Dashboard Fixes and Replacements

Cracked dashboards are a way of life with the 924, 924S and 944.  We cover them, ignore them, replace them and cuss at them.  But what are our alternatives?  Whether it’s a daily driver or a concours restoration, there are choices.

One of the biggest detractors from an otherwise nice car is the dashboard cracks.  They all have them, they are unsightly, and there are many ways to cover, repair and even replace them.  Since we want nice ones for our 924S Special Editions, we have been researching various ideas.  This is what we have found – plastic covers, cloth/carpet covers, repair and cover, repair and flock, repair and coat, and replace with refurbished or replace with factory.  Let’s look at each of them.

  • Cloth/Carpet Covers. $
  • Plastic Covers. $
  • Flocking.  $$
  • Polyvance. $$
  • Glue-On Vinyl or Leather Covers. $$$
  • Refurbished Replacement. $$$$
  • New Replacement. $$$$

Cloth/Carpet Covers – $

One of the most common “fixes” for the cracked dash is to cover it up with a carpet, suede or cloth cover.  Looking on RockAuto.com, we found that Dash Designs makes a variety of cloth and carpet covers that are in the $40-$50 range.  Dashmat also makes dash covers for our cars in the same price range, and most are available from Amazon.  CoverCraft is another supplier of nice dash covers.

Plastic Dash Covers – $

Another popular alternative is a thin plastic dash cover from manufacturers like Coverlay. These lay on the dash covering the cracks and look pretty good.  If you live in a hot environment like Florida, though, the heat inside the car can warp and twist the plastic, meaning that every year or two you have to replace it.  At around $100, they are reasonable but can add up with having to replace them every so often.  We recently replaced the warped plastic Coverlay in Sparky with a black suede Dash Designs cover.

Flocking – $$

Repairing and covering your dashboard with flocking is becoming pretty popular.  With this method, you can actually do the job without removing the dash, but it is highly recommended that you remove the dash to repair the cracks and apply flocking.  There are several YouTube videos on how to do it and the supplies needed are inexpensive.

Polyvance Products – $$

There is a company in Gainesville, Alabama called Polyvance that has developed a series of products that enables you to repair and recoat your dashboard with nearly flawless professional results.  They use a plastic filler applied with a hot knife to fill the cracks, then apply texture to finish off the job.  It is quite labor intensive and the chemicals and supplies are not cheap, but you can easily see how you can restore a dashboard with some effort and the right stuff.  There is a good video here on Youtube: https://youtu.be/_x8qtvG-Y8U

Glue-On Vinyl or Leather Covers – $$$

Companies in the U.S. and the U.K. make vinyl and leather covers for our dashboards.  To install, you have to repair the cracks, then glue on the covers while carefully positioning and stretching the material to lay flat and conform to all the curves and bends.  JF Customs in the U.K. and selling on Ebay has leather covers, but we have seen some bad reviews on fitment.  We have purchased one of their leather covers for a 924S, but have not tried to fit it yet.  Classic 9 in Michigan has a vinyl or leather cover that you can fit yourself, or you can ship your dash to them and they will fix the cracks and fit the cover.  It is important to note that these covers all have exposed seams for the “square dash” cars – early 944, 924 and 924S.  They are done well, but for a concours restoration, this may not be the best idea.

Refurbished Replacements – $$$$

If it is concours original that you want, this and the next may be what you want…but be prepared to pay for it.  The original dash has no seams, so we found two companies who will sell you a refurbished dashboard.  EDIT:  Werk924 in Germany will sell you a perfect new dash that looks factory for around US$1,800 including shipping.  JustDashes in California will do the same thing for about the same price.  Both use a heated-vinyl vacuum forming process to cover the complete dash with new material.

New Replacement Dash from Porsche – $$$$

Just recently, Porsche decided to reproduce original 924, 924S and Series I 944 “square gauge” dashboards.  We called our local Porsche dealer, Porsche of South Orlando, and the parts manager Joel Zebell looked up the supplied part number, 477-857-881-E-1DB, and found that at this writing, there were 51 in stock in Germany.  MSRP on the dashboard is $1,646.51, which is admittedly pretty hefty.  Some dealers may be able to offer a substantial discount from list, so it is worth making a call.  Shipped to your local dealer will usually avoid any shipping costs. But they are limited production, so they will be gone again soon.

So what to do?

We started this quest when we realized that we were going to need to have non-cracked dashboards for our 924S Special Edition restorations.  We have on hand 1) a new factory dashboard, 2) a leather cover from JF Customs in the U.K. 3) a polyvalence dashboard that is being done at Polyvalance.  We will need five or six of them…

So this is what we found, from the least expensive to the most expensive.  The choice is yours!

Author: Kevin Duffy, 924S944.com LLC, DeLand, FL

After retiring from a career in Law Enforcement, Kevin Duffy turned his attention to one of his passions, Porsche 944's and 924S's. He owns 924S944.com LLC in DeLand, FL, rescuing and restoring forgotten Porsches, bringing them back to a useful life. He is especially interested in the rare-but-beautiful 924S Special Edition. He can be found at Porsche Club events, including track days, tours and shows, as well as other car-focused events around the southeastern United States.

4 thoughts

  1. I fixed my cracks with leather repair cream, then sand it and use use leather dye and dab it in. Will need to mix the dye to get a correct color match. Then dye the complete upper dash. Time consuming and cheep and looks good.

    1. Great info for small cracks. Larger cracks need intense work!!!

    2. I have a 1984 944 that has a plastic cover over my dashboard. I’m thinking about replacing the dash with a new factory one. Is it really worth the effort and expense or am I wasting my money since this is so common on these cars?

      1. It depends on the condition of the rest of the car. Replacing the dash would be one of the last things that you should consider.

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