I have to ask a couple of questions first. Is there material in the crack and how wide is it? Has the vinyl started to lift and curl? Would you consider this a hairline crack? I have some pretty cool tricks on doing repairs so I hope to here from you soon,Dave.
I also have a crack on my dash, only I would consider it a larger hairline crack.
It is not currling but starting to lift a little.
I would be MOST interested in hearing your tricks on saving this dash.
70elky396, There is a product called V.L.P. and it is made to repair these cracks. It's also made to fix dishwasher racks that are broken. the stuff really stands up to heat without cracking or breaking again. Second you will need a vinyl repair kit from Permatex. First of all let me tell everyone that getting a perfect vinyl repair is pretty hard but getting a 95%+ repair is possible. The thing we are trying to achieve here is to keep the crack from getting larger. It's kind of like getting a windshield repaired after a rock has put a bulls eye or star break in it. Anyway V.L.P. is a clear liquid compound which makes it so you don't have to recolor the area if you don't want to but I recommend doing so if you can, or using the color compounds from the vinyl repair kit. First on a hair line crack where the vinyl is not lifting or curling simply put the VLP on a plastic razor blade or spatula and use it sparingly you can add more later if needed and fill the crack until it is level with the surface.Then from the vinyl repair kit find a piece of graining paper to match you dash and then put down just a little more of the VLP on the crack but this time use a toothpick or a needle, the object here is to just trace the crack with the VLP while laying down just enough of the product to make the graining paper do its' thing. the key here is not using to much of the compound and having patience. Take your time. Tape the graining paper down and leave it for 1 hour. Don't pull the paper off any sooner or you will probably have to do the repair again and the second time it will really show for sure. The Permatex kit also has a filler but it doesn't seem to work as well as the VLP. The vinyl kit has color comounds you can use as well with the VLP to help with the repair just follow the instructions that come with the kit. If you can find an old door panel or something to practice on before you do the repair on your dash it will help you get the hang of what I'm trying to teach here, it's better to make a few mistakes on a piece that you don't care about than one you do! I hope this helps and if you have any questions let me know, Dave. NOTE: If you are using the VLP only to do the repair you do not heat it up with the iron from the permatex kit. Only use the iron from the permatex kit if you are going to use the color compounds, that's how you cure them. Also I got the V.L.P. from an upholstry shop here in Washington called Sure-fit and I don't know if they are a nationwide chain or not. I know they are pretty big though. The permatex kit came from my local auto parts store.
Mr. TC, the crack you are dealing with is a lille different because it is starting to lift and will eventually curl. On these types of cracks you should only use the permatex kit not the VLP at all. The reason being is the VLP is being used more like a glue to hold the crack which is still flat together and that makes the repair easier. On cracks that are lifting and/or curling you will have to take a razor blade and "plane" them down to where the vinyl is even on the surface. In other words the material that has lifted or curled has to be gone or the repair will look bad and will not hold for any length of time and when you have to do it again the repair will be bigger. Then just follow the instructions that come with the repair kit and you should be just fine. I do have to let every one know getting the color compounds to match is pretty hard but if you take you time and mix them in small amounts you can get very close if not right on the money, although you still might wind up having to shoot some color on anyway. I think the repairs are the easy part it's getting the colors to match that is hard. It's hard to put everything I know about this into words without physically being able to show how it's done. If I have missed something or you are not clear on something please ask so I can be more accurate, I really want you to be confident in what you are doing and I really want you to be happy with the repairs; this is very important to me.
Rick, Yes vinyl dyes will stick to the VLP. The VLP is really only good on the hairline cracks. The permatex is the way to go on anything that has any size to it. When the cracks are deep and there is material missing sometimes you have to use an epoxy filler to build it up again before doing the vinyl repair. This is available from The Eastwood Company, the # on it is 52038Z; they also put out a vinyl repair kit and you can buy the two together in a kit if that's what you want. The vinyl repair is just like the permatex no real differance between the two of them. I have fixed Cracks as long as 8 inches and 1/4 inch wide. It took some real doing to find graining paper long enough to do them though but it is possible! Thanks Dave.
DavidE, I want to thank you for posting this info. I'm sure it will help alot of us here! I'm still looking for the VLP, I live in a small town, so I will look for it the next time I go to the city. Thanks again, Frank.
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