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Old 09-22-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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broken faceplate

I have spent hours reading all the mods and repairs and I can hardly wait to start on the ones I need to do. We have a '99 Tropical with a few issues (that's what happens when you buy used, I guess). The faceplate on the right side of the console is broken (cracked, see picture) and I want to take it off and somehow support it from the back side. I was thinking to gorilla glue a "splint". How will I get it off since it has all the toggle switches.......
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:07 AM   #4
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Looks like the radio has at least contributed to the failure. Perhaps its not supported properly in the dash thus letting it hang or bounce.

Once you have the trim/faceplate removed maybe the cause will be obvious.

Doesn't look like there is much room on the sides for splints. Depends on how far the dash extends in to the opening.

Have you thought about just replacing the face plate once you correct the cause? After all you will have gone to al the trouble to remove it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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IMO the radio sticks out too far so when tightened the plate cracked. I would replace it being sure to correct the radio mounting (or shim the trim plate out). There are lots of sources for blanks for custom plates. you have the original for cutouts. trace and cut. Takes time but not hard.--just go slow and careful with trial fitting.

The new plate may not match perfectly so you might want an intentional difference.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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I would bet there is a place for a support bracket on the back of the radio and the bracket is missing or unattached. Add the bracket before you repair or replace the dash panel or it will break again.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdennislee View Post
Looks like the radio has at least contributed to the failure. Perhaps its not supported properly in the dash thus letting it hang or bounce.

Once you have the trim/faceplate removed maybe the cause will be obvious.

Doesn't look like there is much room on the sides for splints. Depends on how far the dash extends in to the opening.

Have you thought about just replacing the face plate once you correct the cause? After all you will have gone to al the trouble to remove it.
Yes, I have considered that but I am wondering how to get those toggle switches out. Any ideas?
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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Yes, I have considered that but I am wondering how to get those toggle switches out. Any ideas?
switches of that design typically have a clip part on the ends of the black trim ring part. if you pull the plate off and look at the back of the switches you should see a tab you can push in to release the switch from the hole. Because of this tab you will need to be careful of the thickness of a replacement panel, if you choose that route.

Here is an image of one design. Details vary but most are similar.

Google Images
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #9
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IMO the radio sticks out too far so when tightened the plate cracked. I would replace it being sure to correct the radio mounting (or shim the trim plate out). There are lots of sources for blanks for custom plates. you have the original for cutouts. trace and cut. Takes time but not hard.--just go slow and careful with trial fitting.

The new plate may not match perfectly so you might want an intentional difference.
I agree that is what happened. I sure would like to use this piece so it does match but if that fails, where would I start looking for blanks?
I can hardly wait to get started on the projects I have in mind for this coach! I want to remove one side of the dinette and use a chair for my side and figure out what the H... that horrible squeak is in the overhead cabinets. This forum is so helpful!


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Old 09-23-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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Acrylic/lexan will probably be too brittle and too thick. I would start googling for places, then calling, that customize car interiors for 'hot rods.' Maybe some custom auto sound shops. In your photo it looks like some sort of carbon-fiber sheet (probably with a backing since carbon fiber panels can be brittle too). Unless you want to lay the fiber yourself (!!!) start there. I will call a friend of mine later today and see if he knows a source for blank pre-laid panels.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Business-Ind...p3286.c0.m1538

http://compositeenvisions.com/rigid-...iber-panels-1/

If it is not a carbon fiber panel you might try a pre-impregnated fiberglass panel. I wiuld start at custom auto builders in your area. They may have some extra they will sell you too.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:24 PM   #11
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There is a salvage yard in Arizona, I don't recall the name, but they may have a replacement part for your year and make of MH!
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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I would bet there is a place for a support bracket on the back of the radio and the bracket is missing or unattached. Add the bracket before you repair or replace the dash panel or it will break again.
This is exactly the problem. However, there is no place under the dash to hang the support strap from. Anyone have any ideas about that?
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #13
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There are screws around the outside of that section of panel. If removed, that whole section should come out intact - including the switches. My guess is this is the reason the back of the radio isn't supported - there's no way to do that allowing the section of the panel to be removable?

Many times you can get to the back of a panel like this from one side or the other by removing something else? For instance, this area on my HR very easily accessed by the removal of the dash mounted TV in the center of the dash. The speedo cluster may be another option? If you can access that way, once repairs are made to the panel, it could be reinstalled, then the back of the radio supported properly?

That type of panel is back lit. It's a white plastic with a black painted finish on the front allowing the descriptions/locations of the rocker/other switches to be easily seen in the dark when the lights are turned on. You'll see what I'm talking about when/if you take it out. For that reason I would try to repair/reinforce it from the back like you were thinking as well.

Congrats, and best of luck!
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