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Author Topic: Hydro Dipping  (Read 1118 times)

Mike Shumack

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Hydro Dipping
« on: April 17, 2018, 12:55:21 AM »
I thought I would share my latest project.
I removed all the dash panels and had them "Hydro Dipped". http://www.hydrodip.com/solutions/automotive/
I had 7 panels done in Burlwood to match the color of the cabinet inlays. It cost $300 (prices depend on local shop rates).

Here's a look at the before and after. I think it looks much better than the factory grey. Really freshens up the old girl.
EDIT - added side panel photo...
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 03:56:27 PM by Mike Shumack »
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 42ft, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH
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Paul Meehan

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 12:59:17 AM »
Turned out looking nice!  Thanks for sharing to process and pictures!
Paul and Peggy
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Doug Allman

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2018, 01:26:34 PM »
Mike,
Where do you go to find this type service and what exactly is it.
You are very correct, it does look much better.
A further note would be that wish we could do it but Entegra uses what auto is now doing, plastic looking like wood. Another owner of an Entegra and I this winter are going to replicate the plastic with wood and replace all front cap plastic with wood inlays for our instrument panels and dash areas.
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 02:44:58 PM »
Doug,
All the coaches (I know of) use plastic for the dash panels. The appearance of the panels (wood-like or metal-like) is just different depending on the finish chosen by the coach manufacturer.

Hydo-Dipping (hydrographics printing) is described here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrographics_(printing)
What is interesting is how tough this stuff is. The guy that did my panels said most of his work is doing firearms (gun stocks, pistol grips, etc.). Those surfaces take a lot more abuse than a dash panel.

My first post has a link to a company that sells the equipment and films. You can Google the term and find businesses in your area that do this kind of work. However, after seeing the process done on YouTube, I probably could have bought the film and done this at home myself for a third the price. All it takes is a large enough water tub to fit the panels and the film and release agent. Then once the panels are dry they are sprayed with clear coat (gloss in my case).
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 02:48:03 PM by Mike Shumack »
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 42ft, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH

Doug Biesinger

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2018, 09:59:35 PM »
Hey Mike...

Nice job...looks great.  Question on the dash, I notice on some of my dash where speed/tach etc...panels move/are loose.  I have not seen an easy way to get that secured/tightened up...so since you have had your dash apart...is there a good way to go about taking dash apart and if I am missing any fasteners / hardware...where would I find the parts.

Doug B
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400 HP C9
2006 Patriot 400 HP C9

Mike Shumack

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 11:44:54 PM »
Doug,
the dash panel is held in with flat head machine screws (sort of like the machine screw show below but with a flatter head, more like a washer, and no screwdriver slot in head). These machine screws are glued to the backside of dash. They are used to hold gauges, warning light array, turn signal array, etc., and panel to dash opening.

I had a bunch that had come unglued. Fortunately most were still in place, just not glued to dash panel. I don't know where you could buy these if needed, but not too hard to make. I made one from a large flat head machine screw and then ground the head thinner/flatter on my bench grinder.  Each location where a bolt goes has a shallow machined recess, so it's easy to put them back in the correct spot. I used two-part epoxy to reglue them.

If you have the same three panel dash setup like my '05, you can get to the nuts for the center panel by removing the top dash access panel and from the under side. Once the center panel is out, the side panels can be done through the center opening. There is a plenty of excess wiring to allow you to pull the center panel out and lay it on a towel on the steering column to access the back side. However you may need to cut a few wire ties if you want to pull the dash panel without without unplugging anything.

I found a picture (attached) showing the dash panels removed and the amount of excess wire you have to work with. In your case you probably won't need to remove the panels completely. But if you do there are harness connectors you can separate at. I needed to strip the panels completely for the Hydro-Dipping so I had to unplug wires from every gauge and switch.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 12:26:44 AM by Mike Shumack »
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 42ft, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2018, 01:41:18 AM »
I had several of those little bolts come off the back of the dash too.  These were the bolts that held the Silverleaf screen in place.  That glue or epoxy used by the manufacturer just doesn't hold up to too much pulling when removing the dash panel from its attached position.  I tried epoxy to re-attach them but gave up when some wouldn't hold and came off again.  I then went to Ace hardware and bought several screws with very small heads of the same thread size that looked good (with dark brown finished heads), drilled holes through the dash panel and used the same nuts from the glued-on bolts to attach the Silverleaf in place.  I've never had a problem since.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 01:53:59 AM by David T. Richelderfer »
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Guy Pryor

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 02:30:17 PM »
When I win the lottery this is the dashboard I am going to have installed. But for now I will just have to deal with the analog gauges and the Aladdin system. http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/node/281
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 04:17:24 PM by Guy Pryor »
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 04:22:42 PM »
Yeah - that "Glass Dash" is nice.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 42ft, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH

Rick Kirchner

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Re: Hydro Dipping
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 11:43:53 PM »
The plastic on all of my panels has cracked in a few places.  During my upcoming re-furbishment, I'm going to scan the existing panels and have new ones water jet cut from Jabroc.  Jabroc is the material used for he bottom of F-1 cars and Indy Cars.  The 4mm thick stuff is something like 16 layers of beechwood veneer glued with resin and cured under very high pressure.  It's pricy, but the sided floors on my race car are made from Jabroc and they've been on there for 17 seasons now.  Not quite as pretty as the treatment above, but good enough for me. 

https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/2018/108.pdf
http://www.permalideho.co.uk/jabroc_motorsport.asp

The other thing I'm going to do with Jabroc is make a splitter for the front of the coach.  Splitters are very effective at producing downforce from big, blunt, vertical objects.  that should alleviate even more f the "short coach syndrome".

http://www.formula1-dictionary.net/splitter.html

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