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Discussion Starter #1
The piano back trim on my FE is shiny and nice, but seems a bit spartan, compared with the higher-end cars I see around. I'm concerned that over time it will become less shiny and nice, show scratches, and start to look a bit worn, and maybe even look a tad cheap.

I like the idea of custom wood dash trim, (within reason - not every surface covered, but a few more obvious areas), but I've never bought any of them after market. Are they any good? Do they last? Anybody here install one in your FE? Can you post pictures? Any links to a vendor selling really nice ones? I'm talking about this sort of thing: 2015 Ford Escape Custom Dash Kits - CARiD.com

I'm curious to know your thoughts. Is it worth the money, or does that also start to look worn and cheap? What do you think? :)

Dave
 

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Many years ago I 'installed' a burlwood dash kit on a classic Chevy with very good results - great fit, finish, and durable. I would expect current 'peel-n-stick' dash kits to be even better, so I would say 'go for it!' Post pics when you get it done!
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Hi Dave,

I too have had an interest in doing this. Although I think the FE dash has much flair in design, especially the flowing 'center' stack, I wonder how it would look with a nice wood or metallic 'veneer'? I'm big fan of real wood (particularly burl patterns) in high end cars (Rolls-Royce, Maserati etc) and I'm always impressed when dark woods are mixed with unique leather, piped seats etc.

Since you have a Titanium, I'd think you already have the platform for achieving a very upscale look when completed. Would really like to know what you decide upon? This seems like a very affordable upgrade for the potential result :)

BB
 

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Thanks for the comments, guys. I've spent a fair amount of time today searching around online, trying to find the best options for this sort of thing. It seems the CARiD folks offer the three most common brands, but the detail info looks like a couple of those are the same product, just being sold under a different name.

So following the link I posted at the top of this thread, I think I've found what would work well for me, my taste, and budget. The Basic Dash Kit from Remin seems it'd have enough wood treatment pieces to suit me, and at a realistic price. The Full Dash kit is twice the money, nearly twice the number of pieces, but seems like overkill to me. Trim and treatment is one thing, but I'm not interested in covering the interior with shiny wood-like parts. ;)

As to color, the African Zebra synthetic wood seems like it'd be the best choice to go with the silver and black parts on the dash. I want warmth, but not too much contrast. I'm going for an upscale classy look, not a shocking, tricked-out glam look. The Remin installation instructions explain that 3D parts (those that bend in more than one direction) can't be molded with real wood, so synthetics or metals have to be used. The African Zebra fits that requirement. What do you think of the color? It's less than $250 for the kit, so not a lot of money, but I wish they offered a sampler package with pieces of the various wood types in it, so I could test it in my car to make sure I ordered the one I like best.

Still interested in opinions of anyone who has installed one of this brand, and especially in an Escape. Anybody out there know firsthand about these kits?

Dave
 

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Hi Dave,

I'll second your preference for the African Zebrawood for the Escape! This is a more conservative, straight-grained wood reminiscent of what Mercedes-Benz used in the 1970s to 1990s. I think it would complement the Escapes mix of metallics and straight/angular lines within the interior. Also fully agree on some of these kits being overkill in terms of number of pieces - I think there is a tipping balance between what looks OEM and intended and what looks like an afterthought, at least in my opinion ;)

I have never installed one of these kits before. I know they become very popular in the late 1990s but would guess they have improved in finish, accuracy of fit etc. I actually work with Co2 lasers which is how I assume these kits are being manufactured? Maybe I have a new business opportunity, hahahah!


BB
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Dave,

I'll second your preference for the African Zebrawood for the Escape! This is a more conservative, straight-grained wood reminiscent of what Mercedes-Benz used in the 1970s to 1990s. I think it would complement the Escapes mix of metallics and straight/angular lines within the interior. Also fully agree on some of these kits being overkill in terms of number of pieces - I think there is a tipping balance between what looks OEM and intended and what looks like an afterthought, at least in my opinion ;)

I have never installed one of these kits before. I know they become very popular in the late 1990s but would guess they have improved in finish, accuracy of fit etc. I actually work with Co2 lasers which is how I assume these kits are being manufactured? Maybe I have a new business opportunity, hahahah!


BB

Hi BB,

Maybe this would be a chance for you to to try something new. :) My car history includes a number of BMWs, which used wood trim in various finishes. The ones that looked best to my eye were those where the wood wasn't greatly different than the upholstery colors. My last BMW had black seats, a dark grey dash, and a medium-toned bamboo wood inlay. I didn't care for it all that much, because it seemed, as you put it, "like an afterthought."

The look I'm after is understated but nice. I want it to be where someone sits in the Escape, looks around, nods, and says, "Wow! Nice car!." I don't want the amount of tech gadgetry to overwhelm the looks, and I think a woodgrain treatment would bring things up a notch. The piano black used may have been a deliberate design idea, but on its face it says "Ford used black plastic here." It's almost too subtle a design, and seems like it won't age well.

Above all, I want the overall vehicle to feel as nice as it looks. The exterior mods I've done include the lift gate spoiler and front/rear splashguard mudflaps. Nothing over the top, but collectively they add a nice step forward to the lines the car has. This dash kit would do just enough, I think, for the interior.

I think I'll ask the CARiD people if it's possible to get samples of the wood finishes they offer. Maybe some scrap pieces they won't need, as a way to check how the colors work, and what looks best. I can't be the first person to wonder about this sort of thing. And I don't want to buy something like this, get it home, and decide I don't care for the color after all. Decisions, decisions... ;)

Dave
 

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Be sure to let us know the details when you get them! Especially interested in the thickness and how well the edges are finished...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Be sure to let us know the details when you get them! Especially interested in the thickness and how well the edges are finished...

I will. I'm also concerned about a light colored edge making it look like something's been added - like a bad toupee. ;)

One of the sites I read mentioned the edges of their product were finished darker, to cover up that very thing. So we'll see. I figure if nothing else, before installing the pieces, I could go along the edge with a black magic marker or something. I'd hope for the money they charge, that I wouldn't have to do that. We'll see how it goes.

Dave
 

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FWIW I've seen the B&I brand dash kits in both F150 and F350 trucks owned by friends that were several years after installation of the kits. I've also seen another unknown (not B&I) brand in an identical F-150. The B&I looked pretty darned good, the unknown brand had definite fit and finish issues that made it look very 'cheesy'.

I'd have the B&I for my own vehicle but would not have the other.

B&I All Product Search Engine

Just saying there do seem to be definite differences in quality among what's on the market, so take care. I think the B&I brand is available from various vendors on the internet, but I'd take great care to ensure it is 'genuine' if I were shopping.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's been a few months since I started this thread, but I wanted to revive it and show you guys what I've been up to.

I ended up buying the Remin Basic Dash Kit from CARiD. I chose Real Rosewood as the finish I wanted. After getting samples of all the real and synthetic wood types, that was the choice I liked best. Customer service was excellent, shipping was fairly quick, and I've been sitting on this kit for a few months waiting for the weather to warm up enough so I could start the install. It's been pretty cold and wet around here.

Tired of waiting, the other day I fired up a hair dryer to warm the pieces and the dash section, and I used a 3M "Promoter Pen" to make things stick better. After using alcohol wipes to completely clean the surfaces, I attached a few pieces, to see whether I would like the results.

I have to say, that after installing just these few pieces, the results are excellent! I am very pleased with the results so far, and I'll be continuing with the project. There are many more pieces than I will install, because as I said previously, I am more interested in accent, not covering the entire dash with wood-like parts. I think installing everything would be serious overkill.

I'm attaching two images. (More will follow, as I get things done. This is a longer term project, and one I don't want to rush.) These are images of the dash before I started, and the dash after installing just five pieces. You be the judge.

Dave
 

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It really add some panache to the dash. I like!
 

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Nice!
 

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Dash kits can look great, but doing too much can make the interior look cheap. Don't over do the amount of area covered. Also, ask for a sample of the material. Some are cheaper than others and the clear coat is short lived.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dash kits can look great, but doing too much can make the interior look cheap. Don't over do the amount of area covered. Also, ask for a sample of the material. Some are cheaper than others and the clear coat is short lived.

That's exactly why I said I don't plan to install everything they sent me. Some is good, too much is overkill. :)

Dave
 

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Reviving an old post on dash kits as I too would like to enhance the look inside but my issue is mainly the plastic crown on the dash over the CD drive. The remainder looks acceptable with the soft touch plastic although I may evaluate brushed aluminum for some of the other areas. What I would think would look good is a leather covering for the CD crown. Has anyone worked with leather in these areas or added in other areas of the interior? Mine is a 2017 Titanium with black leather interior. Just purchased last month to replace a 2015 Colorado that was rear ended and totaled.

Bob
 
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