WCCC Grade C dash purchased - Rough - Restoration options?

My folks gave me a grade C used dash from WCCC for xmas. They asked me what I wanted and my dash has a huge split down the middle so I sent them a link :slight_smile: Reading the Grade C’s description from WCCC, I thought it would be a PERFECT driver replacement.

I must say this first WCCC packed it beautifully! man it was packed in such a big box with so much foam and care, so thank you WCCC for taking extra care in the dash. But, when I opened it p I must admit a was a bit dissapointed. Granted it is the lowest grade and 200.00 is fair for any cougar dash, but this one is a lot rougher than I expeted and 200 is still $200.00. I guess I had my hopes up based on the picture and description from WCCC web site, for a grade C dash. The site does state that the dash will be hard on top, and beginning of cracks near the defrost vents. http://www2.cougarpartscatalog.com/69padc.html But, it doesnt say anything about scuffs on front stitching area, tiny holes/pits, or large divits (dimples) on the top. The dash is very hard all around, looks like someone punched the top near the driver side, the passenger side top is wavy, it looks like someone put a grinder on the edge stitching area, and the metal bracing is all but rusted. I wiped down the top to get some of the dirt off and unfortunately it shows the waves and divits even more. Im afraid what it actually might look like after I dye it!

Please, please, please know I am not here to complain!! Maybe, if anything I missunderstood what kind of condition it would be in or maybe since when they bought it, it was the last one in stock…This dash is still a bit better than whats in the car now, Im just dissapointed as I expected something more like the picture.

Why I’m here is I need help or advice on what I can do to fix this up. The edge rubbed off on the passenger side is a bummer, not sure how I can “fix” that. I want to avoid the plastic cover. What vinyl paint would be best for this? I think black is my best option even though the cars interior is ivy green. Is there any way to soften the vinyl and raise the divits / dents in the top? Or even a flexible filler? Is there a solvent or primer to use on the dash to get a uniform color? Any help appreciated.

It looks worse than it actually is because it’s dirty. My father was a pro at vinyl repair. He could mix up some epoxy, dye it then apply it just right so that once it dried, it looked like new. I don’t have his skills in that area but I do remember some of the things he did to keep his cars looking good. The first thing you need to do is start by softening the dash up. I’m sure there are a variety of solutions on the market to help with this but in my opinion nothing works better than baby oil. Apply generous amounts over the vinyl and allow it to soak for several days. Clean it off with vinyl cleaner when you are done soaking it. You can make many of the repairs needed with a vinyl repair kit. Fill in the areas where needed. No need to mix any die in with it since you will paint it later. The stitching area will be tricky and you may not be able to do much there. Vinyl dye is best sprayed in several thin coats. Many of the imperfections will be hidden once dyed. Honestly, it looks like a solid piece to start with. Wish I could help in person.
Don’t know if it helps or not but I’m a hell of alot more impressed when guys restore their own parts. Even though it’s not perfect you will be thrilled with yourself if you take your time and do a good job and so will I.

Thanks for the reply 68, encouraging words! I just dont want to paint and throw it in. I too take pride in doing anything I can to restore parts myself, but vinyl repair will be a first. Thats great advice on using baby oil. Im unfamilair with the vinyl repair kit as well, is it a putty based stuff? Will it have a “stamping” of a similar texture to OEM? The paint will cover over the vinyl repair kit as well?

Eastwood makes a repair kit…any adice on their kit? http://www.eastwood.com/vinyl-and-dashboard-repair-system.html

Also, anything I can do to lift the divited area (botox injections :slight_smile: )? or would the repair kit be usefull there as well

Thanks again,

I’ve had a lot of success on 67 horn pads that have dented areas from when stored. After a thorough cleaning, I saturate with a vinyl protectant for several hours then wipe off the excess, then sit them out in the sun all day. Sometimes takes two days in the sun for the dents to fully expand. Maybe with some heat lamps or those 500 watt work lamps might do the trick during these winter months?

Not sure of the quality of the Eastwood repair kit, but SEM makes a vinyl/leather repair compound, then you use one of the 2" x 2" graining pads to match your grain.
SEM #38422 Leather & Vinyl Repair Compound
SEM #70022 Interior Graining Pads

Much help appreciated :thumbup: I’d like to order up the SEM stuff tonight, been doing a little reading up on it, looks like good stuff. Tomrrow morning I’ll run it down with baby oil and let it sit till the SEM products come in.

On order will be the 38422 filler, 70022 Pads, Prep spray, and Color Coat can of ?

Now for the color, Im OK with changing to black, but SEM makes 3 blacks, a landau, a satin and a gloss. I dont want gloss, satin should work fine but I dont want it too flat…Want that stock sheen. What is the landau? semi-gloss?

Glad to hear you’re going with the SEM products, they’re on my list of favorites (along with 3M, Evercoat, PPG). Would the landau sheen be the same as a vinyl landau top on a car? Kind of an eggshell sheen? IDK, just guessing.

I forgot to comment on your ‘grinder to the stitching’ repair that you need to do. I’m thinking you could use one of these molding bars to make a mold of a good part of the dash, then apply the SEM filler to the repair area and then push the mold onto it. Might be a little tricky since you need heat to activate the SEM filler, but might be worth a try. Here’s some links to the molding bars:

I just used one of these this evening while repairing a plastic dash bezel for a 68 using Plastex (was missing a 1" x 1" section). Worked great, although I had to heat the molding bar up to about 160 degrees to get it to soften enough, even though they say only 135 degrees is needed. Hope this helps!

I haven’t used baby oil but if it doesn’t work, MEK will soften vinyl and allow it to accept the dye really well.

Order the SEM Landau Black. That’s what I used on my vinyl parts and it looks perfect.

I don’t know what level of quality you plan to bring your car to, but in my opinion this dash pad is hardly something you want to put in your car, even if it’s just a driver. There are several creative advices posted, but in the end of the day if you want a nice dash pad you will only waste money on something you will not be happy with. Based on my 30+ years of restoring cars there is nothing you can do to it that will make it a good looking dash and that will last except for sending it in to Just dashes http://www.justdashes.com/Products.htm The bad part about this is that they are EXPENSIVE!

I am sure some of you will disagree with me, but if this is for a car you plan to keep and to be happy with I would consider finding a better dash pad. Maybe I am a little bit more picky about dash pads than you guys, but in my opinion the dash pad is one of the parts on your car that you see ALL THE TIME when you drive it and as a result you want it to be as nice as possible.

Unfortunately the bumps on the top are usually caused by the foam inside warping and shrinkage in the vinyl. You can soak it in baby oil or whatever liquid miracle stuff you might find for weeks but it will never get back to its original shape or neither will the vinyl regain its original softness. This has to do with the molecular nature of plastic and vinyl. Also before you paint it the surface will need to be totally free from oil and grease, so after you have soaked it with your miracle stuff, you will have to clean it all off with a solvent before you spray it with a vinyl dye. Most people know that oil and paint just not goes well together.

Regarding the vinyl repair kits, in my opinion they are not usable for a lasting repair of dash pad cracks. Maybe some of these kits are better now than they used to be some years ago, but I know fixing cracks and imperfections usually lasted for a year or two, then the problems reoccurred.

One final advice, I have bought a dash pad myself from the hot states in the US and wasted my money on shipping to Norway just to throw it in the garbage. I would say look for a better one from a state where the climate is not as hot.

I hope I did not ruin anyones day by writing this, but this is my sincere opinion based on my own experience.

I appreciate all opinions and honesty, and Im taking all into consideration! I, to a degree somewhat agree with XR7-Gry I mean lets be honest last thing I thought I was going to need to worry about was creating a mold for the stiching area and filling up pin holes with putty (BTW I read up on creating the mold, and before you knew it I was 100+ in products to repair this dash). After sleeping on it I think the biggest dissapointment is the damage on the front stiching area…It will stared at from the passenger seat! I guess I was expecting a dirty dash with tiny blemishes that I could clean, spray and install. But at the same time I knew I was buying a grade C dash, and it would need some cleaning TLC and paint before putting in the car. The difference in price between a grade C, B and A are huge…for a reason I suppose. And if myself or my family had the coin for a grade B they wounld have done it. I told my mom a grade C is light years better than whats on it, and for the most part it is, but I would have a hard time asking 500 for a dash.

Let me be clear about what kind of car and money Im working with. This car was bought to be driven driven driven. It’s technically my wife to be cars, so reliability, easability are my goals to have a CLEAN driver. Car is easily a 10-15 footer, in the pic below its hard to see any issues, but they are ALL over, old paint, dents dings, rust spots etc…On top of that my street/strip 69 Torino is my real baby, Ive redone almost everything and its getting a makover now as well (mini tub and BB 460) So, Im reasonable with my funds, I know right now I cant afford a show car cougar.

Here is the interior. The interior is “almost” perfect, the dash with the crack is a huge eyesore. Still needs some repaintng, steerring wheel and horn pad needs work. There is also a tear on the drivers seat. But over all its pretty nice for a driver. Since these photos Ive repainted the console (ivy green) and kick panels. I also now have the radio cover and dash (next to radio) bezels. So the dash is “complete”.

Look at the 6th pic from top of the whole dash laying on its back, it is bowed in the middle. I fully expect the smaller wrinkles in the ninth pic to disappear when it is mounted. Looks like it is a solid car for a full restoration down the road.

I agree with Gry, I think you need to call us up and look at getting another pad. It will look MUCH better with paint and some love but the upper surface will never completely straighten out (nor will the rat chewed edge look any better). I have a guy coming down from Canada next month and is selling us about 15 used dash pads, what you got was the bottom of the barrel and for that I apologize. In the olden days, I tore the cars down myself and packaged the parts myself so rarely did things like this get past me, times have changed… DO NOT send your pad to Just Dashes and spend $1000! They CANNOT replicate the stitched edge and you will have an inferior looking product for WAY too much money. Grade A pads can still be had for much less than $1000. As an alternative route, I suggest getting some SEM vinyl paint custom matched to the correct color of green (less money than you might guess) and when it is all done and said you can live with the end result, call us up for at least a partial refund.

I agree with Gry. I have a nearly mint black pad I have offered to anyone who has been looking for just $100 more than you paid for that horror.

At the very least you should return that one for one that matches the description of their grade C, IMO the one you got certainly does not.

15 footer or not,…that’s a nice lookin’ ‘70. You have to appreciate the fact the interior panels have held up so well…and from the photos look great. Since we cannot go out and purchase the new repop panels offered to other classics…well, you have a Cougar in very good condition…Treat with kindness. Hey, Merry Christmas to you…to fact that your parents are behind you and your ride and got you a newer dash pad as a gift…too cool. OK, we got the 67-8 dash pad repoped (scratch blemished, but acceptable)…now for a ‘69-70 pad, cause God knows I stress over mine being exposed to the elements and dread the day my 1/2’’ crack in the speaker grill GROWS!

Bob, Do you have a couple of pics of the '69-70 dash pad which you are looking to sell. Would be good to see mdula have a chance at it to compliment his nice interior…If not, I may be interested.

Don, I will call you up tomorrow and talk to you or someone else from WCCC, and see if I can wait for the batch to come in and swap it out with one witout rat bites on the front, Im in no hurry and would rather wait for one that fits the bill for a grade C. Honestly I think the dash is not too bad, its just the scrapes off the front that I cant get over or fix properly. I appreciate the kind words and trust me there is absolutly harsh feelings towards WCCC, you guys have supberb customer service and being the holidays and all. I’ll give ya a shout and see what we can work out.

67.5: Thank ya sir. Merry xmas to you as well. I think we stole the car for 3k (351C 2v) we are super happy to own it. The interior was “almost” swapped to black from the previous owner. He swapped the carpet and headliner to black but im so glad he didnt try to dye the door panels or seats. He replaced the floor pans which is great but did a shotty job. The green is really cool, and it looks the period. But…the black and green together look fine for now, and one of these days (as cool as black looks) I’ll respray the exterior back to original dark ivy green. My folks know me, im 33 and have been into old cars since I was about 15 and got my '73 beetle. Since then ive gone through numerous old cars, and my mom used to own a 65 mustang in high school so she has an appreciation for these old fords. But really, once the dash is replaced, i’ll try and get the driver seat repaired and the interior will be mighty clean looking.

I appreciate all the help and support. This community is great.

Score! Look what I just happened across on ebay last night! Looks like a Grade “A” pad to me all day long, that dent in the top will come right out in the heat. I hit the buy it now and will have him ship direct to you. You can use that other pad for a tire chock…

Looks like Don beat me to an update as I was typing this!

Just want to give a quick update, Don called me up early this morning…You know, we should all be SO, SO grateful to have a company like WCCC and Don on our side. The customer service from that company is just unheard of these days. Don stumbled upon a dash on ebay that looks like an easy grade A for 200.00. He actually purchased it with a “buy it now” option and offered it up to me for a replacement, paying only shipping. Like many company owners in this economy Don could have easily bought this dash and took it into his company and re-sold for a grade A and made a very nice profit. Instead he offered it up to me. Oh, and get this. I said I’d ship him his back and he said to just keep it and sell it locally, help another Texas cougar owner out and make a few bucks… I cant tell you how gratefull, me, my girlfriend, and parents are of this, in fact I hope nobody thinks I was out to get “more for my dollar” That was not it at all, I knew what the Grade C was all about, and all I expected was a dash of equal value without the chew marks, never did I expect an upgrade.

SO, that being said I had heard before that WCCC is a great company, now I know fist hand and I can tell you that is the only place I’ll be getting cougar parts from for as long as I own it! If Don was a bit closer I’d offer him and his family down to have a steak dinner with mine, along with a good bottle of scotch!

Anyway, Im looking forward to getting this, here are pics of it from ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/1969-mercury-cougar-upper-dashpad-/251205268584?ru=http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=251205268584&_rdc=1&nma=true&si=85M6thia0PviLFea53c3IJVMGz0%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 And if anyone is interested in the dash wih the chew marks lety me know, WCCC is letting me keep the onld one so its only fair I give it to a member here first.

Yesterday I found a local company that sells SEM products, I went ahead and picked up the vinyl cleaner and a can of landau black, although with this new dash I will likely keep it green…not sure yet.

good on Don for coming through on the dash. I’m another very happy customer of WCCC, unlike mdula I’ve yet to hit a bum note with them and this is someone who lives at the bottom of the world in NZ. Once I’ve placed the order, I can expect the item on my doorstep within 10 days, I love the internet. I spent just under $2400. last year with WCCC and that was just cosmetic really, as my car remains a 20 footer, but it has made the drives much more enjoyable, as I completed a 180mile cruise just before Xmas visiting relatives and the old girl went without a hitch, this was with the recently resurrected AC humming all the way in 75oF heat. (I forgot to mention, I included shipping in that cost, which can sometimes be more than the cost of the actual item, no fault of WCCC.)

Happy New Year Don! Merry Christmas Mr Dula!
What a way to start the year off.

Way to go Don and congrats mdula!

Yessir, a good new year it was too! Happy new year everyone, today is also my bday :slight_smile: Im celebrating by installing new brake lines on the moser 9" housing on the torino.