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Building your very own custom car is the ultimate thrill for car-building enthusiasts. There’s no better way to spend your time and money. And for many it’s a learning curve, a journey of discovering what it is you’re capable of and how you can push your creative skills.
If you’re working with an old car, chances are there are some elements that are particularly outdated. Door panels are good example and you can check out this awesome tutorial video on how to create your own. Today, however, we’re going to look at how to give that dash a custom makeover.
The ultimate step-by-step guide to make a custom fibreglass dash
This method is great for any interior parts so once you’ve made your dash, you might want to see what else you can do.
Take out the original dash and remove the gauges. If you’ve bought new gauges then you need to cut enough space for the new gauges – as you can see in this video, the new gauges are quite different to the original setup and so this bit is quite important.
Using MDF, create a skeleton structure for the fiberglass. Instead of letting the gauges sit flush, creating some extra pieces of MDF for the back will give that perfect mounted look. Once you’ve done all this, make sure you screw everything in place and that it’s a fairly sturdy structure.
Spray on a contact adhesive to both the dash and the fleece. Leave it for about 5 or 10 minutes so the glue can tack up before gluing the two together. Lay the dash part carefully onto the fleece and then fold into the contours of the dash. Fleece is the perfect material for this as it’s stretchy enough to get into all the crevices. If it’s too thin, it won’t work.
Cut holes in fleece where the gauges will go and wrap the fleece round all the edges. You’ll need the cut out pieces of MDF from earlier. Wrap them in foil and place them in the holes where the gauges will go. Foil is perfect for this because the fiberglass won’t stick to it and this will help to keep the shape of the holes for the gauges.
The whole piece will need sanding quite a bit before you move onto the next step.
Mix together some body filler and plastic resin until it has the consistency of pancake batter. Paint it on and it will basically level itself. You’ll still need to sand but it’s a lot easier than regular bondo.
Sand it down and paint it.
It’s up to you how you choose to finish it, but no-one can deny that you’re new custom dash is going to look great. Make sure you watch the video for the full demonstration.