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jkelly

Replacing dash with dash cover

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Hey guys, has anyone tried to replace the original dash with a full dash cover? That is, move all of the mounting structure/bracketry from the original dash to a dash cover and use the cover as the new dash? I'm not sure if it's doable but I'm in the process of deciding which direction to go with my dash. Considering SEM or polyvance products for a repair, a dash cover on top of the original, or like mentioned using a dash cover as a full on replacememt. The original only has four cracks. 

20171010_190852.jpg

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i tried repairing the cracks before but i wasnt able to 100% blend it in, i was still able to see a lil witness of were the fix was. i have the hard cover over mine and honestly looks like a new dash. you can barely see that its a cover only if you look for it. only a datsun person would know but i dont think anyone would think less of it. just dont keep it in the sun too long cause it will warp if its left outside alot. just use a windsheild screen. well worth the money and easy install. i dont know how it would work as a replacement though. seems like a large undertaking. i would put a good effort in repairing what you have first.

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54 minutes ago, G-Tech said:

i tried repairing the cracks before but i wasnt able to 100% blend it in, i was still able to see a lil witness of were the fix was. i have the hard cover over mine and honestly looks like a new dash. you can barely see that its a cover only if you look for it. only a datsun person would know but i dont think anyone would think less of it. just dont keep it in the sun too long cause it will warp if its left outside alot. just use a windsheild screen. well worth the money and easy install. i dont know how it would work as a replacement though. seems like a large undertaking. i would put a good effort in repairing what you have first.

Thanks for the reply, G-Tech. I would rather try to keep it original. What products did you use to repair yours?

 

On the repair side of things I'm going back and forth between using SEM products/expanding foam like (Great Stuff foam, SEM bumper repair, SEM texture paint, etc.) and the way more expensive Polyvance method using padded dash filler, plastic welding, FlexTex sprayable texture paint, etc. I'm looking at ~$80 SEM route vs. ~$240 Polyvance route.

Edited by jkelly

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I just finished restoring my dash using the Polyvance stuff. I got most of the stuff for maybe 30% less from a company called urethane supply products, or something like that. You can search google just using the part numbers from the Polyvance stuff and you'll find this other company. It is clearly the same product with a different label. I think they had everything but the flextex.

I'm very happy with how it turned out, but only time will tell how long it lasts. If you take the repair route, check very carefully for other areas that are very brittle, or spider cracks. Repair these areas too, or they will surely crack soon.

Edited by JoeK

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At a large all-comers type show back home this summer most people couldn't even tell that the dash on my 280 had a cap on it. Even some of the guys who at least had fond memories of old datsuns or used to own one were complimenting how nice that dash looked and saying they were normally very split. I think it looks quite nice if you take the time to align it properly. I don't even want to know what's hiding underneath the cover....

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Caps get a bad rep because they don't fit perfectly and then they are installed poorly. If you look at what I had to do in my thread in order to get it to fit you'll see that there is a ton of material that needs to be removed.

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Mine was installed before I bought the car, and it's pretty decent actually, but there are definitely still alignment issues if you look for them, like over the logo near the glovebox. 

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On 10/12/2017 at 12:35 PM, Namor said:

I wish they didn't even have the hole for the logo near the glovebox.  240z's didn't have that logo, did they?  

Here's some pictures of my May 1972 240z. It has a glove box logo.

 

Ignore those horrible welds -- I was still learning :rolleyes:

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20171013_063213.jpg

Edited by jkelly

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13 hours ago, jkelly said:

Here's some pictures of my May 1972 240z. It has a glove box logo.

 

Ignore those horrible welds -- I was still learning :rolleyes:

Oh see, on the 240z the logo is ON the glovebox.  On the 280z's it is NEAR the glovebox, so the dash caps you have a hole so the logo shows through, but you can imagine how well the hole lines up.

Edited by Namor

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1 hour ago, Namor said:

Oh see, on the 240z the logo is ON the glovebox.  On the 280z's it is NEAR the glovebox, so the dash caps you get have a hole so the logo shows through, but you can imagine how well the hole lines up.

Ah okay. Yeah I can see that being a PITA to get aligned...if it's even possible. 

 

On 11/10/2017 at 5:14 PM, Derek said:

Here is how I did mine.

 

Nice. I had just read through your post before posting. I'm kind of leaning towards grabbing a full cover from MSA and going that route. Yours looks really good. Do you have any more pics of the finished dash?

 

On 11/10/2017 at 9:33 PM, JoeK said:

I just finished restoring my dash using the Polyvance stuff. I got most of the stuff for maybe 30% less from a company called urethane supply products, or something like that. You can search google just using the part numbers from the Polyvance stuff and you'll find this other company. It is clearly the same product with a different label. I think they had everything but the flextex.

I'm very happy with how it turned out, but only time will tell how long it lasts. If you take the repair route, check very carefully for other areas that are very brittle, or spider cracks. Repair these areas too, or they will surely crack soon.

Sweet. I'm going to check that out. If it's cheap enough I might try a repair first. I bet some people have tried the polyvance stuff before. I wonder how it works long term. Haven't heard anyone say.

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I recently did my full dash cap it turned out good I think. I was thinking of restoring it but the thought of another crack coming up and the time/effort involved steered me away. Keep in mind I am not running factory gauges. I pretty much scuffed it all up and glued with the epoxy included in the dash cover I found that was not enough so used some automotive black urethane.

Derek did an amazing job he blended both dash resto and cap methods which turned out great! I am not super picky the only places a full dash cap is noticeable is when you open the glove box or looking at it from a low vantage point.

Edited by softopz

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10 hours ago, jkelly said:

 

Nice. I had just read through your post before posting. I'm kind of leaning towards grabbing a full cover from MSA and going that route. Yours looks really good. Do you have any more pics of the finished dash?

 

Those are all the pics I have. I will say that it is still in perfect shape with no de-lamination and up until I blew the motor it was parked out in the Florida heat every day. Realistically I'm thinking it's better than stock as far as longevity goes.

I did the SEM fill the crack method and it just cracked in another place. Anything you paint on is a temporary fix.  My experience thermoforming speaker panels made me realize the problem isn't the quality of the cover but the stresses put against it when you install it. 

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I know it is expensive but in my opinion the best is to go to "Just Dashes" and have them refurbish it; they redo the dash better than factory with a high quality thicker material that will last.  I used to have a dash cover and they never look perfect and to me if you go through all the trouble to remove it to attempt a repair you might as well do it right as the cracks will come back and then you have all that hassle and labor to remove it and reinstall it again.

http://www.justdashes.com/?s=datsun+240z

 

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8 hours ago, primaz said:

I know it is expensive but in my opinion the best is to go to "Just Dashes" and have them refurbish it; they redo the dash better than factory with a high quality thicker material that will last.  I used to have a dash cover and they never look perfect and to me if you go through all the trouble to remove it to attempt a repair you might as well do it right as the cracks will come back and then you have all that hassle and labor to remove it and reinstall it again.

http://www.justdashes.com/?s=datsun+240z

 

Yeah, I got a quote from them a while back ~$1750. I'm sure they do great work, but that's too pricey for me. 

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I restored my dash..I was about the same condition yours was. Cost me $100 in materials and I am very very happy with the results.

 

I couldnt find a picture of the completed dash but here is the main foam and filler done.. SEM Texture coat and SEM trim black and it looks like new!!!IMG_0021.thumb.JPG.14ddf0659f5d20ab2de17396c4552f5a.JPG

 

 

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