RECOVER DASH DIY (2006-2010 Models)

Forum for Infiniti M35 and M45, and Nissan Fuga owners.
Larz
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Car: 2009 M35 RWD
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RECOVER DASH DIY (2006-2010 Models)

Postby Larz » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:44 pm

If I remember correctly, the dash design was not changed much between 2006 - 2010. Double check your dash to be sure. This was done on a 2009 M35.
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*** I am NOT responsible if you muck this up .... just saying ***
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You will need:
trim remover kit with plastic tools to pry off trim pieces
plastic squeegee with one felt side to help form-fit the contours
phillips screwdriver
contact cement (home depot paint dept)
assorted paint brushes
CDs, cardboard chunks, etc to act as wedges that hold material between glass and dash during fitment
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About this cement: You will add glue to the underside of the material AND also to the location on the dash where the material is to be placed. You must allow time (10 minutes or so) until both surfaces get "tacky" BEFORE you place the material onto the dash. This is a slow process.

First, you will need one piece of material that is a minimum of 60 inches wide. (I recommend 65 inches)
I have the grey dash and vents, so I removed the driver side air vent and went to Joann Fabrics to look for a color that will look good. I was shocked when I saw a roll of vinyl that matched the vent color nearly 100% ! As you can see below, it has a nice leather grain appearance without being too pronounced, and has a fabric type backing that will allow you to glue it to the surface of the existing dash.
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It is only 55 inches wide (not wide enough for our dash). Buy a 65 inch long piece and you wind up with one sheet that is 65in long X 55in wide. Turned sideways, you will have a width of 65 inches.
*** ITEM #401035262669 will get you this exact material in any Joann Shop in the country *** "Spra Arctic Grey" It is also available in black with this same design.
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I already had a 'dashmat' dash cover so triming the straight edge to the contour for the windscreen was that much easier. Leave the sides alone, you want the sides to have plenty of extra material so you can trim after installing. If you make a guess and trim sides in advance, you will be back at the fabric shop buying another section of fabric. (trust me on this, LOL). Test fit the material after you cut for the contour of the windscreen. There is some space to slide the material down in between the glass and the dash and it allows you to make sure the material is cut properly, but also to make sure it is not at an angle that could affect coverage of the rest of the lower sections of the dash. Make sue the material is centered and you still have enough excess material for BOTH sides around the air vents, etc.
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BEGIN:

Remove the following trim pieces:
**** Best if done in this order ****
A-pillar trim: held in by clips (no screws). grab pillar with both hands and pull toward you while twisting left / right

Defrost vents: slide the trim remover or similar edge under the end opposite the sensor ... lift upward and slide the trim remover round the edge facing you ... it tilts upward and toward you ... the sensor is attached to a connector ... slide the connector off and remove the vent.
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Side air/con vents: remove the plastic side trim between the dash and the door - open the glove box and start at the front edge facing you, unclip this edge and then pull it forward to remove. You will see a philips screw holding the vent cover in place. Remove that screw, and pull JUST the vent cover off. Leave the actual vent louvers in place if possible only because the louver section is tricky to align and re-install.
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Radio grille: In the pic below, you can see where the 4-5 clips are across the edge facing you. Be very careful to lift ONLY at or near these points as the grille could bend and that s never good. Slide the trim remover under the front edge (facing you) and after you lift it, the grille pulls outward toward you. Replace the opposite way - slide it in at the top first, then clip downward in the front.
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Driver side wood (or aluminum) trim: either side of steering wheel - these clip on and are lifted with the trim remover and pulled toward you.

Multi-switch: (air/con, NAV, etc) After removing the trim around the start button, you will see a single phillips screw. Rempove that and pull the switch toward you. There are two connectors on the back. Slide the connectors off.

Passener side wood trim: This piece has clips AND screws. Open the glove box - look inside and up and you will see the screws that hold the bottom half of the trim in place.
Remove them (4-5 screws on the 2009, and I don't remember there being any screws on my 2007).. place your hand inside the hole created when the multi-switch was removed and lift. Follow that edge around, lifting toward you. Mine was clipped rather tightly and required a good yank to unclip it.

Center trim around screen: This piece is held in by clips and will come toward you with a good yank at the top, then continue moving lower until it slides toward you.

Speedo trim: Put the steering wheel all the way down and all the way toward you. Grab the trim and pull it toward you. Once it starts to move, you have to tilt it forward and backward to maneuver it out of place and slide it past the steering wheel and towards you. There is a hunk of insulating material along the top that must be smashed down to allow the top to clear the dash opening.

After you remove all dash trim, place the material on the dash as before and secure it in place. Make sure you have it centered and start gluing one corner at the windscreeen where the A-pillar trim used to be. There will be excess material to the sides - LEAVE IT! That will be trimmed when you replace the pillar cover. Continue gluing ONLY the leading edge as you move across the windscreen between the defrost vent and the glass and stop when you reach the center between the two defrost vents. Let it set for about 10 minutes. It should be attached pretty strongly. Then continue across until you reach the opposite end of the dash by the opposite A-pillar. Again, let it set for about 10 minutes. You now have the top edge of the dash tucked into the windscreen and glued into place so it cannot slide around. Double-check that yuo still have enough extra material along the sides of the dash from top to bottom to allow trimming around the vents, etc. If not, peel and re-glue the top until you do.
Now, continue to glue, moving downward, going left-to-right-to-left, as you zig zag from one side of the dash to the other. Move down about 3-4 inches at a time, smoothibng the material as you go. Do NOT place ANY glue on area of the material or dash that will later need to be cut out to fit the trim pieces. EX: apply glue AROUND the openings of the defrost vents and the coresponding area of material that will stick there, but do NOT add glue to the section of material you need to cut out to fit the vent pieces back into place.

IMPORTANT: Adding glue to the areas that have to be trimmed to accomodate trim pieces, will remove the flexibility of the material and it will NOT form-fit to the pieces as you re-install them. When you finish, you will have material covering the entire dash including the radio grill opening, the defrost vents, and all of the air/con vents. When you reach the curved area that covers the speedo section, use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the material and let it stretch slightly over the hump and down the sides by the air/con vents. I did this in small sections so I could make the material form to the surface and I held it in place firmly for about 15 minutes until it took shape and stayed glued. The speedo area is the trickiest and don't worry about peeling back and re-appyng more glue. Long as it hasn't completely set, you should have no trouble form-fitting the material to match the contours. Again, do VERY SMALL sections at a time, wait for each surface to get tacky, then hold it in place until the glue begins to cure. This is the most time-consuming part of the project. Leave plenty of extra material sticking forward from the speedo hump opening (at least 3-4 inches). You will need it when replacing the speedo trim so no edges show after the trim is re-installed.

**** TIP ****
You will have a mess of material in your way the entire time while zig-zagging back and forth across the dash. This is where an assistant comes in handy. They can hold the excess material up and out of your sightline, allowing you to apply glue only where you want it, and to keep the material and dash surfaces away from each other while both surfaces begin to dry and get tacky prior to mounting that section. When you begin to cut the material over the holes for trim pieces, make SMALL openings in the center of that hole first, gradually increasing the holes until the trim pieces fit just snug enough to hold the material in place. You shouldn't need to use any glue - let the trim piece hold the material under it. Again, a hair dryer or heat gun will help make
the material flexible and allow the trim pieces to pull it under as you re-install them.

NEVER heat the material too closely or too warm - just enough so you can feel the material begin to flex and stretch. Overheating it will ruin the leather pattern and cause wrinkles instead of flexibility. Each opening must be custom cut depending on how that trim piece fits into the dash. Take your time and re-fit / re-trim until the pieces fit snug and no edges of material are sticking out. Trim VERY sparingly between fittings. You can always trim a smidge more, but you cannot un-do if you trim too much. Also, the trim pieces are going to be harder to replace now that you reduced the size of the hole by adding material between the piece and the edges of the holes. More force will be needed to re-install the trim in some places.

Here is a video of someone doing this job. Its a dodgey video, but I strongly recommend you watch it to see the technique needed to do this. He removed the entire outer cover of his dash but I did not. I glued mine over the existing grey cover as I had no deep cracks.
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https://youtu.be/ANE0dueAXSI
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If your dash is black, I recommend going with the material shown below. I wanted to do this too, but black looks dodgey with gray vents and trim. I could not find this product in grey or I would have opted for this method. It is more flexible and easier to form-fit on contours and curves.
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https://youtu.be/swoBhuvsu_k
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CONCLUSION: This was tedious work. If you are brave enough to remove the top half of the dash from the car, I HIGHLY recommend you do that. You can lay the dash across two saw horses and move around it freely as you work. Scooter and I spent the better part of an afternoon (over 4 hours) to do this project. Most of that time was spent waiting for the glue to get tacky and holding glued portions in place until they were secure. Those who have actually removed the dash say it is much less dangerous / difficult than it looks. Having done this without removing the dash, I am leaning towards dash removal simply because you have more flexibility, better view of what you are doing, and ease of access from behind the dash to assist in trimming / fitting the material.
Still, I am quite pleased with the results.
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Ilya
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Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
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Re: RECOVER DASH DIY (2006-2010 Models)

Postby Ilya » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:57 pm

Nice. Share a pic of the whole dash :).

Adding this to the FAQ.

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M4T5
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Car: 2007 Infiniti M45

Re: RECOVER DASH DIY (2006-2010 Models)

Postby M4T5 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:58 am

Good work and write up. That did not look like a job for me to tackle!

Larz
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Re: RECOVER DASH DIY (2006-2010 Models)

Postby Larz » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:18 pm

Thanks Ilya and M4TS.
I just wish I had the plums to actually remove the top half of the dash. You still need to remove all the trim, but after that, you just plop the dash on saw horses and you can walk around it, flip it over, kneel under it, etc so putting the new material on would gave been a MUCH easier chore. That material is available in deep red, black, dark brown, etc so it should look great for any color interior.
The material is $20 per yard - a 65 inch piece is about $30. The contact cement was less than $10. Since most people have the rest of the tools needed, this job will cost less than $50 to complete.
I spent more than $50 on that DashMat cover !

retho78
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:13 pm
Car: 2009 Infiniti M35 RWD

Re: RECOVER DASH DIY (2006-2010 Models)

Postby retho78 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:27 pm

Nice work. How is it holding up so far? Is the vinyl material from Joann's fabric good quality? Will this material cause any issues with the passenger side airbag on the dash not functioning properly? I'm thinking to do mine as well but wanting to remove the dash out of the car. Also,I found out that the steering wheel has to be removed to get the dash out. Any tips on how to get that out?


Thanks in advance.


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