Author Topic: Dash panel recover  (Read 5503 times)


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Dash panel recover
« on: July 03, 2009, 15:23:31 »
I just bought some MB-Tex from World Upholstery (black -341). Since it is not to expensive, I decided to try a DIY recover before a full restoration with leather.

Question I have is:
My car dash was all cracked and flaky (the panels and mould on the front of the dash is excellent. Do I glue vinyl directly on the panels or does some of the panels have the thin layer of foam glued down first then vinyl?
The dash panel where the front moulding meets the aluminum is not flat with the aluminum (seems like this from the factory. Do I just glue and the vinyl?

Any pictures of WIP will help. 



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Re: Dash panel recover
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 23:33:00 »
There definately is an art to the padding. I've seen lots of overstuffed looking dashes and very few svelt looking ones. I would think very very thin foam, if any. That project is on my list to do too. We can have a DIY dash beauty contest ;)


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Re: Dash panel recover
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 13:59:32 »
I went through this some years ago, with a couple of lessons learned.   

Most of all, I would recommend using a good contact cement to adhere the material to the little panels.  I tried several adhesives prior to that, and none of them worked well.  The material does need to be stretched over the curved portions of the pieces, and the last thing that you want is the material shifting as it dries - it is hard/impossible to clamp along the length.  The contact cement worked great.

I also got some stuffing from the local sewing/handicraft shop.  It was not foam, but more like loose fleece (hard to describe).  It was really easy to put small amounts of it where you wanted a little additional padding.  If you were to adhere one side of the dash panel material, it is easy to put what padding you want in place, pull the material tight  on the other side and see how it looks.  I ended up using very little padding, and it does make the dash look clean.   I used the same padding material on the top part of my seats to take up the slack when I did them several years ago, and it still is great.

Regards -- Roger
1966 230SL black 4 speed (250 low compression engine)


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Re: Dash panel recover
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 20:03:16 »
Hello Maistran - - I know you were at PUB ( as I was) but I do not remember talking to you. What a great time, wasn't it?

When I did mine last year I was expecting the foam under-layment to be a mess of foam crumbs. I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to easily separate the M-B Tex because there was no bonding agent placed between them when the factory assembled the dashcaps. Also, when you are ready to go back with the leather (which I did), only use the contact cement on the backside "wrap-over" areas. There is no need to glue to the under-layment. Also, be sure to use the 3M contact cement that comes in a brush-on 1 qt can. The aerosol version is not up to the task and it will release after a while.

Regards,  Larry in CA
Larry Hemstreet  in  N. Cal.

1966  230SL  Met. Anthracite w/ Maroon leather
1981  300TDT (Concours, 86K w/ GETRAG 5sp)
1982  300TDT (rough and rusty)
1986  560SEC (totaled)
1991  300TE (gifted)
1998  E320 (sold)
2004  E320 wagon (gifted)
2008  CLK550 cabriolet


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Re: Dash panel recover
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2009, 03:44:48 »
Great point...I recently took a auto upholstery class at our local college (great fun)  and we used pot style paint guns under pressure to spray very lightly the 3m or equivlent glues.  The stuff in the cans does not hold up.  Also heat guns come in handy to help "pull" leather into shapes.  I think you will find that MB only glued the edges of our dashes.  I am currently recovering my 111 280se cab dash and it is all leather with no metal exposed.

Good luck...I know where you can get a good deal on a upholstery walking foot sewing machine...great fun and very rewarding to do your own interior work!