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FOAM ALONE PART 2!
How to remove, restore and replace your early Mustang dash pad
Click Here to go to FOAM ALONE PART ONE
By Jim McGowan
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After the new foam is secured, it is hand sanded to the exact shape of the factory original and will fit perfectly back into the car just as a brand new original would. In this case the missing attaching stud was replaced during restoration.
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You can see the correct shape that the pad is now taking on. The leading edges are now parallel and the drooping is completely gone. Hand finishing at this stage is the critical factor in a perfect finished product.

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(Click Here to view a larger photograph)
Along the leading edge of the dash pad are two ribs and a line of stitching. Thin round welting is glued to the pad to create the ribs under the foam and when special ordered, the material can be stitched prior to installation. We opted to delete the stitching on our pad and retain the twin ribs.

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Once the pad is completely firmed and reshaped, it is set up in the Thermo-Vacuum forming machine prior to the finishing process. This pad, since it has no internal structure, must be firmly supported to avoid distortion while under the pressure of the vacuum machine.
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A large piece of vinyl is heated in an oven and then suspended over the pad. The pad and it's platform come up from under the vinyl and at the same time all the air is sucked out from under the material. It forms to every shape and contour of the foam covered pad. The hot material is wiped down with cold water to complete the shrinkage of the vinyl. The finished product is flawless and ready for re-installation.

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(Click Here to view a larger photograph)
Using a special template, the speaker holes are drilled into the pad. This is time consuming but the end result is perfect. Just Dashes has templates like this for all brands of cars.

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The restored pad in place. Now all the trim items can be re-installed and the job is completed. It is a very rewarding project as you can't avoid looking at the dash pad every time you cruise your 'Stang.

Click Here to go to Foam Alone!, Part One.
Click Here to go to the magazine articles listing.



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Once all the attaching points have been freed, the pad can be carefully removed from the dash face. It is advisable to have a friend help at this point to save what is left of the pad during removal.
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Here the cracked and misshapen pad looks pathetic. It is a big lump of rubbery stuff, sadly in need of some serious cosmetic surgery. One of the lower corners of this pad was broken and the attaching stud completely missing.

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Prior to starting the restoration at Just Dashes we laid out the Mustang parts, along with a severely wounded Cougar pad, to illustrate that no matter how bad the original might be, it usually can be salvaged.
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After removing the original 27 year old vinyl, a new skin of closed-cell high-density foam is hand applied to the factory rubberized foam core.

Click Here to go to FOAM ALONE PART ONE

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