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IS250 Dashboard/Door Panel Restoration with Custom Gauge Pod

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Old 11-06-13, 09:53 PM   #1
Thumper28
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Default IS250 Dashboard/Door Panel Restoration with Custom Gauge Pod

I am in the process of restoring my horrible melting dashboard in my 2006 IS250 and in the mean time fabricating a custom triple gauge pod above the radio unit. I decided to break this sub-build out from my IS250 LS1 swap that you can find here:

2006 IS250 LS1 Swap

Now let me start with the disclaimer that I do not know where this thread will end up. Hopefully it will be successful but if it is not maybe I can at least share some knowledge that will help out some others.

I started with a soft, sticky, cracking dash which as most of you probably know is common for anyone with a 2006-200? dash who lives in a hot climate.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next I cut out the center section of the top black layer as well as the foam underlayment where the gauge pod was going to live and installed a front and back wood structure.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is a back view

Click the image to open in full size.

Next came a few sheets of insulation foam that I shaped to the general gauge pod shape I was looking for.

Click the image to open in full size.

Covered the foam with masking tape and laid on my first layer of fiberglass

Click the image to open in full size.

At this point I was just planning on using bondo to blend the pod into the dash and then I was going to re-cover the entire dash with a new fabric but my plans somewhat changed. I talked to a local upholster that told me that he wouldn't even try to recover the dash because he tried one and the adhesive would not stick to the melting dash. So at that point I knew that if I wanted any chance at success that I would need to find a way to get the back sticky coating off the dash.

Luckily, my first attempt worked. I took a heat gun and a putty knife and heated up a section at a time and scraped off the coating. The foam underneath was surprisingly heat resistant and even more surprising resistant to acetone which I used to get the remaining residue off.

Here is a shot of the scraping in process

Click the image to open in full size.

and the tools

Click the image to open in full size.

what I was left with was a relatively clean foam surface that looks like it will take adhesive nicely.

I also made the decision to attempt to pull off the gauge pod so I can cover it separate from the dash. It pulled up a little foam but came off and I was able start cleaning up edges and the surface of the gauge pod.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's one last picture of the pod after 2 coats of bondo. At this point I'm not sure if I will use this one on my car or pull a mold off this one and then use a full fiberglass unit for my install.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next step, clean up the pod and rebuild a few damaged sections of the foam underlayment.
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Old 11-07-13, 05:43 AM   #2
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nice work man.. looking forward to the finished product..
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Old 11-07-13, 06:15 AM   #3
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Thumper once again man you are doing great things....cant wait for the final product
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Old 11-15-13, 10:12 AM   #4
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Thumper your a innovative beast! Cant wait to see the finished product!
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Old 11-15-13, 02:05 PM   #5
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You're very brave and smart!! Looks really awesome. I had a custom triple gauge pod in my glove box of my Integra and they ended angled gauge pods. Try and looks for those (I got mine from Summit Racing) so you can actually see them while driving. Job well done! Are you going to use suede to cover the dash?
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Old 11-17-13, 04:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sffd103 View Post
You're very brave and smart!! Looks really awesome. I had a custom triple gauge pod in my glove box of my Integra and they ended angled gauge pods. Try and looks for those (I got mine from Summit Racing) so you can actually see them while driving. Job well done! Are you going to use suede to cover the dash?
I know what you mean and I actually wanted to go that way originally, I love the look and the functionality. I think I am starting to get a little lazy this late in the projects and the flat front is so much easier to make. Ill most likely finish this one off and then maybe version 2.0 will have some angled gauges.

I am using suede. I ordered some black Texuede online, it's no Alcantara but it is supposed to be on par with Ultrasuede which is the next tier down. I ordered enough to recover my upper door panels as well.

You get around on the forum, do you think there would be any interest in the gauge pods if I made more?
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Old 11-17-13, 10:03 PM   #7
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looking good! can't wait to see the final product
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Old 11-18-13, 07:48 AM   #8
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Eager to see what you do with the door panels.
Good work OP
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Old 11-18-13, 09:58 AM   #9
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This would look amazing covered in suede!
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Old 11-18-13, 01:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jakers95 View Post
This would be distracting while driving, covered in suede!
I fixed your type-o for you.
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Old 11-18-13, 01:39 PM   #11
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Looking nice thus far looking forward to finished product!
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Old 11-21-13, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper28 View Post
I know what you mean and I actually wanted to go that way originally, I love the look and the functionality. I think I am starting to get a little lazy this late in the projects and the flat front is so much easier to make. Ill most likely finish this one off and then maybe version 2.0 will have some angled gauges.

I am using suede. I ordered some black Texuede online, it's no Alcantara but it is supposed to be on par with Ultrasuede which is the next tier down. I ordered enough to recover my upper door panels as well.

You get around on the forum, do you think there would be any interest in the gauge pods if I made more?
I do get around and I'm on here less now since I sold my car! I had suede on my entire headliner, pillars, door inserts, seat bolsters, and shift boot, e brake boot (manual tranny). it'll look great on the dash. Interested to see how the dash will come out. I've seen professional dashes done with some stitching involved.

I think a small amount of people would be interested in the pod only because there's few people doing big performance mods and the total price of the pod and gauges/sending units. I would have bought it cause it looked pretty cool but I had a custom center channel speaker installed in the center dip in the dash.

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Old 11-21-13, 08:10 PM   #13
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Looking forward to see the finished product! Good job on your progress
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Old 11-22-13, 06:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCJ22 View Post
I fixed your type-o for you.
I know not everyone is a fan of suede and I can understand that but I looked at a few vinyls and they all looked plasticky to me. Also, since there is no suede in the car already I don't have to worry about matching anything. If I went with a faux leather or vinyl, it would be adjacent to the current leather looking surfaces and it would annoy me if they didn't match.
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Old 12-02-13, 08:52 PM   #15
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subscribed!
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2006, 2010, broken, door, gauge, is250, lining, panel, panels, pillar, pod, pods, racing, restore, summit

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