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Repair dash Pad


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Just dashes does excellent work, but you pay BIG BUCKS for their services.  Bob Burnopp put a "topper" on the dash of his '63.  It all depends on what you're after.  400 point judging or 20 footer for driving.

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Had a similar crack. 3M vinyl repair kit (which has not changed in 40 yrs or more) yielded poor results. I may have gotten a 40 yr old kit. Filler paste would not harden properly after heating. I eventually filled the cracks w modeling putty & painted them w a mix of flat & gloss Testor's enamel to match the sheen. looks pretty good, but not good enough for a photo testimonial,sorry.

Another option is to find an upholsterer who has vinyl repair expertise. even better if he can repair the dashpad in place. Mine wouldn't budge, probably due to a windshield leak years ago. If you do choose to remove it, though, use great care not to do further damage.

good luck

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I had an upholsterer recover the dash in my 63 with black expanded vinyl, it's an upholstery material that you can easily stretch. It's not thick, has a mesh backing on it, and is easy to work with ( if you're a professional.) Trim down any turned up edges on the dash, fill the gaps with minimal expanding foam (the kind used to seal doors an windows during rough house construction,) sand it smooth, then glue the vinyl in place. Glue only the under side, let the dash and vinyl on the top contract and expand at their own rates. Very similar to a dash topper, but using a soft rather than a hard cover.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, RivNut said:

Glue only the under side, let the dash and vinyl on the top contract and expand at their own rates. Very similar to a dash topper, but using a soft rather than a hard cover.

Ed, I've found putting any material over the existing cover adds enough bulk that makes the added thickness too bulky. Could be my eyes. I strip the the existing cover off the dash pad make needed repairs and put the replacement fitted cover on the pad. The job is not hard, but there are a few tricks that make the job go neater.

Turbinator

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Normal vinyl with a cloth backing Is too thick to recover a dash. But the expanded vinyl that I described is thin enough to cover the dash and let the dash slide into place.  I had mine recovered 20+ years ago by the guys at the place where I used to work.  Looked good; fit fine. You just gotta’ buy the correct vinyl.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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My car is in storage 70 miles from me or I’d post a picture of it. As I said previously, you probably use some upholstery fabric other than expanded vinyl.  It’s not so thick that you cannot see imperfections in the underlying dash.  Maybe the vinyl I used 20+ years ago is no longer being produced. But I do know for a fact that it was not so thick that the dash could not be put back in and have a factory fit. AND THAT’S A FACT JACK.  Sorry yours didn’t fit as you would have liked.

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19 minutes ago, RivNut said:

fit. AND THAT’S A FACT JACK.  Sorry yours didn’t fit as you would have liked.

No Jack here. The only thing I can guess is your hemroids are acting up and you are irritated. Maybe you are irritated because someone chopped off your ear. Ive been matter off fact about the whole subject. Offering my experience and observations thinking they may be of value. I’m not sure of your annoyance with me because I’ve done nothing to aggravate you. If you are trying to take Konga Man’s place you are close real close. Besides how many of dash pads have you covered?

While you are at it show us the Riviera you are driving today.

Mind your manners you were raised better.

Turbinator

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Sorry that you're taking this so personal Bob.  I'm just stating a fact that I recovered the dash for my '63 with a vinyl and it went back in as it came out.  If you had a different experience, I believe you.  BUT you have to believe me as well and quit trying to say that I'm irritated because someone chopped my ear off.  All that I'm saying is that I'm being matter of fact too.  If you cannot accept what I'm saying as fact, then don't.  Your choice. 

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3 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Here you go. Judge for yourself.

The dash I recovered in my car. I matched the color and put it on the pad. 
Turbinator

BB49C55E-0A15-4BFE-B14B-D231C7C59EB1.jpeg

D1D5AC17-4D43-415F-820F-83548494C498.jpeg

 

 

Looks great Bob, and I think digital pictures would highlight any imperfections as compared to eye.

 

By the way,  recovered with the thickest vinyl I could get as there were so many cracks and splits needing hiding. It's been in and out plenty with no problem. It's nice and snug. Dont even have to screw it in.

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I had a similar crack in my dash pad from my Electra repaired by a local, and mobile, outfit called "Patch & Match".  They were recommended by a local upholstery shop I took the dash pad to see if they could do something with.  They specialized in leather and plastic repair.  I already had the dash pad out, but they still took a few hours to get it done and it was blended in with the rest of the dash pad and now looks perfect.  You might be able to find a similar service near you.

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I would love to let that go like my Mom taught me, but I have to ask. The thing w the chopped off ear, is that an obscure reference to Van Goch? If so I'm struggling to make the connection.  Any way I like it & plan to use it on the wife when she gets in. Will let you know how it goes.

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OK Riviera People: I have 11 First-gens and ONLY one perfect dash.  That said, Bob, is there any way of mass producing these dash pads? Yours look pretty good. I'd love to see one in person.  I believe if the product were an authentic exact factory reproduction someone could sell quite a few and a certain price point.  This also goes for the rear package tray.

   Mitch

Edited by lrlforfun (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, RivNut said:

Normal vinyl with a cloth backing Is too thick to recover a dash. But the expanded vinyl that I described is thin enough to cover the dash and let the dash slide into place.  I had mine recovered 20+ years ago by the guys at the place where I used to work.  Looked good; fit fine. You just gotta’ buy the correct vinyl.

Ed,

  I think you have your vinyls backwards...regular cloth backed vinyl, or "trim weight" vinyl which is generally used on side panels, is half the thickness of expanded vinyl, which has a layer of bonded foam between the vinyl top surface and the cloth backing and is generally used for seating surfaces.

Tom

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When I was the accountant for Dr Vinyl, the upholsterers called the thin vinyl with the netting on the back expanded vinyl. At least that’s how they referred to it so that’s what I’ve learned to call it.  I (they) could be wrong in what they call it but that’s what we used to cover my dash.  

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19 minutes ago, RivNut said:

When I was the accountant for Dr Vinyl, the upholsterers called the thin vinyl with the netting on the back expanded vinyl. At least that’s how they referred to it so that’s what I’ve learned to call it.  I (they) could be wrong in what they call it but that’s what we used to cover my dash.  

  From the `72 Buick Color and Trim book....

Tom

72 color and trim book 1.jpg

72 color and trim book 2.jpg

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I Googled expanded vinyl large night after reading your post and the descriptions were the same as yours.  Why the guys in the upholstery shop called the thinner stuff by that name I do not know. That's what I called it then, but now I know better. Thanks.

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I believe the appropriate name for the dash vinyl is "unsupported" or "unbacked" vinyl. It is more easily stretched when heated to contour around the tight curves of the dash and then takes the shape when cooled, while the cloth backed vinyl (used for seats) will tend to wrinkle. Anyone that has cracked dash or wrinked rear package shelf on their 63-65 can see that the vinyl is thin (like plastic) and has no cloth on the back.

Maybe the guys "in the shop" may have called it expanded vinyl cause the way they could stretch it...

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My '63 dash pad was covered with vinyl by a local upholstery shop . The previous owner showed me where the crack was under the vinyl. If he hadn't showed me I probably wouldn't have noticed. 

I guess it depends on how bad your cover is as to whether it can be covered.

 

 

Kevin 

Edited by kegart (see edit history)
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23 hours ago, kegart said:

guess it depends on how bad your cover is as to whether it can be covered.

Kevin, there is always a number of ways to do a job. Sometimes people do things a certain way because that is how they like to do the job.

ive found the cover I use WITH THE ORIGINAL COVER STRIPPED fits tight, real tight. How the cover I use fits best is by stripping the old cover off and then fitting the replacement cover. Whether you like vinyl, leather, sheet goods on a dash that has bumps, cracks waves imperfections the material picks up the flaw and shows in the cover. The dash pad foam or backing material must be smooth if you are using sheet goods. Now how the DIY’er gets the backing smooth is yet another topic.

Turbinator

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On 11/10/2021 at 5:14 PM, gungeey said:

 

 

Looks great Bob, and I think digital pictures would highlight any imperfections as compared to eye.

 

By the way,  recovered with the thickest vinyl I could get as there were so many cracks and splits needing hiding. It's been in and out plenty with no problem. It's nice and snug. Dont even have to screw it in.

Gungeey, I was saying there is more than one way to do a job. For instance I take the A pilars out when I remove and install my dash pad. It’s just easier for me. I was referring fit to a one piece that slides over the dash pad. My life’s experience has been nothing slides over anything and fits. So, I naturally strip the original dash covering off. Ive got bump there sand here to get the slip cover to fit the way it should. It’s not hard but a bit tedious if you are really picky. Currently I’m upholstering 63-65 dash pads with color correct vinyl from Clark’s. For those that want sheet goods I have it. For those looking for a less expensive yet good looking cover I have it.

when you deal with the Turninator you always come out a winner.

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Well, not really a 'bail-out'; the government agreed to guarantee the loan to Chrysler (the government essentially 'co-signed' the loan).  In the end, Chrysler paid the loan back early, so yeah, Lee was a man of his word.  ;)

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7 minutes ago, EmTee said:

In the end, Chrysler paid the loan back early, so yeah, Lee was a man of his word.  ;)

EmTee. It was a good deal for the country, the employees, everyone came out a winner. Lee certainly kept his word and paid the bill. Harry Truman had a failed mens haberdashery. Harry was bankrupt, but eventually paid all his debts. Men of character serve as good examples for a regular guy like me. America could use some more good examples. Most of us know how to earn money ( legit). But what do we know about making our country have integrity? 
Turbinator

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Tuesday I moved my car to a different place in the warehouse where it is currently being stored so I got a chance to take a look at the dash board that I had recovered back in 84 or 85, when I was working for Dr. Vinyl and we had an upholstery shop to complement our vinly repair business.  The dash was recovered in a vinyl that had a net type backing on it.  We pulled the dash, covered it, and put it back in place. Period.  Here are a couple of pictures of the old and filthy dirty (from warehouse storage) dash that was recovered 35 years ago.IMG_20211116_144549700.jpg.e85e21ce46ff973174729f3d4315286a.jpgIMG_20211116_144500693.jpg.d316a60eb7465a13f9700d98ced6ea29.jpg

 

The knob on the glove box door was there when I bought the car.  Not a bad idea since the door won't pop open when you push the button. Yes, the hood has a "new to me since i last saw the car a year ago" dent in the hood.  This car has 189,XXX miles on it and is in need of a complete restoration. It's on my list following the 64 and the 65 Gran Sport.  It was my first one and will be my last one.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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On 11/18/2021 at 7:37 AM, RivNut said:

It's on my list following the 64 and the 65 Gran Sport. 

Hmmph, I don't want to do another one unless it's a decent '65 Riviera GS.

I lucked-out with a perfect '64 red dashpad for my white-on-red '63. I covered the speaker grill with a panel painted red on the top side and a 4 ohm exciter off center on the underside for a low profile speaker. Audio dynamics not up to par.

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My dash was covered with white naugahyde, with inch thick foam under that, all over the original dash pad. The over stuffed look is traditional for low riders, but i'm wanting to go back to the crisp look of the original. I'm thinking black alcantara for the dash, the rear window deck, and the headliner. Like the look of the material, and I need something non-reflective on the dash here in the desert.

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The grain pattern for the headliner is called Bedford. If I remember correctly, the grain pattern for the dash pad and the rear shelf is called Madrid.  The seat pattern is called Seville.
 

For non glare and protection from the sun, a fabric (velour or carpeting) style cover works well. Look at the products that Coverking offers.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

Just google search  "new dash pad for 63-65 Riviera" and they come right up.........I just noticed however

that they are temporarily out of stock and expect to have them available again in March.

I don't know if this will happen with this item and I hope I not. Don't hold your breath when when OPGI says out of stock and gives you an arrival date. I am still waiting for items that I ordered from them (before I knew better) 7 years ago when I got my 1963. I would periodically check back and the expected date of restock would come and go to be replaced by a date further in the future. Temporarily out of stock seems to be permanently out of stock in some cases.

 

Bill

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That sounds like a typical OPGI story.........I believe the part will be very nice when or if it becomes available.....I have one of their dash

pads from the same manufacturer in my 70 Chevelle and it is beautiful. It is my guess that the dash pads are on a Chinese

boat in Los Angeles harbor waiting around to be unloaded. You are correct in pointing out that they are a PITA to deal with.

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4 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

Just google search  "new dash pad for 63-65 Riviera" and they come right up.........I just noticed however

that they are temporarily out of stock and expect to have them available again in March.

OPGI is notorious for not having things in stock.  I have been led to understand that "not in stock" and "back ordered" are used to give OPGI time to gather enough orders for them to put in an order to their supplier.  If not enough orders come through, you'll never get it.  

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