News

458 Shrinking Leather Dash Fix

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by DoubleD33, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. DoubleD33

    DoubleD33 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 2, 2012
    1,567
    Pasadena, CA
    Full Name:
    Dan D
    Over the past few weeks I decided to work on my shrinking dash. I have two locations that are of concern. One is over the instrument cluster and the other is the airbag. I wanted to fix this and still use the original leather as new leather would be something I could not complete without a source and a sewing machine that has a double needle.

    as of now I tackled the instrument cluster cover. I still have the airbag and I am developing a strategy for it.

    The Process was as follows.

    in the first picture you can see the shrinking part that was detached.

    I pulled the leather off the cowl piece. This was easy in some areas and hard in others where it was still stuck. I used my hands to pull and a razor blade to disconnect the parts that were still stuck. You have to be careful to not cut the leather.

    once off I had to clean the old foam and the glue off the leather and this is where the fun comes. The best way I found is to use a little acetone sparingly on a rag and wipe a small area at a time. The acetone will bleed through to the other side and damage the color so you have to get it just right. When moist enough take a razor blade and use it as a scraper by holding it vertically and scrape in one direction. The glue will start to scrape off. This is very messy and requires a lot of finger strength. Wipe the razor blade after each scrape and continue until you are done with the entire piece. This took me about 6 hours on and off.

    once the leather is clean you need to clean the cowl up. Acetone and a rag and a lot of scrubbing will work well. This took about an hour to clean.

    my leather was a little hard but not beyond repair. I purchased some leatherique rejuvenator and basically soaked the piece of leather in in on and off for a week. The leather then softened up and became supple. I also worked the leather back and forth over the edge of my marble counter.

    after the leather was cleaned and rejuvenated And the cowl was cleaned I purchased some 1/16 thick closed cell neoprene from amazon for around 20 bucks. It had a sticky back but it was not very good. It is should be better than what Ferrari used, and the 1/16 is almost the same thickness. I believe they used 2mm originally.

    Meet Dap Weldwood Landau Top contact adhesive. This is the good stuff.

    I put contact adhesive on both sides of the neoprene and stuck it to the cowl.

    after this I nutted up and grabbed the leather. I started at a couple of known Points where I could see the bends of the leather matched up. I applied adhesive to both sides and started working small areas. When gluing be sure to pull the leather before you go to the next small area with glue and be sure that it goes where you want it. After it looks good and you have a plan of attack apply glue and move on to the next area.

    This job is absolutely not for the faint of heart and you need to have a lot of hand strength and be ok with exposing yourself to a lot of glue and acetone fumes. Patience is a must.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    Baitschev, tickerhound and ridege55 like this.
  2. killer58

    killer58 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 30, 2010
    1,129
    CA & DC
    Wow, that’s an amazing job.
     
    DoubleD33 likes this.
  3. ridege55

    ridege55 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    May 9, 2017
    825
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    John
    Great job and thanks for sharing. I'm sure I will have to do this at some point.
     
  4. obbob

    obbob Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2017
    701
    Next step is to get a clear ceramic windshield tint so you don't have to do this again!
     
  5. DoubleD33

    DoubleD33 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 2, 2012
    1,567
    Pasadena, CA
    Full Name:
    Dan D
    I did a lot of reading on shrinking leather and a lot of suggestions were to keep the sun shades in the windshield to help prolong leather issues.

    I will look into a clear ceramic as I know of a place that does those. My side windows are already ceramic.
     
  6. FFan5

    FFan5 Karting

    Jul 7, 2018
    214
    I have 50% tint for the windshield, 90% for the side windows. Garaged car, leather conditioned often, windscreen, 2014 car, etc. While I think all the measures delay the problem, I don't think anything can keep the foam from rotting. While my dash is fine, I can feel the foam rotting in the door panel.
     
  7. Baitschev

    Baitschev Karting

    Jan 8, 2017
    242
    Vienna
     
  8. Baitschev

    Baitschev Karting

    Jan 8, 2017
    242
    Vienna
    Same issues.
    I ordered a new one and itCosts only 900€
     
  9. DoubleD33

    DoubleD33 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 2, 2012
    1,567
    Pasadena, CA
    Full Name:
    Dan D
    How well did the color and stitching match?

    I probably have less than 100 usd in materials including the gallon of glue.

    Now time wise... it would have been cheaper to buy one.... But I enjoyed doing it.
     
  10. Jason B

    Jason B Formula Junior

    Apr 7, 2006
    283
    Hbg, PA
    Can we have a before photo with it in the car?
     
  11. DoubleD33

    DoubleD33 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 2, 2012
    1,567
    Pasadena, CA
    Full Name:
    Dan D
    I actually don’t have one. The first picture is close to what it looked like just not as pronounced. None of that was stuck and wrinkled up.
     
  12. johnr265

    johnr265 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 1, 2010
    342
    Mid-Atlantic
    can you be more specific? Did you order the whole instrument hood, just the leather covering? Did you order from Ferrari or third party? How long did it take to get?
     
  13. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2012
    3,129
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Nice job!
    Can you explain to me how the top binnacle comes off?
    I need to remove mine to replace the left switch assembly in the vent, and I don't want to break the binnacle, or the clips.
    I know that I have to remove the two screws that are located left and right of the tachometer first. Then the manual says to lift up and pull it towards your body.
    Since I haven't tried it yet, my question is: How hard do I push up, and how hard do I pull towards myself? Will it make a snap noise when it unclips?
    Do I lift the front first, then pull, or is it at the same time? In other words, will I feel clips release when I lift the front, or is it just that I have to lift a little to create space before pulling towards myself?
    Not sure if you understand what I'm asking,but can you please walk me through the exact procedure, and what I should feel, and hear.
    Thanks!
     
  14. DoubleD33

    DoubleD33 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 2, 2012
    1,567
    Pasadena, CA
    Full Name:
    Dan D
    as you said take out the two screws to start.

    Get in the drivers seat and lean forward. You do not need to push up hard at all. It is more like pull back to you with a steady firm pull. But keep some resistance on it as you could easily pull to you too hard and scratch something. The picture below shows the clips. The two pins sit in holes on either side but do not really clip. (See pictures with finger on each side of the cluster). More of an alignment pin function. The one that clips good is the big metal clip at the end. the clip that is above the left vent is more alignment and easy to remove. (This is the one that can scratch).

    the picture with the screw driver shows the location of the attachment for the 2 clips just to the side of the U cut out on the binnacle. These are the ones that are probably what require the steady pull to release.

    Lastly the CF trim is attached well as it has two pins that clip in. Tape and a plastic screwdriver are your friend.

    As for the switch removal out of the vent take a picture every step of the way as it will only come apart one way. Lots of little screws and spacer washers. (See pic)
     

    Attached Files:

    up4speed likes this.
  15. Baitschev

    Baitschev Karting

    Jan 8, 2017
    242
    Vienna
    I ordered the complete dash with red Stiching.but i am waiting 9 month ,because Ferrari produced Not only one for me.
     
    johnr265 likes this.
  16. Baitschev

    Baitschev Karting

    Jan 8, 2017
    242
    Vienna
    Its a OEM Part from Ferrari and the Color Match realy 100% .i ordered 2 years ago.
     
  17. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2012
    3,129
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Thank you so much for taking the time for the excellent write up!!
    It will be a HUGE help for when I tackle the switch replacement.
    Now I just have to wait for the switch I ordered to come from Italy. It was supposed to take 12-16 days. Now it may take way longer, but it is what it is during these tough times.
     
  18. Jason B

    Jason B Formula Junior

    Apr 7, 2006
    283
    Hbg, PA
    Would be cool if someone could post a pic from a stock car showing the area where this exactly occurs so we can use for reference? Great details on the write-up.
     
  19. Brambleworth

    Brambleworth Formula Junior

    Apr 4, 2011
    346
    NY
    Full Name:
    Ted
    Rexcat458 and Baitschev like this.
  20. Rexcat458

    Rexcat458 Karting

    Dec 11, 2019
    134
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve

Share This Page