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.
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.
Here is a back view
Next came a few sheets of insulation foam that I shaped to the general gauge pod shape I was looking for.
Covered the foam with masking tape and laid on my first layer of fiberglass
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
and the tools
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.
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.
Next step, clean up the pod and rebuild a few damaged sections of the foam underlayment.