thoughts on 'glassing my dash (1 Viewer)

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fiberglass dash repair / modification

I've been tired of of looking at the cracked dash for awhile now. So yesterday I pulled the dash out and took the clinometer off so I could sell it (never really use it anyway). In the process of searching for a way to fix my cracked dash pad I read this thread, which opened up my eyes to the possibility of fiberglassing the thing over. Then I did a bit more searching and found this thread which is only slightly more involved and includes modifying the original dash with gauge pods.

I'm thinking of 'glassing a single gauge pod in for my vacuum gauge over the left part of the nearly useless "pocket" that Toyota put on top.


So, opinion time - should I just eliminate the pocket and run the 'glass over top of it or try to build up the sides a bit and give it a lip so it can serve some useful purpose? Any other ideas or thoughts for the top of the dash?
 
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KLF

Frame waxer
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Interesting idea. Go for it, let us know how it goes. I have plans to add a little "doghouse" on top of my dash with a bunch of aux gauges, this might be a good way to do it. I have a spare butt-ugly cracked red pad to work with as a practice.
 
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sounds like a lot of work for that small of a crack. I would find a different dash or get some plastic weld from a body supply store work with that then paint the whole thing with vinyl paint. remember if you "glass" anything it wont have the same texture as the vinyl has.



on a side/related note: Ive been redoing my corolla interior and found a vinyl at the fabric shop thats dam near the same texture & color (black) and the corolla dash will be a lot harder to redo but I think p/u dashes will be cake! just by smoothing out the crackes and filling them with anything so they are gone then get a strong fabric/headliner spray on glue

I was able to spray on the glue in one part lay the fabric down then start streching the fabric for the hard curves with the wifes hair dryer. it will actually form to the dash almost perfect!...

I tend to ramble..

oh and the fabric was like $30ish for 2yds
 
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Ohh . . . there are more cracks and wider cracks than the one in the pic (before you hit reply, get your mind out of the gutter).

Yesterday I picked up some fiberglass material and resin. Today I picked up an a-pillar gauge pod and started hacking it up so I can mold it to the dash before the 'glass goes on - now I just need a nice day without rain to get started on this
 
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Picked up some resin and fiberglass cloth for ~$20


Took the dremel to the a-pillar pod and then heat molded to it to fit the dash. Here it is glued in place with some precision bent "all thread" to build up the lip a bit


dash all wrapped up like a mummy. This was a bit of a pain as the cloth kept coming apart and I'd get long threads stuck to my hands. I used a few dabs of glue in key spots to hold it in place on the dash.


The first coat's done. Now I gotta let this dry then tomorrow it gets a second coat after some sanding.
 
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The fiberglass got sanded down with some 80 grit in a block, vent openings were cut out with a sharp razor and I knocked down the high spots in the first layer. Then I built up the edge around the pocket with some bondo just as it started to rain.


I'm hoping the rain stops so I lay the second, and probably final, layer of fiberglass on
 
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Unfortunately, the cloth in my second layer was kinda loose and started to fold and wrinkle when I applied the resin. I also mixed the resin too hot and it started to gel and harden before I could get it smoothed out and make it stick.

Somewhere in the midst of this, I asked Corey (Slacker) from Toyota Fiberglass for some advice and got this reply:
your best bet is not to use glue .. but have the dash on some good stands that position it properly . When you wet out the cloth , it will "sag" down , so remember that , and if you cant do it all at once , then don't .. let the first part cure , then move your project over and do the other piece .. you can do the layers all in pieces to get the best final outcome .. hope that makes sense.
It kinda sounds like I didn't really need to wrap it in one piece and just made the project more difficult for myself . . . live and learn

So I used a sharp razor to cut out the bubbles and folds. I cut up some of the scrap cloth that I had left over into "patches" that I could use to fill the craters that were left. I also mixed the resin much cooler this time, in fact it took nearly 5 hrs to fully cure this time around instead of the usual 1-2 hrs. While I was at it I added another layer to the bottom and sides of the dash pocket and wrapped a layer over the gauge pod. The remaining resin got brushed over the front and top of the dash with a little bit used to "seal" the edges around the vent openings.

This morning (as soon as it stopped raining) I cut the frayed ends of fabric off and started sanding down all the patches. Here it is after the first coat of primer. I'm not done sanding and smoothing, but this will let me see where I need to work on yet. If I was flocking the dash it'd be done the way it sits since the flocking will cover bad sanding, but I'm painting it with Rustoleum Hammered finish so more sanding is in order.





 
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Thanks, I'm hoping to finish sanding and test fit to make sure it still fits today.
Eventually I'm gonna have to get a job I guess :meh:
 
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88 wants to know how much you are going to charge for them?
bwahahaha, I already have too many projects on my plate

It's really not that difficult though, and if mistakes are made they can be fixed with sandpaper. Just be careful with the fiberglass resin mix - I've heard way too much hardener can actually cause it to get hot enough to start a fire
 
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no really I am pretty good with fiberglass and bondo;);).

the idea alone is worth a few pennies thats why I laid out an offer.
bwahahaha, I already have too many projects on my plate

It's really not that difficult though, and if mistakes are made they can be fixed with sandpaper. Just be careful with the fiberglass resin mix - I've heard way too much hardener can actually cause it to get hot enough to start a fire
 

Bogo

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Has me thinking about what to do with the center console area in my 2nd gen 4runner. I see lots of potential area for switches, gauges, etc., and a couple better cup holders. I was joking with dad I should do it with cold molding. That is to make a sheet of plywood formed in the 3 dimensional shape I need it. The other idea bounced around was vacuum forming some plastic.
 
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Looks good. I've been trying to figure out what to do with my cracked "crash pad" for years... jury is still out on the cyclopes pod tho. :D

So what's the plan for rest of the interior plastic? Since it's all "textured" in some way do you plan of smoothing and painting all of it to match?

Keep up the good work!
 
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So what's the plan for rest of the interior plastic? Since it's all "textured" in some way do you plan of smoothing and painting all of it to match?

Keep up the good work!
I'm hoping Rustoleum Hammered finish will give the illusion of texture - if not, it's still better than looking old and cracked. The only other piece that I'm worried about it matching is the top part of the instrument cluster cover, which I may paint to match (two-tone dash)
 

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