How to get a dashboard to Australia

gazzah

Member
Hi, the heat and humidity where we live in Perth Western Australia have caused a crack right across the top of the dashboard in my A2. When a repairer attempted to weld the plastic, as soon as the heat hit the plastic, more cracks appeared and basically the top of the binnacle in the centre of the dashboard is shot. While it looks like it should detach from the rest of the dash, the whole thing is one piece, and that is causing me some grief.

Mine is one of only 4 A2s in Australia, so there are no spares available here. There is a suitable replacement available secondhand for a reasonable price from Prestige Auto parts in the UK, what is unreasonable are the ludicrous prices I am being quoted for freight from the UK to WA.

The problem is at 15 KG it would be alright, but the measurements of 170 cm x 85 cm x 65 cm make it a very big parcel, and the quotes are anything from 900 to 1,900 pounds due to the 0.89 cubic metre volume.

Does anyone know of someone about to move from the UK to Australia and taking their household effects who might have some space in their container? Quite happy to slip a couple of hundred for any inconvenience. Failing that, can anyone advise of a freight forwarding company that accumulates articles into a container for cheaper shipping - I'm in no hurry, don't mind waiting if it has to come by sea
 

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dj_efk

A2OC Donor
I wish you luck with this endeavour - I just relocated from Singapore back to the UK with my work in September and had a third of a container free - so it does happen!
 

Proghound

Admin Team
Ouch, what a shame about that crack ... and on a rare Twist dashboard, too. I bet it would have happened even earlier on a black one. Presuming it's this one you've seen as a potential replacement?


Food for thought, I'm sure I have seen it on here before where someone has cut out the entire centre section from the dash and replaced it with another one cut from another dashboard. By no means an easier job, but it would mean a smaller and possibly affordable shipping volume.

Also I don't know if your dash is double- or single-DIN. If double, then it's possible to convert a single-DIN dash (or its centre section) to double-DIN by removing the "cage" from your one and trimming the inside of the aperture on the new one to accept it. There are how-to's on here about it.

Best of luck whichever way round.
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
This is becoming increasingly common in hot countries. I've seen 3 or 4 A2s that've suffered this damage in Italy. Unfortunately, the repair requires the whole dashboard to be removed, which in turn requires good knowledge of how the rest of the A2's interior is pieced together.

I don't know if your dash is double- or single-DIN.
Fortunately, it's a single-DIN dash. You can just about see the Concert II stereo. :)

I hope a financially feasible solution can be found.

Best wishes,

Tom
 

DJ 190

Member
I think that this could be sorted -out. This thread make for a useful read : https://www.a2oc.net/community/index.php?threads/broken-top-of-center-console.37697/post-331529 You'll see that I've been able to create a storage facility where the plastic rectangle is. There's quite a bit regarding this and photos on the Forum .... use the search key on the top and furthest right. So that would deal with quite a lot of the crack and the frame around the shallow storage tray would add strength. So then you'd have the lower cracked part to deal with. This is what I'd do : I'd cut a piece of aluminium (or plastic) plate to be the exact width of the air-vent system/new flap for the storage box. The height would be to end up short of the top flap and just above the air vents. If aluminium was used it would have to be curved. Plastic sheet would be flexible and would follow the curve of the dash. I'd put a nice bevel on each corner and also chamfer the edges. Now before fitting the panel the crack could be braced with short plates underneath the crack and pop-riveted. ( The heads of the pop-rivets would be hidden after the plate is fitted. To then fix it over the cracked area you'd need a powerful adhesive. I used "gorilla glue", recently. I think that the panel will look quite acceptable. You'd need to paint it to match.
Well that's what I'd be doing and I'd be starting on it right away! :) I just LOVE a challenge!

David
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
Again if going down the repair route, use the same filler that was used to repair the votex skirt recently on here from underneath. I would avoid using metal in Australia as it will heat up more than the plastic and could cause further damage. Sand top surface and fill any cracks. Once happy then primer the surface with a plastic compatible paint and while still damp scrumple up a thin polythene bag and dab that into the damp primer to reintroduce texture to the repair surface. Then apply top cote in the same ( hopefully ) colour as the dash. Or just ignore it and cover it up as the Americans do with a carpet material.:eek:

Here is the thread...

 

gazzah

Member
Ouch, what a shame about that crack ... and on a rare Twist dashboard, too. I bet it would have happened even earlier on a black one. Presuming it's this one you've seen as a potential replacement?


Food for thought, I'm sure I have seen it on here before where someone has cut out the entire centre section from the dash and replaced it with another one cut from another dashboard. By no means an easier job, but it would mean a smaller and possibly affordable shipping volume.

Also I don't know if your dash is double- or single-DIN. If double, then it's possible to convert a single-DIN dash (or its centre section) to double-DIN by removing the "cage" from your one and trimming the inside of the aperture on the new one to accept it. There are how-to's on here about it.

Best of luck whichever way round.
I asked the vendor about just cutting the centre section out, they said they had tried before and the plastic is so brittle it always does too much damage so they wouldn't entertain the idea
 

gazzah

Member
Maybe already thought of, but would it make more sense to ship a whole car at that price and get some much needed spares into the country?
A long time ago Australian authorities decided to stop the practice of importing cars to Australia by making the process so complex and expensive that the ordinary person just can't do it, so that's not an option
 

gazzah

Member
But I thought it was screwed on? So what will break?
No, the dashboard is all one piece, it really looks like it should just come apart, but it's all welded together. Just like the glovebox door. Probably done to stop squeaks and rattles developing over time
 

gazzah

Member
I think that this could be sorted -out. This thread make for a useful read : https://www.a2oc.net/community/index.php?threads/broken-top-of-center-console.37697/post-331529 You'll see that I've been able to create a storage facility where the plastic rectangle is. There's quite a bit regarding this and photos on the Forum .... use the search key on the top and furthest right. So that would deal with quite a lot of the crack and the frame around the shallow storage tray would add strength. So then you'd have the lower cracked part to deal with. This is what I'd do : I'd cut a piece of aluminium (or plastic) plate to be the exact width of the air-vent system/new flap for the storage box. The height would be to end up short of the top flap and just above the air vents. If aluminium was used it would have to be curved. Plastic sheet would be flexible and would follow the curve of the dash. I'd put a nice bevel on each corner and also chamfer the edges. Now before fitting the panel the crack could be braced with short plates underneath the crack and pop-riveted. ( The heads of the pop-rivets would be hidden after the plate is fitted. To then fix it over the cracked area you'd need a powerful adhesive. I used "gorilla glue", recently. I think that the panel will look quite acceptable. You'd need to paint it to match.
Well that's what I'd be doing and I'd be starting on it right away! :) I just LOVE a challenge!

David
I'm afraid my handyman skills aren't quite up to the professional finish that I would find acceptable for a fix like that. Shopping around various interior repair businesses, they always find a reason not to tackle the job - I had thought of getting a carbon fibre cap to cover the area but apparently it's too hard to get a mould insitu. I will follow up with the Polo dashtop tray, that may offer the best disguise
 

spike

Member
I asked the vendor about just cutting the centre section out, they said they had tried before and the plastic is so brittle it always does too much damage so they wouldn't entertain the idea

It probably would if using any sort of (hacksaw) blade but a Dremel with a cutting disc and lots of patience, it should be fine.

Perhaps someone on the Forum could do the cutting and ship the panel for you. There would be some risk involved but providing the helpful member did not incur any costs, it could work

Cheers Spike
 

gazzah

Member
It probably would if using any sort of (hacksaw) blade but a Dremel with a cutting disc and lots of patience, it should be fine.

Perhaps someone on the Forum could do the cutting and ship the panel for you. There would be some risk involved but providing the helpful member did not incur any costs, it could work

Cheers Spike
They do offer free delivery in the UK, and just shipping the centre bit would be much more affordable. If I were in the UK with my tools I'd have a go. How about it guys, does anyone know a member who'd be prepared to tackle the task of dismemberment on my behalf? I'd be more than happy to offer a modest stipend for their trouble.
 

genovese

Member
Hi Gazzah, i think this should be do-able on a seafreight service (consolidated or “LCL” as its known). If you PM me the details of where from in UK and where to in AU (postcodes), i am in the logistics industry and reckon i can help you. Port of arrival in AU would obviously be Fremantle. Does the package contain any wood at all ? (Hopefully it doesn’t). Cheers
 
I've always had good service from A8parts on Ebay. Make them an offer, they have accepted all mine. If you want an address in the UK, you can send it to me in Leeds and i'll forward. If you want a black dash @timmus will be changing mine soon so will have a spare which you can have.
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
Not sure Jess will be happy about that Tom
Hahaha!! You're absolutely right. She's about to lose me to Leighton Buzzard for almost a month and isn't best pleased about being "abandoned", so I can imagine she'd be incensed if I gallivanted off to Australia without her. :p
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
Hahaha!! You're absolutely right. She's about to lose me to Leighton Buzzard for almost a month and isn't best pleased about being "abandoned", so I can imagine she'd be incensed if I gallivanted off to Australia without her. :p
They won’t let you in either - I have Aussie friends in Singapore and even they are not allowed to enter the country at the moment without a very good reason such as losing the right to live in their host country (eg. because of work permit expiry etc.)
 
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