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My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
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My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

First off.. i bought the dash pad cap from "RicksCamaro.com". It has the same cell grain as the factory pad, which is why i chose this.

Pad was $99+37 shipping $136 total. not bad

this is cap as it came, shipped in a giant box, wrapped in plastic, came in great shape


speaker top




in this next picture, this is a picture of the front of the pad where it would bolt to the fire wall.. Anyone notice anything different???

Right, no screw holes. there should be 4 screw holes here. Now here is where i modify the instructions. They say to install the cap with the pad on the car. Well, problem, say you need to remove the dash pad for a speaker swap or there is an issue with your vents or whatever, IF you install this on the pad in the car, this will cover the screws, making it VERY hard to remove your dash.

Solution? remove the dash pad and install cap, drill the holes, done.



Ok so you have the dash out.. and the cap.

This is the poor dash pad as it sits now... ugly, way bad.. "what the HeII" right?




so looking at that, i know what you're thinking.. "why bother?? is it going to work???" lets see
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

So first thing to do is, take the tube of adhesive an place it in a cup or bowl of hot water, this will help squeze this stuff out easier.

1st thing to do is take out the little side vents in the pad, easy, done


Next, remove all high spots on the dash with a razor or just break off the old stuff like i did since my dash was so brittle anyway.


Then, use windex or any amonia based cleaner, lightly wipe down the dash, dry it.

Then test fit your cap on the dash, making sure you took care of any high points on your ugly dash.

the test fit



Now its time to prep the dash cap.
1st this is flip it over on its top and lightly sand it, this is to help the adhesive stick and to remove any residue on the cap underside.
I used 180 but didnt use much pressure



Then clean the underside that you just sanded with windex to get all the dush and crap off the cap.

Now, i didnt get any pics of me laying the adhesive on because you have to do it quickly. But here is the process

you need to lay a bead about the thickness of a pencil, around the perimeter of the cap, NO more than 1/2" from the edge, same withou around the vents and speaker vents, and front firewall vents.

NOTE: DO NOT place any adhesive in the center of the dash pad, you dont need it there, the dash needs to be able to contract and shrink with heat and cold.

NOTE 2: make sure you start to squeeze the tube from the bottom, reason being they give you JUST enough to accomplish this task, so dont waste it.

now slide the cap onto the dash, make sure the front corners are seated. Now since we have the dash out of the car you need a way to keep those edges down and secure. I chose to use tape. DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE!!! it will leave the glue on your nice dash cap. Use PAINTERS TAPE, its strong and will not leave residue on it.





Let cure for 2-4 hrs... and you're DONE

one other note, reason for doing this inside the house, is because you need do this in 65*+ weather, my garage is about 40*..

overall it was very easy to do, i think i used a 5/32" drill to make the holes for the front screws. Anyone should be able to do this project, its not very hard at all.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Nice how-to, I've been contemplating this myself. Good catch on the lack of screw holes. I'll be curious to how well it adheres and holds up but it does look good. Definitely a cheap alternative to paying 3X or more for a repo dash.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

yeah the pads in perfect shape are now 350+.. i think my dash is one of the worst im seen. I had one of those dash fabric covers on, but this is much better than those.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

That looks like a good alternative for the money. Wonder how it will hold up? Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:02 AM   #6
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Cool write up man
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Looks great, seems like a good alternative to total replacement. Any pics of how it looks in the car?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

good thread, and the texture on that pad is better than others I've seen
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:45 AM   #9
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Yeah the texture is dead on, they call it cell grain
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:37 PM   #10
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

so when you look at it on the car how hard is it to tell it has a cap on it. does any of the original cap show up at all. or do you really have to look for it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Only way to tell is if you get under and look for it. Even sitting in the driver and passenger seats you can't see it. I wish I would have done this a year ago.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #12
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

not true.... the speaker grills are a dead giveaway
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #13
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

They have these for Camaros?
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:57 PM   #14
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

that is the camaro one
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:25 PM   #15
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Don't care for those speaker covers may be something I'll have to deal with though , I want to see an installed pic
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:55 PM   #16
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

I really glad to see that somebody has posted the cap and where they bought it. My car came with a cap on the dash and it looked awful. The texture was completely wrong. On top of this, the PO had glued it on right overtop of the screws so I could not even remove my dashpad to do any work. I finally bought a dash that was used and only minorly cracked to replace it after I ripped what was in there to shreds.

I really don't like the speaker grills either, but I may go this route for cost effectiveness now that there are caps with the appropriate texture on the market. I already need to replace my dash itself as it's cracked up the middle and I'm still saving up to do a repaint (no Maaco job for my car, even if it is a daily driver). This may be a good way to go to save some money and worry about a good dash pad later on when I'm through with school and working full time.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by 58mark View Post
not true.... the speaker grills are a dead giveaway
True, but to the non-enthusiast and untrained eye, no one would know. I actually like these speaker vents better, won't collect dust, gives the dash a completely smooth finish.

I do have it in the car now, just not bolted in as I'm working on the interior.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:33 AM   #18
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

The shipping charge seems kinda low... the online site shipping calculator is showing $65.47 to Utah?
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:42 AM   #19
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Pad looks great. The "caps" I've seen before look real "plasticly".. When I lived in Texas, the heat also had a tendency to "warp" the cap. I think it was due to "poor quality of materials" .. (gosh i just noticed, I sure use a lot of quotes don't I..lol) Good luck with your results. On a different note, I spoke with my favorite car detailer and he said the main reason our dashes develop cracks is, the use of Armorall. He recommends a leather cleaner protector and a cracked window (to keep temps from getting too high).. just throwing that out there.. Stone
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #20
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by kauboy View Post
The shipping charge seems kinda low... the online site shipping calculator is showing $65.47 to Utah?
$65 to Utah?? That's wrong, I was only charged $37, and I'm in Utah too
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:57 PM   #21
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

I think it looks great. I too like the simple speaker holes on the cap better than the original. Almost all thirdgens I see, you'll find dirt around the crevices of the speaker grills.

And you're right on Killjoy...that's gotta be the WORST cracked dash I've ever seen...what an improvement! I currently have a crack right down the center of mine....almost looks like it belongs there!! lol

After your post, I just may opt for one of those instead of a 300+ dollar ripoff from flebay. Thx!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:47 PM   #22
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

I think I'll try calling them. The online shipping calculator seems to be giving high estimates 2 Business Days - $143.90 to Honolulu Hawaii
(Includes $89.97 for oversize items.) Hope I can get a better price on shipping.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #23
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Pictures in car? How thick is it? Does it stick up really high over the original dash?
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:43 PM   #24
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

I'll take some on Monday after my rotation, it's about 1/8" thick so its very thin but it's very sturdy, fits like a glove over the old dash
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:45 PM   #25
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Nice.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:46 AM   #26
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

I was quoted $140 and some change shipped to my door.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #27
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Are they very hard, or are they flexible enough for it to still feel padded?
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #28
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

I just purchased the same cap from the same vendor and am very pleased with the look and fit. I haven't gotten the car back from the paint shop yet so I don't have any pics of it in the car either but the dash looks really good. Of course there are the purists who will spot it, but the other 99% of the public will never know that it is a dash cap.

Killjoy - Good job on the write up and pics. Your instructions are spot on. I will only add that I took pains to keep everything as clean as possible. I basically cleaned and de-greased everything just like I would if I was going to paint it. ArmorAll is the enemy of adhesion!

My dash only had one big crack which I sanded out and filled with a small amount of Bondo-glass. That probably wasn't necessary but I wanted the old dash underneath as smooth as possible.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #29
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Kind of amazing how those old dashes crack. Mine was perfect until I bumped the corner getting in one day, just shattered the plastic on the corner. Sure an improvement on the one pictured!
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:02 PM   #30
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

My old dash pad was cracked pretty bad! I got a good used on off of craigslist for $80. I contemplated doing the dash cap, but from the other threads that I read on here were very negative, so I searched for a decent replacement. Heres a picture of my before and after dash, and one of the new one in the car.
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My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics-new-dash-pad.jpg   My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics-new-dash-pad-installed.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:25 PM   #31
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Cool write up.. Thanks.

A good budget alternative. My NOS pad was around $350.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:41 PM   #32
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

It looks really good. I'm thinking about ordering one now for when the day comes that mine gets a crack. I don't use anything but pledge on my dash and I use a dash cover and a sunshade in the summer plus the 'vert doesn't build a lot of inside heat. I don't really mind the different speaker "grilles". Anxious to see the finished pics.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #33
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Re: My Dash pad cap install, small "how to" with pics

Is the Camaro dash interchangable with the Firebird dash?
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