Cracking Dash

My '79 W123 300D is just beginning to show cracking on the dash. I know this is a chronic problem with cars of this vintage, but I have usually seen them with full, deep cracks. Is there any way to repair
these small cracks and prevent new ones?
Thanks to all responders.
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No and no..... vinyl shrinks with age and the sun. And forget about any kind of 'dressing' like Armoral etc. The vinyl is dead and not porous!
Buy a dash mat!

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Absolutely as Karl said... buy Dashmat instead...
godashmat.com is the best deal...
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I was afraid of this. I will start looking for a new dash. I had this happen on my 240D, and was able to find a brand new OEM dash--just can't remember where I bought it!
Thanks very much for the advice.
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wrote:

I have a 1982 300 TDT Mercedes and a 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS Coupe. I bought the Toyota new and the Mercedes from its original owner in 1993. I park in the shade when possible, and when I lived in Seattle I had my cars in a garage, but I have lived in the desert here in California since 1998, and I do not have a garage, but I do have a big mulberry tree that keeps my cars in the shade. I always use a sunshade, you know, those cloth things with a flexible frame that you prop inside the windshield when the car is parked if I am parking in the Sun.
I always keep the dash protected with a UV sunscreen product like ArmorAll or Mequars Vinly and Rubber Treatment. That stuff keeps your vinyl from drying out and it filters the UV part of the spectrum. As you probably know, the ultraviolet end of the light spectrum is the high energy end and it is those high energy rays that knock the molecules of your dash's vinyl apart and evaporate it, resulting in cracks.
Neither of my cars have any Sun caused cracks. I think it helps to do everything you can to keep the Sun off the plastic and those UV filter coating type products do that.
If your vinyl is already falling apart you could try and find a dash from a junkyard that is in good shape. Somebody probably smashed up a 300 that was kept in a garage in Seattle (where the Sun does not shine as much) and a salvage yard has that good dash sitting on a shelf inside somewhere.
I have an '89 4Runner too. I bought it on eBay a few years ago for $3500. The dash is like new because the original owner had a dash mat and I have left it on.
Here are some dash panels available right now:
1979 Dash Panel Mercedes 300 D CD/TD    BLACK     A    950402    $150    Sports and Imports USA- GA(Norcross) E-mail 1-800-831-8292
1980 Dash Panel Mercedes 300 D CD/TD    -          242805    $Call    A & M Auto Dismantler USA- CA(Stockton) E-mail 1-209-982-4146
1980 Dash Panel Mercedes 300 TD Station Wagon              AA0013    $Call    Tom Cat Auto Recycling LTD Can-BC(Victoria) E-mail 250-474-0253 / 888-866-6797 There's one from a cloudy location.
You can do a search yourself at car-part.com
http://car-part.com/index.htm
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I will do that--and in fact, your post stimulated my memory. I bought my last dash in Seattle at Benz Friends!
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