How We Do It
These photos show the lengths our Just Dashes craftsmen will go to save an original pad. All the dried and flaking foam is being removed prior to adding a new layer of state-of-the-art foam. The old material must be removed first and that is usually done with a small hand grinder.
The grinder will remove the vinyl first and if the padding underneath is still in good condition, it does not need to be removed. If it is crumbling, the material can be sanded off to bare metal. This dash pad actually had foam that was in still in good condition.
Once the deteriorated vinyl and foam have been removed, the dash pad is recovered with thin foam that has to be glued to the metal or existing foam. This must be done very carefully to get the contour and shape of the original dash correct. Original parts are tested for proper fit.
After the foam is glued to the framework, the pad can be sanded and hand shaped back to it’s original contours. This will remove any lumps or bumps that might exist. It will also get the curves perfect so the final covering will look correct.
The surface of the foam is then sprayed with adhesive to bind it to the hot vinyl during the vacuum forming process. The glue must be applied very evenly for a completely level surface. The slightest imperfection will show from under the new vinyl skin. Every square inch of this dash will be concealed with this adhesive, so that the vinyl and foam remain in tact for years to come.
The dash is installed on the Thermo Vacuum Forming machine and prepared for recovering. Every nook and cranny must be filled around and under the part to provide support so it doesn’t collapse under the pressure created by the vacuum. Our machine is ready with material to be applied to the dashes in our assembly line.
Here at Just Dashes, we have researched all of the early cars and have matched up all the correct materials for them. The dash covering material is connected to a rack and then it is fed into a heating oven to get it very pliable. When the vinyl reaches it’s proper temperature, the dash is lifted into the vinyl.
After the material is vacuum formed over the dash, the hot vinyl is water cooled with spray bottles of cold water. This cooling takes a little time and the entire perimeter of the dash has to be cooled off before final removal from the machine. When the material is cool to the touch, the surrounding material is trimmed with a razor blade.
The dash now goes to the hand finishing area. The vinyl is glued around the edges and the restoration process completed. It is important to leave a small amount of excess material so it can be wrapped around the back of the dash pad.
Using a heat gun to get the material pliable once again, the vinyl is folded over to the back of the framework and is glued in place. This has to be done very carefully to make sure it looks seamless once installed in the car. From there it’s on to the quality control area.
Finally we are ready for the finishing touches. Test fitting trim parts like vent bezels, glove box doors, lower steering column trim, ash trays and instrument bezels, are vital to the overall restoration. This will ensure proper fit for re-assembly once your part arrives.
Whether your dash is cracked, torn, rusty or just plain “beat up”,
we can restore the dash to correct factory original specifications using Thermo Vacuum Forming.
Once your part lands at our facility, we strip off the old vinyl and foam as needed. Then, using new and improved polyethylene foam we are able to hand build it back to its original contours and dimensions. The pad is then Vacuum Formed with the correct grain vinyl, using a higher quality then the original. Forget covers, caps or even NOS dash pads, which will eventually crack.
Trust only the best in the business for your original dash pad restoration - we match the original grain vinyl and color!
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Just Dashes is the interior parts restoration company of choice when only the best will do.