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Securing Acrylic Dash Panel

Old 09-15-2020, 10:12 AM
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Default Securing Acrylic Dash Panel

I had an acrylic dash panel installed when I upgraded my electronics. It appears my installer only used silicone to secure it as 2 months later the panel is coming off. I need to secure it with some fasteners but have never worked with acrylic before. I would like to place some screws from the back through the fiberglass into the panel if possible.

Has anyone done this before and can offer any pointers? I know acrylic can crack easily.

Any input is appreciated.

Thank You
Old 09-15-2020, 10:23 AM
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What’s the thickness of the panel?
Old 09-15-2020, 11:41 AM
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You could bond it with something stronger. What are you bonding to? Mine is held in with 5200 after roughing up the back with 40 grit - it's solid as a rock. If your installer just used a sealant rather than an adhesive then that's definitely a problem, but don't give up on bonding because of that - I hate seeing fasteners!
Old 09-15-2020, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Onebadlarry View Post
What’s the thickness of the panel?
I have to double check but I think either 3/8 or 1/2 inch.
Old 09-15-2020, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ukadrianj View Post
You could bond it with something stronger. What are you bonding to? Mine is held in with 5200 after roughing up the back with 40 grit - it's solid as a rock. If your installer just used a sealant rather than an adhesive then that's definitely a problem, but don't give up on bonding because of that - I hate seeing fasteners!
It is bonded to the console underneath. I agree I would prefer not to see fasteners, that's why i thought about putting screws in from the back.

I was just looking at 4000 or 4200 to try. It looks like he may have just used clear silicone.

I appreciate the replies.
Old 09-15-2020, 12:13 PM
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Here is a pic if it helps



Old 09-15-2020, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by GSB_Contender View Post
It is bonded to the console underneath. I agree I would prefer not to see fasteners, that's why i thought about putting screws in from the back.

I was just looking at 4000 or 4200 to try. It looks like he may have just used clear silicone.

I appreciate the replies.
I used 5200 for the main bond, but not right to the edge since it yellows. To seal the edges I used 4000 after the 5200 had cured. With your thickness you could potentially screw, but I'm not sure that would even be as strong since you won't have many turns of thread in there (and yes: cracking is an issue). Have a go at bonding it and see if that works - I don't think mine is ever coming out of there! You can flame oxidize the back of the acrylic for extra credit.
Old 09-15-2020, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ukadrianj View Post
I used 5200 for the main bond, but not right to the edge since it yellows. To seal the edges I used 4000 after the 5200 had cured. With your thickness you could potentially screw, but I'm not sure that would even be as strong since you won't have many turns of thread in there (and yes: cracking is an issue). Have a go at bonding it and see if that works - I don't think mine is ever coming out of there! You can flame oxidize the back of the acrylic for extra credit.
I just bought 3M 4000. If this does not hold I can go up to 5200. I know that would def hold it, but like you said its pretty permanent.

That is a good point on the screws, I did not think of that. I will try the adhesive before I try screws.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:13 PM
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4000 should be plenty strong enough. Just rough it up thoroughly, clean well with acetone, flame for extra credit and bond over the entire available area. Acetones disappears the 4000 from the acrylic if you get a bit jiggy with it.
Old 09-15-2020, 04:13 PM
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I did not remove the whole panel as the right side was still somewhat attached and I did not want to get involved with disconnecting all the units.

I removed the visor on the top of the console so I had more access. I placed some shims under the panel and I was able to get a thick bead almost all the way around plus some from the inside of the console in the middle. I went extra heavy along the top and corners. Hopefully it will at least get me through the rest of the season and I can redo over the winter if I need to.

It def looked like the installer only used clear silicone. It is amazing how shady these people are.

I appreciate the help.
Old 09-16-2020, 03:43 AM
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The acrylic can be drilled and tapped, just don’t punch through. Bolts will hold tight enough to allow the sealant to dry. If you attempt to use screws, you’re likely going to crack the acrylic.
Old 09-16-2020, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
The acrylic can be drilled and tapped, just don’t punch through. Bolts will hold tight enough to allow the sealant to dry. If you attempt to use screws, you’re likely going to crack the acrylic.
That is good to know. If I need to I will attempt this over the winter. My other option would be to order another panel with the bolts and then just move the electronics over. It seems like there are a few vendors on here that make panels.

I appreciate the help.
Old 09-16-2020, 06:17 AM
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1/2 acrylic with 1/4 SS studs works and will not crack if you tap it first. Use 4000 or 4200 for sealing.
Old 09-16-2020, 10:00 AM
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Buy weld mount fasteners and bond them to the back of acrylic then drill holes in the dash and mount it right. That's how it is done from most factory installations. Seal with 4000UV.

Weld Mount - Adhesive Fastening System

Weld Mount - Marine Applications
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by davepjr71 View Post
Buy weld mount fasteners and bond them to the back of acrylic then drill holes in the dash and mount it right. That's how it is done from most factory installations. Seal with 4000UV.

Weld Mount - Adhesive Fastening System

Weld Mount - Marine Applications
Thanks. I will check these out. Maybe fix it over the winter although it sounds like the 4000 might be enough.
Old 09-22-2020, 12:44 AM
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Drill and tap the back of the panel, screw these in with an Allan wrench and washer and nut from the back side. This is how my acrylic panel was set up from boat outfitters from the prior owner when he had one made.
Old 09-28-2020, 06:14 PM
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Weld mounts are your safest bet. You could drill and tap but risk fracture/dimples
Old 09-28-2020, 06:33 PM
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I would use sikaflex 291, u will never have a problem with it coming off. This stuff will hold the weight of 300hp outboard with all the bolts removed.

https://aus.sika.com/en/36913/marine...aflex-291.html
Old 09-29-2020, 04:28 AM
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Wouldn’t you want to use something that would allow you to remove it without destroying the panel ? It seems you would never get it off in one piece with 5200.

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