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Old 04-21-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
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Project nearing completion. Question on new padded dash.

I've had my RV front cap and dashboard disassembled for a while now, working on some projects, and I'm nearly finished and ready to put it all back together. I removed the front cap, to gain access to the heater core, which was leaking. While I had that down, I also addressed some rusted areas on the sheet metal, and installed new Hella halogen headlights. In fact, one of the original headlight mounts was installed at an angle, preventing that side from ever being able to be aligned. OK that's all done.

I also took out the padded dash, as the foam padding had disintegrated, and looked terrible. All the molded ABS dash surround surfaces turned yellow, from years of UV exposure. So while I had the dashboard out, to re-upholster, I went ahead and removed all the dozen or so panels that form the whole cockpit surround. I cleaned, prepped and sprayed them this past weekend, and I think they came out pretty nice. I used an elastomeric color coating, mixed to match the original dash color, by SEM Products. They were fantastic to work with.

So that takes me to this padded dash re-cover project. I bought new foam padding, and a roll of the original cloth-backed vinyl fabric. Removed all the old fabric, and sticky, gooey remains of the old foam padding, and got the steel dashboard clean and shiny. I am now ready to re-cover it.

Do I adhere the new foam to the steel panel, and then lay the fabric over the foam without adhesive, glueing only the edges of the fabric on the underside of the panel? Or do I spray adhesive to the top of the foam too, and glue the fabric to the foam? There must be a right way, or better way, and like everything else, this is a first for me.

So, any of you have any experience with re-upholstering a padded dash?

btw, if anyone wants to see pics, including a cheap, quick, and effective paint booth that I made just to do this project, let me know.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:12 PM   #2
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I can't help with your question (I've never been brave enough to tackle something like that) but I sure would like to see pictures of your project.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:26 PM   #3
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I'd like to see pictures too! I can't imagine undertaking what you did. Way to go!!!
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:09 PM   #4
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Here's a few random pics:

front clip removed to allow access to heater core:


Heater core leaked at the corner:


Dash and panels removed:


padded dash steel backing plate stripped of old vinyl, foam padding, and adhesive. It was really a mess, and took hours to clean.


homemade paint booth; 3 lengths of half inch steel conduit, bent to form a "curtain rod". 10'x25' 6mil clear poly (Lowes), with brass grommets installed on 12" centers, and hardware store shower shower-curtain rings.

The conduit was attached to the back of the barn overhead door with conduit connectors installed on hinges, screwed to the metal door stiffener, and suspended by 1/4" nylon rope, from the door panel above it.

Easy to install and take down. Covered the floor and the back of the door with a cheap paint tarp.


Painting is progress:


Panels painted and ready to be re-installed:
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:53 PM   #5
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Now that looks like a job and a half, I've changed a lot of heater cores and evaporators in the past that were really not people friendly but this one looks like it takes top prize for being difficult.
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRR View Post
Now that looks like a job and a half, I've changed a lot of heater cores and evaporators in the past that were really not people friendly but this one looks like it takes top prize for being difficult.
Yea John, it was a bit of a pita. There were a few brave souls that preceeded me in the task, and posted here on the forum, a few years ago. It helped having an idea of what to exoect, although when it came down to it, there were still a few surprises.

Still a lot of work to do to finish the padded dash, and re-install it, and everything else that I took out along the way. Getting anxious to get it finished, and get out on the 1st RV trip of the year.
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:55 PM   #7
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Glue the foam down first. You have to spray both surfaces. The lay down paper plastic sheet and make sure glue will not stick to paper the set your foam down and do not stretch the foam and start to pull the paper out. Just pat the area easy or you will leave a hand print. Then trim the areas you need to get rid of the foam that is not needed. Now lay your material on foam no glue. Only glue the edges and around any openings and that is it.


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Old 05-18-2015, 02:09 PM   #8
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Follow-up post & pics: work completed.

I got eveything finished and back together, and thought I'd post an update:









First time doing anything like this, so I'm pretty pleased with the results.
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:19 PM   #9
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One word.
Perfect


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Old 05-18-2015, 02:22 PM   #10
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WOW!!! Better than the original!
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:01 PM   #11
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Looks like new
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johndale View Post
Glue the foam down first. You have to spray both surfaces. The lay down paper plastic sheet and make sure glue will not stick to paper the set your foam down and do not stretch the foam and start to pull the paper out. Just pat the area easy or you will leave a hand print. Then trim the areas you need to get rid of the foam that is not needed. Now lay your material on foam no glue. Only glue the edges and around any openings and that is it.


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I agree!

Your pics for your completed project look great. Good job.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:57 AM   #13
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Bold undertaking with excellent results.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:37 AM   #14
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Awesome job!
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