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Dash Refinishing 101


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#1 Tristin

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:06 PM

So, Im looking to restore/refinish my dash. I received a second dash to help with this process so Im hoping to group all the work and info here in this thread. Here is where Im starting with:

 

 

8552596025_50f01ed77d_z.jpg

 

Its a complete frame, cluster, wiring harness, and all fascia pads. 

 

 

Here is what Im thinking for it... Im going to pull all the fascia pads off and have the frame sand blasted. From there either painted or powdercoated to combat the surface rust. I picked up a crack free pad for it and snagged some NOS vents as well. At one point Im going to be relocating my fusebox to inside the cab and will probably pull out the dash harness in this one and clean it up and organize it for that. Lastly Ill be pulling this cluster and retrofitting it with LEDs so that I can actually see the panel when Im driving at night. 

 

 

I do still have a few questions:

 

1. If I pull all the pads off the sand/paint/powder, what is everyone experience with gluing the fascia pads back on? 

 

2. Ive heard some horror stories about some brands of dash cleaner. What is everyone preffered brand to get rid of all the dirt and grime without eating into the plastics of the dash?


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#2 Draker

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

Following!


View my 69 510 4dr Sedan - Build Thread
View my 71 510 2dr Sedan - Coming soon.
View my 71 510 Wagon - Sold

View my 84 720 4x4 - Sold

 


#3 Tristin

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:23 PM

Me too! Haha


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#4 Ratwagon1600

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:15 PM

When I sober up, I'll post my two cents worth.

If you are incredibly bored, and having trouble sleeping, I think I put some pcs in my buildl thread on my goon when I did my dash.

Born again Arsehat.

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What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn't fail?

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#5 graveltrapp

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:43 AM

I don't know what the consensus is on Purple Power and plastic, but I have had amazing luck using it as a degreaser on everything else.  Anybody care to pipe in with any PP and plastic experience. It is cheap, available, and legal. Wear gloves!

Tristin, I found this thread while searching for the right paint sheen to respray my dash and instrument cluster. I used a satin and it looks to shiny.  I dont want to jack your thread but thought I could watch and ask the question since it seemed pertinent to the subject. Let me know if I should edit out the paint question. I will be throwing in some LED's next as well.      Watch your project to show date ratio.



#6 Tristin

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

When I sober up, I'll post my two cents worth.

If you are incredibly bored, and having trouble sleeping, I think I put some pcs in my buildl thread on my goon when I did my dash.

 

Ill check your thread out, thanks Jason. 

 

I don't know what the consensus is on Purple Power and plastic, but I have had amazing luck using it as a degreaser on everything else.  Anybody care to pipe in with any PP and plastic experience. It is cheap, available, and legal. Wear gloves!

Tristin, I found this thread while searching for the right paint sheen to respray my dash and instrument cluster. I used a satin and it looks to shiny.  I dont want to jack your thread but thought I could watch and ask the question since it seemed pertinent to the subject. Let me know if I should edit out the paint question. I will be throwing in some LED's next as well.      Watch your project to show date ratio.

 

No, by all means thats an appropriate question. This will be where I put all my dash progress, but its meant as information for everyone. Anyone can ask questions pertaining to dash/plastic refinishing. Luckily this project is independent of driving the car... since I have a whole 2nd dash, I can work on this one and still have the car complete. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#7 Ratwagon1600

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:54 PM

Okay, awake and feeling good.

FWIW, my two cents worth follows.

If you can, definitely go the powdercoat route. As you well know, the benefits i.e. finish, durability etc are great.

As far as cleaning plastic parts, I only ever use household detergent or preferably sugar soap. I mix a fairly strong solution with warm to hot water and the use a nail brush (nylon bristles) to scub them up. Rinse in warm water afterwards and wipe down with a wet rag and it generally brings them up nice and clean.

If you are going to paint the dash parts obviously you need a plastic primer. I've used a 3M adhesion primer (in a spray can) with good results though I would hazard a guess any product from a reputable company would be just as good. Using my cleaning method and the 3M product I've had no problems with paint peeling/finish.

Graveltrapp bought up a good point about paint sheen. Gloss looks gay, and some satin paints can also look too glossy. Haven't checked the link he posted yet but if you go down the painting path, a matt or satin finish generally looks the best.

As far as doing dash facia pads I've never done a full resto on an early model dash though have done quite a few on late model. I've got a complete early model dash stashed in one of my spares piles and will dig it out later and get back to you. As a general rule if I've been gluing a new covering to the existing dash pad I've found contact cement (the yellow stuff) works well and if you fuck it up it's relatively easy to peel it off and try again.

For more permanent applications I use a poly urethane glue. A word of warning here, this stuff sticks like shit to a blanket and stays stuck! Once it's bonded you generally need something gentle like a blowtorch or angle grinder to remove the part :). The beauty of it is that's it's really good for sticking down stuff you don't want to come off.

If I think of anything further which may be relevant I'll clutter up your thread later.

Born again Arsehat.

Charter member and (self appointed) President of the Southern hemisphere Ratsun welcoming committee.

I come from a land down under, where beer does flow and men chunder (Down Under, Men at Work, 1982)

What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn't fail?

e6de3edb9ad5d25a9745341ace58deb8.jpg


#8 Tristin

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

Thanks for the tips! Ive used this in the past on a center console, GL grille, and GL taillights:

 

8526082289_67b1c3b8c7_z.jpg

 

Its ever so slightly textured, but comes out really nice once its dry for being matte. I really wasnt thinking about painting the plastic pieces, but I guess I might as well if Im going through all the trouble with the rest of it. We shall see after the clean up. 

 

Ill have to pick up some small C-clamps to keep all the pieces secured while the epoxy drys. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#9 themadpants

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

Simple green (Not corrosive) for cleaning up stuff, with cotton towels (Cheap at walmart)

Meguiar's Ultimate Protectant Dash And Trim Restorer for after the cleaning.

Meguiar's Protectant Natural Shine for once it is installed and you are detailing.

 

 

#10 Tristin

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:25 PM

Simple green (Not corrosive) for cleaning up stuff, with cotton towels (Cheap at walmart)

Meguiar's Ultimate Protectant Dash And Trim Restorer for after the cleaning.

Meguiar's Protectant Natural Shine for once it is installed and you are detailing.

 

Ive been looking at the Meguiars stuff... every time I use one of their products Im pretty happy. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#11 metalmonkey47

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:18 PM

FYI, if you haven't already painted it and still need primer, Duplicolor adhesion promoter (in the brown can with clear lid) is some pretty amazing stuff. My buddy used it on his Enkies and I think it's some of the best looking rattle can I'd ever seen. Looks pro


...seems to me we are being held hostage by these candy-ass pussy, limp wrist, hanky twisting, girly-man, cry when Forrest Gump's mom died, crystal gazing, Om chanting, sandal wearing, whiny voiced, oh I broke a nail, fucks.


#12 Tristin

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

Painting isnt for sure yet, we will see after I clean up the plastic pieces. Im hoping I dont have to paint them... it would be easier. Ive only just restarted disassembly today. Ive got the Reserves this weekend so I will have to resume the project Monday. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#13 Tristin

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:43 PM

More disassembly tonight.

 

Good thing I took my time taking apart the dash... I tried prying off the dash fascia pads for a second only to realize that they are bolted on. Luckily I stopped almost right away before I did any damage. Pads are in great condition and will not need to be painted. A good cleaning is in order still.

 

The plastic frames around the vents were broken in a few spots so I just snapped them off rather than deal with the clips in the back. Ill have to look at the ones on my current dash to see if they are uncracked... otherwise I will have to buy a new set. 

 

Ive noticed that there is a stamped out section behind the passenger fascia pad. Its the same shape as the drivers side which is stamped out for a switch. Has anyone seen a LHD model with something in the passenger side fascia area?

 

 

 

Ive also taken about 40 pictures to make sure I remember how things go together. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#14 I'm BLUE

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:52 PM

1 picture in this thread so far of the dash :wacko: :lol:

 

on a more serious note ,,, this process seems like it would be tedious as shit and a little nerve wrecking on which fork in the road to take.

 

maybe some inspiration ( pretty f@#$ing cool really )

Post 94# Jay's 240z project (flocking the dash) = http://community.rat...s-72-s30/page-5


(---------------For sale ------------------------)

(240z/260z/280z/280zx/200sx/KA24e/SR20det)---

DATSUN/NISSAN FOR SALE ITEMS ---> http://nwdatsuns.com...&p=39699#p39699

 

***Blue 1973 Datsun 240z ---> http://community.rat...lue-240z/page-8

***Copper 280zx-turbo ---> http://community.rat...zx-turbo/page-3

***240z V8 3-link solid axle project ---> http://community.rat...0z-project-•••/

------------------------------

http://nwdatsuns.com/

http://www.hybridz.org/

http://www.northwestfirearms.com/

 

------------------------------

 


#15 Tristin

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:56 PM

That may be good for the '70+ cars, but the '68/'69 dashes are mostly metal which you wouldnt flock. The dash pad is plastic and theres plastic inserts on the front lower, but the rest is metal which I will be powdercoating. 

 

 

Pictures are uploading right now. 

 

 

It is a little tedious as Ive taken out like 60 screws and undone like 15 clips. Still have more to go. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#16 I'm BLUE

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:04 AM

ahhhhhhhhhhhhh gotcha ! didn't know that !!

hmmmmm have been watching this with anticipation (even though it's a brand new thread lol)  and this will be neat to see progress as it transforms !

 

How people choose/methods/modifications to re-finish dashes and the process/progress is absolutely fascinating to me (don't know why just is lol)

 

I'll crawl back into the bushes now and wait for goodness to arrive :D


(---------------For sale ------------------------)

(240z/260z/280z/280zx/200sx/KA24e/SR20det)---

DATSUN/NISSAN FOR SALE ITEMS ---> http://nwdatsuns.com...&p=39699#p39699

 

***Blue 1973 Datsun 240z ---> http://community.rat...lue-240z/page-8

***Copper 280zx-turbo ---> http://community.rat...zx-turbo/page-3

***240z V8 3-link solid axle project ---> http://community.rat...0z-project-•••/

------------------------------

http://nwdatsuns.com/

http://www.hybridz.org/

http://www.northwestfirearms.com/

 

------------------------------

 


#17 Tristin

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:09 AM

Pictures as promised:
 
Dash harness
 
8553675080_cf3e1f76db_z.jpg
 
Passenger-side of metal frame (you can see the stamp out that looks like the drivers side for the fascia)
 
8553678298_e0d09cae23_z.jpg
 
Drivers-side of metal frame (compared it to the passenger-side)
 
8552575305_3219f7579b_z.jpg
 
Pad off (was recovered due to horrible cracking)
 
8552575643_c2453d3470_z.jpg
 
Metal frame
 
8552575977_0018617518_z.jpg

4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#18 Tristin

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:38 AM

Basically everything exploded all over my living room:

8552578663_021b571f3e_z.jpg

4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.


#19 Laecaon

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:05 AM

Damn the early dash is complicated. I can take my whole dash apart in like 15 minutes.


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#20 Tristin

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:07 AM

There are a lot of screws and such... I think that if there wasnt as much corrosion and dirt, it would go a little quicker. 


4 doors ..... no whores :crying:

 

and that is who i'm calling a deadbeat fuck.