1968 Chrysler 300 Upper Dash Pad...is this a cover?

Skihat

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Hey all, Is this upper dash pad a cover sold by a vendor?

I recently saw these photos on here of a sold car and contacted the member. They kindly responded they were not aware how it was recovered.

I like the accent of the stitching around the end curves, anyone seen this type of a cover sold somewhere? Probably custom but figured I'd ask.

pad1.JPG


pad2.JPG


49993977036_c1f15f1ea2_o.jpg
 

Mr C

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Looks like a custom/ one-off home stitched, then glued on vinyl to me. Probably done by an upholstery shop.
 

Skihat

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Yeah, that's where I landed on this until further notice. He said he installed the dash pad....but it appears almost like a pre made slip cover that could be installed without removing the panel/pulling the shield. Came out nice regardless
 

jmustian

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Im gonna try same thing to my 69 300. Dash was total disaster. Had to remove complete frame to the remove pad. Went the bondo route but gonna find material to recover while its out. 50% bondo just doesnt look right, no matter how smooth.
 

HWYCRZR

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My current dash on my ‘68 Polara which was severely cracked I sent to just dashes in California. Awesome job but not cheap.

They stripped off the old vinyl and then rebuilt the foam pad underneath and then used a hot vacuum press to re-stretch and re-adhere the vinyl. This car was special to me so no expense spared.
If I was to do it again on a less “special “ car I would likely use a heat gun to peel the old vinyl off. Rebuild and smooth the padding. There are big vacuum bags out there for mattresses and wood working that are pretty cheap. I would heat up the vinyl so that it is very flexible, apply the adhesive tack and stretch it over the pad and then put it in a vacuum bag to make sure it adheres to the contours.

I have not done this, but in my head this process should work. Thinking out loud, an oven or warming oven could be used to heat the vinyl. Thinking about in car temperature in the summer you should be able heat the vinyl up to 150-160 degrees without melting. (I would recommend testing on a sample piece). My thoughts.

My pad before and after Just Dashes
68 Polara restore back on
 

Skihat

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My current dash on my ‘68 Polara which was severely cracked I sent to just dashes in California. Awesome job but not cheap.

They stripped off the old vinyl and then rebuilt the foam pad underneath and then used a hot vacuum press to re-stretch and re-adhere the vinyl. This car was special to me so no expense spared.
If I was to do it again on a less “special “ car I would likely use a heat gun to peel the old vinyl off. Rebuild and smooth the padding. There are big vacuum bags out there for mattresses and wood working that are pretty cheap. I would heat up the vinyl so that it is very flexible, apply the adhesive tack and stretch it over the pad and then put it in a vacuum bag to make sure it adheres to the contours.

I have not done this, but in my head this process should work. Thinking out loud, an oven or warming oven could be used to heat the vinyl. Thinking about in car temperature in the summer you should be able heat the vinyl up to 150-160 degrees without melting. (I would recommend testing on a sample piece). My thoughts.

My pad before and after Just Dashes
68 Polara restore back on
Interesting to hear this, hey,have you ever identified a decent supplier match on vinyl or the correct foam / density? I’m going to get set up to start taking care of this when the weather breaks
 

HWYCRZR

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For original vinyl SMS out of Oregon is likely the most accurate. May need to send a small sample to match. Since they are about the only game in town they are not cheap nor always quick.
If you have a good Upholstery shop or supply in the area, you may be able to find the right texture and color in some of their catalogs.
I have not even looked into the foam density. It seems some of the foam sealers are close enough to fill cracks and sand down.
 

Skihat

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Thanks, Going to have to check with them. Almost wonder if what they offer would be the same black vinyl on the door panels.

Do you happen to know if the upper dash pad itself can be separated from the dash frame in the car?

I always thought it had to be removed entirely, but I was just looking at a photo of one attached to a frame wondering if it can be separated without fully uninstalling.
 

jmustian

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My 69 300 dash had to be totally removed to get to bolts that hold pad. The 300 has a wrap around pad and frame similar to the wrap around bumpers. The pad is one large circle.

IMG_20221215_103341307.jpg
 

HWYCRZR

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The ‘68’s are at least 2-3 pieces. One big top pad and 1 or two across the bottom. The trick is getting enough clearance at the windshield to get the studs free of the dash frame. If the windshield is out you have a chance. If it is still installed, it may be a challenge.

Black seems to be easier to source. The correct grain could be an issue. My dash pad is a little different grain than the door panels. But mine is a ‘68 Polara which could differ from the 300.
 

jmustian

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I had one almost new in early 70s but had to get rid of it when they shipped me to asia. Finally got another one this year.

1969-chrysler-300-300-convertible (3).jpg
 

bnz84

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Ive gone through the thought process too. Assuming the vinyl is badly cracked and brittle but not too much missing, and using weldwood Laundau high heat cement do the filling work with bondo or or something semiflexible - like RTV maybe.

Then cover with this below. Same as weed cloth, car cover, covid mask. Strong and slightly flexible to protect brittle vinyl
Amazon product

Then thin closed cell foam to hide lines and issues.
1/8

Then glue on the 4 way stretch vinyl. I'm lucky cuz I only need black.
Four Way Stretch Marine Upholstery Vinyl

The test will be the technique and getting everything tucked in and around the corners. I was thinking going in stages with weights hanging off clips on the vinyl till dry. then rotate the pad slightly, more glue, more weights. Once dry turn upside down glue the edges with the help of sandbags to hold it down and/or more creative clipping. Then trim excess once dried. I have an extra pad I will practice with.

Oh right, and for holes like heater vents make wood plugs (top and bottom) that can be c-clamped down in the depressions.
 

jmustian

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Ive ordered the 3m Rvinyl. Supposed to be wrap material for anything. Hope to start on it in a week or two. Use heat and promised to bent and fit any shape. We will see
 

bnz84

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I have not but the name suggests it is made for our setup. Ive read many times - with other solutions - that after working hours to fill and blend the cracks that once the heat hits it the lines are very obvious. Speculation is the filling material needs to be able to bond to the existing dash mtrl and then flex/expand with the heat. I think some harder dash pads with less padding are easier in terms of finding the right filler. With the issues in mind I started looking for flexible adhesives/caulk that would work and was planning to fill and test before its all done. This padded dash material came up multiple times in my searches.

Before I stopped working on this I did find some promising material that is caulk like but hardens enough to sand. Maybe I'll get back to it.
Amazon product
 

jmustian

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Yes, i used it. Its basically a better quality bondo. Real smooth, no air bubbles. I didnt like the finish dash after painting so i ordered 3m's RVinyl and im going to reskin the dash over all the bondo and paint.
 

jmustian

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Im going to try that boat sealant on my door panels. I fixed the panels but still have some splits that this stuff might fill in.
 
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