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Old 12-28-2008, 11:46 PM   #1
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Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Right now me and my fiance are in the process of wrapping my cracked all to hell dash and redoing my sun visors, sail panels, and head liner. So far all we have needed was about 20-40 dollars in supplies from the local fabric store, a stapler(but it really didn't help), and a hot glue gun.

I didn't fill in the cracks that were all over the dash and right now the front dash speaker grills are covered but with the test fit there were no problems though as mentioned by Stephen in the car audio section over time it could make the glue come undone.

We started with a 2x1 yard of the vinyl and stapled the front under section as best we could to start. We then cut behind it for just what we needed and saved the left over piece. Then from there it was just pulling it tight and trying to fasten it down to stick.

Then only problem we have really had is making the defroster holes look good and are still working on a solution to that, but you can see what we have so far in the pictures.

But even without sealing the cracks and sanding them down once I test fit the dash in the car just to see how it was going to look it looks 100 percent amazing and made me laugh at aftermarket dash pads. It kind also made me mad after thinking of all the time I have looked for a decent(hahaha) third gen dash that I could live with until I get the money for a forth gen interior.

I will continue adding more as we keep moving on but it anyone has any comments, questions, or concerns, please leave it.....
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:47 PM   #2
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

pics
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:50 PM   #3
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

more pics
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:51 AM   #4
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

OK, you've got my interest peaked. Looking for to seeing how it all turns out in the end.
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:17 AM   #5
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Looks like you`ve almost got the dash pad cover figured out.I might try to cut the defrost holes like this.
Try cutting a slit inthe middle of the defrost vent long ways leaving an inch or to from either end uncut.then cut two diaganol slits off the ends a little at a time to see if that gives you what you need.It prolly wantcover it all but to me thats not the highest prority area.Most people will not notice in the defrost vent. Just an idea.Looks like with some practice you may heave something great here.
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:19 AM   #6
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

i also plan to cover mine like you did yours. as far as filling in the cracks.. i took a putty knife and removed all the old plastic from the foam. it comes off pretty easily but i'm not sure how well an adhesive will work with mine.

with speaker grills. i was thinking those bondo metal mesh patches and painting them black.

looks good so far!
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Update

Ok we have gotten as far as we can right now and I don't think we can get the defroster any better yet but as said before people aint going to pay that much attention to it and its not going to stand out like a sore thumb. I will add pics of it installed later today but before I leave here is the final outcome for the dash. This is just something you really have to see in person to fully appreciate.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

some more pics
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Looks good but what do you plan on doing about the speaker areas?
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:05 AM   #10
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Looks good but what do you plan on doing about the speaker areas?
Right now I am just going to leave it as is. I took the dash and just sat it down on top of it all and turned on the radio and so far so good. The sound was not effected but I will probably go back in the future and make some slits for the speakers to let pressure out so the vinyl doesn't vibrate the glue loose over time.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:29 AM   #11
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Did something like this years ago to a truck dash. What I did was after covering the dash and letting the glue bond cut a 1/2 in to 3/4 in from the edge from the bottom side. Glue the flaps to the bottom and let dry. Get you some wire mesh and form it the way you want and glue it in from the bottom. Remember to paint it BEFORE you glue it in... other wise its a pain in the buttox. Been thinking of doing this to my current dash, or possibly just giving it a good skim cover of body filler and painting it w/a textured paint. But I'm not sure how well that'd hold up.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:15 AM   #12
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Ok after getting the dash put in I have had no problems and it looks really good. The only thing I would say to do that I didn't was to fill in the holes with putty and sand down before putting the vinyl down as you can see where my cracks are sticking up some. Other than that the vinyl was about 14 dollars with a good bit left over and it turned out looking better than stock. I think if the cracks are filled and sanded with this over it then compared to spending all that money on a dash pad its just a waste of money. I have about 3 hours into this just cause we had to figure out what to do to the defrost vents but it requires very little skill level so anyone with the basic hand tools to get the dash out and a glue gun can have a third gen with a nice dash! Wow that almost don't sound right hahaha

We will be working on the Sun visors tonight so I will be posting some pics of that as well and then onto the headliner and sail panels
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:16 AM   #13
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

and the rest of the dash pictures
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:40 PM   #14
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Good idea. One thing to consider so that you don't see the cracks is to use a 1/2" thick piece of plyable foam. Spray the dash with GM upholstery glue. Then set the foam. Then put the upholstery on. The foam will act as a insulator between the dash and the upholstery to hide any imperfections. You can use the upholstery spray instead of the staples or hot glue.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Quote:
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and the rest of the dash pictures
I've started doing the very same thing to me dash. I'll be using upholstery adhesive spray and filling in some of the bigger cracks with silicone so they won't show as much. I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics here locally and got 2x2 yd piece of "Whisper Black" vinyl for about $35. I'll post pics when I'm done as well.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:15 PM   #16
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

You need to start that over and stretch the vinyl more to get a better finish or use a blow dryer to warm it up and work your way through it for a bubble free job. Better yet pick up some higher quality vinyl you can get way nicer stuff that nearly looks like leather. You could also use T/A speaker vents to solve that problem.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:52 PM   #17
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

i was going to have a guy cover mine in that better than vinyl but not leather stuff, i thinks its called ultra leather, he was going to use some of that fiber fabric stuff as a little padding for it so it would be slightly plush, but then i suggested to fire the guy and well thats that

may still do it myself one day
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:37 PM   #18
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Those areas around the defroster vents would annoy the hell out of me, but I'm also a very picky person.

Mine doesn't have the long cracks, it just has the peeling corners. I think I'm just going to save up and buy the OER one from Classic Industries.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:57 PM   #19
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

I think the dash you did is a good start and now you know that you can do it. There are a bunch of tricks out there that make the job easier. After you learn how to fold a crease, you will never again do what you had to do to make the defroster vents work. We have the tendancy to work from the sides in, but those defroster vents is where you wanted to start. You need to pull as much fabric into the holes as you'll need and then work towards the perimeter (sides). Good job. Thanks for posting your results.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:35 PM   #20
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Quote:
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i was going to have a guy cover mine in that better than vinyl but not leather stuff, i thinks its called ultra leather, he was going to use some of that fiber fabric stuff as a little padding for it so it would be slightly plush, but then i suggested to fire the guy and well thats that

may still do it myself one day
Pleather?
I think thats what its called, either way i do know they make wallets and belts out of it
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:50 AM   #21
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Pleather?
I think thats what its called, either way i do know they make wallets and belts out of it
Pleather is a generic name for any plastic (polyurethane film) faux leather material.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:48 PM   #22
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Here are a few pics of my almost finished product. I have to figure out a way to finish up those center vents. If only I had plastic inserts the size of those center vents.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:10 PM   #23
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Quote:
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Here are a few pics of my almost finished product. I have to figure out a way to finish up those center vents. If only I had plastic inserts the size of those center vents.

Amen to that, thats what took up the majority of out time. She finally just got fed up with it and made the seams for it since we are both out of ways to do it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:20 PM   #24
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Just make an oversize pattern of the defroster vents and the speaker grill areas out of poster board. Then trace pattern onto thin sheet metal or aluminum or stainless if $$$ permits. Cut out pattern on metal with jig saw. File rough edges / round corners. Drill holes on metal cutouts in a pattern (like a speaker grill). Paint gloss black or silver, which ever color you prefer. Then attach to dash via 3M double-sided tape.

Done.....

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Old 03-08-2009, 11:14 PM   #25
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Alright I have neglected to post anything new on here cause alot of things have came up and I still haven't got to the sail panels or headliner.

Well here is an update... Where we folded the area around the defroster it lasted through the cold weather with the defroster but as soon as it hit 75 over the weekend it melted the glue that was around it and it unraveled.

Solution: I found some defroster grills out of an early 90's astro van. I haven't took the old vinyl off yet to put them in but off first fitment of just putting them up to the defroster holes it may actually snap into place with the clips. Worst case I will have to fasten it on there another way but IT WILL WORK EASYILY. I will post up some pictures of everything for everyone to have a look at but its looking to be an easy fix.

I will be taking all the old vinyl off and putty/sanding the dash to make it completely smooth before I redo the vinyl. Bear with me though cause on a side not I have to replace the motor in my dad's 94 blazer this week with a junkyard replacement.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:03 AM   #26
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwdbychevy View Post
Here are a few pics of my almost finished product. I have to figure out a way to finish up those center vents. If only I had plastic inserts the size of those center vents.

wow! great work, have you already installed it in your car? pleas post some photos

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Old 03-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #27
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Looks good so far... hope the vents work out for you... I'm on my second replacement dashpad.. so your idea may work for me as well... Thanks for the idea...
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:37 PM   #28
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Looks very good, I fabbed up everything i could in my car too, i think thirdgen owners keep joann fabric in business haha
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:11 PM   #29
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Looks very good, I fabbed up everything i could in my car too, i think thirdgen owners keep joann fabric in business haha
Very true. As far as the center vents go, I think I may have solution. Cut off the plastic vents that are underneath the dashpad and then glue them on the top side of the dashpad.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:51 PM   #30
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Nice work, folks!! This is likely a project in my future as well. :-/
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:16 AM   #31
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

I recently did mine in a wool blend fabric with a thin foam underlay. Parts for these cars are more expensive & harder to get Down Under.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:42 AM   #32
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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I recently did mine in a wool blend fabric with a thin foam underlay. Parts for these cars are more expensive & harder to get Down Under.
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That looks pretty good. Two thumbs up
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:47 AM   #33
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Old 04-05-2009, 03:03 PM   #34
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Ok here are the pictures I have been meaning to put up for way to long now.

As you can see in the last picture I believe that the Astro Van defroster grilles are going to be able to be made to fit with our dashes.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:07 PM   #35
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Originally Posted by 1bad91Z View Post
Just make an oversize pattern of the defroster vents and the speaker grill areas out of poster board. Then trace pattern onto thin sheet metal or aluminum or stainless if $$$ permits. Cut out pattern on metal with jig saw. File rough edges / round corners. Drill holes on metal cutouts in a pattern (like a speaker grill). Paint gloss black or silver, which ever color you prefer. Then attach to dash via 3M double-sided tape.

Done.....

I like this idea.....but do you think the defroster will work as well with the smaller holes? I'm thinking if you have the defroster on full blast it might force the cover up.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:26 PM   #36
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Hmmm, almost 850 views and no one has spoke up and said you would have been better off buying a nice used dashpad?

With the time and effort spent you could have bought a good dash pad to replace the cracked one for $125 shipped. I sold a mint firebird pad for that much, and it was flawless.

I don't think it looks as good as some of these people making it out to be....in the words of Simon Cowell.....not trying to be rude or mean, just honest.

I appreciate the effort, A + for that.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #37
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

I agree that a new or nice used dash pad is the answer, but only if you can go get it. I won't buy one from anywhere on the internet...I've had terrible luck with how they arrive. The seller has to package the pad perfectly otherwise "crack".... Just my experience.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #38
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Understandable, when I sold my firebird dashpad I actually made a "crate" out of wood to ship it in. Not everyone will take the time to do that though.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:06 PM   #39
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

I agree that spending the money is sometimes the way to go...especially on mechanical stuff but in my opinion, if you can do something for $35 instead of $135+ and it looks good (hopefully) .... then you have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself, saved the money and learned something along the way. I'd rather put the money saved by doing the dash myself towards a new headliner anyway.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #40
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Originally Posted by jb3829 View Post
if you can do something for $35 instead of $135+ and it looks good (hopefully) .
Look at the pictures in post # 1 and tell me that looks good. Vinyl is one of the hardest things to use on a dash and get to look right.

I don't want to be completely negative in this thread so I will offer some solutions to making the dash look good on a budget.

1. You can take your stock dash, grind out and fill all the cracks with fiberglass resin and mat. Using bondo and filler primer you can make the dash completely smooth.

Then pick up a can of and a can of Sem texture coating and a can of Sem Landau black (for color) you will be able to actually recreate a texture similar to factory and color of the stock dash.

2. Fill and smooth dash as noted in #1 and wrap the dash in omni stretch vinyl using industrial grade landau top adhesive. The vinyl will stretch to any shape and the adhesive is a spray grade that is resistant to hi-temps.

The vinyl is called all-sport and you can get it in black, no recoloring needed.

http://www.yourautotrim.com/al4stvi.html

http://www.yourautotrim.com/noname37.html

You will still run into issues around the defrost vents, but if you heat the vinyl it should pull completely around. The only thing is by the time you spend the money to do it "right" you could have bought a dash pad.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #41
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Screw it.....you're right. Get a new dash. I've never seen them listed for lower than $200 new though...unless it was craigslist or ebay and then you have the shipping issue. I'm still curious to see how it would come out as you described though. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:03 PM   #42
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Here's a door panel pod I finished this weekend, I used white all-sport vinyl (I plan on recoloring to match) and that vinyl top adhesive mentioned in my previous post.

Now picture this on a smoothed dash pad in black....same concept. Bad thing is it shows any blemishes under the vinyl....it's that thin and stretchable. But with that glue it "molds" itself to the shape.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:55 PM   #43
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

wow! great work.. looks awesome!!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:42 AM   #44
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

I am going to eventually take it back out when I get a little time and take the vinyl back off fill the cracks and then rewrap the dash with it. Hopefully the vents are going to work out like I am planning. What I am wanting to do eventually is take all the interior plastic out and wrap it in vinyl as well then get black carpet.
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:00 AM   #45
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

If you decide to do the plastic, make sure you get that HHR adhesive I posted in the previous post. Once the vinyl is applied with that....it's stuck.

And a very hot day (like July-August) and a heat gun will be your friend. Lay the the vinyl on the concrete about and hour before applying.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:04 AM   #46
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Thanks for those links 88transamfreak, that stuff looks like just the thing for a few projects I have on the go. What is the texture like on that vinyl? I plan to order some of that VERY soon.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #47
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

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Thanks for those links 88transamfreak, that stuff looks like just the thing for a few projects I have on the go. What is the texture like on that vinyl? I plan to order some of that VERY soon.
It's not the exact same texture as our cars, it has more of a "dotted" texture to it if that makes sense. But it's VERY stretchable...kind of like elastic.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:44 AM   #48
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Would be great to see it installed
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:03 PM   #49
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Any body got pics of the plastics coverned in vinyle. Suh as back area. And I mean ones you did yourself. Not paid shop sh**t load of money to do.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:25 PM   #50
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Re: Wrapping Dash in vinyl and new fabric to interior the cheap and easy way

Look at those sheets and color in the first pics of Deo. Nice lol
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