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Author Topic: Saving the instrument panel?  (Read 1448 times)

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Offline arkyt

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Saving the instrument panel?
« on: February 17, 2017, 06:30:18 PM »
Has anyone had any luck keeping the white crap on the instrument panel from getting worse?  Should be something out there to coat it with.  Afraid to try on the one extra that I have.
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Offline robertwwithee

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Re: Saving the instrument panel?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 06:47:39 PM »
I used some plastic polish, it didn't help maybe it helped it from getting worse idk. 

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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Saving the instrument panel?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 11:39:45 AM »
Maybe a fine coat of Plasti-Dip or Phil Swift's Flex Seal?  Not sure if the plastic self destructs, or if the environment does it. This of course would be preventive, not corrective.  My Pinto came out of the California bay area where it is generally cool and not always sunny.   I was surprised to see the housing was in decent shape. Hey anyone remember Vacuumform when you were a kid?

BTW, I just did a search for "distinigrating instrument cluster" and wouldn't you know Maverick/Comet came up near the top of the results - I wonder why???  ::)

  I tried to get my son to 3D print them but he wasn't interested. He also said the low melt point might be an issue in a hot interior.  Ironically through he has printed stuff for start up companies that have taken his 3D prints to the edge of space. Not bad for a kid who runs his 3D printing out of a bedroom at his grandmothers.

Offline warhead2

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Re: Saving the instrument panel?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2017, 08:06:35 PM »
You could 3d print one, then use it to make a mold then cast one.

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Offline DBSS1234

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Re: Saving the instrument panel?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 10:01:21 AM »
Mustang II's also have the same problem. Poor quality plastic dries out then crumbles. What I have done is first find a usable one (that is the hard part). Then clean it good (I lightly bead blast it) then spray on a good coat of urethane clear to seal it. It should then last as long as you do!

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: Saving the instrument panel?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 11:06:15 PM »
I second the clear urethane coating..

The plastic actually deterriorates due tk a number of things. 

As the plastic ages it loses something called the plasticizer which makes it more or less flexible in the beginning and as the plasticizer gasses off the plastic gets brittle.

The plastic also just breaks down chemically with heat, uv and oxygen.

What you ultimately end up with is a bunch of granules of plastic just sort of sticking together like rocks in a pile.

What you need to do is add something to penetrate into the cracks in a liquid form then harden to glue the mass together..

Spray on urethane is prolly the best selection.



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Offline JoeBob

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Re: Saving the instrument panel?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 07:26:38 PM »
There are about 25 pintos in a graveyard near here. I looked through all of them for the part. It appeared to me that only 1976 and every 76 deteriorates. I took the housing from another year and transferred the pink plastic printed circuit from the bad one to the good. On my first trip to the yard I grabbed a full cluster from a car of unknown year. I did not realize that the units are not the same year to year. The plastic circuit of the unknown year is green. It seems that the printed circuit plastic is a different color for each year. I do not know if my solution works, I don't know why it would not. I lost my health I never finished my project. If someone wants the extra green one I have, send me a PM with an offer
Bill     
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Deuteronomy 7:9