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Cars How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top!

03:05  01 july  2020
03:05  01 july  2020 Source:   hotrod.com

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Learn how to flock your dash to replicate the true Rally car look. You will need some basic materials (found below) and maybe a good friend to help you

a close up of a bench in front of a table: 001-dashboard-repair-flocking © John McGann 001-dashboard-repair-flocking

Flocking is a simple, DIY process that adds a custom touch that is highly functional.

You've likely seen it on the dashboard of many race cars, though you may not have known what it was called. That suede-like treatment is done by a process called flocking. It's a simple, do-it-yourself process that yields a custom touch, but it is also functional. The reason you'll see many race cars with flocked dashboards is because the flocking virtually eliminates glare in the windshield caused by sunlight reflecting off the dashboard.

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There are other ways to create this look, of course. You could apply real suede or Alcantara (the brand name of a synthetic microfiber material) upholstery to the dashboard, but that may be beyond the skills of the average enthusiast. Flocking, however, is as easy as applying a liquid adhesive, spraying on the flocking fibers, and letting the part dry for a day. It's not very expensive, either.

  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

We applied flocking to a GMT400 pickup dashboard we plucked from the junkyard. It's destined to replace the sun-damaged piece in our 1993 GMC Sierra, but before installing it, we decided to change the color and to add flocking to the top. The process is pretty basic.

  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

Several different types of plastics are used by the automotive industry, and certain chemicals and coatings might not be compatible with them. Most plastic pieces have identifying codes on the back or inside of the part. Our dashboard has the code "PC" molded into the manufacturing pad on the back. A quick search of the Internet verified our suspicion that this stood for Polychloride. Likewise, the bezel surrounding the gauge cluster is marked with PPO—Polyphenylene Oxide.

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  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

Armed with the knowledge of what materials we were working with, we contacted Dupli-Color for guidance on what products to use. They recommended their Wax and Grease Remover, Adhesion Promoter, and Vinyl and Fabric coating to safely accomplish the color change we wanted.

a close up of a computer keyboard © John McGann

Here's where we admit to a mistake and offer it as a warning for you to avoid. Prior to receiving the Dupli-Color products, we used a surface prep that seemed to be too harsh for our plastic dash. It removed the stock coating and caused some slight cracks to form in the surface of the plastic, even though the package said it was safe for use on plastics. The damage is visible in this picture and looks like the cracks that form in a dry lake bed. The lesson: always check the compatibility of chemicals on an inconspicuous location.

a person on the machine © John McGann

Following the Wax and Grease Remover (which was a mild solvent that did not damage the plastic), we applied three coats of the Adhesion Promoter. It's a clear coating that does just what the name implies. It's recommended to follow up with the topcoat within 10 minutes of the last coat of Adhesion Promoter.

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In this video I will be showing you how to flock a dash using my 1965 Ford Mustang What's up guys thanks for checking out this video head over to my channel

a close up of a bottle on the counter © John McGann

Dupli-Color's Vinyl and Fabric coating is available in 12 different colors, and we chose satin black. We sprayed it on in three light coats, and it offered excellent coverage and an outstanding finish.

  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

This picture shows some of the damage caused by the incompatible solvent we initially used, and that's why we figured that adding flocking would be a good way to cover up that damage. Before flocking the entire top of the dashboard, we tested the process on this this smaller area to see if there would be a reaction between the adhesive and the vinyl coating. There wasn't.

a blue suitcase © John McGann

As mentioned already, the flocking process itself is very simple, and our kit from Flock It came with everything we needed: the adhesive, a 1-pound bag of flocking fibers, and a flocking fiber applicator. The adhesive comes in a variety of colors to match the fibers. It can be applied with a brush, roller, or thinned with mineral spirits and sprayed.

a close up of a box © John McGann

The results looked pretty good, and the key is to add a relatively thick coat of adhesive and immediately start sprinkling on the flocking fibers. You only have about 15 minutes before the adhesive starts to dry past the point where the fibers no longer stick.

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We try out flocking a dash for the first time and all goes well. E30steve is in a rush to finish his car before the first event on 4/20 and is touching up

In this edit we show you how to flock your dash !! this mod is useful for deflecting that sunny glare that would usually bounce off your dash back up onto

  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

Before flocking the top of the dash, we used JB Weld to repair some structural cracks on the top of the dash and on several of the mounting tabs on the back side. After the JB Weld cured, we sanded the repair area flat with 220 grit sandpaper.

a chair sitting in front of a computer © John McGann

Flock It's instructions recommend rolling or spraying the adhesive on larger areas like the top of our dashboard. Brushing it on could take too long. By the time you get to the end, the place you started is getting too dry for the fibers to stick properly. That's why we decided to spray the adhesive. We masked off the surface to be coated and wiped it with Dupi-Color's Wax and Grease Remover.

  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

There really isn't a mix ratio for thinning the adhesive with mineral spirits, so we eyeballed the viscosity on our stir stick. We probably could have thinned it a bit more than we did. Our spray gun was equipped with the biggest fluid tip we could find: 1.8. Something bigger like a 2.0 tip would have been better. Basically, you should set the gun up as if you were spraying a thick primer filler.

a chair sitting in front of a laptop © John McGann

We sprayed on three medium to heavy coats of the adhesive with only a few minutes between each coat. The adhesive is pretty thick so there's little risk of it running or sagging.

  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

We began applying the flocking fibers immediately after spraying on the last coat of adhesive. Flock It's fiber applicator looks like a big salt shaker, but it's actually a tube that fits inside a bigger tube, and you pump the fibers out like you're pumping an old-fashioned bug sprayer. Don't be stingy with the flocking fibers, either. The more you apply, the better the results will be. Also, try to vary the direction you apply the fibers from or else you will have what looks like waves in the sea across the top of your dash.

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  How To Repair Your Dash and Flock the Top! © John McGann

After about 20 minutes, the adhesive was dry enough to remove the masking tape. We were pleased with the uniform coverage of the flocking and its overall appearance. Plus, it covered up that crack near the speaker opening.

a close up of an oven © John McGann

Flock It's Suede-Tex Mini Flocker kit only costs about $35, and it comes with one 8-ounce can of adhesive, a 3-ounce bag of flocking fibers, the flocker applicator, and a paint brush. We purchased an additional bag of flocking fibers for a little more money, but the basic kit would have been sufficient to cover the dash. That, plus your whatever your time is worth, adds up to an incredible bargain that results in a cool, unique, and functional treatment. Admittedly, this job was much easier to do with the dash out of the car, but if you plan for extra time and plenty of masking materials, this job could be done in the car as well.


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