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  #1  
Old 31st March 2012
B202NUT B202NUT is offline
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Default Repair Your Cracked Dash

Here we go again with another B202 venture. I share with you guys my method for repairing the cracked dash. Its not 100% but as good as I will get without spending a bunch of cash.

Lets start with the imfamous cracked Dashboard in a US C900. Maybe not all dashboards are cracked this side the pond (you lucky devils you) but both my cars came with the hideous eye sours.

Some guys would just thrown on a dash cap and appreciate that appearance of a flawless dash and that's good; however, a dash cap is just not something I would appreciate in a car I drive, so let's try to fix the existing dash.

Others, including myself have the carpet, which is also not a good look.

Others just ignore the damn cracks and move on

In an attempt to bring our Vert back to it's newest form I can afford the dash had to be repaired.

Let's make no mistake. Un-noticed, the dashboard takes a tremedous beating. Especially in Florida with the window design, its an open invitation for UV Rays.

I needed to select products that will be able to fill the existing cracks and stop them from expanding. The coating had to be one that would not allow new cracks to appear. At the same time trying to achieve a stock like appearance.

Tools/Products

Electric or Air Sander - I used a regular Everyday drywall sander I bought in a pawn shop for $10. The stroke is short so it was perfect to sand the crack and about an inch or so on either side.

"Great Stuff" Foam Caulk - I chose this product as a filler for flexibility, durability, and adhesion.

Filling Compound - I used 3M One step stage 3 filler. Comes in a samll can like cat food. The filler is what I used in an attempt to flatten out the caulk (more later).

Flat Head Driver - The cracks need to be gouged out to provide space for the filers.

DupliColor Truck Bed Armor - I already used this product on my floor mats. I chose this product for the dash as well because its a Poly-U bed armor protection with very good rubbering qualities. it stretches, protects, and can take a bang without chipping. Very good but a bit pricey. It also has a texture so it will replace the stock dash print I need to sand off. Its aslo has a satin finish so no shine. Wont fade with the sun.

DupliColor Adhesion Promoter - I took a gamble with this but the odds were in my favor. #1 although I am using filler I did not want to prime the dash. After good thought, I wanted nothing between the dash and the bedarmor that could possibly chip or give way to the dash trying to split in the future and I did not want to build up the surface either.

The adhesion promoter is clear and has no build. Its made to make paint stick to anything, so it helps the armor adhere more to the dash. I did not want to hubt for any special primers so this fit in line with my thoughts.

Here are the products. Nothing special, now let's see if it will all work together:








(Inspecting the Dash)

First thing I noticed is at each crack the edges lift up. I figured in order to achieve a flat surface the edges had to be sanded flat.


Here is an up close of one crack. You can see in the picture, but if you run your finger acros the crack, you can feel that its not flat to the surface:



I counted 9 major cracks and many tiny split slits that you cannot see in the picture. Below shows the dash cracks and a few that I started to sand. I already used the flat head iand dug about an 1/8 deeper into the cracks to create some grab for the filler. I vacummed it all out, but I imagine compressed air would be ideal.


Last edited by B202NUT; 31st March 2012 at 07:55 AM.
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  #2  
Old 31st March 2012
B202NUT B202NUT is offline
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Default Foam Filler

After I gouged, sanded, and cleaned the cracks, I wiped the dash with acetone and then filled each crack with "Great Stuff". If anyone follow this process make sur you buy the "Blue Can", not the "Red Can". The foam in the red can expands far to much and will make things very messy.

Here is a photo of the crackes filled with foam:



The Foam takes about 20 minutes to dry. After that I used the sander to knocked they high biuld off. If your using a power sander, be careful not to burn through the dash covering. I used 80 grit paper and the plastic/vinyl dash covering help up to sanding very well. (it will burn though).

Here is the result if the foam filled crack:


Last edited by B202NUT; 31st March 2012 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 31st March 2012
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Default Compound Filler

This took a little technique. I wanted to leave only a light film of compund over the crack. Just enough to create the faux transition in hopes not to leave a crease that will show through the final finish.

The electric sander made this go easy.





As you can see (above), there is one crack that I did not cover properly and it cost me in the final finish just as I thought it would.

But nonetheless, here is a close up of how they all should have looked.

Notice if you look closely, there are small cracks that are filled with compound. The tiny cracks I just left alone. I didn't gouge them; my logic was the compound filler would do the work and it faired out well:

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Old 31st March 2012
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Default Final Finish

The bed armor comes out very wet. I spray only one coat so far and I still got wet spots. Here is the first coat. I have alot on the agenda today so I wont be able to spray the second coat until Sunday:

Notice crack I did not totally cover with compund that section is showing up. As I rest today I will make up my mind if I will sand it down and cover it and then repaint.

But overall, I think it came out pretty decent..



As you can see I have a couple wet blotches that need to be sanded out before I spray the second coat. I plan to spray 3 coats total and sand smooth in between.

Cheers,
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Old 31st March 2012
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thumbs up, great job. something I need to do also...
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Old 31st March 2012
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One small thing, I would suggest using something like denatured alcohol over acetone. It will melt the foam and some plastics, causing more issues. Alcohol has similar cleaning and quick dry properties without harming your materials. Otherwise it looks great
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Old 1st April 2012
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Wow! Looks great B202!

I think that once the dashboard "de-stresses" itself around all the contours (since that's where 99% of the cracks always present themselves), a fix like the one you've done here should be a lasting one.

The sun will continue to do it's thing to whatever it touches, and you may have to do touch ups later on, but I think you've got the major cracks handled very well.

Another great write up!
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Old 1st April 2012
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Thanks for the Sentiment Boys
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Old 1st April 2012
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Default 2nd Coat

So after 2 coats of body armor and sanding with steel wool this is what we have now.



From:



Close up of the right side crack above the glove box (flawless):



The 2 cracks at the driver side just below the speaker (flawless):



All the cracks around the middle, I give myslef a B- . IN hindsight though, I know what didn't do properly and it can be corrected.

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Old 1st April 2012
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So, I need 1 more coat for the dash. The third coat will be a texturing solutions.

Paul (peva) mentioned I should consider a textured aerosol for the finish.

I agree and he mentioned a brand I am considering.

I will also fix the splits at the 90 degree angles on the dash indentaton with "Flocking" process.

I will attempt to flock the indented portion of the dash like the fuzzy box was at production.....
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Old 1st April 2012
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Here is an example of a FLocking Kit. This is the kit that makes the fuzzy box Fuzzy

I am also going to Flock the glove box and turn it into a First Aide Kit...



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Old 1st April 2012
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That is a great looking repair! I might have to ship my car to you and have you take care of the dash, seats and other little cosmetic details!
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Old 1st April 2012
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It always drove me nutz seening a 900 or something with a cracked dash.
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Old 1st April 2012
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I went to the local parts store looking to see if they had any texured spray cans I could size up for the job, before I order any online.

I sparked a conversation with one of the service men and he made a good point.

After explaining my intents, he suggested that I simply wet sand the dash and do not apply anything over the bed armor. He made rememebr the bed armor is rubber and wil not fade to the sun unlike any kind of coating I put over it.

That was it for me.

I came home, added about 5 more coats all sanded in between.

The last coat was sanded with 1500 grit emory paper and it laid out the spray bubbles and created a smooth textured surface.


After that I gave it a good coating of rubber treatment.



Left Side:



Right Side:



Think I could sell one?

Last edited by B202NUT; 1st April 2012 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 1st April 2012
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SO that be all for now folks. I will Flock the dash indentation and glove box at some point but for now back to the engine rebiuld. Glad to have this out the way.

SO boy's what will it be for your 900;

A. A Dash Cap

B. Leave the Damn Cracks

C. Something similiar or better than above


I agree with Tunna; A cracked dash is indeed a hideous eye soure..

Scantar thanks for the compliments; Cheesrs Mate!

I am proud to now share the likes of my British Counterparts (crack free Dash) .

Save SAAB!!!!!!

Cheers, for now until Flocking...

Keep SAAB'n Boys

Last edited by B202NUT; 1st April 2012 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Did the cracks go right through the dash, or was it still structurally sound ?

Mine's got a few cracks too, but I'm slightly concerned that the entire thing will fall apart if I try to work on it
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Dash wraps are actually steel lined with the foam coating and the outer black skin.

I can't say I've ever seen a dash wrap that has had the steel base compromised.
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomgle View Post
Did the cracks go right through the dash, or was it still structurally sound ?

Mine's got a few cracks too, but I'm slightly concerned that the entire thing will fall apart if I try to work on it
it may not appear so but these dashes are built pretty strong. I can't see it falling apart. The old sun blazed vinyl hold a scuffing pretty well.
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B202NUT View Post

Right Side:



Think I could sell one?

you can still see the crack from the center part of the dash. Are you going to correct that? I bought a dash repair kit im going to try.

I like the texture that came out. and once you fix the couple flaws it will be a new dash again.

good post
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  #20  
Old 3rd April 2012
86notchback 86notchback is offline
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that is fabulous, I ned to do this to a few of my cars (oddly enough my cabrios only have 1 crack each) but I think they were garage kept mostly..while my sedan and notchback have horrible cracking issues..
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