Welcome to ZRoadster.org - BMW Z1 Z4 Z8 Z3 Forum and Technical Database

If you want to join in with the discussion, and see the areas which are available only to members then sign up now!

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

leather look cover over dash hood

Discussion in 'The Beauty Parlour' started by pina4greg, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. pina4greg

    pina4greg Dedicated Member
    Australian Zeds

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Model of Z:
    2000 z3 2.0 litre, 5 speed manual
    guys,
    i have noticed where the instrument cover is in front of the steering wheel there is a leather cover over it and also on the airbag on the passenger side dashboard . Is this how it comes from the factory or has the previous owner put one there? mine seems to have shrunk with the heat here in australia. can that piece be removed and the cover refitted? 20140927_170445.jpg 20140927_170510.jpg 20140927_170445.jpg
     
  2. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
    Supporter Australian Zeds

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    762
    Trophy Points:
    157
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania Australia
    Model of Z:
    3.0i 2001
    it is sun damaged. There was an option I think called 'extended leather' and looks like you have it. You can replace the whole IPanel like i did [the previous owner had the same issue and tried to pull it off and ended up breaking the shell cover! You can get a professional motor trimmer to replace the leather for you as well. Hope this helps.
     
  3. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
    Dutch Zeds The M44 Massive

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    20,779
    Likes Received:
    6,064
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Netherlands
    The Problem

    My car is a 98 2.8 with a tanin red, extended leather interior. Car has been garaged and does not excessively sit in the sun. Many tanin red, extended leather owners have mentioned peeling. (see pic) Most common is the passenger side airbag cover and instrument panel bezel. The leather shrinks and peels from the edges. Other difficulties are the glue lifting and creating bubbles.

    New Parts

    New parts are $$$. Whole dash is approximately $2700
    driver's side, complete instrument panel section-$1000
    passenger side, complete section-$1000
    passenger side airbag cover-$300

    Repair Procedures

    Repair involves removing the whole dashboard which includes removing console, all switches, radio, heater, airbag, steering wheel, instrument panel assembly, turn signal and wiper stalks, lower dashboard, then the whole dashboard! At that point, you either replace the parts with new ones or take off the damaged part from the main dashboard and have it recovered in new leather. In most cases, the leather cannot be "restretched".

    Leather Replacement

    The first step is to find a competent repair shop. I chose a restoration shop with a full time upholsterer. I discussed the project and decided to take my dash apart and bring the instrument panel bezel to be reupholstered. I cannot imagine how expensive it would be having to pay for labor to take dash apart, do the repair and then reinstall dash.

    I had two choices for leather:

    have the shop supply the leather and match the color-approximate cost was $100

    buy half a hide from BMW for $330 (see pic)

    this is what I did. I would also have extra leather for the future. It took calls to three dealers before I could find a piece from Germany. I was told there were 12 rolls left. Be diligent when ordering these unusual parts and find a competent parts department who will work with you. (thanks to Real OEM for preliminary research). Shipping took 3 weeks. The piece I received was approximately 8' by 3'. The upholsterer took 2 1/2 hours to do the repair and charged $178.

    Instrument Panel Bezel Removal

    Once the dash is out, turn it over and remove some plastic brackets, driver's side defroster vent and plastic vent tubes to gain access to the driver's side instrument panel assembly. Once removed, the curved top panel must be separated from the black plastic oval section that holds the actual instruments. Because I had no directions at this point, I chose to remove the black oval section, along with the curved leather top, as one unit. The black oval piece is held in with some plastic tabs that are melted over a slot. (see pics) I ground them off and separated the two pieces from the main, curved dash section. Next, the curved leather top can be removed. Ther are 3 tabs with screws and speed nuts, however, once removed the top was still attached at the front, lower corners. Something was holding them on the black plastic oval piece. After many attempts, I managed to unsnap the cover. There is a large tab with a small projection on it on the underside of the leather cover. (see pic) This snaps into a slot with a hole on the black plastic oval part. It takes a lot of force to pull them apart. I never did find an easy way to do this and it makes an awful noise when it comes apart, like plastic breaking, but the tabs are thick and appear to be rugged. Now all three pieces were apart. (see pic) You can see how much the leather has shrunk by the underside picture. The black curved edge was where the leather was originally attached. (see pic)

    Reassembly

    Reassembly is straight forward. Snap on the top and attach the three screws. Fit the top and black oval part into the tabs that were previously melted. Once fitted, I had to use some glue to keep them together because the tab extensions were now level with the slot. There are also some other screws that secure a different area of this assembly to the oval section of the dash. Next, secure the total driver's section to the main dash, put back the brackets and vents and begin reinstallation of the whole dash.

    Notes

    When trying to separate the leather top from the black oval plastic piece, there may be a different method the would not involve grinding off the melted tabs. (I have not tried this, but thought it may be possible once I got things fully apart) The leather top is secured with three screw and speednuts at the back, but still held on by the two snap tabs at the front. It may be possible to separate the top by just pulling up? Be cautious and proceed at your own risk. This way will not give as much access because the black oval section is still attached to the main driver's section. This limited access may pose other problems?

    While the dash is out, replace heater and dash bulbs.

    The top of the dash is atttached to the body with 3 screws covered with round plastic covers. These are difficult to remove. They are held in place with 3 tabs. The best way to remove them is to use a thin plastic pry tool or a thick credit card cut to a taper and try to pry it under the cover starting at the edge away from the windshield (the edge closest to the driver). Be careful when prying these because you don't want to gouge the plastic on your main dash. Don't use metal. If all else fails (and I had to use this with one cover) just "sacrifice" the cover by poking a hole in the middle (not easily done, but doable) and then just pry it up. Covers are $5, scratches and gouges in the dash are forever. Once removed, the bolts are obvious, but you need a stubby rachet set up because of the angle of the dash to the windshield, there is not much height. Once removed, the nuts have a very small brass spacer on them. Be careful when removing.

    Removing the console and dash takes some research, especially when disconnectiong the electrical connectors. Lots of good articles. I used this one for the console. http://www.368s.com/review.phtml?ArticleID=107

    In the end, I spent $500 and I have more leather left. Removing the console and dashboard is a medium level project. Get good info, take pictures, make notes and go slow. In the end, you save hundreds in labor and gain confidence and satisfication for a job well done.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


     
  4. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
    Dutch Zeds The M44 Massive

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    20,779
    Likes Received:
    6,064
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Netherlands
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. pina4greg

    pina4greg Dedicated Member
    Australian Zeds

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Model of Z:
    2000 z3 2.0 litre, 5 speed manual
    boy, what a project...lucky mine is black like the dashboard....not as obvious...will do my research and thanks heaps for your info...

    greg
     
  6. handsomejackuk

    handsomejackuk Zorg Guru (II)
    Australian Zeds The M44 Massive

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    813
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    t
    I keep putting off doing mine but since the winter is appraching i think i am going to have a look at it...i sure i did see someone had took the dash out and hung weights on the leather to get some slack in it... i would prefer to keep the original if possible....

    whats the hardest part of this removal ?

    i have already taken off the steering wheel and the instrument binnacle i have taken out to replace some lamps the headlight switch looks easy i can see screw caps for the lower dash sections that need to be pried off just want to analyse it in sections first rather than whip it all out any advice gratrefully accepted