Removal of the upper dash revealed a fairly typical scenario for these vehicles.
The main panel to which the demisters, vent levers and instrument binnacle are mounted has a thick but not terminal layer of rust.
The upper ‘shelf’ section has deep cracks in the hard foam padding with corresponding splits in the vinyl covering. The cracks in the foam seem to have originated from where screws have been fixed through the steel panel and rusted. The vinyl itself has become hard and brittle. I had thought about filling the cracks and using a special plastic paint on this section but it’s way too bad for this, there is no ‘give’ in the vinyl – it will have to be recovered. So my plan is to carefully remove the vinyl, fill the cracks with expanding foam and buy a piece of vinyl fabric.
I note that the existing vinyl isn’t fabric-backed, but just a single layer of vinyl that looks the same both sides. I guess this would have been applied with adhesive and heat. I have recovered speaker enclosures and amps before and I know from experience that it isn’t easy to get it looking like a factory job. I have read several accounts of others completing this task using slightly different materials and techniques so I hope to make a decent job of it based on their experiences.
Some pictures of the existing state for now while I contemplate what to order….
….I may be some time!
I am going to experiment with the rusty panel. I have read that distilled white vinegar is good for removing rust so I have ordered a couple of 5 litre cans and will make a bath from a polythene sheet, and report back. If it works it will be a cheap solution, plus it goes nicely with fish and chips.