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  #1  
Old 01-27-2005, 04:56 PM
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Dash repair with epoxy putty?

My dash has two very small cracks. I have been told to take a very small drill bid and to drill the end of the crack to stop it. Then take exacto knife and separate fabric from underneath pad and then glue down with super glue to prevent curling. Then take dash putty or leather filler and fill and color.

I have looked at kits from both www.leatherworldtech.com $49 for deluxe kit
and I have looked at kits from Magic Mender.

Has anyone used products from either of these vendors??
Were they good products?

I have used epoxy in my woodworking hobby and that is definitely going to hold up under the UV rays if colored. It will do the best. One of these kits offers a heat iron to help the patch adhere.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:11 PM
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any cover is going to look far better than a patch.................
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boneheaddoctor
any cover is going to look far better than a patch.................

Agree $92 dash cap from coverlay and you are done for ever.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:26 PM
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I don't think epoxy putty would stick very well to the vinyl and most epoxies are very rigid which could cause problems with thermal expansion during the summer. I have had the most success using the insulation foam sold at Home Despot. I think it is called Great Stuff. I open up the cracks like you describe and inject the foam, then quickly cover the cracks with masking tape to keep the foam in place. A word of caution this stuff is very sticky and it keeps expanding and can get all over the place if you are not careful. I would start with small area and see how it comes out before going wild. Latex gloves are absolutely necessary. Of course the other way of tackling this is with one of those plastic covers you can find on evilBay.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:54 PM
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Are there such things as professionals who can repair these damn cracks? It's a cliche, of course, but if we can send the Shuttle up, why can't we invisibly fix the dreaded MB dash crack?

Peter4
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter4
Are there such things as professionals who can repair these damn cracks? It's a cliche, of course, but if we can send the Shuttle up, why can't we invisibly fix the dreaded MB dash crack?

Peter4
Mostly what I have seen is once they start it's like a disease. Proffessionals due a great job - but after a few trips to their shop $$. Dash cap is a permanent alternative
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2005, 06:10 PM
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So...basically, the repairs don't last? Or are they members of a vampire cult who drink the blood of MB owners?
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2005, 06:31 PM
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If you want to try to stop crack growth, then blunting it is the thing to do. That may not be a step forward from an asthetic point of view, but it will keep them from growing for a time. The crack at the surface is likely to be behind the crack tip in the foam underneath, so consider punching the hole a 1/4 inch or so ahead of the crack tip.

Unfortunately putting a high strength adhesive like epoxy in the crack will not help. The repair will only be as strong as the foam itself and it is obviously weak. You would have to get up underneath the dash and seal the crack somehow to keep the adhesive from drooling out onto whatever is below.

There are vinyl/leather patch products around. Leatherique markets one. I have never used one though. I'm thinking something compliant to fill the crack, like caulk maybe, with a vinyl patch on the surface might be the best approach to slowing the cracking. My guess is that any thing you do will result in a highly visible repair and you will end up with a dash cover anyway.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2005, 06:40 PM
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The simplest, and most effective DIY product you can use is common Silicone Rubber, which is commonly available at any Hardware store. You can apply it and smooth it on very easily. It remains flexible, which is what you want.

They come in various colors, but if you can't get a close match you can always mix some color into it to try and get as close as you can to your dash color.

Its very hard to screw-up the job, and if you match the color, the repair will be almost invisible.

Phil
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2005, 08:14 PM
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That silicone rubber trick sounds interesting. My 87 300D has a black dashboard with one crack running from the windshield to a couple inches into the "leathery" looking part, and another crack over the more "plasticky" looking part on the cowling over the steering wheel. Do you think black silicone might do the trick, last for a long time, and be fairly invisible?

Hope springs eternal.

Peter4
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2005, 08:25 PM
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Should be a piece of cake, especially black, which is available off-the-shelf. Clean the area first with alcohol for better adherence.

Try it and if something goes wrong just remove it, preferably before it completely cured, which typically is 24-Hrs.

Let us know how it turned out. Before and after pictures will be nice.

Phil
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2005, 09:04 PM
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Caulk in all colors

There is an entire spectrum of caulk colors made to match tile grout in bathroom applications. Go to a local tile distrbutor and ask to see the pallette and bring it out to your car to find the closest match...I had our bathroom done recently and they must have had 70 colors of caulk/grout in the selection we had...just a suggestion!
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2005, 10:07 PM
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SEM filler

I haven't actually tried it yet since the weather here has been too bad for this kind of project, but I have a filler made by SEM called "Problem Plastic Repair Material" that's supposed to work for filling dash cracks. I'm going to try cleaning up the cracks with a Dremel tool, filling them, going over the repairs with spray texture coating and then spraying the entire dash with SEM Color Coat.
I've tried three other types of plastic filler already and all of them cracked again as soon as the weather turned cold. I guess if the SEM filler doesn't work, I'll give up and get a dash cap...

-Hank
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2005, 11:14 PM
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Though I love my diesel I'm not much of a craftsman, so I asked a friend who's pretty adept. He was dubious that silicone would stop the crack from progressing.

This is a good discussion as so many have gone down the cracking dashboard road with nothing to look forward to beyond the "cap" and dashboard replacement. There must be an answer, and some of these suggestions sound promising to me.

Peter4
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2005, 07:15 AM
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epoxy

There are many different types of epoxies on the market. System 3 is one of the best and most reasonable.

I have friends who build wooden boats with this stuff. It mixes in two parts and then hardens. They epoxy a wooden boat then remove the screws holding the planks and run in the ocean. That is real flexing and expansion and contraction. None of them have sunk. Epoxy is extremely hard and would bond well to the dash.

I am thinking if you took a two part epoxy from system three or West systems and then added some of their filler(fibers) to it and squeegied it into the cracks, let it harden, sand with dremel with a small bit, then color it, you would hardly see the repair and it would be as tough as the wood planking on a shrimp trawler that sees the ocean every day.
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Old 01-28-2005, 07:15 AM
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