View Full Version : Fiberglassing part of dash???

12-27-2004, 03:41 PM
I have a 97 Dodge Dakota. I got XM radio for x-mas and I have already installed it. I got the SkyFi2 reciever instead of the direct link to my alpine head unit. I figured it would be better than just having an eight character display. Right now, I have it attached to my air vent above my head unit, but I think it looks too bulky. What I would like to do is fiberglass the piece of the dash under the headunit/air controls/etc so it would fit flush with the dash. What would the level of difficulty be, and how would I go about doing it. I have read over the fiberglassing how-to's and they have helped a little bit, but there isnt much on this type of stuff. Also, is there a type of paint that would match the rest of the dash??

I haven't done any fiberglassing before, but I have installed all my other equipment, so I am pretty comfortable with the basic stuff... Installing head units/speakers/amps/subs etc.

Thanks for any and all help

12-27-2004, 05:11 PM
Can you post any pictures to describe what you are talkin about... i think that i could help but it would be useful to see exactly what you are talkin about

12-27-2004, 05:46 PM
Yeah, I'll post some pictures, but first how do I do it???

12-27-2004, 06:46 PM
ok, hopefully I have figured it out...

The red outlined piece can come out, and thats what I'm looking at to replace with a custom fiberglassed piece. The Blue part is the approximate location to where I would put the radio.

12-27-2004, 07:50 PM
check out this website: www.hzemall.com . it has plenty of information on exactly what your doing.

12-27-2004, 08:28 PM
I looked through that site, it and had some pretty cool stuff. I guess what I'm thinking of doing is making an entire piece of the dash (the red outline) with a spot for the XM unit. Kinda like he had the monitors, flush with the rest of the car. What would be the best way to go about this? I had an idea to mount something (like a mdf ring, but for the XM unit) and put fleece over it, using the original piece as the "back" of the "box." I would not, of course, fiberglass the new piece to the original, but use the original as some sort of guide until I got enough of a mold to work with.

My dad had an idea to use chicken wire to make a mold, and then going from there. Would this be a bad idea??

If you have any ideas please suggest them to me.

PS. Sorry if I dont make any sense, Im trying to explain it the best I can...

12-29-2004, 01:32 PM
I have decided to make sort of a sub box, but without a back so it fits on the dash. I hae made a trim ring for the XM unit, and will probably start fiberglassing tomorrow...

12-29-2004, 01:38 PM
should work nicely, keep us updates looks like a cool project

12-29-2004, 01:45 PM
ok, how about this.

use the origional piece, and get some PLASTIC bodyfiller, the 3M 40\40 stuff will work quite well. then you stick the XM unit to the plastic thing on your dash, and mould the plastic filler around it like you would do bodyfiller, until your shape is created. sand down, a light layer of skim coat, and then mask the XM unit, then paint the piece, and re-attach it.

but just FYI, fiberglass resin and\or bodyfiller is not meant for plastics. i learned this a few days ago (sigh) and hopefully mine will stay attached, but you really never know.

if you wanna make the whole thing seperate with fiberglass and resin, then try using a very thin material, such as an old Tshirt or some speaker grill cloth when you stretch it over the mould.

a good tip is to cover that entire dash trim piece with a few layers of aluminum foil and\or masking tape to keep the resin from sticking to the origional piece of the car.

never put the fiberglass on the outside of the mould you make, only apply it to the inside that you cannot see. saves ALOT of sanding time.

and also- SAND DOWN THEM EDGES! take that baffle-ish thing you made for your XM unit, and make those edges nice and round. as symetrical as possible. make sure you AIM the XM unit toward the driver seat so it is eaisly visible when driving also. and use hot-glue to secure the grill cloth on the BACK (stretch it all the way around) the plastic dash piece. once the mould has dried, try to cut the back glue points off the mould so you keep the nice edges. this piece is NOT a structural piece, so it does not have to withstand bullets.

use matte black SEM brand "satin black" spray paint. spray from 10~20 inches away for texture, then do a regular black coat. it should look perfect.

did that clear it all up?

12-30-2004, 12:14 AM
Its clearin gup a bit. :) I hope to go get the stuff for fiberglassing tomorrow, and possibly starting on it. I havent felt good today, so I didnt do anything, but I may start on it tomorrow. Hopefully, I get it done before I go back to school on Monday, because I have a tough semester coming up along with longer baseball practices and will have very little time.

Thanks for all the help so far, I will try to keep you updated.

12-30-2004, 04:07 PM
ummmmk. I think I am going to start on it today. I took the piece out of my truck and it looks like it will be a little bit more complicated than I first thought. I am looking to replace this piece with a fiberglass piece that looks stock, just with the XM unit built in. If Im not mistaken, all I need out of this piece is the outside form, so the new piece will fit back in its spot.
This is the approximate place that I will have it, facing somewhat towards the drivers seat, obviously not the ground...
This is the backside of the piece, I wont need to worry about anything for this will I???

12-30-2004, 04:17 PM
to be honest, id move that over to the left a little more so ya dont have to bother taking out the ashtray and re-glassing it over.

then just sand the area you are going to work on, and cut out the inner shape of the wood part to the plastic.

attach the wood part with some gorilla glue\resin\whatever and then use PLASTIC BODY FILLER to attach the wood to the ABS dash piece. CAR\METAL bodyfiller should NOT be used. then just sand\paint and re-install the XM unit. good luck.

check www.the12volt.com/installbay or www.hzemall.com - he uses that blue stuff (3m 40\40 plastic filler stuff) not bodyfiller. i think its called 'duramix 40\40" or somthing.


there ya go. thats what you need to work with plastics.


but that crap dries REALLY quick, so you gotta use it quickly.

12-30-2004, 04:37 PM
I wouild move it to the left, but it is a manual transmission, and the stick would be in the way if I moved it to the left. That was the only place that I had full vision at all times.

12-30-2004, 04:41 PM
hmm. i see. so you would have to loose the ashtray then. not a problem. see if you can find some ABS plastic panels, and just kind glue them in place over the hole of the ashtray... or use the actual ashtray front and just fill the gap made.

you will wan to remove all the stuff behind the ashtray though.

but i seriously recommend using the ABS filler compared to regular bodyfiller. ill try and find a cheaper alternative to the 3m, but i KNOW that the duramix works.

12-30-2004, 04:43 PM
sheesh req,that 3M stuff is expensive.
If you work at a body shop well you know ;)

12-30-2004, 04:50 PM
just looking at that first shot, you are gonna have to do a little bit of work before you can get it attached.

but here is a good deal on that duramix;

i figure, you can mount the top part of the wood baffle to the dash, cut a hole so the wood part actually sits flush in the red outline (like the ciggerette things) - maybe angle it toward you a bit.


then using some wood dowels and hot glue, connect the top right and bottom corners to the dash. get some thin pieces of ABS from your local hardware store (just plastic panel things) and cut them to roughly fit to shape to slope onto the dash. glue one to the bottom wooden dowels, and try and fill all the gaps with the ABS pieces. then use the duramix to fill the gaps, and smooth out the transition. i would also suggest using ABS plastic for the wood shape you cut out. it will adhear much better to the duramix.

heres a link to ABS if you dont know what im talking about, just an alternative to wood that adhears better to duramix 4040


12-30-2004, 04:50 PM
sheesh req,that 3M stuff is expensive.
If you work at a body shop well you know ;)

yea but it works really well. or so i hear. i gotta find an alternative.

12-30-2004, 05:19 PM
Alright, the only problem that I see, is that I really dont want to mess up stock piece. If I fiberglass another piece, then i could just start over if I messed up. If I messed up on the stock piece, I wouldnt be able to go back and fix it. Being this the first project that I am doing, I am a little hesitant about messing up something.

Thanks for all the help

12-30-2004, 07:36 PM
Alright, I have decided that first I will try to fiberglass a new piece. I have taped the original piece to make sure nothing gets on it, and I am putting the fabric on it right now. I didnt get around to go get the fiberglassing stuff today, probably tomorrow.
Here is the cloth semi-stretched. I havent secured it all the way, and I know that it isnt supposed to have wrinkles, I am still working on it, but its just a mid-process picture....

12-31-2004, 03:04 PM
I am working on fiberglassing the piece right now. I will post pics when I'm done if Im not too ashamed of what the result are... Hopefully it turns out ok.

12-31-2004, 03:09 PM
hey man, that is looking great. but just like you said, get them wrinkles out, or its going to be a pain in the *** to fix. the way you are doing it right now should be perfect, but remember - GLASS ON THE INSIDE! NOT ON THE OUTSIDE. dont put any fiberglass on the exterior of that panel. only a thin layer... THIN LAYER ... of bodyfiller or skimcoat to fill all the imperfections.

after you finish doing all the glassing, run over the EXTERIOR with a layer of resin to fill it in a little eaiser, then start your bodyfiller\skimcoats.

dont cut the excess fabric off to the desired length (keep 2 or 3 extra inches) until you are DONE fiberglassing the rear, this way the edge will be uniform thickness and a nice clean cut. i like to use a jigsaw to cut the excess off, does a quick job.

thats about all i can think of, its looking promising, keep up the good work mang.