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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The cracks in my dashboard have been bothering me since the day I got the car. I finally decided to take a crack at fixing it myself. I figured if it didn't work, I would just cover it up with a dash mat or a portable GPS. Replacing the dash seems like too much work, time and money.

I've seen a number of vinyl/dash repair products out there but haven't read about one that holds up for a while. After searching for a easy fix online, I found Silicone caulking works as a decent crack filler for dashboards as it is flexible and holds up quite well.

Here are a couple of before pictures to give you an idea of what it looked like:





List of materials:

GE brand 100% Silicone Rubber Kitchen and Bath caulking ($3 at Home Depot)
Permatex Vinyl and Leather Repair kit ($10 at Walmart)
A few clean rags
Butterknife (optional)

Step 1: Clean the area around the crack with a damp cloth
Step 2: Cut the nozzle of the silicone tube. Take care as to make a small opening so that a small bead is dispensed from the silicone tube



Step 3: Apply a small amount of silicone to the crack, so that the crack is entirely covered without excess silicone on the surrounding areas. You can use masking tape around the crack but the tape I had wouldn't stick to the dashboard.



Step 4: Using a butterknife, work the silicone into the crack. I prefer to use my fingers as it gives me more control and spreads less silicone to the surrounding areas.

Step 5: Wipe excess silicone with a damp cloth once the crack has been filled. Ensure that you remove the excess as soon as you are done otherwise it makes it harder to remove any excess material.

Wait a few hours and reapply a bit more silicone as some of it will be absorbed by the foam under the vinyl and a depression will form in the crack.

Silicone takes about 24 hours to cure, so wait a day before proceeding to the next step.

After applying the silicone, the cracks should be less obvious as seen below.

After first round of filling with silicone


After second round of filling with silicone



The cracks are much less noticeable and we're only halfway done


I used clear silicone but Home Depot also sells coloured silicone. The shade of brown that they carry is pretty close to the colour of the Type F/E dash. Even with clear silicone you don't see a huge difference in colour and the cracks don't stand out as much.

Next step is to fill the cracks with the crack filler that comes with the Vinyl repair kit. Dashboard cracks are quite deep and the filler that comes with the kit is not as effective on deep cracks as silicone. However, it works well to make the silicone treated area blend in. You can also colour match the filler that comes with the kit to the same colour as the dash. The kit also includes a piece of vinyl that you can use to give the treated area the same texture as the rest of the dashboard.

I will add detailed instructions of the second half of the repair using the kit as soon as the silicone cures (sometime tomorrow). I was too excited to wait a day to do the final DIY; I just had to share the results thus far.

Questions or suggestions are welcome.
 

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same here, I have a crack on my dash that faces the passenger.... completely ruined my day when it first showed up. Still not sure if I'm going to fix mine after this recent wreck, or if I'm going to part it out, but if I keep it... I'll be back to this post for my instructions. Great work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Still haven't finished it. I have a bad habit of starting things and not following through. I'm finishing this up first thing tomorrow morning, followed by installing seat cover on the driver seat, interior cleaning, grounding kit install, getting the poly'ed tranny mount installed in the sedan and a tranny flush. Busy day tomorrow!
 

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Still haven't finished it. I have a bad habit of starting things and not following through. I'm finishing this up first thing tomorrow morning, followed by installing seat cover on the driver seat, interior cleaning, grounding kit install, getting the poly'ed tranny mount installed in the sedan and a tranny flush. Busy day tomorrow!
Damn bro.
 

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Very good write up and positive result :thumbsup:
 

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I used some ultra black silicone from the 99 cents store and it filled the grand canyons in my coupe up real good. I neede to buy a second tube, thats how bad it was, but never got around to doing it till I sold it. Great job by the way.
 

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well i'm a little impatient and began the dash repair. i followed the instructions as listed above but with the addition of a can of compressed air to remove any stuff from the crack.

i mixed the colors, adding more and more until i was pleased with the results. then i followed the instruction listed for the dash repair kit i found at walmart as shown above.

after mixing the colors, i applied a very, very small amount to the crack. i then pushed in in so that it overflowed a bit and spread it evenly. then you're ready for heat.

the most important part of this, other than color matching, is to heat it properly. i used a vise and an iron the properly heat the 'heating tool'. then i placed the supplied vinyl pattern over the wet paint and began heating it using circular motions.

make sure that the pattern does not move while you're heating it. after heating for a minute, let it sit for five in order to cool down. after it has cooled, carefully peal away the vinyl pattern and voila! you're done.

i'm going to go over all the spots that i began because i don't like reading instructions and didn't heat and cool properly. below are some pictures of my results. don't be scared that it didn't come out perfect. i rushed and didn't take my time but now that i know what do to, as you you at this point, it will come out better.

i'll post more pictures this week as soon as i finish and am happy with the results.







btw, i'm not trying to jack your diy, i just wanted to share my trials and results
 
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