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F355 "bubbled center console" new face plate

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by AZLambo, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. AZLambo

    AZLambo Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    506
    Phoenix, AZ
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    After taking apart my center console and seeing how it is made, I have the following observations. Since there are multi-layer laminates of plastic and rubberized paint/plastic, it would be damn near impossible to duplicate, especially trying to keep the illumination of the graphics when driving at night.

    I HAVE however painstakingly duplicated the artwork of the graphics (see photo - photo is just a graphic representation, not the real thing....yet), and can make "cover up" faceplates of thin aluminum with the flat black background (should be able to match the existing flat black) and white graphics (with the red and blue "dots"), just as the original. This faceplate would have thin double-faced tape around the rear perimeter so you can adhere it over the top of your existing "bubbled" console. This is about the best "fix" that I can do. If you tried to "sand" down or "peel off" the existing "rubberized paint" laminate that is "de-laminating" on most F355's, you may either remove the graphics with it (not good) or, if successful, need to apply a matte clear coat of vinyl paint.

    With this new faceplate, you WILL lose the night illumination of the graphics.
    I don't see any alternative. It comes down to whether you can stand looking at the "bubbled" console. The new faceplate would be removable by "prying" it up and "unsticking" the double-faced tape.

    Is there any interest in this before I proceed further? (As you can see, I have had a lot of free time lately!)
     
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  3. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    658
    St Petersburg, FL
    Full Name:
    PETER DELANEY
    I'm interested ... approx cost?

    Pete
     
  4. Artherd

    Artherd F1 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2002
    6,588
    Bay Area, CA
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    Ben Cannon
    I would think there would be a great deal of intrest. Especially if the cost can be kept down.
     
  5. jeffdavison

    jeffdavison F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 29, 2002
    2,501
    Suwanee Georgia
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    Jeffrey Davison
    I had sample from this company a few years back. This discussion brought back the memories.

    They do Laser cut Lexan faceplate / panel overlays. They also offer the overlay with areas of translucency as required.

    Perhaps if they were given the artwork, they could make a panel overlay that will let light come through as the original did.

    Here's their url:

    http://www.techniprint.net/ps/labelnameplate.htm

    http://www.techniprint.net/ps/screenpad.htm

    Definately worth looking into

    JD Atlanta
     
  6. 348paul

    348paul Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2002
    1,098
    Kent - UK
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    Paul Hill
    #5 348paul, Feb 29, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The 456 also suffers the same problem - Been looking into this problem for the last 6 months and basically come up with the same as you described. That multi layered film is a right PIA ! Have you done the graphics yet? - I was looking at doing these but would gladly let someone else have the headache!!!

    Here’s a picture of what is the weakest link!

    Azferrari - If I can be of any help - feel free to PM me on this matter.
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  8. AZLambo

    AZLambo Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    506
    Phoenix, AZ
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    Yes, the artwork is done! I COULD overlay the graphics on an .060 clear piece of lexan to possibly allow some illumination thru. .060 is about 1/16" thick, which I thought would look a little thick. The .040 aluminum would be thinner and probably lay flatter than the lexan. It appears from the partially peeled layer from the 456 console photo that the graphics are on this thin layer. I COULD just do the vinyl graphics layer to be put on the console after peeling away the bubbled layer, but I would not be sure if the surface underneath would be FLAT. Anyway, at about $1,400 for a factory replacement, some owners I think would not really want to totally "screw up" what they have now, even though it is "bubbled". An overlay piece seemed like a good "fix" visually, and still could be removed later if desired or if you wanted to shell out the $1,400. I still think the aluminum overlay would look better and be cheaper to produce. I am thinking that $99 might be a fair price? I don't know. In fact, I'll be a nice guy and post the ".jpg" artwork file here. Those of you that have the means, can make your own faceplate from it. If not, let me know what you think.
     
  9. malibumk

    malibumk Karting

    May 14, 2002
    167
    Malibu, CA
    Full Name:
    Mike Klein
    I've been ready to invest time/$$ in this for some time as I see a real need out there. However, given all of the other risks I'm reluctant to destroy a new panel to develop the fix.

    Does anyone have a doner a/c panel? You'll be the first recipient and it will be free. You'll get your panel back.

    Here in Los Angeles, there are a wide variety of printers/fabricators/die cutters and I've been professionally associated with many as an aerospace engineer working cockpit displays....so I have confidence that a viable part/repair can be developed....including the through lighting. It's not all that complex really.

    Just need that starter panel. HELP PLEASE. feel free to email or call.
    Mike (310) 717-6693
     
  10. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
    Sponsor Owner

    Sep 3, 2002
    5,361
    Toronto / SoCal
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    Rob C.
    Allow me to say that I think that is is absolutely fantastic that you guys are taking the time to resolve this problem. I am not a 355 owner but it would bother me in a very special way to shell out $1300 for that poorly designed panel. Any attempt to stick it to Ferrari with their absurd pricing is tops in my book. Keep up the good work guys!
     
  11. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,500
    Colorado
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    Bastuna
    Let me know what you come up with as I would probably buy one.
     
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  13. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,535
    Hong Kong, Tokyo
    Full Name:
    Wayne
    I had mine replaced over a year ago along with all the other rubber coated interior bits, because I couldn't stand looking at them for one more day. The melting rubber coating was making my hands black everytime I touched it.

    I did take apart my old one to see how the vinyl cover was glued on. Gave up on repair attempts because the viny cover goes into the knob recess. It seems impossible to remove it in tact then glue back down.

    And I gave up trying to have new vinyl cover printed, because I didn't know anyone who can vacuum form the vinyl to fit into the knob recess as well as over the perimeter rounded edges and corners. A flat vinyl sheet with holes cut out that also ends abruptly at the rounded edge and corners will not look too professional. Your aluminum plate idea on the other hand will look pretty good I think.

    I am curious to see how you guys solve this problem.
     
  14. GTB4NART

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    421
    Here's the one off my 456. I basically just used the razor blade technique and made a carbon decal replacement. I purchased some real carbon and I'll redo it soon. A definite problem is that the laminate is not totally flat, rather, it has compound curves around the holes. It will always look unoriginal.

     
  15. 348paul

    348paul Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2002
    1,098
    Kent - UK
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    Paul Hill
    #12 348paul, Feb 29, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Azferrari,

    You don’t need my graphics then!

    This is how far I am with mine (sorry about the poor quality rendering)- I put it on the back burner at the end of last year due to other projects and workload. It still needs a few things doing it but is basically there. I have got to make a prototype of this for one of my customers but will not be for some weeks yet. I think it would be interesting to see one that is printed rather than engraved (like mine would be) to compare the difference.

    Paul

    PS - There are two variations on the temperature numbers - the Dergee's C reads

    18-20-22-24-26 in place of the 64-68-72-76-80

    (Just to confuse things even more!)
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  16. rossofiorano355

    rossofiorano355 Karting

    Dec 22, 2003
    210
    NOLA - Bham
    Full Name:
    Ron
    I would try to maintain the night illumination if at all possible. Looks like you are on the right track, I would buy it.
     
  17. GTB4NART

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    421
    I think aluminum with engraved numbers would be the best. You could fill the engraved numbers with radium. I'd pay $150 for that all day long.

     
  18. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
    3,160
    Dallas
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    Keith Verges
    Mine is not too bad, yet, but I would probably hold out for one that would illuminate. I drive the car at night and want it to look right. I'd also probably want to have all panels the same, so if you made others to match, I might buy the set.

    Thanks for the hard work!
     
  19. Ade

    Ade Formula 3

    Jan 31, 2004
    2,095
    UK
    I agree this is also something I would consider if it illuminated and just sat over the existing cover.


    Paul,
    Would be able to bring one along to our next ferrari meet? It would be good to see your prototype if you have one by then? See how it sits etc...

    Cheers
    Ade
     
  20. PBRacer

    PBRacer Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    153
    Virginia
    Full Name:
    Stan
    Did anyone ever come up with a final fix for this?


    Stan
     
  21. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    658
    St Petersburg, FL
    Full Name:
    PETER DELANEY
    I had a replacement made up from the jpeg in the previous e.mail, but the resolution wasn't all that great. Check a few previous threads on my progress.

    Just today i got a very high resolution graphic of the center, and it's already off to the printers. The printer produces a 'lexon' copy .. plastic about the thickness of a playing card.

    The first ones I got .. apart from having the resolution problem .. were too thin. You could 'see' the bulbs as bright spots. Next version will be on slightly thicker plastic.

    Even the rough one was a 1000 times better than what I had.

    And the cost .... ~ $25 each ... and dead easy to attach. I've got about 10 - 15 people who want them .. anybody else? ... buy in bulk and save!

    I'm talking again tomorrow to the printer, so I'll have some news very quickly.

    I'll post the results.


    Regards,


    Pete
     
  22. klfpaul

    klfpaul Karting

    Apr 7, 2003
    158
    Murrieta, CA
    Full Name:
    Kevin Paul
    What is it that prevents a person from just regluing the original back down after cutting it away? From the pictures, it looks like the piece that you cut and peel off is actually two pieces (the black outer face and maybe a clear piece light transmitting sheet attached to it. Is this the case?

    -Kevin
     
  23. Merdav

    Merdav Formula Junior

    Apr 11, 2004
    971
    Peter put me down for one too, by the way Snag-it works very well, thank you again!-MICHAEL
     
  24. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    658
    St Petersburg, FL
    Full Name:
    PETER DELANEY
    That might be a way to go .. but in my case it wasn't only bubbling .. it had been Amourol'd .... sticky as hell and totally useless.

    The problem is that the bubble bit is fairly thick .. not plastic .. more like a vinyl .. and it's only 1 piece .. not two. It looks like it's a clear vinyl backing that's had the legends & black background printed on it.

    Nothing lost if you want to try and re-glue ... try it an d see.
     
  25. jakermc

    jakermc Formula 3
    Owner

    Jan 17, 2004
    1,778
    Palm Beach, FL
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    Rob

    Put me down for one
     
  26. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
    Owner

    May 24, 2004
    9,238
    DC/LA/Paris/Haleiwa
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    Mr.
    I just want to say what your doing is great. I'm just wondering....Is it just me or does anyone else think Ferrari should be helping with this. If GM had this type of defect they would be scrambling to get it resolved. I'm not trying to piss anyone off but isn't everyone having this problem?

    What do you think of a cool titanium one?

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
     
  27. klfpaul

    klfpaul Karting

    Apr 7, 2003
    158
    Murrieta, CA
    Full Name:
    Kevin Paul
    Thanks for the info,

    Luckliy mine is not stickey, just bubbled. I may try and just reglue it (clear silicone?), but I am not very good at arts and crafts stuff like this! Give me a brake change anytime! Does it look like one could reglue and have it be flat, or does is seem like the bubbled areas are stretched and my not go flat even if glued? Any thoughts before I start cutting?

    Thanks,

    -Kevin
     
  28. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    Judging by the 456 one above, I don't think you can just glue it flat.
     

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