Having a cracked dashboard to us car guys is a big problem. I’ve been driving around with my Ford Probe’s dash all cracked and damaged from the heat and sun in Arizona.
Before the car came in to my hands it was neglected by its previous owners and I have been wanting to attack the cracks and just redo the whole thing so it has a nice brand new finish. I also wanted to get rid of the texturing it has like most dashes. The texture is what me and my friends call “nutsack” texture. Hahaha. I know, it’s funny but it’s what we call it.
I’ve owned the car for awhile now, about five years and although it runs fine and strong, I have only put about 1,000 miles on it a year. Usually because I have several other cars so the Probe was more of a weekend car. I recently started to focus on the interior. Previously I just worried about the engine. At 149k miles I rebuilt the engine from the bottom up and we put performance parts in to replace the weaker stock internals as well as did some mild porting and milling to the head. Bunch of other stuff but I recently started to actually focus on the dashboard and interior.
The headliner is totally shot. The material is coming off the headliner board and started to hang down. Occasionally I get the piece of material falling down and hitting me in the head. I’ve been driving the car daily now so it’s starting to get real annoying. I want to replace the whole thing with a nice new bright blue material as well to match my interior panels that I started doing in the same color. After I looked at it more I decided to tackle the cracked dashboard first.
I started out by reading a lot of tips and watching YouTube videos on how to fill in the cracks. As you can see from the pics the dash was heavily cracked. Almost to the point beyond repair, some might still say that but a new dash for a 1993 Ford Probe is hard to come by. After reading several articles on how to fill the cracks in I chose to fill in the cracks at first with some polyurethane flexible foam like material. This was just to fill the cracks in so my next material had something to cling to. After this dried, I mildly sanded the area and then put some bondo on top. I then sanded with some 100 grit sandpaper a little to make the area a little smoother.
After this I still noticed some higher spots and decided to use some spot glaze putty. This stuff worked pretty good but I still wasn’t satisfied so I ended up realizing that no matter what material I use, I am going to have to put it on the whole dash because there is going to be several higher spots from the filler.
Right now the car is sitting in my driveway with the passenger side cracks filled about halfway and the driver’s side cracks with just the polyurethane filler.
The plan is to cover the whole dash in some fiberglass resin or some bondo and then sand until it’s all smooth and uniform. Then I will paint it to match the rest of my custom interior I am working on.
The seats are pretty shot too but the next steps after the dash is done, is going to be to get some racing seats put in the front and then get matching carpet and headliner fabric. The back seats are going to have to be done by an auto interior professional and I found a few spots out here in Arizona that can get it done for about $400 so that’s not too bad.
I already have brand new door panels to paint and replace the old flimsy sun damaged ones and the rear panels were already painted a different blue but since we are changing to a brighter blue color they will have to be redone.
Some people might say that it’s a waste to do this to a 93 Ford Probe but the thing about these cars is they are hardly seen on the road and there is a nice small community of owners online in several Facebook pages and forums. They provide some good useful advice and we all share the same passion for these cars.
Customizing any car is a fun thing and being that this car is rare, it just makes it that much more sentimental.
Stay tuned as I post some more progress on the Project Probe. It’s a fun project and I hope you enjoy following.