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  #1  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:28 PM
Automch
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Anderson, SC
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Talking Would you put Bed Liner on your Dash?

I have read several posts about the dash cracks and what to do about them. Fortunately my 300SD's dash is near perfect and I keep it covered. But this is what I did for my Escort Diesel's badly cracked dash. It's not for everybody, but for some of you it is a good durable economical approach that leaves the dash presentable.

My 87 Escort Diesel was left in the sun in a storage lot for 5 years before I bought it so the dash was pretty well trashed. Here it is.

After driving it that way for 4 years, I got tired of looking at it and decided it was time to do something about it. It being totally beyond repair I found a better one at a bone yard in Phoenix for $25. Of course the Arizona sun had cracked it in several places and it was red instead of gray, but it was much better than the one I had.

The first step was to clean it thoroughly and trim the hard vinyl at the sides of the cracks. Then I filled the cracks with flexible filler (like used to repair flexible bumpers). I sanded the filled areas and then sprayed the entire dash with "Bed Liner" that was tinted gray like the old dash. I sprayed three heavy coats of bed liner on the dash and let them cure. Then on a Saturday removed the old dash and installed my new un-cracked one. My only mistake was not cutting the gloss of the bed liner so that driving into the sun produced a glare on the windshield. I corrected that with some flat gray paint. It has now been 7 months of Arizona sun and no cracks!

It looks a little unconventional, so if you are a purist this is not for you, but it really looks so much better to me. Total cost was $115 for the used dash, the Sem # 39824 Pro-Tex Chip Guard, # 40678 hardener, and 1/2 pint gray paint to tint the clear Chip Guard. If I had thought about it I would have made a guide with pictures as I did it but didn't think about that until I was done.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:38 PM
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You are probably right the purist will probably revolt But it's a pretty good out of the box idea. The proof in the pudding will be to tell us what you think in 6 months, 12 months.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:47 PM
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Thats funny.... Funny, because I actually thought about doing that a few weeks ago.

They make a finer material that is not as lumpy. That actually looks like the Rhino Liner in the back of my Chevy (a little too lumpy).

I still like the idea though.
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2009, 02:23 PM
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It is a bit glossy but it sure looks nice! Where do you get DIY bed liner?
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:58 PM
helpplease
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Proof positive why this forum rules. That is a great nonconventional idea.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2009, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KarTek View Post
It is a bit glossy but it sure looks nice! Where do you get DIY bed liner?

Most autoparts stores carry the stuff. A friend of mine did the inside of his "hard floor" inflatable dinghy with it. I forget the brand he used. It was brushed on. It looks awesome and is seamless because it is self leveling.

I thought about putting the stuff on the lid of my old chest freezer too. It is all scratched up and the bed liner stuff would make it look like new.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2009, 03:17 PM
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I've seen DIY bedliner for sale at JC Whitney. Quart or gallon size. jcwhitney.com
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2009, 03:58 PM
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Bedliner is probably one of the most underrated do-it-alls out there. I remember that old show BattleBots (I think it was on Comedy central?), there were a couple that used bedliner as armor to defend against opponents!

If you're wondering where to get it, I know bedliner is available at Napa. They have both spray on kind, roll-on, and they used to sell a whole kit with textured roller and all that...I think it was made by either Duplicolor or 3M. Not trying to throw a plug in for them, I just used to work there for a few years and I know its there.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2009, 04:01 PM
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that is a great idea. If it was smooth and not glossy it wouldn`t really show. definately better than a dash cap.

get an old dash from a wreck, and do some practicing. this could be the start of a new business.

Now if it was made in Astral Silver, I would end my clear coat peal problem.

Charlie
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2009, 04:09 PM
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How about coating a dash in Plasti-Dip spray? Although consider the outgassing of the material when the dash is sitting in the sun on a summer day
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2009, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX76513 View Post
You are probably right the purist will probably revolt But it's a pretty good out of the box idea. The proof in the pudding will be to tell us what you think in 6 months, 12 months.
The proof is in the tasting of the pudding.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2009, 04:37 PM
Automch
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX76513 View Post
You are probably right the purist will probably revolt But it's a pretty good out of the box idea. The proof in the pudding will be to tell us what you think in 6 months, 12 months.
It's been 7 months now and so far it is doing well. It is still flexible and not cracking with the sun.
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automch View Post
It's been 7 months now and so far it is doing well. It is still flexible and not cracking with the sun.
I'm pretty sure you wont have to worry about it inside the car. The liner in my truck is black and has been in there for over 13 years. It has seen countless loads of topsoil, gravel and lumber. No cracks or chips of any kind after all those years and it still looks like new.

A good wash and half container of black magic later... It looks like new every time.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmalu View Post
that is a great idea. If it was smooth and not glossy it wouldn`t really show. definately better than a dash cap.

get an old dash from a wreck, and do some practicing. this could be the start of a new business.

Now if it was made in Astral Silver, I would end my clear coat peal problem.

Charlie
Here's a few bed liner paint jobs.





More here:
http://www.linexfortworthtexas.com/photogallery.htm
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2009, 08:17 PM
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how 'bout the carpet kits?

less glare for sure.
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