This is the fifth post in our Rally 101 series.
It goes without saying that being able to see is critical to driving a race car. We want to keep the windshield clean and minimize glare. “Flocking” is a process of gluing tiny fibers to the top of the dashboard, which drastically reduces it’s ability to reflect the sun back onto the glass. It also looks very awesome when done well, so this process one of the things we get a lot of questions about. Assuming your dashboard is out of the car, the process is cheap and easy to do. Since it is nearly impossible to fix your mistakes, however, here are some tips to make your first try a success.
- Acquire a flocking kit from flockit.com (also known as Donjer). I use the Suede-Tex NYLON Mini Flocker Kit #745. It’s cheap and comes with enough material to do exactly one dash (assuming you reclaim the fibers that miss the first time). Despite what you may read you don’t need any fancy equipment, the Pringles can looking applicator works just fine
- Read the instructions. Everything below are strictly unofficial tips
- Remove or mask anything you don’t want flocked or covered in fibers. Subaru dashboards have vents attached underneath, which I removed because I prefer not to inhale nylon. This should be obvious, but do not try to do this with the dashboard still installed in your car
- Do a quick sanding to open up any hard surfaces
- Find a good spot to do this, keeping the following in mind -
* Good lighting is key. You’ll want to be able to see any sheen from the glue.
* You will make a huge mess - everything in a 12 foot radius will be covered in fibers.
* Don’t do it outside - wind will blow your fibers away and grass, dirt, and bugs will stick to your work.
* You will want to let the dash sit for a while after you do the application, so don’t do it in a place where you will immediately have to move it.
- Put the dashboard into a big box or onto a piece of cardboard. This will make it easier to reclaim the loose fibers, so you can re-apply them where they need to go. It will also protect the floor from the glue you will drip/spill
- Wear protection. Gloves to keep the glue off of your hands and a respirator/mask to keep the fibers out of your lungs
- Working one piece at a time, liberally apply the glue. Some tips for this step -
* Do it as quickly as possible. You want to glue to be wet when you apply the fibers
* Apply as much glue as you can without having it drip.
* The kit comes with way more of it than you need so don’t need to worry about conserving it.
- Immediately after applying the glue, apply the fibers. Simply stick a bunch of fibers in the applicator and spray them onto the dash. Some tips for this step -
* Be quick - you want the glue to be as wet as possible.
* Apply very liberally. You really can’t spray too many fibers, so apply in as thick of a layer as you have fibers for, and the excess will fall off. At minimum nothing should be shiny (this is where good lighting is important)
* Collect the excess fibers around your dash, stick them back into the applicator, and re-apply. Repeat as many times as possible.
* Pay special attention to the areas on the sides of the dash - they are easy to miss.
* You can move it around, but be careful not to touch the surface
- Leave it alone. Follow the instructions in the kit, but I usually let mine dry for at least 48 hours before touching it
- Once it’s fully cured, shake off the excess fibers. I recommend vacuuming or using compressed air to remove anything you may end up inhaling once the dash is back in your car.
Tachyon Racing is comprised of a Michigan- based driver Dmitriy Martynov and co-driver Molly Disend blasting their way through the motorsports scene. Dmitriy is a veteran driver who enjoys rallyX, autoX, and ice racing in addition to dirt biking and motorcycling. His passion and competitive drive lured Molly to join him in both TSD and stage rallies. Stay tuned for updates as we develop our team, build a rally car, and post occasional pictures of our lovable rally dog, Gogi. https://www.facebook.com/TachyonMotorsp…