The last few weeks have been kinda hectic. Pretty much all of the interior, except for the door and backseat side panels has been repainted.
Reinstalling the dash sure was a PITA but eventually it was back in place and looked great.
Once the dash was back in place, the lower front side panels and the center console looked a little pale so I decided to paint them as well.
The amount of old dirt that was hidden in the center console is indescribable. I probably washed it 4 times before it was ready for buffing and silicone remover.
Once everything was cleaned and prepped properly, primer and three coats of paint was applied.
Suddenly everything was back in the car and it was ready! Before I could go for a ride, I had to take it to the biyearly car inspection (or Besiktning as its called in Sweden).
Opus Bilprovning had nothing to complain about and declared it roadworthy for two more years!
The new km/h speedo head’s in place!
I’m still painting some interior stuff. Since it had to be removed in order to get the dash out, I figured I might as well paint it while I can!
Today the day had finally come, it was time to paint the dash.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately searching old threads over at the Cuda-Challenger forum (those guys know what they’re talking about) in order to find out which paint is the closest to the original interior color. I’ve gotten several answers and most of them pointed me to the SEM Color Coat line, and the tone Landau Black.
Before applying anything to the dash, I had to make sure that it was absolutely clean from dirt, grease and old silicone (which basically all “gas station touchup-products” contains) residue.
After washing with soap, scuffing and cleaning it with silicone remover three times, it looked like it was ready for the primer.
Then, two coats of the SEM Flexible Primer was applied.
After that, four coats of paint was applied in total.
And this is the result after the fourth coat was applied, I think it looks pretty good!
I’ll take out the dash in daylight tomorrow to see if it’ll need even more paint or if the four applied coats are suffice.
The repaired parts looked pretty alright to me. They’re visible, but I don’t think anyone really will take notice unless they’re aware of them.
Finally the “repair” part of the dash restoration is done. The crack in the dash that was closest to the windshield turned out to be the worst part as there were several tiny cracks in the vinyl coming from the main one.
It’s not like new, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome and it for sure looks better than before!
Next up is paint!
Today I managed to copy the vinyl texture with the INP Mouldmaker stuff.
Basically this is latex which you pour over the vinyl, use a heatgun to let it cure and you’re good to go!
In order to actually get the structure on the repair compound, you put the mould on the last thin layer of it, put a piece of paper on it and let it cure using a sealing iron instead of the heatgun.
I’m pretty impressed of how easy this actually is and I must say that the result is pretty good so far considering this is the first time!
The vinyl structure isn’t super clear in the pictures above but it’s there 🙂
I’m confident that once the dash is repainted (which is what I’ll do when the cracks are taken care of), it’ll look really good!
Today the mailman came with the stuff I ordered from US Inredningar for fixing the cracks in the dash pad.
As I’ve been watching loads of of DIY videos on YouTube lately on this subject, I’ve come to realize that there are about as many ways of doing this as there are videos describing it..
The guys at US Inredningar has been very helpful with letting me know how to do this and what i needed (as they do it themselves apart from selling the stuff they use for repairing car interiors).
Before I started applying the Mohawk repair heat cure compound, I sanded the crack carefully and vacuumed it in order to remove as much of the dirt and dried padding foam stuck in there.
After that, I applied numerous thin layers of repair compound and after each layer, I used a heat gun to allow the compound to set.
And after a couple of hours of work, it actually started to look pretty decent.
I’ll continue tomorrow as this crack needs more work apart from the fact that there’s another one, perhaps even worse that needs to be taken care of.
The real tricky stuff, copying the actual vinyl structure and applying it to the repaired parts will probably come during the weekend.
To be honest, that’s the part of the dash restoration I’m most worried about!
Today we continued with the dash removal. I think we’ve done everything now apart from removing the bolts by the defroster vents which are kinda hard to reach without a flexible shaft.
I gotta say that I’m pretty impressed by the factory workers that put these cars together. Not only for being able to performing their tasks quick on the assembly line, but also did they manage to tighten nuts and bolts which are (to me) pretty much impossible to reach!
The guy I bought the car from had the front seats reupholstered and the carpet redone before he brought it to Sweden. The overall condition of the interior is therefore really good.
The only thing about the interior that’s buggin’ my mind is the dash pad which (as most old cars) has a sad crack in it.
If possible, I would like to fix this somehow instead of getting a new one to replace it. According to what I’ve been able to find written on this subject, it’s not an easy thing to fix, at least not with a result that’s looking good.