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Thread: Delaminating Leather Dashboard

  1. #1
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Delaminating Leather Dashboard

    I've just discovered a four inch long delamination bubble on the black leather dashboard about two inches from the windshield. I've got 13,000 miles on the clock, and always use a BMW windshield sun reflector if the car is outside (but not while driving). Any other cases or stories?

  2. #2
    Yes, this happened on two of my cars, my original EU spec car 77715 and the 'beater' 60678, both of which are long gone. I've heard of others having this issue too, and BMW have so far been very good at taking care of it for original owners.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
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    Sun and leather mixed with German adhesive. Out of warranty and not the original owner. On my own? I checked with my upholstery shop and he stated it's common on Ferraris. Checked the service manuals and it's 4.5 hours to R and R the dash. Everything removed except the steering column The pad screws from studs extending into the top half of the dash panel frame so all the face trim and guages must be removed. Mine has delaminated considerably to actually have character. So I'll leave it age gracefully, for now.

  4. #4
    The only other solution is maybe a hypodermic syringe with some super-glue?
    Maybe one of our esteemed medical experts has some thoughts on a possibly useful set of tools and glues that could work for such a simple bit of plastic surgery?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    I just recently did almost exactly that with some interior covering on my Mini Cooper. I passed the needle where it had to go, but really had difficulty controlling the character of the glue. Fortunately, the repair spot was out of the way, but it did leave an satisfactory bulk effect.

    Perhaps, someone at your local BMW dealer can help with this. Their M5's also had full leather dashboards with build dates starting in 2000, also.

  6. #6
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    It seems to pose the age old question of leaving it alone or dissassemble the entire dash to correct it and possibly cause something else even worse like a scratch, squeek, or rattle. I'd expect this on a 1968 Camaro, or maybe even a Ferrari, but not on my garaged hand made BMW beauty.
    I'm inclined to try the injected glue, but will let the dealer have a look first.

  7. #7
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    I have the same problem, and BMW quote me $4000 to change the top of the dash. Don't know yet what to do.
    Kind regards.
    Stephane

  8. #8
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forstephan View Post
    I have the same problem, and BMW quote me $4000 to change the top of the dash. Don't know yet what to do.
    Kind regards.
    Stephane
    4000 dollars ? What are they covering it with ? Gold ? Do I understand it correctly that if you are able to completely remove the cover (I guess if the glue vanished on one part it is assumeable that the bonding at the other part is not too strong either?) one can use the same part of leather again ? So what we have is 'a few hours' of labour and some 'superior' glue ?

  9. #9
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    They are changing the whole top of the dash. The leather does not look good anymore.
    I'm waiting to find an other way, but want to have it done perfectly.
    Any suggestion?
    Thank you.
    Kind regards.
    Stephane

  10. #10
    I doubt very much that this is a re-glue. I'd be almost certain that if your BMW dealer does the job it is a case or remove and replace the entire dash panel, and $4,000 is about what I'd expect for that.

    One of the ironies of silicon impregnated leather is that it resists everything that you get on it, including leather food and conditioners!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11

    Leather Dash replacement

    The list price of the leather dash pad is $978.00. I talked with my techs who have done them and they all said its a 12 to 14 hour job. At my labor rate that would be $2240.00 for a 14 hour job. Its hard to quote a Z8 repair like this as BMW does not publish any flat rate times for Z8's.

    Dana Caldwell
    Service & Parts Director
    Peter Pan BMW
    [email protected]

  12. #12
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    So is this a rare and unusual occurrance or the tip of another iceberg?

  13. #13

    Leather dashboards

    This is the first one I've heard of. My techs have removed dashboards for other reasons. I did not mean to imply we were replacing dashboards for the leather failure issue.

    Dana

  14. #14
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    thegunguy

  15. #15
    So is this a rare and unusual occurrance or the tip of another iceberg?
    More of an ice cube than a full on iceberg!
    It is one of those odd things that I've heard of and seen a few times. Like the plastic seat backs, soft-top strings and glove compartment latches, it seems to be a Z8 thing that can happen, but happily it seems quite a rare occurrence so far.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  16. #16
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    Gunguy's solution seems like it should protect the dash panel from any direct sunlight, but could it generate even more heat under the dash protector and against the leather causing even further glue failure? I'd hate BMWNA directing blame on the aftermarket panel if it gets worse. Dana, thanks for clarifying your entry- my mind imagined you doing dozens of leather failure replacements.

  17. #17
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    I have never done this before but if you have a bubble separation (as opposed to the leather being separated from the edge) and you intend on reglueing it by injecting some adhesive, I would suggest inserting a small bore needle on the other side of the bubble to vent the air as you inject the adhesive and leave it in place as you roll out the bubble. I would also imagine that with regard to the adhesive, the "less is more" philosophy is preferred too.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  18. #18
    My thought exactly, given the ideal I'd have two hypodermics and two people - one drawing the air and glue out, the other pumping the glue in. I'd also suggest a very liquid glue, like most superglues, would be the right one to put in the hypodermic syringe.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  19. #19
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Two people would be great to get the uniform amount of adhesive.

    BUT.... I would think it best to drink the beer afterward!
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  20. #20
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    I'm trying to think of a low viscosity syringable glue like a cyanoacrylate, but one that dries slower to allow for smoothing out the bubble. Sometimes the crazy glue sets a little too quickly and can grab wrong, leaving a permanent wrinkle. I'd need more than a beer if there were a permanent wrinkle or fold left behind.

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    What glue to use? Does anyone know what substrate the leather is attached to, and if there is layer of fabric the leather was bonded to prior to attaching to the dash substrate?

  22. #22
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Smile Dashboard leather

    My car is also having this problem. I spoke with the guy who does all of my interior work and he told me using a syringe with glue will only make it look worse. He said to remember that the old glue, which he said lets go due to heat, is still there and he has tried this approach with usually poor results. He said it is better to leave it alone rather than try this approach. A new piece from BMW is fine, but he said it too will eventually "let go" unless they have changed the type of glue originally used. He indicated the only permanent fix is to recover the piece in the original type leather using glues available that will no let go due to heat. So, the question now is, can you just buy the leather from BMW?

  23. #23
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I could be wrong, but I don't see BMW getting into the raw materials business and selling leather. You can find the part numbers for the upper dash are available via RealOEM if you want to order them from the BMW parts counter.
    thegunguy

  24. #24
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    You might want to talk to Andy Maddux at Leather Z.

    http://www.leatherz.com/

    Leather Z got started making leather covered components for Z3s and has moved into leather products for all BMWs. If anyone would know how to repair the dash, it would be Andy.

  25. #25
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    Porsche's are known for this as well. Many of us are turning to 3rd party leather shops to recover many of our interior pieces. My father (who is shopping for a Z8) is considering new seat covers and various other interior pieces.

    Here are the web sites of two well known and respected shops 928 owners are using. I have alredy spoken with Rob Budd and Paul Champagne about a Z8 project.
    http://www.designpaulchampagne.com/928.html

    http://www.928leathershop.com

    It sounds like removing the 928 dash is almost as involved as the Z8 dash.

  26. #26
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Add me to the delamination list. If anyone comes up with a viable solution please let me know.

    Dave P

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    While having my windshield replaced, I noticed that I also have delamination. I will likely leave it as is for now given the likelihood of recurrence.

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    Smile

    I have the same problem in my Z8 120000 km (75000 miles)
    My Z1 has not the problem, the car is older and has droven more (180000 km.)
    Z8Ros
    Greetings from the Netherlands

  29. #29
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    dash

    Just got my Z8 back from the dealer with a brand new dash on it.
    I had 16000 miles on it.
    I'm very happy.
    Kind regards.
    Stephane

  30. #30
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I just called my local dealer who put in my performance package. The price for the part is $978, which they will discount down to $770, but they are quoting 18 hours of labor to put it in. At over $140 an hour, do the math. With parts, labor, and tax, it is around $3,500 with no guarantee the new piece won't do the exact same thing in the future. I think I am going to leave well enough alone. It is really only visible from certain angles and in different lighting conditions, so I will learn to live with it.

  31. #31
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lupin's Avatar
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    18

    18 hours looks ridicolous!
    I have paid around $ 1800 all included less than 8 months ago and mine was charging $160 /hr
    I suggest you check with another dealer
    best
    Luigi

  32. #32
    Unfortunately there are no published labor times from BMW for repair operations on Z8's. For engine repairs we can look at M5's and charge accordingly, but on most other repairs we have to go on experience. If the dealer has not done one before, then he has to make as educated a guess as possible. More than likely the estimate will err to the side of being high. $1800.00 for the complete job less the cost of the dash @ $978.00 leaves $822.00 for labor which equals 5.1 hours to do the job @ $160.00 per hour. Personally I would not take the job at that price and I'd bet the dealer that did it at that price won't do it again at that rate. I don't believe in "gouging" my customers, but the price does have to make sense. Its true that if you shop around you will most likely find a better price. However, if the price is too good to be true, I would definitely be suspicious.

    Dana Caldwell
    Service & parts Director
    Peter Pan BMW

  33. #33
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just tried to have my dash replaced and the holes that variuos pieces of the dash reattach to are too big and the parts will not go back in properly. A second dash came in today and the mechanic said only one of the holes was the correct size so this dash too will not work. Apparently the holes are cut into the supporting sturcture of the piece by hand and someone in Germany has ruined alot of dashes. There are currently 12 to 16 more dashes on their way from Germany so I think BMW is aware of this problem. Just a heads up to those of you who are thinking of replacing the dashes on your car to make sure the holes on the new piece are the correct size before they take your car apart to replace it.

  34. #34
    Could you possibly ask your guys to let us know the right and wrong diameters please.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  35. #35
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I went and saw for myself exactly what the problem is. There are three square openings on the inner structure of the new dash piece which is where the painted plastic piece of the dashboard is supposed to snap back into. This is the small piece located directly in front of the driver. On my old dash, these openings measures just over 8mm. On the new dash installed in my car, the openings measured 12mm, meaning that the dash piece cannot snap back into place tightly. I emailed Andrew three pictures of the proper openings on my old dash which he said he will post here later. MAKE SURE if you get a new dash that before they even start to take apart your old dash to measure the new one for proper fit. There are currently 16 new dashes on their way here from Germany, so my mechanic believes the ones that were here were a bad batch. I will keep everyone posted as soon as the next batch of them get here.
     

  36. #36
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    So here is where it stands now. All of the dashes currently in the US have one or more of these openings cut too big. Thanks to the quick response by Bill Stuart at BMW NA, a Field Service Engineer went to the dealer that is fixing my car to try and come up with a solution with the technition who is working on my car. The end result is that there are clips made by BMW that are designed for a 7 series that happen to fix this problem with very minor modifications. Once these clips are installed, I have been assured that the painted dash pieces will snap firmly back into place and will not squeak or rattle. Since the mechanic is naturally leaving today for vacation, I have scheduled my car back in on the 27th of this month. I will post again once I get it back and put a few miles on it to give you my impressions.

  37. #37
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    $4,000.00 seems rather a high price to pay for a dash replacement! I am in the medical field and would approach the problem first with the glue method and determine after several days if the glue works. we use super glue in brain surgery to control bleeding so by that mentioned I for certain would try to keep my $4,000.00

  38. #38
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    One of the problems I can see with using super glue, or any other adhesive is that at least one of the surfaces to be bonded still has the failed adhesive on it. Unless you find a way of cleaning it off of the surface(s) to which it is still attached, you will not be able to affect a bond any stronger than the one that already failed. Second is the issue of why a bubble formed - most likely, air was trapped under the leather, or BMW used a glue that released a vapor when it cured. Unless you get rid of the air/vapor forming the bubble, it will just migrate to another location and form a bubble there. Of course, you will have to find an adhesive that does not generate a gaseous product when it dries/cures -- this would probably eliminate cyanoacrylates, as they us alcohols in their solvent system which must evaporate as part or the curing process. Cyanoacrylates have a further drawback inthat they require a very narrow range of moisture to be present in order to initiate the polymerization process by which they effect a bond.

    Perhaps what might work best is to heat the area, while using a hypodermic needle to draw off the air in the bubble. The heat will serve two purposes -- first, it might reacitvate the adhesive already present, and second, it will expand the air trapped under the leather, allowing more of it to be removed.

  39. #39
    Three people, two syringes, one drawing the air & glue, one pushing glue, and a thumb to roll the air & glue to the drawing end of the bubble.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  40. #40
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    That could be a bit crowded

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Three people, two syringes, one drawing the air & glue, one pushing glue, and a thumb to roll the air & glue to the drawing end of the bubble.
    Things could get just a bit crowded with the dash left in place.

  41. #41
    Well trained leprechauns can be handy in confined spaces.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  42. #42
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    0037 dash

    Great post, Has anyone tried just heating the dashboard up and laying flat weights on it to get the glue to reapply itself?

    Just found this problem with my car. I guess after 9 years even a garage kept car will break down the dash with the heat. But due to the post, I think I will live with the 'character' marks for now, until it looks like a 1970 Mach 1 dash board will I even consider this task, as the BMW dealers in MD definately do not have any experience with Z8's, and I don't feel like paying for BMW NA mechanics to learn.

    I think BMW NA should be a little more supportative of the mechanics program to prevent Z8 owner's from paying for their training. That is why we go to the dealer in the first place for maintenance.

    Glue option - I am one thumb short and my wife will not go near this car, more less will she apply a needle to the leather - so that makes me two bodies short. Not too many volunteers when it comes to working on this car.
    Zed0037

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  43. #43
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    Update, I did a little research on parts and labor and from BMW I have found that the dash is a $1300 part, currently 3 available in the US, and labor is $1200. So to replace the dashboard would be about $2500 for parts and labor. This is from a BMW dealership, so this cost should be across the board.
    Zed0037

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    Hobby car 2009 Z4, dual exhaust, 19" M3 wheels

  44. #44
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    My brother is in the Auto trim business and he was able to re-glue the dash however the windshield needed to be re-moved.

    Lawrence Auto Trim / Marine on Lincoln Ave in Chicago. 773 935-9930

  45. #45
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Oh no.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Krautster View Post
    My brother is in the Auto trim business and he was able to re-glue the dash however the windshield needed to be re-moved.

    Lawrence Auto Trim / Marine on Lincoln Ave in Chicago. 773 935-9930
    I seriously hope you followed BMW's technical manual when you pulled and reinstalled the windshield. There is a VERY specific procedure needed to avoid cracking in the future due to it's intimate relationship with the frame. Trust me, it is not as simple as straight forward as you would think and would be wise to read the posts on this board regarding that if you did not before. Hope all goes well!!
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  46. #46
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    I am on windshield #3. I don't recall a thread regarding installation procedure and could not find one with a search either. My 3rd went in last spring and so far so good. Used an independent who picked up the windshield for much less than I could from BMW and installed it on my driveway.

  47. #47
    Z8 Madness
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    I just replaced my windshield. I dropped off the car last Thursday and picked it up the following Monday. The work was done at Irvine BMW and cost $1,600+tax to be exact. The key is to give the glue plenty of time to cure while the car sits on level ground. They even have an instrument to measure how well the glue has set.
    62050 - Z8

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    Delaminating Dashboard

    I am the original owner of my 2002 Z8. Am I to understand that BMW may fix the dash for an original owner?

    I Squared

  49. #49
    Happily I haven't had this issue, so not sure if that is the case or not, you would need to talk to Bill Stuart at BMW NA to discuss that, his number is 201-263-8210.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.