How to restore dash (not dash panel)

Discussion in 'Fiberglass/Wood/Gelcoat Repair' started by Sea~Lah, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Sea~Lah

    Sea~Lah New Member

    124
    Aug 28, 2010
    Buffalo,NY / Port Colborne, Ont.
    1990 25ft Sundancer
    7.4L Bravo I
    Would like to restore the dash on my 1990 DA. Purchased the boat in Sept.
    It has a chalky appearance. Not sure if it's from wax, or the sun.
    Any suggestions?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    I don't know the exact process, but the dash isn't regular fiberglass/gelcoat. It is most likely painted and what you have is either oxidation or the residue from someone's previous effort to clean the dash.

    The first thing to try is to scour with a strong ammonia based soap product, it that doesn't work, try a hand compound. If that doesn't work, remove the dash panels, mask them off, scrub the dash with a green 3M scrub pad and respray the dash with a good paint.....not a rattle can. I've repainted 2 of these on late 80's Sea Rays and I used an automotive acrylic enamel mixed by a paint shop with a flattening agent added. Both still look good after about 15 years.
     
    joeyleggz likes this.
  3. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    I repainted the dash of a SR with a similar dash board. I removed the windshield to provide access for prep and painting. Also remove the panels and taped off with blue painter tape. Using a roller, I rolled on paint following the instructions on the can. I believe it was a Petit product for boats. The result was outstanding and looked as good as if it came from the factory. As with all projects involving paint, prep is 90%+ of the work. There are no shortcuts if you want to do it right.
     
  4. Sea~Lah

    Sea~Lah New Member

    124
    Aug 28, 2010
    Buffalo,NY / Port Colborne, Ont.
    1990 25ft Sundancer
    7.4L Bravo I
    Fwebster: I will try your cleaning ideas before painting. What is a flattening agent?

    Sbw1: If you used Marine paint (Pettit) than your surface must have been fiberglass for it to adhear properly-right?
    Do you remember if you thinned the paint?


    Did either of you use a primer first?
    Before removing the panels, do the black gauge caps unskrew?:huh:

    Thank you both for your suggestions!
    Linda
     
  5. JerryS

    JerryS Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    May 17, 2010
    GA
    '90 270
    454 Bravo1 4KW Kohler, AC
    Not quite sure of what you mean by "black guage caps". I will presume that you mean the black rings around the guages that you can see in the photos. If so, no, they do not unscrew from the guage. To remove the guage panel, you have to disconnect the wiring harness behind the guages. This should be accessible through an access door in your head. Then, remove all of the screws on the front of the panel and lift out. After you get the guage panel out, you can remove the upholstered piece.

    To remove the switch panel, you have to go in behind the panel and remove the screws and nuts that are holding it in place. Also, you have to disconnect the wiring harnesses and then you can lift the whole mess out. I hope you can bend like a pretzel and work upside down. Be sure to disconnect your batteries before you start removing the panels.

    Those guages look pretty fogged. Are you thinking about getting new guages?

    You can get new switches and breakers at www.fpmarine.com. BTW, that place on the panel where it says "bilge", but, there is no switch is for a switch for bilge lighting. That was an option that year. The wiring is there, all you really have to do is put a switch and breaker in the panel and lights in the bilge.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  6. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Because I didn't know what was on the dash or what it was made of, I was afraid of lifting or bleed thru, so I used a self leveling non-sanding epoxy primer under the automotive paint. I probably made this harder than it needed to be, but I didn't want to do it over either.

    A flattening agent is a paint additive to kill the gloss in a sprayed finish........just makes a gloss finish flat. The Sea Ray dash didn't actually turn out flat, but ended up semi gloss or satin and they still look great.
     
  7. kdumph

    kdumph New Member

    98
    Dec 17, 2010
    LA
    87 410AC
    454 merks
    Photos of before and after! Putting this on my long list of things to do to my boat!
     
  8. Sea~Lah

    Sea~Lah New Member

    124
    Aug 28, 2010
    Buffalo,NY / Port Colborne, Ont.
    1990 25ft Sundancer
    7.4L Bravo I
    Thank you everyone for your suggestions and sharing of your experiences. So noted.
    I live just outside of Buffalo,NY. Current temp 19 degrees.:grin:
    Plan on crawling into the boat over the weekend and determining if the dash is plastic or fiberglass.:huh:
    I thought that inspecting a hole from something in the dash will give me the answer. I'll try not to get frost-bite in the process!:wow:
    I'm considering taking a heater on board and blasting that baby till I no longer see my breath. I'll enjoy every second that I'm on board and get answers to the many questions that I have about the boat and what needs to be done come spring-time. Wish me luck!
    Pics of before and after will be shared in due time.
    Come'on Spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:smt038
     
  9. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    I think the 1986 dashes were made from FG although don't know that for sure. There are plenty still out there so you should be able to find out. Or, you can take a small sample and maybe determine the material that way. My boat was bought new so I knew what its history was including the use of various products to clean it that probably would have made paint adhearance a little suspect. For that reason, I gave it a good cleaning with acetone to make sure nothing was on it. I used gloves so there were no fingerprints and then followed the directions on the can of paint. Did not prime because the factory finish was still like new after only 4-5 years of use. I did use a roller with a bit of fluff to it as the dash had a bit of texture to it. Probably a flat nap roller would have worked just as well. I wonder if these boats were painted at the factory? The material does not look like gel to me although that is speculation. Later SRs were gel coated with decorative tape added to mask the color lines. I'll bet the '86 dash still looks good today although I lost track of the boat a few years back when it was sold for the third time.
     
  10. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    I'm sure the dash structure is fiberglass. The question is what finish is on it.......gelcoat, paint, ...?? And that is the reason I chose to prime the ones I did. Primer seas paint and gelcoat. Perhaps I could have just applied paint over the dash, but I have had several problems with painted surfaces lifting or bleeding thru, so it wasn't worth the risk of a do-over.
     
  11. SCORPIO

    SCORPIO Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2008
    Delaware
    1989 300 DA
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    Have you tried a good rubbing compound and some wax on a small spot? I think its paint over glass on my '89. If it doesn't work, its easy to strip off wax with acetone. Mine looked like yours and I used acrylic polymer sealent applied with an old sock and it looks like new, a little more shine than new actually. That was in 2008 and it still looks good. I didn't remove anything to do the job, just crawled up on the dash and reached all the way down with a paint stir stick to get in the crack.
     
  12. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    just crawled up on the dash and reached all the way down with a paint stir stick to get in the crack.

    OUCH!!!:smt043:smt009 :grin:
     
  13. Sea~Lah

    Sea~Lah New Member

    124
    Aug 28, 2010
    Buffalo,NY / Port Colborne, Ont.
    1990 25ft Sundancer
    7.4L Bravo I
    Yes, I tried a rubbing compound and wax (see "dash update") It seemed that anything I tried would be absorbed by the fiberglass and left with the same chalky appearance.

    I'm happy to hear that you successfully refinished your dash with acrylic polymer sealent. Could you explain to me what that actually is, and where I can purchase it?:smt001

    Thank you!
    Linda
     
  14. mitebowen

    mitebowen New Member

    1
    Apr 20, 2012
    usa
    none
    not yet
    The restoring of any thing is not that much easy as we think, It includes a lot of things that we have has to be improved a lot that we have to replace some more features to the existing ones. The dash is one among such things, Replacement is not easily gain for dash.
     
  15. George48051

    George48051 New Member

    14
    Oct 16, 2010
    Chesterfield, Michigan
    250 Sundancer 1998
    340 Sundancer 2000 (new 2014)
    7.4L Mercruiser
    What acrylic polymer sealent did you use?
     
  16. SCORPIO

    SCORPIO Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2008
    Delaware
    1989 300 DA
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    I was using Vertglas but have determined that it was mainly commercial grade acrylic floor finish. I now use ZEP heavy duty floor polish, a milky white liquid that I simply wipe on to the surface. Holds up great and gives a deep shine and restores the color.
     

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