Dash Knob Refurbish-How To (1 Viewer)


Nov 16, 2004
Oceanside, CA (Fire Mountain)
I've been working away on the 45 for a few months and decided I would share my method of dash knob refurbishing for anyone interested. This method has worked well on the EARLY (1965 in this case) hard plastic knobs. I have also had success with knobs on my 73.

I know there are many ways of doing this but this is how I did it. This may not be the best way. Your way is probably better... BLAH BLAH BLAH...



Items needed:

Knob (preferably smooth, as heavily pitted knobs will be much harder to come out clean).
Simple Green or other cleaner (I've only used SG).
Clean towels/rags

Start with an old switch:

Remove the old knob:

Start with a clean towel (or several)...

Spray Simple Green in a small area...

Start rubbing the face of the switch on the SG area of the cloth. I have had more success folding the towel so it is many layers thick to soften the rubbing area. You may also just want to use your hand instead of a hard surface depending on how much work your knob needs... :eek:

Once the dirt starts coming off, spray SG on a new spot and move around the towel. You can see the results...

After the face is done move to the sides and edges. I usually use a fingernail behind the towel for the ridges and edges. These clean up pretty easily but with a little patience and doing it over and over your results will improve. Once you're happy with the cleaning process be sure to let it dry thoroughly. I used a white paint pen. Others have mentioned success with white crayons but I've never tried it.

After the knob is dry apply a good amount of paint on the knob. Be sure to fill the letters completely. Remember that any extra paint outside the letters will have to be rubbed off...

I also make sure the slots are full of paint with no air bubbles...

Once you let the paint dry completely you start the simple green process over. Spray a small area and start rubbing... (your hands should not get this dirty, I was rebuilding a parking brake in the middle of this)...

The paint will take awhile to come off. This is where the patience pays off. Just keep rubbing. If you're impatient you can attempt to scratch a bit of the extra off with a fingernail but BEWARE OF SCRATCHING THE FACE OF THE KNOB!

You can see here that my impatience and extra hard rubbing caused a bit of the paint to come out of the letters...

After letting the knob dry (from the simple green) I touched up the "P" with a little paint. If you wanted this knob to be perfect you could dab all the small areas that aren't perfect...

Let it dry completely and repeat the cleaning process.

Final knob. Extreme closeups reveal all the flaws but it is not noticeable on the dash. If you take your time and don't rub so hard the letters will look better than this...

Install the knob back on the switch...

Here's a shot of my 45 dash the day I got it...

And after the knob refurb (the last one to do is the choke cable)...

Last edited:
Mar 2, 2002
Duluth, Minnesota
Very nice Dom. Similar product, same great results. Really improves the look of the dash. Picked these up at a local craft/hobby store (Michael's).
Last edited:
Mar 21, 2006
Penticton, B.C.
I pretty much did mine the same way. After I had the white paint all over the know I used a small machinist file to remove the excess paint. Only the paint on the knob was removed while the paint inside the lettering remained intact. Afterwards I took some 600 grit sandpaper and a flat surface to run the knob over. This took care of the marks left by the file and gave the knob a nice sheen. I used a Tamiya paint pen that I picked up from a local Hobby center.
Oct 31, 2008
Napa Valley California
Awesome job. I have been thinking how I was going to restore my knobs. The only thing I might add is/was using some black plastic paint first on the knob itself then adding the white to the letters. If anyone else has tried it let me know. Then the black looks new and it will fill in the scratches.
Mar 19, 2008
CT Coast
Dom, nice!!

If you have an idea, or a method on how to do the rare & elusive early stlye horn button Toyota emblem - I would love to hear about it.
Nov 13, 2006
Victoria B.C.
went to Michaels today to buy the paint and came home with
Glow in the dark paint ,before i try this has anybody done it and is it any advantage?
Jan 25, 2007
Lincoln, CA
depends on the kind of glow in the dark it is... as a kid i remember the stuff you had to hold directly under the light bulb and then quickly turn the lights off to even notice it.. but try it out on a something first to see how well it works.. keep in your truck and see if it glows on your way home from work.

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