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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. Like everyone who has ever owned a 3rd gen eclipse I’ve had 3 so far and all had broken dashes. Some very badly broken. I was in a salvage yard the other day and came across a spyder with a perfect dash. Yes I grabbed it asap. My question is did they put different material dashes in the spyder or was this particular dash a replacement by the previous owner? I’m leaning toward the later of the two because the vin tag attaches to the dash plastic via rivets and this one I removed had no vin tag on it. Hope you all are doing well and thanks for any comments or knowledge on this.
 

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2005 Spyder GT
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Well, I have a 2005 GT Spyder with 93k and NO signs of a cracking dash, and should note that I have stock rubber motor mounts, not urethane.
Other members have expressed theories on why the dash is prone to cracking on these cars, but in reality it's probably a multi-pronged problem with various factors in play.
I think most would agree that the problem starts with quality control, that is, the use of cheap materials during production. I have no clue if Mitsu used different dashes for different years and/or trim. Some have suggested that using stiffer urethane motor mounts contributes to cracking, but it seems to affect the 4cyl more than the 6cyl due to differences in engine vibration. I have a set of prothane mounts waiting to be installed, but I am wary they will induce dash cracking, even though I have the v6.
I would imagine that not having a garage would add to the probability of cracking, especially extreme changes in temperature and direct sunlight. Personally, my driveway is oriented so that I can park without ever having the windshield in direct sunlight, at the expense of having some fading of the inside trim below the rear window.
So someone who keeps their car stored in a climate controlled space probably has fewer chances of cracking.
Then another factor is which cleaner/protectant to use on the dash. So far, I have only heard that Armour-All should be AVOIDED, but have no idea which one might be best for the Eclipse in particular based on the material used for the dash. I typically use Macquire's products, but have heard good things about 301.
Anyway, hopefully others will chime in on what they do to prevent or minimize dash cracking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that insight. I’m wondering is by 05 things got fixed? All of mine have been 2002-2003 models. Ya as far as the vibration I’m sure there is something to consider there but honestly the ones I’ve owned have been both the 4 and 6 and the brittleness of both were the same. You can break them by putting very little pressure down on the top of the dash and you will have a hole in it. This one I picked up seems to be somewhat pliable and much stronger though I’m not going to go trying to break it. Lol. I hadn’t heard that about armor all but will consider chemical guys or something else for the protectant. Thanks again.
 

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I would advise you to reinforce the dash in the known weak areas, fiberglass/resin and wood or metal strips are a good choice to make a reinforced lattice under the skin to support and strengthen it.
 

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2000 Silver GS manual
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Gents what's required is UV protection. I use a boat vinyl seat protectant on my and my son's dash. I have a 00 GS manual and he has a 03 GTS auto. The company is Trinova it's their aeronautical protectant. Its affordable, and we both don't have ANY cracks. Give it a shot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great advise. I will look into that. Also before installing this new (used) dash I was planning on putting some hushmat strips on the underside to minimize vibration and strengthen the plastic. Anyone see a reason not to do this?
 

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If you're worried about something buzzing against it then that would be a good product to use, I don't think it would add much if any strength to the dash though. It looks like foam tape?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No the hushmat or killmat I use on metal door panels and floors is a butyl runner with aluminum face on it. Does an amazing job deadening vibrations and sound transfer. You can also get a cheaper closed cell foam that looks and lays down just like it but wouldn’t add much strength to it in my opinion.
 

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Ah ok, I'm familiar with similar products and have used them a lot myself (including a full floor pan deaden on a 3G about 20yrs ago). I don't think more mass is going to help the plastic dash and making parts of it heavier without adding more rigid structure may make things worse long term. I'd also be concerned with it just coming off the hot dash over time and gumming up HVAC controls that it could fall off onto. While the dash is off you can add some to the firewall and hvac box to make things slightly quieter there but the gains won't be stunning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Good points. I did see where someone on YouTube put a layer of epoxy and fiberglass on the backside before installing too but not sure if that’s the best thing long term either? This new dash for now seems really good and thinking maybe by keeping the Uv off of it might be just the ticket
 
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