The dashpad in project Valiant Effort was irreparable, or so we thought. After searching the Internet and swap meets, we realized a correct dashpad for the Valiant was not going to come easy. The pieces we did find were starting to crack, or they already had small cracks forming. We called Just Dashes in Van Nuys, California, since it would be foolish to pay for a marginal quality dash when Just Dashes can supply a good-as-new unit. And even if your dashpad is severely cracked or the metal frame is rusty, Just Dashes can bring it back to the correct factory original look.
The cause of "dashpad crack" is aging open-cell foam and the dissimilar expansion and contraction rates of the factory vinyl. The foam can expand more than the vinyl, and that can initiate cracking. To correct this, Just Dashes removes the worn and/or damaged open-cell foam and vinyl and replaces it with improved high-density closed-cell foam, which meets all the correct contours and dimensions. The pad is then covered with the correct grain vinyl that is a higher quality than OE. Through a process called Thermo Vacuum Forming, the vinyl is heated to become pliable and "sucked" over the dash contours. The vinyl is then cooled to set the shape of the dash. This is the same process used by the original manufacturer, and ensures a correct-looking, quality dash. It will withstand decades of harsh sun and heat, and will not crack. The reason is that the new closed-cell foam expands and contracts at the same rate as the new vinyl, which is formulated with modern UV inhibitors. It's a time consuming process because much of the work is done by hand, yet each piece is given the same attention to detail, be it for a Hemi 'Cuda or a Valiant.