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Plastic Dash Resurrection, Not Restoration


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#1 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 10:12 AM


My tolerant wife let me convince her that I should be allowed to work on this dash in the house. Mainly in the basement, but some on the counter. This is one of those jobs that you can work on in 15 minute bursts as you have time. Perfect in house tinkering.

Just to refresh, this is the dash as I pulled it off. Note all the missing pieces and cracks.

image.jpg

No where near done yet, but have made some real progress.
image.jpg
In the following pics, the red is cracks, blue is replacement for missing.
Please keep in mind, this thing actually rattled as you carried it. There were so many cracks and soggy spots, this is more of a "Can I save it" than "how nice can I make it look"
image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

Now, I stumbled upon a couple of info tidbits during this process. I have been around electronics for better than 20 years and one of the big tools used to be a substance called Plasti-pair. It was a powder/solution that you could actually glue / rebuild plastics with. They took it off the market and it has been NLA for at least 10 years. They have re formulated it so it can be sold again in the US under a different name.
It smells the same (very de"stink"ive smell) and it does pretty much the same thing. With the powder, you could mix it a little dry to form easier, but this sure beats not having it anymore.
image.jpg

Also, on the big cracks with no way to reinforce the plastic around it, I did a little playing. I bought a roll of drywall fiber tape. It's fiberglass and I was able to melt it down into the plastic with my old iron. Really stiffened it up.
image.jpg

I plan on layering over with JB weld also and smoothing a little, but I suggest this as a reinforcement method instead of just gluing over the outside.

I cleaned up the worn throttle plate. Using a black magic marker, I got close to saving the tortoise and hare anyways.
image.jpg
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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 10:53 AM

That's looking good, Alan! Think I am going to check out the soldering station too. Thanks to you and your wife for this!


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#3 bgkid2966 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 11:01 AM

That is quite a challenge! Saving the dash is better than buying one. Thanks for sharing.

 

 

 

Geno


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#4 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 11:01 AM

Interesting thread.  Is that stuff readily available?  I'll be interested in the final outcome. 


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#5 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 11:14 AM

Interesting thread.  Is that stuff readily available?  I'll be interested in the final outcome. 


The plastic weld is hanging on the hooks at AutoZone. It's near the other epoxy glues.
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#6 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 12:09 PM

Alan how hard does it dry?  Would it be any good for seat repair?



#7 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 12:36 PM

Now, I stumbled upon a couple of info tidbits during this process. I have been around electronics for better than 20 years and one of the big tools used to be a substance called Plasti-pair. It was a powder/solution that you could actually glue / rebuild plastics with. They took it off the market and it has been NLA for at least 10 years. They have re formulated it so it can be sold again in the US under a different name.
It smells the same (very de"stink"ive smell) and it does pretty much the same thing. With the powder, you could mix it a little dry to form easier, but this sure beats not having it anymore.

 

 

Alan, Do you apply this in a powder form and then put glue over it or melt it in with the soldiering iron?

 

Great use of the reinforcing tape to the dash.

 

What is the dash off of?

 

Thanks for sharing..



#8 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 12:56 PM

Alan how hard does it dry?  Would it be any good for seat repair?


The plastic weld is maybe just a touch harder than the dash plastic I am working on... IDT it'd work we'll for seats, no flex.
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#9 pwombles OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 12:58 PM

This would be great to do on mine and other MTD Dashes! I have to try this. I dont have a ton of damage like others have but would like to get it fixed before it gets worse. How are you painting the dash after you get it fixed? can you describe your soldering iron tech a little more?



#10 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 01:01 PM

Alan, Do you apply this in a powder form and then put glue over it or melt it in with the soldiering iron?

Great use of the reinforcing tape to the dash.

What is the dash off of?

Thanks for sharing..


Brian, the old stuff used to come in a powder/fluid mix. You could rebuild darned near anything with it. Tone arms on record players, hinges on cassette player doors, motor brackets on 8 track players, etc. they stopped making it just a few years after VCR's came out in force or I'm sure they could've been fixed with it. FFwd to now, it's like any other epoxy, little soupy to build, but works good to glue and fill in.

As for the fiber tape, I just melted it in to the plastic. I'm sure it looks wadded up it there, but it seems to provide quite a bit of reinforcement. I'm sure you could use steel or copper screen also.
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#11 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 01:05 PM

So, now it is in a 2 part liquid form that mixes in the application gun nozzle?



#12 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 01:06 PM

So, now it is in a 2 part liquid form that mixes in the application gun nozzle?


More or less.
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#13 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 01:44 PM

OK, I took a short video of melting the tape into the plastic. And I messed up... LOL I will explain in a minute.

Here is my newly broken plastic.
image.jpg

Meshed together and ready for tape.
image.jpg

I left out a step, I should have talked about melting thru or gluing the two pieces together before doing the reinforcement tape.
Here is a pic of the joint melted thru and then the tape ready to be melted into it.
image.jpg
Tape melted into it, sanded first time and plastic weld over the whole thing
image.jpg

From a structural standpoint, it's pretty good now. One or two coats of some finish coat (spot putty, bondo, your choice) will be needed to smooth it all out and make it look pretty. That's a video for someone else... Just ask my friends, I don't do "pretty" very well. :D

Here's the video for what it's worth :rolling:

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#14 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 03:19 PM

Thanks for the info, video and pics Alan. i have a cracked panel to fix up for my 317 although it's not as bad as that one! 


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#15 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2013 - 03:26 PM

That is coming out great Alan! Thanks for the walk through and the video :thumbs:


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