobluforu 07-15-2014 03:30 AM

Before you do this again, are you using 4-way stretch vinyl?

Discseven 07-15-2014 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tobluforu (Post 8164603)
Before you do this again, are you using 4-way stretch vinyl?

Good point Tobluforu. Yes... it is 4-way stretchy material. I'll go back and add that to the material pic. Thanks.

1990C4S 07-15-2014 04:09 AM

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/422456-dash-repair-101-a.html

P.S. It does NOT last very long. Two years max and the cracks return. You have to cover it with a wrap of some sort. Or go the Plasti-Dip route.

Discseven 07-15-2014 05:15 AM

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405425482.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405425651.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405425861.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405426461.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405426979.jpg

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


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405427170.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405427264.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405427661.jpg

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.


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405427928.jpg

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


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405429784.jpg

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...

TO BE CONTINUED

Discseven 07-15-2014 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smooth (Post 8164275)
There's a Swedish guy-leicktbauer on this forum (hot rod projekt) that recovered his dash using bi-elastic vinyl (no cloth backing) so it could stretch around the curves and he used Renia german contact cement that can handle the high temps. Looks perfect from the pictures. Any idea where to get this Renia cement? I'm watching your progress on this project as I want to save my dash as well.

Renia is a German product. How it works I have no idea. It's available through Ebay and other online adhesive companies. I too followed the "Projekt." Leicktbauer is an artisan-craftsman for sure.

The high temp factor is a good note. Thanks Smooth. I'm relatively certain epoxy will stand up to high temps but will have to prove this factor out over time.

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1405441124.jpg

scootermcrad 07-15-2014 09:50 AM

This is a GREAT thread! I have a dashboard to repair, so this is a target DIY area for me as well.

Nice work!

smooth 07-15-2014 03:02 PM

You've done a superb job here! I believe the epoxy will be sable to high temps. My thinking was the contact cement might be a time saver if you can work your covering material easy enough during a set up time frame. With the Porsche curves of the dash it all takes time. Want to do mine next? What did you use to get the tight crease along the top?

Discseven 07-15-2014 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smooth (Post 8165783)
You've done a superb job here! I believe the epoxy will be sable to high temps. My thinking was the contact cement might be a time saver if you can work your covering material easy enough during a set up time frame. With the Porsche curves of the dash it all takes time. Want to do mine next? What did you use to get the tight crease along the top?

Thanks Smooth.

I tested some contact cement and a good coat took over an hour to dry on the woven backing on this vinyl. And just a few minutes on the dash.

From your comment about "working" the material with contact cement, perhaps we're not on the same page where contact cement is concerned. As I know CC, it is applied to both surfaces, and once the cemented parts make contact, that's where they stay. There's no working CC'd parts into position after contact is made. Perhaps there is contact cement that is workable.

I'd consider doing your dash if you're serious.

By "crease" I believe you are referring to the small lip that would keep things from sliding back and off the dash. That crease is achieved with a piece of semi-flexible tubing with a radius that fits nicely into the crease. When doing each top section, I placed the covering material so it required a slight push into the crease. The tubing was used to make this push and then held in position until my 11 minute timer went off. Each section along the top needs to be treated the same and with the same pressure on the crease to get the crease even over it's entire length.

smooth 07-15-2014 06:17 PM

Yes my experiences with CC has been the same. I'm just wondering if the Renia brand allowed one to move the material around a little before final pressure is applied, probably not. You just have to do it perfect everywhere first time. I like your way better, slow but near perfect.

dyount 07-15-2014 06:35 PM

Interesting post... With the OP's notation of using a slip sheet method he appears to know well the use of contact cements and how difficult they can be.

I've thought of my dash project but plan on using a slow set epoxy with good temp ratings and a wood veneer vacuum system to suck the vinyl or leather down and into all the recesses.

With my 911 being an SC and having to do the glass removal to get to the dash I'm holding off for a bit


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