View Full Version : Warped Dashboard Repair - What type of adhesive?


PartyBoyRacing
03-10-2008, 10:42 AM
I'm helping a friend repair his warped dashboard which has pealed back at the front by the window, upper air vent, and around the dash airbag. The underlying dashboard foam is in good condition.

I plan to heat the dash plastic to make it pliable, then use "Loctite Power Grab Construction Adhesive" or "Loctite Universal T.A.C." and then secure the dash plastic to the metal dash mount with a few strategically placed screws.

Anyone know of a better adhesive to glue the dash back onto the metal dash mount? I contemplated using roofing adhesive...or an epoxy mix.

Thoughts?

P.S. The dash is out of the car for easy access and a dashboard replacement isn't an option...this is a low budget repair project.

freakness
03-10-2008, 10:51 AM
used unit........

PartyBoyRacing
03-10-2008, 11:01 AM

TEB
03-10-2008, 11:09 AM
<ul><li><a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Audi-a4-s4-dash-with-airbag_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33719QQihZ012QQi temZ220210074502QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW">I'm sure cheaper ones can be found...</a></li></ul>

PartyBoyRacing
03-10-2008, 02:44 PM
Polymers containing styrene will eat the polyurethane foam.

I found an adhesive at the auto parts store which works specifically for automotive polyurathane applications (3M Super Trim Adhesive).

We'll see how it holds up.

ibidman
03-10-2008, 02:57 PM
I used contact cement that i use for plastic laminate fabrication.

PartyBoyRacing
03-10-2008, 04:32 PM
...applying heat prior to applying the adhesive to make the plastic top layer of the dash malleable (what's that made out of anyway; vinyl?)

Note: For heat, I used three 150W work lights about 1 foot away from the dash components.

Then I sprayed 4 layers of adhesive to both the plastic dash shelf, and to the dash cover foam.

Leaving the heat on the dash, I pulled the dash cover taught and clamped the worst areas with an old piece of wood molding I had laying around so I could distribute the clamp load to as much area as possible. I had to leave the clamps on for about 5 minutes, then I kept moving on to other areas which needed clamping.

The heat helped the adhesive to set faster and allowed me to move quickly to keep clamping different areas before the adhesive set up, while still providing enough tack to hold the area I just glued.

My final step was to spray another coat of adhesive just along the leading edge where the dash snugs up against the window. I wanted to make sure that leading edge is really on there good assuming it will begin to peal again there first.

How did you do yours? More importantly; how long has it lasted?

I searched the forms prior to doing this, but didn't find much, so hopefully this thread will provide someone with the info they need for an el-cheapo dash repair job.

odelay12v
03-10-2008, 08:34 PM

Jretal
03-11-2008, 03:19 AM
first time I did it I used contact cement. Unfortunately, that doesn't hold up too well in the heat of the sun.

So when my windshield was being replaced, I had them run a bead of it along the perimeter. Hasn't peeled up since... except for the spots where I didn't put any, and now that's starting to rise a lil bit :(

PartyBoyRacing
03-11-2008, 07:39 AM
The dash of a friends 1996 2.8l A4 was warped severely by the Florida sun. It had pealed back at the leading edge all the way back to about the middle of the dash. The leading edge window area, upper air vent, and around the dash airbag were all severely warped. However, the underlying polyurethane dashboard cover foam was in good condition. The dash was out of the car for a heater core replacement and new or used dashboard replacement wasn't an option as this was a low budget repair project.

Note: The dash has low density polyurethane foam, so I had to stay away from adhesive polymers containing styrene or the styrene would eat the urethane foam.

I found an adhesive at the auto parts store which works specifically for automotive polyurethane applications (3M Super Trim Adhesive), which I bought from Discount Auto.

With this stuff, the trick seemed to be applying heat to the dash prior to applying the adhesive so the plastic top layer of the dash would become malleable (what's that made out of anyway; vinyl?)

Note: For heat, I used three 150W work lights about 1 foot away from the dash components.

Then I sprayed 4 layers of adhesive to both the plastic dash shelf, and to the dash cover foam.

Leaving the heat on the dash, I pulled the dash cover taught and clamped the worst areas with an old piece of wood molding I had laying around so I could distribute the clamp load to as much area as possible. I had to leave the clamps on for about 5 minutes, and then I kept moving on to other areas which needed clamping.

The heat helped the adhesive to set faster and allowed me to move quickly to keep clamping different areas before the adhesive set up, while still providing enough tack to hold the area I just glued.

My final step was to spray another coat of adhesive just along the leading edge where the dash snugs up against the window and clamp. I wanted to make sure that leading edge is really on there good assuming it will begin to peal again there first.

Unfortunately, the dash cover with foam had shrunk and couldn't be pulled tight enough to fully cover the plastic dash mount.When we installed the repaired dash, the exposed part of the plastic dash showed glue residue which could be seen through the windshield. We simply pulled it back out and painted the exposed portion flat black to conceal the flaw.

The end result didn't look too bad for a $12 repair job, especially considering how bad it was to start with.

We'll see how it holds up.

Dash Airbag - Before
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/airbag_before.jpg">
Dash Airbag - After
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/airbag_after.jpg">
Upper Vent - Before
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/upper_vent_before.jpg">
Upper Vent - After (I was even able to get the accent contour back; rather than a bubble shape)
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/upper_vent_after.jpg">
Front of Dash - Before (looks kind of like an alien robot warrior)
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/warped_dash_before_1.jpg">
Front of Dash - Before
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/warped_dash_before_2.jpg">
Front of Dash - After
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/dash_repair_1.jpg">
Front of Dash - After
<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/109615/dash_repair_2.jpg">

PartyBoyRacing
03-11-2008, 02:50 PM
Side note: The dash cover with foam had shrunk and couldn't be pulled tight enough to fully cover the plastic dash mount (see photo).

When we installed the repaired dash, the exposed part of the plastic dash part with glue residue could be seen through the windshield.

We simply pulled it back out and painted the exposed portion flat black to conceal the flaw.