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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some opinions on the dash in my 79 TA.

What would you guys do here with the cracks / damage?
  • Try and have it repaired?
  • Wait for a replacement dash from someone like OER to maybe someday be in stock?
  • Do any of the covers out there not look terrible?
Not looking for the car to be a concours restoration by any means, but I am a bit OCD and its driving me crazy.

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Thanks!
 

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Restoring a dash yourself is possible, but it takes a lot of time/effort and specialized materials, and working with plastic can be a beast. I used everything from a company called Polyvance, and their website has some good restoration guides. I should say I used everything but their overpriced plastic welding iron. You can get one on Amazon for about $30 that works great. Their plastic filler rod (the stuff you melt into the repair) is far superior to generic stuff and worth the money. If you go this route do also shell out the money for their dash filler adhesion promoter (can’t remember the exact name). It sounds like one of those extras that you don’t really need (and Polyvance itself says is optional) but I find it’s actually essential to get a good repair. Getting the dash off is itself a big undertaking, and then you have to be prepare for a world of “well, while I’m in there . . .”

Your dash looks pretty rough, but you end up needing to spread the repair pretty wide even if you just have one crack, so it might not make much of a difference. And it looks like it’s mostly on the flat-ish part on top, which is much easier than all the curvy bits. A lot of the difficulty is because you’re repairing two layers, vinyl over foam padding. And you need a really sturdy repair otherwise the heat will just expand out the foam and crack it again. All in all it was a huge outlay of effort, but the dash ended up beautiful. And I’ve actually ended up using all the plastic repair tools and materials for all sorts of projects.

NPD just recently started offering a reproduction full dash. They say it also fits 78-81 but the radio area is a little different than OEM. The dashes are not cheap, but what is? I haven’t heard any feedback on the repops as they just came on the market — I’d be interested to hear if anyone has tried them. Interestingly, NPD sells them in “grades.”

I looked into dash covers and concluded they could look “good,” but would never satisfy my own OCD. Also I don’t know how well the covers work over uneven/lumpy cracks, but I would expect it would be even harder to get them laying flat and clean.
 

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Wanting to repair that isn't as sign of OCD. It's pretty bad! Be aware that the replacement dash, when available, was 70-77. That may only matter if you have original radio. I'd get a sheet of vinyl or carpet to match as a cover until you work out an action plan, people will think it's mint and you are protecting it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't mind spending the money for one of the NPD or OER repos, just none of them are in stock and who knows how long before they are again.

May try the repair myself and worst case if it falls apart I can then look into a replacement repo then.
 

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Another option not in your list is to have someone else repair it. I know there are several companies that offer this. I used Just Dashes on mine 12 years ago. It still looks brand new.

I did send them all the interior plastics so they could be re-dyed and some minor repairs done.

It was a bit spendy, but I felt well worth it and I kept all my original interior plastic rather than replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Just wanted to follow up here and let everyone know that I did call "Just Dashes" for an estimate.

They wanted $2,300 which includes painting the ash tray and glove box door along with the dash. Looking at about a 4 month lead time.

FYI in case anyone else was considering that option.

Also got a quote from FiberOne which was $1,100.
 
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