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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings Fellow Alfa BB members.
I am looking for the latest news on your reccomendation for buying and installing a replacement dash pad on 390392. I see where the parts houses (IAP-Cl) have replacement dash for sale. The pictures shown do not really look like my dash. Has anyone really gotten one and installed it ? I would rather not pull the windshield,if that is possible to do.
Regards,
pat
 

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Padded dash top replacement... What FUN!

Hi Pat,
I've done a few of these in several different ways. The only way to make it correct is to remove the windshield, really not as bad as it sounds. Some time ago, the fiberglass replacement dash tops for the Giulia's with padded dash's, were actually incorrect. The mold was made by laying up the pattern over the metal dash. This mold then produced an exact replica of the metal back cowl (dash) section. It was too small to fit over the existing metal cowl (dash) section. I believe these were made in europe and dealers in such things here in the U.S. were aware of the problem. I hope it has been corrected. One of the things I have done is buy the fiberglass reproduction of the Giulietta front dash edge, called the nosing. I glassed in studs that fit through the front edge of the Giulia dash, then carefully finished the glass to exactly blend with the Giulia cowl (dash) front edge. (not hard at all). Then after carefully cleaning off ALL old dried foam rubber and adhesive smoothly, down to the original paint, I laid 5/16 foam over the dash area and fiberglass nosing, the nosing not fastened tightly to the metal cowl. I used adhesive only on the nosing at this point. I then laid the upholstery fabric over the nosing, hanging down inside the car, with the edge forced between the bottom edge of the nosing, (instrument side). Then tightened down the nosing retaining studs, catching the foam and vinal neatly. I then painted adhesive on the raised metal section over the instruments and glued the foam over this area, then with my glue brush worked the rest of the foam over the metal to the windshield mark. (opps! Forgot to mention I marked the metal with a mark to show the inside of the windshield!) Foam was carefully trimmed to this line after glueing down. Then the vinal fabric was carefully glued to the foam little by little, using a heat gun to stretch it slightly over the raised instrument section. This was difficult! Eventually I worked it past the inside of the windshield mark as done originally, so it would be trapped under the windshield. A dab of adhesive here and there and the windshield was replaced. The result is a dash that appears to be exactly as OEM, complete with foam. Thanks to the fiberglass nosing, if the foam goes bad again, it can be redone again. Be SURE to use an adhesive (glue) made specially for foam rubber so it does not damage either it or the vinal!!! This is NOT the way most do this job, but it is very close to OEM. The dash top would be much easier IF it fits correctly. I found one made in Germany of very thin fiberglass that was vinal covered and could be glued to the metal cowl (dash) top. Completed it looked almost as good as the above method. It was slightly wavy to the critical eye, and not padded. It also required windshield removal to trap the vinal under the windshield. As anyone will tell you that has actually done this job, take your time, and be sure all is perfect before going to any next step. This job takes time and patience to get a good result. I hope this long post helps. If you doubt your ability, do not hesitate to get help from someone that's sure they can get it right! :DGordon Raymond
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Gordon.
Your discription of the job is quite good. Not sure that I am up to doing all that. But it is nice to know.
Pat
 

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Padded dash top replacement

Well Pat, I have to agree. Initially a customer paid me to do the job, and I started off the easy way. After a couple of successful (somewhat) jobs, I decided I should replace the (turning back to dust) foam on my own '65 Spider. I carefully salvaged the vinal, and cleaned it up nice enough to re use before I realized it was manufactured with the front edge and foam as part of the cover! That forced me to learn the technique I mentioned. There IS a learning curve, and once you have learned why and how, you really don't want to do the job anymore;)! Best, :DGordon Raymond
 

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Hello Gordon,
Your description of covering your dash top is very informative. I tried something similar except I did not have the fiberglass nose; I carved one from dense foam and glued it to the steel lip on the dash. The disadvantage is that there was no way to clamp the front edge of the vinyl down. My scheme worked fairly well except after a while, the glue between the foam and vinyl let go. I used a stretchy fabric-backed vinyl and the glue did not hold to the fabric backing very well. What kind of vinyl and glue did you use?

Thanks!
 

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More on dash covering

Hello Gordon,
Your description of covering your dash top is very informative. I tried something similar except I did not have the fiberglass nose; I carved one from dense foam and glued it to the steel lip on the dash. The disadvantage is that there was no way to clamp the front edge of the vinyl down. My scheme worked fairly well except after a while, the glue between the foam and vinyl let go. I used a stretchy fabric-backed vinyl and the glue did not hold to the fabric backing very well. What kind of vinyl and glue did you use?

Thanks!
The adhesive I used is an upholstery adhesive, just for this kind of application. It came from an upholstery shop where I know the owner. He buys it from "DuBois Light", phone# 708-499-4240. There are two types, one they call green (it's green) and one called clear, (it's actually yellow). It comes in 5 gal cans, but my friend gave me a can with about a quart left. I used the clear/yellow, but it would probably be best to call DuBois and be sure that ones the best. As for as fabric, I took my old cover to my friends shop and matched pattern of the vinal top. There were a few. Then I took a heat gun to the samples, and found the one that was thinnest, fabric backed, and stretched most easily without loss of vinal pattern. I have no idea which one it was, just the one that would work best for me. Best bet is to visit a friendly upholstery shop that will talk to you. On the nosing, the very first one I did, I cut the nosing out of 2 sections of 3/4 inch plywood, glued together, and then cut with a band saw, rough finished with a router and finally rasped and sanded to shape by hand. Took forever, came out beautifully, I'll never do it that way again:eek:! When I found the fiberglass Giulietta replica nosing, I jumped with joy. A tenth the work, not as beautiful, same final result. I hope all this helps. It's nice to know others won't suffer the learning curve if they read my notes! :DGordon Raymond
 

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Thanks Gordon!
I made my foam nosing in much the same way as you did your first from plywood. Mine might have went a little faster as I could scuplt the foam with a serrated knife and course sandpaper. It still took a lot of time though. Where did you get the fiberglass nosing?
 

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Glass nosing source

You know Dave, that's a good question. I think it came from a fellow BB'er in California that was going to use it on his Giulietta, but found a metal one. He told me it came out of Europe, so IF I needed another, I would start with Christian Ondrak, Ok Parts. Then Tony Stevens @ Alfa Stop, and go from there. It may be these exist in the U.S. You might luck out with Centerline. This was for a Giulietta, as the studs were wrong, but a little fiberglass & resin with some long metric screws, and that problem was done with.
To get it to match the dash perfectly, I first added a very little more fiberglass where needed, and finished with body filler. Very easy. :cool:
I will do a search through my piles of saved paperwork, and should I locate the quick source, let you know:rolleyes:. :DGordon Raymond
 

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replacement dash for 1965 Giulia

Two years ago I brought back an Italian made replacement dash/ padding from Centerline. They had ordered five and had one left.

I had it installed in 11/07 and it looks great; however, they did not remove the side posts and the sealer they used at the base of the windshield allows water into the car.

The replacement is for a normale, but I doubt there's a difference with a veloce. Centerline would likely know.

Good luck.

65 Guilia (note spelling)
 
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