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  #1  
Old 08-02-2004, 03:47 PM
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Avoid Dash Cracks

Hi All,

Is there a way to avoid dash cracks? I have a 1988 300E . I just replaced my cracked dash with new one from the junk yard ( It took me 5 hours). The new one looks excellent and it does not have any cracks. I would like to avoid cracks. Any suggestions? Also can I used lexol conditioner for leather in this dash?

By the way, the color of the dash is black.

Thanks and have a good day,

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1988 300E, 172k miles


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  #2  
Old 08-02-2004, 03:49 PM
LarryBible
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The best prevention is keeping it out of the sun and heat. That is not always possible of course.

If you will keep it rubbed down with Armor All it will help a LOT.

Good luck,
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2004, 03:53 PM
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I think the earlier 1980-series dashes had cracking problems...this was corrected in later model years.

No sign of cracking at all on my 93...and it's a Texas car that sits in sunlight most of the day.

Also consider getting a sunshade and using it religiously when you park outdoors...
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2004, 04:30 PM
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Since I park outside at work, I park the car facing north. The low angle of the sun here in Michigan can't hit the dashboard that way.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2004, 05:04 PM
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303 Protectant. I've used a zillion different ones. This one works, and looks the best -- to me anyway.
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2004, 05:05 PM
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Having taken two W201 dashboards apart (similar to the W124 design) it's my conclusion that the way they were built made them prone to cracking, from the windshield towards the seats. The dash is formed/stamped from thin aluminum stock, to which a thin coating of foam is applied just under the vinyl skin which again is heat vacu-formed over the aluminum shell. Expansion and contraction of the aluminum shell causes the cracks at weak spots in the covering, typically at openings, like the speaker and vent holes, or in gaps in the foam underlayment.

Avoiding sudden and extreme temperature changes will reduce cracking as much as preventing UV exposure. Use a vinyl dressing, as opposed to a product designed for leather, that will provide UV block, since it's nearly impossible to replace oils or "re-hydrate" vinyl.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2004, 08:03 PM
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Silicone

i am not correcting or criticizing anything already said i would just like to add caution to keep silicone off plastic just as you do leather. never use a silcone base product on leather. and that is what i've been informed as to vinyl too. what i have gathered is that the silicone remove the plasticisers [can't spell it] from vinyls. as with rubbers certain compounds only work with certain chemicals so any time you have fluorcarbons in the water or? you can only use buna. i understand vinyl is much the same. UV and heat are also big problems for vinyl. use something that might help keep UV's under control.

the best way is to keep it clean, keep it covered, use a window shade and go look at perf. products, mothers or mequire's vinyl treatments.

again this is just what i've picked up as i have been doing research on painting and detailing.

tks
craig
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2004, 10:51 PM
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Thank you all for your kind reply. I do really appreciate your feedback. You guys are awesome, and I love this form. Very helpful and knowledgable people around here.

I am going to try 303 Aerospace Protectant, and use the sun
shade.

Thanks a lot, and have a great day
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2004, 12:30 AM
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Another vote for 303


It has no silicone so it won't damage it and leave it greasy.

Also, it has very strong UV blockers.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2004, 08:58 AM
LarryBible
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I never heard of 303. Who makes it and where do you buy it?

Have a great day,
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2004, 09:05 AM
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I read somewhere in these forums that the blue vinyl dash (the one i own) was particularly susceptible to cracking due to the dies used. Can anyone confirm this?
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2004, 10:07 AM
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Larry Bible,
I wondered the same . . .

www.superiorcarcare.net was one I found on my search.
Steve
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2004, 10:15 AM
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303 makes an excellent product as does Meguiars and Mothers. I'd trust any one of them on my dash. Final decision comes down to appearance. 303 provides a matte finish, Meguiars offers several choices from a satin look to a gloss look as does Mothers. Most important as everyone has already stated is to keep the dash clean, protected and covered if possible.

303 is available at RV and Boat stores and online. Meguiars and Mothers are available at nearly every auto store and online.

BTW Armor All has also changed its formula, it no longer contains the harmful silicones. I say this because it's available nearly everywhere and it's cheap so if you're in a pinch it can be used safely.
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2004, 10:16 AM
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UV is not a problem

Ultraviolet light does not pass through glass.
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2004, 10:19 AM
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Re: UV is not a problem

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Anderson
Ultraviolet light does not pass through glass.

Then why do they put UV coatings on plane windows? - and eye glasses?




Larry, 303 can be found at www.autopia.org,


and autogeeks.net

You won't find a pro that doesn't use it - one you try it you will throw that armor all in the garbage.

It's an Aerospace protectant for plastic, rubber, vinyl, and leather.

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