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Discussion Starter #1
My restorer mate has just told me that he's having difficulty removing the dashboard. He didn't explain why, but he did ask if a diagram of where all the fixings are. Does anyone know if one exists? Can anyone throw some light on the subject? Thank you to all.
 

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By "dashboard", are you referring to the top, the console, or the face? I removed the dash top, console, and instrument pods, but made no effort to remove the face. I believe that removing the structural face would be quite a major undertaking, and possibly the cutting of welded pieces.

Removing the console and top gives you access to most everything that would need repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both you guys put Bruce Taylor's "most knowledgeable Montreal Man" reputation under siege. I'm sure the structural face can stay in place while I have the dash top re-skinned. I'll pass this info to my main man and let you know the results.

Thank you both and have a happy day.
Rob
 

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Both you guys put Bruce Taylor's "most knowledgeable Montreal Man" reputation under siege. Rob
Hardly, we just point you in his direction! If you don't have 'Bruce MontreAlmighty's' book "Alfa Romeo: Montreal the Essential Companion" it is well worth buying.

Would you share with us where you plan on having your dash 're-skinned'?
I have 3 large cracks that I have not enjoyed looking at for too long. I have considered JustDashes (I just received a positive email about them this morning but have seen much negative information as well Google search JustDashes complaints and there are more than a few). We have a couple of franchises of Fibrenew like, Don used, in the Atlanta area.

Mark
 

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"Reskinning" the dash top is a problem to ponder. I originally planned to have it repaired then covered with black Alcantara. After seeing a few other car dashes repaired this way, I decided it was too much of a departure from the original, and that's when I found Fibrenew.

My local Fibrenew guy did a credible job. I sent it back once for re-work. A third re-word would have probably gotten it perfect, and he would have done it without argument. As it is, you can just barely see a little discontinuity along the leading edge where the several cracks were repaired. It is either that, or an area where there is some reinforcement for the hold-down screws to screw into. Either way, vastly better than driving around with several grand canyons in view.

My hunch is that both Justdashes and Fibrenew use similar techniques, so it's a matter of the skill and enthusiasm of the person doing the work that day. Using a local guy has given me a nice peace of mind.

For instance, he repaired and re-dyed my console. It was nice work, but shortly after I started operating the car I noticed that a small area on the passenger side was losing its dye. I called Jay, and he came to my garage to repair it without complaint. Not so easy to remove the console and send it off to an out of town shop.
 

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"My hunch is that both Justdashes and Fibrenew use similar techniques, For instance, he repaired and re-dyed my console. It was nice work, but shortly after I started operating the car I noticed that a small area on the passenger side was losing its dye.
Jay, with all due respect, your "hunch" may not be right this time. I have been sitting on this fence about this for nearly a year. JustDashes; believe me I am not advocating their service, as they have a significant number of unhappy customers, recovers the dash using a vacuum forming technique with a sheet of hot vinyl that must be similar to the factory dash construction method.

Check this video clip: Welcome To Just Dashes

Unfortunately they have a "reputation" of either doing amazing restoration work or quoting one thing and charging another; taking 6 or 8 weeks and having an occasional issue that they may or may not be interested in taking care of after the sale.

Similar to Fibrenew, my son and I repaired several cracks in the dash of his 535i and it turned out amazingly well! IF the Montreal was a $5,000 mass produced car with little chance of 'up-side' I'd definitely repair it like we did the Bimmer. He used a router to open up the cracks and then filled them in with plastic sticks that were melted with a huge soldering iron that my dad has had my entire life (first time I've seen it used!). We used a special dash board type bondo and got the dash perfectly smooth and then covered it with a black Flocking Material! It looks great and there is absolutely no glare on the windshield as an added benefit.

Mark
 

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Mark,

Re-read the earlier posts, please.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
While I'm no expert like you guys, I had my Spider Veloce dash re-skinned by "The Dashboard Doctor". They did a very good job and basically the dashboard was returned to me looking like new. But I hardly think you guys would want to send your dash to Melbourne.
 

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I am fine with your reasons and decision to use Fibrenew, in fact I checked them out fairly well and about the most negative comments are that some dashboard repairs are still visible. The JustDashes method looks like it would produce the best results but apparently they generate a lot of complaints as well. I'll probably call our local Fibrenew franchise:
Leather, Vinyl, Upholstery Repair - Fibrenew Atlanta NW
Would you know how long they warranty a repair? I could not find that info on their website.
Mark
 

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Mark... I was referencing you addressing me as "Jay". No worries.

No idea on warranty. He's a local franchisee, and if he gives up there is probably no warranty. Otherwise, his behavior so far suggests he would probably take care of anything for quite a while. Most of the Fibrenew business is spiffing up used cars at dealerships so they can move them along. Justdashes, as you say, is probably focused on longer term relationships. Maybe. Dunno.
 

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This thread has been helpful, though not encouraging. I had planned on sending my dash to Justdashes when the time came, which is fairly soon. But now, I'm not sure so sure. I'd prefer to deal with a company that stands behind their work. I hadn't realized that they had a history of some customer service issues. I'm probably better off going with my local Fibrenew guy.
 

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I give my local guy a B+. If the minimum standard was 100 points, then he didn't quite make it. A pleasure to do business with, though. If it weren't such a PITA to get the dash cap off, I'd have him redo it to 100%.

If just dashes can, and will, produce a 100% job, a Montral is worth it.
 

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Mark... I was referencing you addressing me as "Jay". No worries.
Sorry Don, 'handographical error' -I thought it was something that I wrote beside the wrong name.:oops:

Malex, Robert told me that he "knows several people that have had dashes redone by Just Dashes, and all have been very happy with the results," including himself. Please let me know how you make out if you go that route.

He says JustDashes is "a little pricey, but the results are fantastic".

Like Don says Either way, vastly better than driving around with several grand canyons in view...

Mark
 

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Rob, although we sent you off to archival discussions of dash removal, I've got an extra second or two.

First, you have to remove the console. It's kind of a PITA. As I recall, the lower panel (the piece the ashtray snaps into) has to come out first, after snapping out the ash tray. The lower panel just snaps into place, so you have to pry it up. Be careful not to break it, as the plastic gets fragile with age.

Once this panel is up, you can remove the gear shift boot and whatever wires are connected under the panel.

Then, the vertical panel (with the rocker switches in it) has to come out. The details can vary depending upon whether you have a radio. It is held in place largely by the screws that hold the long skinny green light in place, as well as by the two screws that hold the heater sliding knob assembly in place. Once the panel is loose, you can access the wires to the switches and pull off them loose. I highly recommend taking very good pictures and marking wiring bundles so you can reconnect them correctly. Although there are gang plugs for many of the wires, on my car there was a bundle or two without the gang plug, so the only option was to disconnect the wires at the rocker switches.

At this point, there are a couple of screws under where the ash tray was that hold the console in place up against the dash assembly. Remove them, and the console should come out after enough wiggling and cursing. You have to get it at just the right angle to lift it over the gear shift shaft.

Once the console is out of the way, there are screws under where it used to be that attach the dash top to the car's structure. I think there are two of them in this area, but there might be three. There are also two screws under the top of the glove box opening (not the one underneath with a closing tray). The screws in the glove box opening should be at either end of the opening, pointing up.

Then, there are, I think two screws, one on either side of the steering column.

Oh - you have to remove the instrument pod cover. There are two long bolts (allen headed), one on either side of the steering column.

Lastly, I think there are two screws that are accessed via the fuse box area, which are reached by opening the fuse box access cover, and looking up. The MIGHT be for the instrument pods, which I think need to come out before lifting off the dash top.

I'm doing this from memory, so might have missed some spots. Should give you a good start, though. The top will need to slightly slide toward the rear of the car before it is easily lifted out over the steering wheel.

Getting the screws to start back into the heater slider assembly is a major PITA.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #16
G'day Don. The above is just what I needed - I'll pass it on to my main man, together with a post from Mark, and will let you know how he gets on. Sounds like a typical Alfa design to me.

Merry Christmas
Rob
 
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