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Discussion Starter #1
Hello bb-ers -

So, I pulled the dash out of the GTV6 parts car today... Ugh. Two pics below. My first indication of trouble was when I reached underneath the dash and heard that tell-tale crunching noise. Just like Filo when eating baklava, except one is food and one is... well, rust. Worst is around the two defrost vents. I'd like to try to resurrect it, as there are only three small cracks on the top, and that appears repairable. My worry is that it won't matter - it will just self-destruct from underneath. Members of the esteemed BB Council - what say you?

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If it still seems to have enough structural strength to be serviceable, I'd try some rust converting chemical. It interacts with the rust to form an inert coating. POR15 can be applied over rust but I am not sure if it would react with the foam/plastic.
 

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The couple I have pulled in the past are mostly surface rust from condensation and leaking. If yours in the same and still has reasonable metal strength, go with some POR and it will likely be fine for many years to come. It’s not like the dash takes a lot of weight stress.
 

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If it still seems to have enough structural strength to be serviceable, I'd try some rust converting chemical. It interacts with the rust to form an inert coating. POR15 can be applied over rust but I am not sure if it would react with the foam/plastic.
I agree with this. I think scraping off the loose rust then using a converter like Evaporust on it, then cover with POR-15 would do it.

Especially if the car lives in a a dry garage from now on.

I have heard of people wetting rags with the Evaporust then putting on sheet metal to convert the rust. I would try that here.

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi All - and thanks for the comments. Yes, the general opinion is that I can and should save this dashboard! So, i'm going to document the procedures I'm using and the tools and chemicals used in the process.

I started working on it in earnest. More pics are attached showing more details. The underside is pretty messed up, and I've decided that i'm going to remove most, if not all, of the green coating on the underside. That's the only way I'm going to get to all the rust, and prevent this from coming back. I can't do much about the topside of the dash - if there is rust there, it is as it is. I started scraping away a lot of the obviously loose rust and stuff on the underside, and removed as much of the coating as can easily come off. I'll use a Dremel on the rest of the coating to get it all off. Once it's all off, i'll clean it up with some Evaporust (thanks "archeologist"), and then probably use some Rust Encapsulator or POR-15.

You can see from the pic of the top of the dash that it's in pretty good shape, again justifying the undertaking...

A question for the group - once the POR-15 is applied, does anyone think that I need to re-apply some sort of thick coating like what was there originally? If so, why do you think it's needed? And what do you think I should use?

Oh, and one more thing... please, no comments about the NASCAR wallpaper! When we bought the house, the shop came this way - previous owner was BIG into Chevy Trucks! I made the strategic decision to spend my time on Alfas rather than on shop remodeling... one day, I suppose.

All for now - thanks again!

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I'd say the urethane foam on the underside is there just for sound deadener/anti-vibration purposes, nothing more Steve. Once you have the rust killer on the sheet metal, I'd maybe reapply some foam onto the areas only where it's dropped off, but I wouldn't be too concerned about the extent of it. And most any rust killer will not require the sheet metal to be squeaky clean, either, so I'd just brush off the loose stuff, and apply it. The "unobtainium" NOS dash we got along with the purchase of my son's GTV 6 had the foam applied across the underside, but believe me it was not a precise (or attractive) process!
Nobody's going to see this part of the dash anyway, once you install it. Now as for the cracks in the vinyl, I think it's Permatex who makes a kit for vinyl repair, which I have used and is very effective. It even includes paper swatches with various patterns of graining for vinyl, to approximate your original factory grain. They include a small steel anvil you heat up, and apply to the back of the graining paper to emboss the grain into the repaired area. This kit does a pretty good job of closing up cracks like the ones in the top of a typical GTV 6 dash. In fact, I need to get one to repair a small crack in my Spider dash, at the defroster vent.
 

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Here's a thread from 2010: dash repair The dash is still in good condition. The car is garaged 90% of the time (except when I'm driving it or need the garage space for other projects) and I keep the dash covered with a dash pad (carpet like material).

If I were to do it again, I'd be a little more careful to fill & smooth the cracks. And I'd consider taking to a place that sprays pick up truck bed liners - their product/technique might get a more durable/thicker final coating than the DIY spray cans.
 

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If it hasn't been mentioned before, you may want to consider a 'dash cap' for the appearance side of your dash. An exact thermoformed replication of the original that is nearly impossible to detect vs a perfect dash skin. Considerably thicker than the paper-thin factory skin. Requires trimming any puckers in the cracked skin that are standing proud. Then gluing and clamping to secure right over the original skin. Then some fussy work with a Dremel to the vent and glove box openings to get everything just right. The thicker outer skin may even help reinforce any remaining weak spots in your metal repair? A properly done cap should outlast the rest of the car.

Can be found on eBay for $75-120. AccuForm seems to be the main manufacturer of these. Comes with a tube of adhesive, but best to grab an extra tube at a car parts store. These come in two versions: earlier GTV6 dashes with a square hole for the 'choke', and without that extra hole for the later models. Be sure to double check that you get the variation correct for your car.

Count on asking everyone of your friends for a loan of as many clamps as you can acquire. You'll need a bunch! Easiest to accomplish with the dash out. But I've seen where others have installed with the dash on the car, and seemed satisfied with the results. Not sure how they clamped the side nearest the windshield, tho?

Peter
 

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When I installed the dash cap on my 83 GTV6 I wadded up shop rags and wedged them into the space between the front edge of the dash and the windshield. The cap has been on the car for over 10 years and still looks great and has not loosened up.
 

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Peter, that's probably the best overall recommendation posted here, I think, on salvaging this dash. At least we know the dash cap itself won't crack like the original molded vinyl/foam assembly. Hats off to you!
 

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Thanks Loco... I'm blushing. :- )

And thanks to Jim for explaining his method of applying a cap without removing the dash. If his is still solid after 10+ years, that saves a major portion of the work in the process.
 

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A while back I saw a YouTube video of someone glueing new vinyl over an old cracked 944 dashboard. Has anyone tried this?
 

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I saw that video as well. A lot of work, a lot of trouble and potential wrinkles, bubbles, etc.-- compared to a simple dash cap. Not something I would attempt, for sure!
A while back I saw a YouTube video of someone glueing new vinyl over an old cracked 944 dashboard. Has anyone tried this?
 

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If you want something to deaden the sound, maybe a quick coat of bedliner or undercoating after the POR-15?

If the top foam is still intact I think that's probably enough to dampen any serious vibration.

Ian

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All - well, i've spent an afternoon with the dremel, removing all the foamy green stuff from under the dash and exposing all the rust. Here are some pics after all the grinding. Used a Dremel with a steel burr-type fitting on it to grind it all away. Lots of rust, but nothing too terrible, other than the area around the upper defroster vents and the side mounting brackets. I've also used the Dremel to slightly grind away all the proud-standing vinyl in the cracks.

I'm going to use a rust converter on the rusty metal now, then follow it up with a Rust Preventer. POR-15 and/or Eastwood. May try both, as I have both, and let you know the results - literally side by side.

Not sure what I'm going to do yet to repair the top. Seems my choices are:
1. Buy a dash cap from eBay or Centerline or somewhere - expensive, and challenging to install, but definitely fixes it.
2. Try the Bondo/Bedliner approach that has been documented in the BB many times - apparently easy to do, but doesn't seem to last
3. Fill the cracks with Bondo, then use a flocking agent on the top (the only area of cracking) to cover the repairs and the entire top. Seems easy to do, and I don't need to do the vertical-faces, but I know there is lots of "OMFG" reactions to something as radical as flocking.
4. Same as 2 & 3 above, but then try to wrap using vinyl or leather. Sure looks dang easy on YouTube!
5. Try to fix the cracks as best I can, and then buy a topper. Cheap, to be sure, but will only be a temporary solution until I can no longer stand it.

Whatever I do with the GTV6 dash, i'll learn and do to the Alfetta dash. Still not sure which one will go into the Alfetta, and which one I will sell.

Will continue to post progress on this thread, and i'll do the same on the "A New Hope" thread
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Not sure what I'm going to do yet to repair the top. Seems my choices are:
1. Buy a dash cap from eBay or Centerline or somewhere - expensive, and challenging to install, but definitely fixes it.
2. Try the Bondo/Bedliner approach that has been documented in the BB many times - apparently easy to do, but doesn't seem to last
Just to be clear, the dash repair stuff is not 'bondo' but a product made for repairing flexible bumpers. It's a two part material that cures to a rubbery state. And the bed liner material seems likely it is made to withstand exposure to the sun. I did my GTV6 dash many years ago - it has held up well.

That said, I think the dash cap option sounds superior. I would still suggest filling the cavities with an appropriate filler - something semi rigid but slightly flexible.
 

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I'm looking forward to the POR comparison, I bet they are similar. It doesn't come off anything including your skin so be careful with it.

What about repairing the cracks then trying to use something to duplicate the vinyl grain then painting with vinyl paint? I think that's how the kits work. There's a guy I have used a few times in Portland who touches up the interior of used cars, I believe he said he could do that.

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