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Original Brushed Aluminum Dash Instllation
Andrew Doak - Howard Doak - Dave Hillman

So, my car came with an aftermarket dash. The only reason I say it's an aftermarket is because (and correct me if I am wrong) Porsche didn't offer a wooden dash in the 912 as an option, only in the 911. Any images I have seen of the 912s in my books have never had a wooden dash that was "stock." And I guess the biggest issue is I didn't like the wooden dash my vehicle came with, and yearned for the stock brushed aluminum to replace it. So begins the process.

Start by taking all the removable items off the dash - ignition ring, headlight adjuster, cigarette lighter and ashtray. The ignition ring and headlight adjuster just unscrew from the front, while the cigarette lighter unscrews from the back (which removes a retaining bracket). The ashtray just pulls out (duh).

Remove the dash in question by carefully peeling it off of the vehicle. My actual dash is painted, and I wanted to try and keep the paint from chipping, so I was very careful pulling all the pieces off (4, in all).

Clean off the old glue with a rag, some glue remover, and in my case a putty knife. I only used the knife sparingly, since I didn't want to damage the painted dash. The cleaner the surface, the better it's going to accept the new glue. Mine wasn't pristine once I was done with it, but pretty smooth.

Next, I took my 4 new/old aluminum pieces (which I acquired from EASY Auto Salvage in CA) and traced duplicates onto very thin 3x5/16x32 pieces of wood. See, with the setup of the old dashboard, my ignition and headlights had been spaced to fit the thickness of the wooden dash, so If I had just slapped the aluminum on there, I would have had flop. So, I created a very thin wooden back for my aluminum.

I used a utility knife, straight edge, and my Dremil for the holes and cleanup of the tight edges. After I had them cut and cleaned, I sanded them all down with 220-grit sandpaper.

Once the 4 pieces were clean, I sprayed them all down with flat black spray-paint. This hides the wood and acts as a shadow almost, so the dash doesn't look too raised.

Then it was time to tape the car. I like painters blue masking tape because I can get it thick, it's easy to pull off, and sticks very well to almost any surface. I made sure to cover the holes in back as well. No need to spray your wires behind the dash.

One final cleaning of the aluminum parts now is a good idea while the wooden pieces are drying. I like to use a toothpick on those real tight spots. I dig out the dirt and then douse the object in cleaner.

Now is the fun part. With the adhesive I purchased, you have to (A) spray both the back of the aluminum AND the back of the matching wooden piece (B) wait one minute (C) press pieces together to attach. Easy. The first 3 pieces were easy. Just like that. Then, on the biggest piece (center dash with the cigarette lighter and radio cut-out) I slipped. I cocked the press off center. NOT VERY HAPPY. I was able to get it 90% close without damage to the aluminum. All I had to do after was break out the Dremil, sand down about 4 spots to match, and then re-spray those sections with the flat black again. My only words of advice here are - be very, very patient and careful. Do not loose your head, and you'll be fine.

With all 4 pieces I started left to right all the way down so I could attempt to stay as level as possible. When I sprayed a section of dash with the adhesive I also removed that section of tape (just something to not forget). This process was the easiest, and most rewarding. Watching the dash come alive piece-by-piece was very cool.

Next is dry time. After an hour or so, I went back a cleaned up glue I had over sprayed, original glue I had missed; general clean up.

Once all was clean and ready, I re-attached all the items I had removed, and took a seat in my new vehicle. The only other thing I did (which is a good idea) was adjusting the magnetic strip that holds the glove box closed. It was sitting a bit deep, and by moving it forward (loosening 2 allen screws), now the dash lines up perfectly.

All in the entire project took about 6 hours from start to finish. Materials, including the dash itself, cost just over $100. Now, if I can just find that Blaupunkt to finish the deal!

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