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Old 07-03-2009, 07:00 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 102

It's been 2 months since I fixed my heater box issues. While I had the dash out I thought I would try and fixed the cracks in the dash using the CA glue and baking sode technique described on this site. Using the described technique I was able to mend the cracks (about 1.5" long) to the point that it cannot be discerned they ever existed (unless I showed you where they were). The previous owner had also screwed his mobile phone mount to the side of the console, and with the same technique I was able to fix the holes and depressions so that the repair is not noticeable. It is amazing what happens to baking soda when you combine it with Ca glue. I then went to my local auto paint supplier and got some dash paint that matched and after completely dismantling the entire dash, and console, repainted everything and it looks absolutely brand new. Will the cracks reappear? Who knows, but since I had to take the dash out anyway, I really had nothing to lose. The most difficult part of the dash crack repair was getting the texture back into the surface. I had some left over material from reuphostering the kick panels and such, so using the rocker panel paint that was suggested and texturing it with the material, I got a pretty good match. The texture took quite a bit of practice and it isn't perfect, but it's good enough to be unnoticeable.

Anyway, back to the heater box. The problem with the heater box is was the the plastic pieces that mate with the metal pieces in the floor deflectors get warped and at some point, when you adjust the heat lever all the way up, the deflectors get wedged in a position that makes them impossible to move with the lever mechanism. So..I drilled out the rivets that held them together, replaced the totally deteriated foam with some I got at a local craft shop and riveted the pieces back together. After leaving the heater box on the bench for several days and moving activating the mechanisms with the levers, I realized I still had some problems. Not wanting to ever remove the heater box unless it became absolutely necessary, I discovered that when the levers were pushed all the way up and I put some "tension" on one of the lever mechansisms on the side of the box, I could insure that the flap would NOT get stuck again. So..I bought some small springs in the hardware section of Lowes and was able to mount the springs in such a way that when the heat levers are pushed up all the way, that a small amount of "tension" is placed on the levers and this insures that the flaps won't get stuck again. But, just in case, I also drilled a 1" hole in the side of the box (passenger side) in a strategic location, mounted a rubber grommet, and inserted a round metal snap in cover (also from Lowes) that will allow me to reach in with a long piece of wire should one of the levers ever get stuck again. Naturally, I would need to remove the console, but a much smaller task than removing the heater box.

I've got quite a few pictures of the process, including pictures of the finished dash. I "think" I've uploaded a picture of the completed dash as an attachment.

Anyway, I'm glad that I took the dash out and did the refurbish. Lots of work, but as I look out the front windshield and don't see any cracks in the dash anymore, I consider that it was time well spent.
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Proof Hell Exists (kinda long)-p4110068.jpg  
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