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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For years, I've been reading about that gooey rubberized coating on NB dashes and inner door handles, but I never gave it much thought until my 2000 suffered this fate. Granted, the fact that my teen daughter took that Beetle over a while ago and greatly accelerated this process didn't help matters.

At any rate, right then and there, I saw for myself how awful those interiors look once that coating begins to go south. In the meantime, my daughter has trashed the car in many other ways on the exterior as well, so much so that I'll probably just let her take it over as is, because it would cost thousands of dollars to bring it back to my standards. For the money it would cost to bring that 2000 back to an acceptable appearance, I could buy another whole NB. I have a 2010, but I'd want a 2nd Beetle so I can alternate them, you know?

As such, I was hoping that the 06-10 models did away with that coating, especially after another Orger said as much. But.... I got the official word from VW: They didn't. From 1998 all the way up to 2010, that rubberized coating is there. The 2012+ models did eliminate it, but a used 12+ won't come down to 5-6K for many years to come. So...that leaves me with getting an earlier NB. I'm thinking ahead here by assuming that even if I found one with still good-looking coating, it will eventually look like my 2000 does on the inside. So, I've tried to contact shops to see what they would charge to remove the dash pieces , sand off that crap, respray them in flat black, and reinstall them, and nobody does that! :(

Yes, there are how-to threads right here on the Org, but with my lack of mechanical aptitude, I wouldn't know the first thing about how to do this myself, and wouldn't dream of attempting it. It just looks WAY too complicated....

So.... once I get a 2nd Beetle for myself, it would appear that I'd have just 2 choices:

A)Buy a new dash from VW which would cost at least $2K with parts & labor every several years, OR

B) Take a road trip to one of you Orgers that know how to do the above and pray you wouldn't charge me what a dealership would for a new dash.

The question I have is this: Will every NB from 98-10 really suffer the peeling, scratching, gooey dashboards, or is there a way to prevent this before it happens?
 

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Well, I think it comes down to the problem is "there" and what are you going to do about it? If it drives you nuts; then deal with it, if you are ok with it... leave it as is. Another option; go to a junk yard and get all the parts you need; then prep, paint or remove the gooey stuff at your leisure. Then install the stuff yourself or have someone else do it for you. That way; your car isn't disabled and you can drive it around; while you work on fixing up your interior.

There is no point; driving a car around that you can't stand the way it is, when you can economically fix the problem and be happy with it! Whats the point of having a car; if you can't enjoy driving it and how you interact with on a daily basis?

When it comes to cost effectiveness of things on older vehicles; you have to decide to spend the dough to have others do things for you or save a ton of dough and do it yourself!

What I think; you are "over thinking", is your inability to work on your own car, repair/replace/redo things. It just takes time patience, some money and just go do it. If you have more time then money; do it yourself, if you have more money then time/desire pay someone else to do it for you! :) I

If all the parts were removed or you got used parts from a junk yard; I'm sure any body shop would paint them for you or you could paint them yourself.

Your username is "Pushing Fifty"; don't you think it is about time, to learn something new and get out of your comfort zone and "fix it yourself"? It is very satisfying to fix and repair your own vehicle, you have a sense of accomplishment, power and you save yourself allot of dough in the process!

We are all here to support one another; redoing your interior is probably one of the easier things to do! Come on; get out there and do it! We are all rooting for you! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I pay the pros to do everything to my Beetles. I don't even know how to change a spark plug.........I tried painting many years ago on other cars I had and the results were so disastrous that I ended up taking them to the body shop to undo my screw-ups, anyway. I'm just not a DIYer in any way, shape, or form. :p

In fact, several years back, I remember applying for a job at a plant that canned baked beans. In order to be considered for a 2nd interview , we had to take a mechanical aptitude test and have a score of at least 70 out of 100. I'm not making this up, but my score was 2! :eek: That's an exclamation point, not a score of 21, but 2.

With that said, I have hope, for I killed some time today and looked closely at 3 old NBs on lots from the early 2000s, and 2 of the 3 still had nice dashboards, so maybe this only happens to some Beetles........
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This thread is only a couple of days old, so this probably isn't really a bump, but I want keep it alive via a different
approach:

The fact is now that I've now seen several older NBs from the late 90s/early 00s, and about half of them have the dreaded dash issues with the rubber coating and half still look good.

So...is it perhaps a matter of preventative maintenance, i.e., cleaning them with the right stuff and never putting things atop them or spilling beverages (like my daughter's Starbucks coffee :rolleyes:) so that crap doesn't break down in the first place?

I've heard bad things about Armor-All or anything that contains silicone, but I see there are lots of non-silicone dash cleaners out there. Could that be the key?
 

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squirreljuice
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Possibly. Armor All does leave such a nice shine on it though. My beetle is 12 years old and the coatings haven't turned into goop yet, and I use Armor All. I have no idea what the PO used, but she put a lot of scratches all over the dash. I've managed to hide/cover up most of them with my speakers and dash gauge pod, but they are still there :/

However, its far easier to just take them out, strip them, and paint them. That way, you just need to wipe them down with a wet rag and forget about it. If you take your time and go REALLY slow with a LOT of wet sanding (I'm talking wet sanding after every coat with like 600 grit, and then final sanding all the way up to like 2000 before clear coat, and then that starts over), you can achieve a really great looking piece that looks professionally painted with spray paint. Thats just for a gloss though. If you go with a matte then you don't have to worry as much about the heavy sanding. I got a really deep blue on my dash with rattle cans doing it that way. However, the clear apparently wasn't dry and now I have dust stuck in the clear. I need to wet sand that out and reclear it, I just haven't gotten around to it. While I was painting, I just drove around without the dash in the car. Sure it looked ugly, but the end result was great. I drove around to work and stuff, and then I came home and worked on my dash.
 

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To be honest your just going to have to get over the scratched up soft touch dashes if you don't want to fix it yourself. It's unavoidable in these older Beetles, Jettas, and Passats. I'm not trying to be rude, so please don't take it that way. Also it's really easy to take out and paint the most common scatched up pieces, you just need a interior pry tool, which you can get in a set of 4 for 5 bucks at your local Harbor Freight, a pack if SOS pads. And a few hours of time, we'd be happy to help guide you through removing any pieces. Also there is a lot more things to worry about and be looking over on a used car then just silky cosemetic things. The 2.0, while not as peppy as the turbo model is the most reliable usually. When shopping, you should have a trusted mechanic look it over, not the dealer they will lie to you. If you buy one with around 70-120,000 miles and it hasn't had it done yet. Have the timing belt, tensioner, water pump, outter camshaft seal, and accessory belt all replaced. Save you a lot of time and money down the road.
 

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Cheeeto's Daddy
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My Solution

When I had Der Stuka I chose to go the "Can't see it from my house" route.

I chose to get a form fitted carpet and laid that on the dash. It was a silver gray so it matched the car's exterior. It was form fitted/cut so it matched all the AC vents and do hickeys on the dash. It also covered all the wires I ran to every goofy electronic toy I had mounted in him like the RADAR detector, GPS, fluxgate compass, etc.

It dropped the inside temp considerably. (I live in Florida) and all I had to do was pull it out and vacuum it after taking it to the beach.

So, No serious labor, everyone commented on how great it looked, hid all my wires, knocked down the glare compared to shiny plastic, and cost under $60.00.

A bunch of companies make them.

The guy who bought Der Stuka from the dealership liked the idea so much he now has it.

Chuckie
 

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T.O.D.7 Will U be there?
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I'm not a dude.
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I agree with what someone said above, you are definitely over thinking it! Hit some salvage yards, pick up spare pieces and practice on them. (Or bring them to Talimena and I'll show you)

Work on those pieces in your spare time. That's how I learned what worked and what didn't. No pressure either, since they were dirt cheap and it didn't matter if you messed them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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I'm not a dude.
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Cheeeto's Daddy
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The answer is clear to me

Astroturf!

Cheap, easy to buy at Home Depot and easy to cut. When you are tired of it throw it out and cut something else to put up there!

Fake Polar Bear fur, indoor outdoor carpet, pull the dash out, spray it with aerosol glue and then pour beach sand over it! You could have your own personal beach with you!

Just do what YOU like. Remember, it's your canvas, paint it the way you want to. I think the "Chia Dash" would be a great way to go!

Chuckie
 
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