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  #1  
Old 11-21-2005, 11:35 AM
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Start of Crack on Dash

I had originally posted this in the detailing forum, but it doesn't seem to get much action, so I've reposted it herein. Any advice is appreciated...

Does anyone know of a good, reliable, and perhaps somewhat discrete means of stopping a crack in the dash before it gets too far along? Starting at the back right corner of my left front speaker grille I have a crack in the dash that is currently less than an inch long. I have seen various "dash repair" products around. Are some better than others?

Thanks,
-Ken
1984 300SD

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  #2  
Old 11-21-2005, 02:38 PM
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I've heard of drilling a small hole at the end of the crack. This supposedly gives it a radius and prevents it from going further. I haven't tried it myself. But really there is not much you can do except to park in the shade to slow down any further damage.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2005, 08:48 PM
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drilling

a hole works for metal. i would think the dash cover would laugh at it. don't actually know though.

tom w
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2005, 08:53 AM
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Wink Dash crack

I would use epoxy, smoothing it out --- and then painting it the proper dash color ... you can buy paints to match. Just one thought. One of the patching kits may work, but they still need a solid base to apply the top patching in that case -- depending on the open area that may exist under the crack, etc.etc. BC
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2005, 09:33 AM
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Instead of drilling a hole... maybe heat a pin and make a hole with that, the heat will make a hole and should also push some plastic into a lip around the hole..strengthening it?

Anil
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2005, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeagle289
I would use epoxy, smoothing it out --- and then painting it the proper dash color ... you can buy paints to match. Just one thought. One of the patching kits may work, but they still need a solid base to apply the top patching in that case -- depending on the open area that may exist under the crack, etc.etc. BC
Judging from my experience with drywall work, the repair might look worse than the crack itself!
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2005, 10:40 AM
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I believe a small, nicely drilled hole may work in plastic as I have seen Airframe and Powerplant mechanics often do this to small cracks in the very lightweight plastic panels and trim in light aircraft. Call your local airport and ask the mechanic perhaps...?
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2005, 12:09 PM
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I don't know about the repair, but if you don't already have one, get yourself a windshield sun shade -- and use it religiously!

The sun is public enemy #1 when it comes to cars. I always laugh when I see people who cover their cars when it rains, but leave them unprotected from the sun.

jp
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Old 11-22-2005, 12:57 PM
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Buy a windsheild sun shade and use it everytime you park your car in the sun. Also keep the dash covered in 303.

Doing those two things will buy you a lot of time.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2005, 03:22 PM
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I am a veteran of the Volvo dash crack prevention repair war of 1994 to 2000. A crack will get wider w/ time so a small hole at the end will just tear. A 1/4 in hole is needed to stop the crack. Dash filler material sold in stores are only good for the top 1/8 inch and grain matching.
Drill the end(s) with 1/4 bit.
Get a dentist pick (next time you are in your dentist's torture chair ask the assistant what they do w/ old ones then steal one for your pains) and pick out the rotted dried sponge like material 1/3 inch or deeper below the crack.

The portion under the dash skin along the crack must get clean.

Fill crack w/ flexible filler (Goop works well but anything that dries flexible works). When the filler dries it will shrink.

Get a piece of vinyl (mbtex, cheap shoes, wallets..fake leather) and cut 1/2 inch longer than crack by 1/2 inch.

Without making crack bigger fit this piece under dash skin in crack (5 or 6 tears later you will become a pro).

Using the dentist pick apply flexible adhesive between dash (under the crack) and vinyl strip.

Let dry.

Use dentist pick to pick off any glue or junk that remains above dash surface at crack.

Fill crack with dash repair paste and iron on corresponding pattern.

Enjoy the perfectly repaired crack and then start repairs on all the collateral damage caused by repair.

You will also know which picks to heist at your next dental visit.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2005, 03:36 PM
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Wink Expert Crack Repair

That is a very nice summary of the steps to do a really professional job!!

The kind of thing we always need in the Forum ...... Ben Carter
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2005, 12:56 AM
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Hatterasguy- where can you buy this "303" protectant? I have heard of it before, but have never seen it anywhere. I have a 1973 Pontiac that has a PERFECT dash pad, (it has been garaged since day 1) except for a extremely small crack that it has had for over a year, but has not spread. I keep it out of the sun, so that is obviously helping, but think this stuff will help even further. I also have a 1969 Caprice that still has a perfect dash pad and think this stuff will also be good for it.

Thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
Buy a windsheild sun shade and use it everytime you park your car in the sun. Also keep the dash covered in 303.

Doing those two things will buy you a lot of time.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2005, 04:07 AM
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Preventative tips-

Don't use Armorall. It seems it attracts dirt which works into the pores of the dash and aggravates the problem. Use 303 or other UV protectant regularly.

Keep dash clean: use a cloth dampened with water on the dash when not hot from sun.

Don't use Baby Wipes. Women love this one. It has alcohol which speeds up the dash drying and hardening.

Feed the dash. Use a product that keeps the plastic from hardening in the first place. Mercedes parts department has such a product.

Never ever apply anything to the dash when it is hot.

Watch out for car washes applying "interior dressings".

Haasman
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2005, 06:39 AM
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Wink 303 Protectant

As is my normal habit, I entered the term "303 Protectorant" into Google and it found hundreds of hits! However, it seems that the actual name of this product is "303 Protectant" and it is used by outfitters who provide vinyl boat trips down the river, car buffs, airplane owners, etc. etc. If you enter
"303 Protectant" into Google and search, you can find the product all over the place -- including your local Auto Parts Store. It is actually fairly inexpensive, with small sizes from $3 to $8 ........ I am going to get some myself .. Ben Carter
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2005, 11:22 AM
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Mercedes dash crack are the result of a combination of the thin vinyl skin becoming brittle from "outgassing" which the 303 can help with. The other component is the expansion and contraction of the aluminim shell that the dash is made of. Thermal changes, especially big temp swings, will cause cracks in the weakest parts of the dash quicker.

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