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2011 AV: DashSkin installation and review (with pics)

jmoffett

Full Member
My dash was badly cracked.



After searching for options, I decided to buy a DashSkin cover. The cover came with a tube of black RTV silicone adhesive. It's a relatively easy project and the instructions contained an illustration with exactly where to put the adhesive, which is applied to the cover and not the dash. This illustration calls for beads of adhesive along the short ends and on the around openings; and dollops along the long edges.

After a dry fit, I cleaned the dash and the underside of the cover (per the instructions), applied the adhesive, and placed it by myself. That went well enough, but a helper would make the initial placement much easier. Because of the severity of the cracks in my dash, I applied additional adhesive on all sides of the cracks to ensure adhesion to the cover and hopefully prevent rattling. Since it takes 4 hours for the silicone to fully set, there is plenty of time to position everything where you want it.

Although the cover fits quite well, it is very flexible and needs to be held in place in several areas to get a tight fit while the adhesive sets. I bought three 60lb. bags of tube sand and eight plastic doorstop wedges for this purpose. I also cut a wood fence plank into ~1" strips and to about 40" length to press down on the front edge of the cover just above the middle air vents, wedging them in against a piece of metal trim on the sunroof. This front edge was an area that got dollops of adhesive, but in retrospect, I would put a continuous bead on the front edge between the hump that goes over the cluster and the passenger side end of the cover to get a better fit. The overlap on each end would not lay down flush without being secured. I secured the ends with duct tape (blue 3M painter's tape was ineffective), wrapping one end of the tape to the upper door hinges and the other end in a long strip along the front of the dash on the passenger side; and to the gear shift lever on the driver side. This held the ends securely in place and tightened even further when the doors were shut. Another area that needs pressure is the opening around the airbag door. The tube sand is all that is needed for this. Finally, the back edge along the base of the windshield had a lot of flex and would not lay down on its own. I used the door wedges to hold it down.











The only obvious signs that it's a cover are the overlapped edges on either end next to the air vents. The airbag cover sits down in the recess a bit, but I think it looks fine. The front edge, where I had the wood strip wedged in, has a very small gap but it doesn't draw the eye to it. The corner at the base of the windshield on the driver side, where the VIN is visible through the windshield, popped up a little when the door stop wedges were removed, but again, it doesn't draw the eye. Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome. The color is very close, and the texture is not exact but it close enough. It's not perfect, but it looks so much better than a cracked dash and, in my opinion, better than the fabric covers. It's much cheaper than a new dash and much easier to install.



 

ygmn

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Great post... thanks for contributing it....

Glad my 2002 still has decent dash.... w/o cracks....astha install looked a bit like work with all the wood wedges and you made and bags of sand in truck..

imagine if one of those bags leaked sand down the defrost.... oooooooooooooooooooo

I hope this "STICKS" for you and lasts way longer then original
 

Vaeagleav

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Looks nice, I hope it doesn't interfere with the ambient light sensor on top of dash near windshield either in gathering light or in access if it needs replacing down the road.......
 

Annona

Full Member
OP: did you consider coverlay? I'm looking at them as well as dashskin, not sure what the difference is between the 2.
Thanks,
 

jmoffett

Full Member
Annona said:
OP: did you consider coverlay? I'm looking at them as well as dashskin, not sure what the difference is between the 2.
Thanks,
Not that I recall. The DashSkin brand had good reviews and I watched a video of a guy who installed on and like it, so that sold me.
 

Annona

Full Member
Just installed the Dashskin and pretty much followed what OP did  (y)
Somehow, I ran out of the supplied silicone. I didn't think to get an extra tube, since OP didn't have any problem, but I did.  :E:
The only other usable adhesive I had in the garage was a tube of polyurethane. Before I applied it, I read up on the difference between silicone and polyurethane. Silicone is more flexible and lasts longer, something like 20 years (when exposed to UV). Polyurethane, under the same conditions, lasts half as long, and it's not as flexible. Oh well, what's done is done, and I doubt that I'll have any issue within 10 years (if I keep the truck that long) since the adhesive will not get exposed to any UV. Here are 2 photos, 1 showing how far 1 tube of silicone goes, the other shows the applied polyurethane as well. Before I put the Dashskin on, I used JB Weld to fix a few of the cracks on the OEM dash.


 

Vaeagleav

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I hope you don't have an issue with chemical reactions due to plastics in the old dash or Dashskin and the polyurethane Annona.....( lack of adhesion, coming loose or warping etc. of plastics.)
 

Annona

Full Member
Vaeagleav said:
I hope you don't have an issue with chemical reactions due to plastics in the old dash or Dashskin and the polyurethane Annona.....( lack of adhesion, coming loose or warping etc. of plastics.)
I hope so, too. The description on the polyurethane adhesive states that it can be used to bond plastics together, among other things too of course.
Thanks,
 
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