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Old 08-03-2018, 06:13 PM   #1  
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Dash Pad Cracks

There are some very small cracks in my dash pad. They are located near the glass side of the dashpad. Is there anything to be done to prevent them from propagating? For example, should a small drill be used at the end of any of the cracks? I was also considering applying some epoxy there.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:30 PM   #2  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

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Old 08-04-2018, 03:41 PM   #3  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

There are a great deal of products that offer hope but I believe that all of them will only mask the problem. These dash boards are old and made of a material that once dried out becomes brittle and cracks. They will most likely all crack. A dashboard cap is the best, cheapest solution IMO. You can buy recovered dash boards on eBay or if you have money to spend wait till Black Friday and buy a reproduction then.
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:21 PM   #4  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

I can't think of anything that will really make that blend in without being somewhat visible. I'd probably try CA (aka super glue) to glue the chips in place, and hope for the best. Looks more like it got bumped damage than a crack from shrinking. Shrink cracks will usually run from the speaker openings to a defrost opening, or to one edge or the other.

For the big cracks, you can fill them in with something and then go back to reproduce the texture, and dye/paint as necessary. But generally I'd say that's only viable if the dash isn't too bad, and a person is doing the entire dash pad.

The carpeted custom dash cover is always an option, if you don't mind the way they look. Probably the best way to go is to find a good dash pad, and set it out on a warm day and soak it in your favorite protectant. What's basically happening is that over time the chemicals that keep the plastic pliable (flexible) will leach out of the plastic, making it brittle. To an extent, you can let heat open the pores of the plastic and let some of the chemicals in a treatment soak back into the plastic. Armor All probably isn't the best choice, but I've always cleaned up whatever dash I'm working with, and then slathered the Armor All on until it's dripping wet. Leave it in the sun all day, move it inside the garage over night, wipe away the excess the next day. After that, the dash pads seldom ever need a treatment again, just wipe off the dust with a damp cloth, and clean the fog off the inside of the windshield every so often. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had a thirdgen dash crack after doing that.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:01 PM   #5  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Yep, it got bumped....I bought it earlier this summer, used...in really nice condition but dried out a bit. I've used a leather restore product on it, and liked the results. Then I placed it in, I thought, a safe spot in the house. Somebody bumped it, I am sure, and the damn thing is so fragile. Anyway, the location of that crack is where the window glass is located so it won't be too obvious. Since the crack propagated all the way from edge to edge, I am hopeful that it's done. So maybe some black epoxy would work well. I don't think it needs to be hidden so much because of its location. Has anyone used epoxy on these?
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:39 PM   #6  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Black ABS cement would be a better idea instead of epoxy.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:18 PM   #7  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

So a full slathering of Armor All and let it bake in the sun? I’m stuck parked outside most all the summer so I’m all over this.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:43 PM   #8  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Armor all dries out dash pads. I wouldn't use it.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:15 AM   #9  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

I'm not saying to use Armor-All. I'm saying that I have used Armor-All in the manner I described above, for at least 22 years and haven't had an Armor-All treated dash dry out and crack. But hey, I also use a sunshade inside the windshield when I park the car outside, and I rarely park the car outside.

Funny, I have the Camaro dash pad I had on my 83 Camaro sitting here... Found that one in the junkyard in 1996. It keeps company with my spare Firebird pad, that's been tucked away for a rainy day for about a decade. Given that both of these dashes were treated with Armor-All in the manner I described, you'd think they'd dry out and crack stored in closets and under beds for so long. Maybe it's just UV and heat/cold cycling that kills dash pads? Weird.




Use whatever product you feel good about. I've personally never had issues I can blame on Armor-All, even though I keep hearing about how it's suck a bad product for everything. Odd that a product with such popularity would be black death to the very interior parts it claims to protect, and somehow it's still popular. You'd think they'd get busted for fraud if they were making fraudulent claims about their product.
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:49 AM   #10  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Years ago I had an 80's Fox TBird I acquired from a friend that I swapped a HO mustang drivetrain into. The car spent most of its life in a garage before I got it. After I acquired it, the dash pad cracked like nothing I have ever seen before. It was dry, brittle and spider webbed. My buddy used to soak that dash in armor all weekly. I have seen dash pads crack, but this one was exceptional. I just think there are better products out there, 303 being one of them.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:27 AM   #11  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

So you think you have dash cracks......This guy is smoking crack. On FB this morning!
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:14 AM   #12  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

"needs pad cover".

He's not wrong.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:59 AM   #13  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

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Originally Posted by 82tarecaro View Post
Years ago I had an 80's Fox TBird
I figured out the problem.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:33 AM   #14  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

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I figured out the problem.
C'mon Drew - those cars were cool.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:41 AM   #15  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Yes, but brand F dashes are oh so brittle. The dash pad in the Mustang looks like a war crime without it's super custom Maroon carpeted cove I rescued from a Fairmont wagon and sprayed with black Waldo World spray paint. NPD wanted $500 for a reproduction dash pad. What a BUNCH OF BULL! 99 cents and she's good as new! All kidding aside I do believe that Ford's dash pads of the era were pretty durn delicate.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #16  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

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Yes, but brand F dashes are oh so brittle. The dash pad in the Mustang looks like a war crime without it's super custom Maroon carpeted cove I rescued from a Fairmont wagon and sprayed with black Waldo World spray paint. NPD wanted $500 for a reproduction dash pad. What a BUNCH OF BULL! 99 cents and she's good as new! All kidding aside I do believe that Ford's dash pads of the era were pretty durn delicate.
It's possible. I have never seen a pad get that bad.

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Old 08-10-2018, 11:19 AM   #17  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks



40k miles on that car... Rattle canned the pad black because the Regatta Blue had turned this sickly brown color... Shivers me timbers to even thing about it. I don't think I'm gonna be able to sleep tonight.

All covered up...
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:41 PM   #18  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Ford failed dramatically in the department of Mustang interiors in the 80's. They all look like the belong in a truck or station wagon. The interiors were the deciding factor on going Thirdgen vs fox body for me. Anyway....
I've read lots of anecdotal evidence of armor all causing interior plastics to crack and I have no idea if it's true or not so I switched to the water based dressings like what Meguiar's sells. Their Hyper dressing.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:02 PM   #19  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

Don't you mock my Fairmont Wagon dash! Because see, my Mustang has a chrome horse stuck to it, so THERE.

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Old 08-12-2018, 06:32 AM   #20  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

That's a Fairmont dash?!? Dang, I just had a flashback, looks just like my Mercury Capri dash. Mercury Capri - the hillbilly Mustang!
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:30 AM   #21  
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Re: Dash Pad Cracks

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That's a Fairmont dash?!? Dang, I just had a flashback, looks just like my Mercury Capri dash. Mercury Capri - the hillbilly Mustang!
I think they had the same dashpad and similar dashes.
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