|05/12/2013, 07:28 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Vehicle: Spyder GT
How To: Fix the Cracked Dashboard Professionally
The cracks on the dashboards are serious problems for 3G Eclipse drivers. The cracks should be fixed on early stages; otherwise, the repair takes a lot of money (new dash) or working hours to make fixing properly. As a cheap solution you can buy a dashboard cover; however, that dos not look like it supposed to do.
Recently I spotted a 2” crack behind the passenger air-bag cover and I decided to fix it. When I removed the dash I found that two instrumental panel (means dashboard) upper brackets – central and passenger sides are almost detached from the dashboard. The plastic threaded posts of the panel, where the screws are going to hold brackets in place, were cracked and some of them are gone completely. That issue released the right side of the dashboard it had become flimsy and finally cracked. I guess that happened because of my hard Tein springs and Kayaba adjustable shocks absorbers. The sun, winter, ArmorAll and other junk etc are not my cases.
The steps to fix the damage:
1. From the top of the dash, just right on the crack, I put some masking tape. Since now all works are going to be on the bottom on the dashboard.
2. Holding the cracked edges in place I put a couple of drops of medium CA glue into the crack. Even having a protective masking tape on the top of the dash this way is not 100% guaranteed that the CA doesn’t come out under the tape destroying the painted - visible surface of the dash. But it did not happen with my dash.
3. Using a 80-watt soldering iron I melted the plastic along the crack. The tab, where the air-bag cower screw is gong, cracked along (see arrow A on the picture). I reinforced it by melting the plastic patch around it. I kinda welded the crack by the soldering iron.
4. Using my dremel tool I made the plastic rough around the crack.
5. The first layer of the PF702 epoxy was put on and around the crack. You may use any reputable epoxy for plastic such as 3M and so on. Just come to any body shop supplier and buy there. I don’t recommend you to buy this stuff from Wall-Marts, Home-Depots, Ronas, Canadian or American Tires and so on.
6. When the epoxy was in the semi-hard stage I put the metal mesh patches on the top of the epoxy (see arrow B on the picture). The body shops have that stuff in metal or plastic. I prefer the metal one.
7. Two more layers of epoxy were put on the top of the mesh patches and I finished with the crack removing the masking tape from the top of the dashboard.
8. I fixed the dashboard’s mounting posts for the central and passenger instrumental panel upper brackets by gluing the proper bolts without the heads into remaining parts of the posts (see arrows 1 and 2 on the picture). The glue was the same: PF702 epoxy. Here you have to be sure that the thread of the bolt is good and epoxy did not come on the thread which is exposed outside of your new mounting post, otherwise you cannot put a nut on the post (bolt) which is glued in place.
9. I reinforced all the mounting posts by the same PF702. Here you have to by careful – not to put too much epoxy under the pots. Otherwise the upper brackets cannot be placed on the proper positions making difficulties when you will mount the dashboard.
10. I carefully inspected the dashboard and found another crack around the posts for driver upper bracket. That crack was not visible from the top the dash (see arrow 3 on the picture). The fix was in the same way as I did for the bigger crack. Just I did not put any masking tape on the top. The CA glue cannot penetrate the plastic.
11. Finally I reinforced by PF702 all the posts for the driver instrumental panel upper bracket (see arrows 4 on the picture).
12 The mounted central instrumental panel upper bracket after the fix is on the picture.
I avoided re-panting my dashboard. The fixed crack is hardly visible.