Wood/carbon fibre/aluminum trim dash kits

jackfactorjackfactor Member Posts: 25
Just wanted to put in the good word for Mike at
Joshua Tree. His site is www.woodtrim.com and I am
really happy with his service and the kit. I will
install it tomorrow and let you know how it went.
Looks pretty simple if you follow the directions
and take your time. I found some cheaper kits on
the web, but Mike's are really well made and come
with a guarantee. No laser marks or cheap flat
pieces. I think he can make a kit for just about
any make so check it out if you are interested. I
am not affiliated with their business - so this is
a genuine recommendation


  • jackfactorjackfactor Member Posts: 25
    It was easy but nerve racking. I suggest that if you do not have steady hands, to find someone who does. I read that if you have a ziebart in your town they will do it for a nominal cost. I did it myself and it really makes my luxury car look even more luxurious. Be careful, you only have one shot once the tape backing is removed. I followed the directions to a tee so don't take any shortcuts. Definitley worth the $200 I spent to do it!
  • md2002md2002 Member Posts: 142
    I recently had a local shop order me a wood kit for my 2000 4RUNNER. The company who makes it is Woodview. You can see them @ www.woodcorp.com

    I had them install it for me. Time just wasn't something I had alot of, plus I wasn't comfortable installing it (alot of parts). But the finished results are spectacular. It is not real wood, but it gets alot of comments from friends and the dealer who sold me my 4RUNNER.

    I went with English Burlwood for me tan interior.

    Good luck. I also did look at Joshua tree, but I wanted to have it installed for me.
  • ljuiiljuii Member Posts: 6
    I've been considering a kit on a Mustang Convert. w/ Parchment (Tan) interior. Anybody do a Mustang yet? Also, does anybody know who supplies "molded" kits? I've found plenty of flat kits, but not many molded.
  • geo21geo21 Member Posts: 4
    I am in the trim business and I'm not aware of any manufacturer that offers a "molded" kit for the Mustang.

    Keep in mind though, that even flat kits can be applied to some curved surfaces (within reason of course)if you carefully heat them prior to application. It is critical that the surface has been thoroughly cleaned (with alcohol) and that you use "adhesive promotor" to enchance the bonding.

    It takes some skill and care, but it can often be done.

  • rprimorprimo Member Posts: 1
    Just got my 2000 SR5 4Runner and would like to install a wood dash kit. I have come across many web sites and was hoping I could get some advice on which companies make a top of the line product.Email me if you like. [email protected]
  • geo21geo21 Member Posts: 4
    There are several of kits made for the 4Runner both in synthetic "Wood" (light or dark burl) or in real rosewood or walnut burl. There are also "factory match" kits available (should your 4Runner have some factory wood in it already), and carbon fiber for that high-tech look.

    If you'd like some more info, you are welcome to e-mail me at [email protected]

  • lmc18lmc18 Member Posts: 32
    I just bought a 2000 Infiniti G20t with some wood trim around the gear shift. I think it looks great and want to finish the rest with a match. I looked at the Joshua tree site and it seems they have it for a reasonable price. But I am concerned about installing it myslef. I am pretty careful with stuff like this but don't want to screw it up. How long does it take? Did all the pieces fit perfectly without a need to "force" them into place? Does anyone know the lifespan of the trim? Will really hot weather, high humidity or cold weather affect it?
  • nowayjosenowayjose Member Posts: 1
    Don't worry too much! The recent innovation of the glue is great! As long as you are not in the coldest climate, you'll do just fine.
    When you get the kit, make sure there is no scratch on any of the parts. Then inspect for dry fit. (Put all the parts where they go without removing the backing) They should fit perfectly, if not, a slight sandpaper should do a trick. (But do not sand the surface of the trim! Just the sides!)
    If applying on to the curved surface, lightly force it to meet that curve. (Don't over do it and crack the thin wood film) If that curve is so intense, a hair dryer blow will do the job.
    If you need to drill a hole for let's say a security LED, press the part against it so that it leaves a mark of that LED location, and drill the hole from the back side of the part, at slow rpm. Once everything is in place, (dry fitted)
    clean the surface with the included wet towel
    (alcohol) to clean the surface where the glue is going to attach VERY WELL! If you have any of the chemical stuff such as Armorall or something, it will either not stick and ruin the glue, or won't last as long... This is really important.
    Then remove only 1/3 of the backing from the piece and apply to the surface. Just a small amount of opening is fine. Once you fix the position, slide the rest of the backing slowly, and press and hold against the surface for a while until it seems to hold on to the surface on it's own. The piece applied to the curved surface, the longer you might want to press and hold. Repeat for all parts. I recommend the window tinting if it's not illegal in your area to keep the direct sun light off from them. Hot and humid shouldn't affect the parts as much as the direct sun light which could fade the plastic color...(Seen the back plastic window of Open cars? Yap, got the picture...)
    Overnight it at the cool place and you are done!
    The key is how well you clean the surface before applying the pieces.
  • lmc18lmc18 Member Posts: 32
    Thanks for all the advice. You sound like a pro. Do you do this for a living or something? Did you install some in your car? If so, where did you buy it from?
  • geo21geo21 Member Posts: 4
    nowayjose is absolutely right. The most critical part is to make sure that the surfaces that you are applying the kit to are completly clean and dry. A clean towel/cloth and rubbing alcohol will do it. If you ever had armorall or any similar products applied to the dash, clean it several times! While most quality kits should have UV inhibitors in the resin, window tint wouldn't hurt, but unless you are in severe sunlight most of the time, I wouldn't worry too much.

    Pieces to be applied to curved surfaces, are easier to apply if warm (hair dryer carefully not to overheat the piece), simply leave in the sun on the inside of the windshield for a few minutes, and they'll soften enough to "wrap" nicely to the surface being applied to. If the surface is "porous" like softer/padded plastic surfaces, you should utilize "adhesive promoter" (usually supplied with the kit)to ensure goof adhesion.

    Then just take you time and enjoy.
  • maximamaxima Member Posts: 19
    go to woodtrim.com and look at the real aluminum trim they look way better than woodtrim(well maybe wood looks better in a buick) but the demo pic of the maxima looks awsome!

  • djamiesondjamieson Member Posts: 8
    I just had the kit installed in my 2000 Avalon and am pleased with the results. I paid my local trim shop $40. bucks to do the job correctly and it was money well spent.

    Good luck with your choice.....
  • inkyinky Member Posts: 370
    What a price. Dealer wanted $550 for 12 piece Camry kit.
  • tomp4runnertomp4runner Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1998 4Runner with the Toyota installed wood grain dash, the top portions of it are all beginning to fade, has anyone experienced this problem, I suspect I must protect it from direct sun exposure, what a pain that will be.
  • inkyinky Member Posts: 370
    Do you use a window sun shade?
    Also have you added tint to your front windows. They have good uv block. If you do these two things you will do better. Does your car sit out all day? Out at home also?
  • tomp4runnertomp4runner Member Posts: 3
    I have not added tint and I do not use a sun shade, the truck sits at the train station all day, the dealer said they would replace under warranty, after that I will follow your advice, I stupidly assumed that the finish on the wood dash would have a UV block in it.
  • tomp4runnertomp4runner Member Posts: 3
  • inkyinky Member Posts: 370
    You are welcome. I always advise folks to use a simple reflector shade for long term parking. Heat is less, UV is reduced and plastics last longer. People think I am obsessive but then again my cars look pretty good and get top dollar at sale.
    I am waiting on my Joshua Tree dash to arrive. I assumed they were in Colorado and ordered UPS ground. Noticed on UPS scan that origin is San Diego. I hope this thing did not come from China.
  • inkyinky Member Posts: 370
    Just put in the kit for my Camry. 1/4th the price of Toyota kit and more pieces. Fits perfect and more pieces. The only way to go. Not for the timid installer. ONce on it stays folks.
    Looks great. Thanks to posters who told me about the site.
  • mike_542mike_542 Member Posts: 128
    This is regarding tomp4runner's wood trim questions (topic #15 of 22):

    inky's suggestions are great, but their is more to add. I reccomend using wood protectant products such as Lemon Pledge. It works great on my '00 and '01 BMW 540i and X5's factory wood trim.
  • tronsrtronsr Member Posts: 46
    Just installed my 26 piece med. Walnut burl Wood dash Kit in my 2001 Ford Escape. Purchased same from AAA Exotic Wood Dash thru E Bay for 110.00 plus 5.00 shipping.
    For those of you with "NO PATIENCE" forget it.It took me about 2 3/4 hours. You first have to apply lacquer thinner with a Q Tip or small cotton ball, then clean off with alcohol, then apply the prep, then apply the wood dash piece.You have to be very careful not to get any of the lacquer thinner or prep on any area other than for where it is intended.
    The final product looks great and it was worth it to me to do my own, as I do have patience for that type of detail, however; make sure you take your time and it must be in a warm area plus a blow dryer helps when applying the kit.Once you apply it, you can't slide it around to the proper area...It has to be right "the first time".
  • mmarcotte1mmarcotte1 Member Posts: 1
    If you are looking for something different, I just put a bronze dash kit in my wifes 2000 Sienna. It looks great with the taupe and black interior. Wood dash kits are nice for the older crowd but I like the metal and carbon finishes. Not many of the dash makers sell the bronze. I got mine from www.discountdash.com The price was better than any one the others I checked out.
  • joe166joe166 Member Posts: 401
    Thank you for your most informative post on wood dash kits. It was very interesting. I hope your communications with the dealers was more direct and intelligible. Perhaps that might explain their unwillingness to work with you.
  • coalcrackercoalcracker Member Posts: 53
    Somehow my last message on this subject did not get posted or it was removed. Perhaps a software glitch in applying the hew format. Here I go again. I own a 2000 Alero and am considering putting a wood dash, etc. on the car. However, the sites I have looked at have a host of differences and I am perplexed as to which is the best and what I should be concerned about. The sites I have looked at are www.salesco.com,www.woodtrim.com, www.customautotrim.com, and www.woodcorp.com, Can someone give me some guidance so I can have some confidence that I am making the right choice. Thank you.
  • 300michael300michael Member Posts: 1,815
    From what I have seen there are only a few makers of these kits, which are sold by a lot of different companies. Check out Ebay too. The kit I purchased from Custom Auto Trim was of good quality. I do wish that a few of the parts were a little larger. Went on easy and matched the factory wood look.
  • jackson43jackson43 Member Posts: 15
    I purchased a 15 piece kit from Exotic Wood Dash and Trim, but the pieces provided for the two rear doors didn't come close to fitting, so couldn't use them, and the passenger door control piece fit terrible, and looks terrible as a result. I called the company and basically was told "that is how we make them, and don't have any replacements". Bottom line, 12 out of 15 pieces worked well, but it cost me a lot for 12 good pieces.

  • shehzadshehzad Member Posts: 52
    anyone know a good place to buy a wood gearshift knob for a 1999 xj8? I really hate the plastic knob, but the dealers prices for the knobs are almost $200.00, which seems kind of steep.
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    That sounds about right considering that you have a real wood shifter. The split Nappa leather/burl walnut shifter on my vehicle had an MSRP of CDN$365.

    Try http://www.woodtrim.com for real wood gear shift knobs. They sell a generic shifter (your choice of burlwood, mahogany, or rosewood) for just under $96.

    Hope this helps!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • shehzadshehzad Member Posts: 52
    Thanks Drew, I emailed them and am just waiting for a response.
  • devoredevore Member Posts: 39
    I'm wondering if anyone has any experience removing a trim kit after it's been applied.

    I ordered a metallic dash trim kit to be installed with my new 2001 Civic. A day after I picked up the car, I realized that the installed trim (which is metallic with a "gold" hue) doesn't match the standard trim (which is metallic with a "silver" hue) around the stick, and on the door handles. So right now if I look at the inside of my car, I can see trim that's gold-hued, and trim that's silver-hued - yuck.

    Honda apparently has realized that people would make the mistake I did, and they are releasing a "sliver" hued dash trim kit. My dealer has offered to remove the old trim kit and install the new one for free.

    But is it possible to remove these things without damaging the dash? I'd rather have the silver trim kit, but not if the dealer has to damage the dash in any way to remove the gold one.

    I've looked at the installation instructions for the trim kits and both use an adhesive backing to apply the part.

    Thanks for any info!
  • joe166joe166 Member Posts: 401
    but it is also possible that it will damage the dash. It is stuck on with a heavy duty adhesive, but the ones I have seen are basically double sided tape (very good quality double sided tape) with some sort of foam or other padding between the adhesives to allow for some imperfections. If nothing else you can just rip off the trim and the adhesive backing will split at the padding. Then they will have to clean off the residue with some sort of solvent. That will almost certainly "damage" the dash, but since you are going to cover it again, why do you care. If you mean are they going to gouge the surrounding area while trying to pry off the trim, you better ask the dealer. They could replace your entire dashboard with a new one if they screwed up so if they say they can do it, let them.

    I just installed a "wood" kit on my car and really didn't like the looks of one particular piece which I thought was overkill. I just ripped it off and cleaned off the adhesive with alcohol, but this was only on about an hour before I had my epiphany. I expect that if it is on for several hours it will then be much harder, but not impossible.
  • devoredevore Member Posts: 39
    Yeah, like you said, I'm not so concerned with them using solvents to remove the adhesive. I'm more concerned about them using some kind of tool to "pry off" the old trim. I'm thinking doing a bunch of prying on the dash might lead to it vibrating or creaking, which I'd like to avoid since the car is brand new.

    I'll have to ask them exactly how they plan to remove it and how traumatic it would be. Thanks for the info.
  • lwittorflwittorf Member Posts: 96
    Yes you can remove it if they didn't use a solvent to score the dash where they put on the after market. use a hair fryer to heat the kits glue and gently pull it off the heat will soften the sticky so it comes off with out to much work. I would make sure of what they did for pep though so you won't run in to a surprise.
  • mdamesmdames Member Posts: 79
    Does anyone know of a company that can install the wood trim kits on cars in the Los Angeles area?

  • tronsr1tronsr1 Member Posts: 149
    Check your yellow or white pages. Most "detail" shops will install same for about $40.00.
  • deuce56deuce56 Member Posts: 46
    Can anyone point me in the direction of a "gold kit" distributor? I'm specifically looking for an "add-on" kit to supplement the factory kit that came on my '01 Olds Silhouette. Possibly the two plastic chrome grill pieces and the wheel hub cover (recessed Olds insignia). Can these be done at local aftermarket shops? Does anyone have any experience with having this done? Thanks in advance!
  • vtwatersvtwaters Member Posts: 24
    Does anyone know where I can get an wood automatic shift knob for my 2001 Jetta GLX. I've seen some Jettas w/ wood trim that had a wooden knob and some without it. Mine doesn't have it for some reason.
  • deuce56deuce56 Member Posts: 46
    I'm not sure you can get an aftermarket wood shift knob on an automatic. I've only seen them offered for manual trans. Try woodtrim.com and search back near the beginning of this topic for one other company that offers shift knobs.
  • jaki30jaki30 Member Posts: 73
    Getting ready to install a wood dash kit. What is the adhesive promoter
    that is supplied with the kit and is it really necessary? I figure I could get
    the double sided tape off, if I had to. But, I am not sure what the promoter
    will do to the car. Thanks.
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Member Posts: 149
    The solution that comes with the kit to be applied after the given area is cleaned with the alcohol pads to make sure the wood dash kit section will properly adhere to the area. It is not really necessary if the given area has no wax on it such as Armorall, Son of a Gun,Lexon, or whatever. If it is a "new car" and nothing has been applied to the dash area, such as the aforementioned, then usually the alcohol will do the job. When I did my kit, I used the adhesive promoter and applied it "sparingly with a Q Tip, but found out later {due to the fact it was a brand new vehicle and virgin to wax, etc., that I did not really need the promoter. It is a bit-- to apply if need be... and don't get any on any area other than where the dash kit will be as... it doesn't come off...be patient when applying the dash kit. It took me 2 and a half hours with the blow dryer.. and make sure the temperature is about 75 degrees or better so that the kit is "flexible". Hope this helps.
    DashKit NORT
  • jaki30jaki30 Member Posts: 73
    Thanks for the info. The car is one month old and nothing has been
    applied to the surfaces. I think I may try the flat surfaces w/o the
    promoter and see how much tension is on the curved surfaces. I
    took the day off tomorrow hoping to do it, but, the temp in Ct is
    only supposed to be in the low sixties. I was hoping for 70. I will
    have to play it by ear.
  • robh3robh3 Member Posts: 157
    For what it's worth, I checked out the Woodtrim.com site, and their prices seem much higher than others.

    I bought a wood kit a year ago from exoticwooddash.com for my '99 Caddy STS. I bought the 13 piece kit for $153.00, significantly less than the Woodtrim.com site.

    One thing, though, is that the woodtrim.com site offers more pieces, however, in my case I didn't want to go overboard with too much, I just wanted to add wood to the radio/HVAC controls and the cupholder door, linking the center floor mounted console with the dash wood trim in the center of the car. IMO, that is enough. Adding wood to the headlight switch surround and the glove compartment handle ruins the symmetry of the wood flow up from the console and then spreading right and left across the front of the dash.

    The woodtrim.com kit comes with pieces that cover the door handle/door lock button area, and lots of other little things in front and back. This is too much, and when applied around the door handles/lock buttons, the wood surface is not flush with the rest of the factory wood trim on the upper door panel. I've seen it and it ends up looking like a tacky add-on.

    Anyway, the quality of my kit is very good and the color matches very well...as good as I have seen anywhere for the Caddy's with the Zebrano wood.

    Just my 2 cents. It's another source to check out if nothing else.

  • jthornburgjthornburg Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a kit for my car that I finally liked after sending 2 back. edashkit.com has the highest quality materials and the guys sell at incredible prices. They were very helpful and the kit was so easy to install.

    Highly recommend.

  • sonatavasonatava Member Posts: 75
    For those interested, Wooddashfactory will send you a sample piece for $8.95, and autodash.com sells the sample boards from Florida Auto Trim for $15 each. I just received the board for real wood and another for the synthetic wood. Autodash will also send you two pieces for free.

    Question for those who've installed a dash kit, I noticed that the pieces from the Florida Auto Trim manufacturer look like a very thin piece of wood, with a lot of the expoxy resin on top of it, making it look like one of those raised soft plastic stickers they sometimes sell for kids.

    The surface seems kind of soft, and pushing a finger nail into it is easy, although it "heals itself" within seconds.

    Question: Are all the other manufacturer's trim made this way? I kinda like the OEM "feel" of real wood with lacquer, rather than the soft epoxy. The samples certainly look great, but the feeling just ain't there.
  • geo21geo21 Member Posts: 4
    No, there are a number of different epoxy's and resin coatings in use. Normally you'll find that synthetic kits seem a bit mushier.

    Having been in the re-styling business for many years, I can tell you that there are some significant differences between the manufacturers.

    There are about 100 manufacturers or so. Keep in mind though, that there are lots of web sites selling dash kits, many from the same manufacturers. Some of the big player are: B&I, Superior, Florida, Sherwood, New England, and Woodview.

    There are others of course but many of those are simply private labeled products from one of the above mentioned manufacturors.

    Florida's kits are known to a bit squishy. Yes the resin does heal itself, but can in some cases do a bit of creeping. The other thing to keep an eye on is the precision of the cuts themselves. Also, you want to make sure that the stuff is not too thick. Some of these kits have too much resin trying to obtain depth. This often will become yellow and milky in time when exposed to the sun.
    Therefore you want to make sure that the kit has UV inhibitors to reduce color changes in the kit.

    About adhesive promoter. If you live anywhere hot, use the promoter! If you are applying pieces to anything that is the slightest porous, use the promoter! If any of the pieces are applied to any curved surface (convex or concave) use the promoter! Catch my drift? The promoter should be used if supplied, especially around the corners where a piece is most likely to loose adhesion otherwise. But yes, be carefull in making sure that you only apply it where the pieces are going, as it can etch the surface permanently. Once installed, DO NOT use Armor-All or the like product on the dash. If you do, the kit will come off sooner or later. In addition, in some kits it will cause the lamitation top release and the kit will look terrible.

    It's worthwhile doing though, because it makes a big difference to the overall look of your vehicle. Take your time, pay attention, have fun and enjoy!

    If you need more info, you can contact me off list
    at [email protected]

  • maemarkmaemark Member Posts: 11
    I put a lot of pieces from and Exoticwood dash on my new Solara. After a couple months, I don't really like it. It is obviously fake, not wood like at all. I have seen photos of real wood trim pieces from Joshua Tree and they look so much better. I would switch if I could be assured removing the old kit will not leave me with a ruined surface. I did the installation myself, suing the promoter. Is there any way to remove the pieces without damaging the underlying surface? Some solvent to remove the "glue"? Does the promoter craze the plastic where it touches? I especially regret putting the pieces on the radio face, the climate controls and the coin box area. They look better in their original black with real wood trim surrounding the whole area.

    Any advice out there?
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Member Posts: 149
    You can probably use a blow dryer to remove same, however; I cannot help as to whether or not the promotor is easily removed???> Sorry.
  • enguyenenguyen Member Posts: 2
    This forum helped me a lot in selecting and purchasing my kit. So I figure the least I can do is to post on the infor I have regarding the wood kit I purchased and installed. I bought a combo kit (formed and flat pcs) from discountdash.com. It's made by Woodview (synthetic, burlwood). The price was very cheap, only $260 USD. The same kit was by other site listed for $300 or more. Got the pkg in a timely manner. Read all the instructions and an hour later I was done. Few comments: 1) the molded front passenger door trim piece was cut a little too big, showed a little too much of the stock rubber trim underneath around the pwr window button 2) the lower right hand corner of the molded dash piece (the largest pc of all) was a little short of material to cover the rubber material underneath 3) still on the same dash pc, the lower section (right above the steering column) about 2 inch of it didn't curve up high enough to fit properly. I had to jam some cardboard pieces underneath to push it up and had the hair blow dryer going for about 10 min to make sure it conformed to the shape of the dash at that area. 4) the included "adhesive promoter" was too little to be useful, I had to use a cotton tip to extract its chemical and rubbed it on the installation area. Had I used the little piece of material soaked w/ the adhesive promoter material directly there would only be enough of it to finish half of the kit.

    The rest of the kit fit fine. However according to the instruction given there was supposed to be a "dash spray" to be used on the formed pieces, I didn't see anything except for a small spray bottle of alcohol which I used to clean the installation areas with. Hopefully they didn't mislabeled the solution.

    Had it installed only 4 days ago, hopefully it will perform well under "severe weather" in southern calif :-)
  • thecardudethecardude Member Posts: 3

    I need your advice. I am looking for a wood dash trim for my new bimmer. Here are my questions

    1) Which dash company would you recommend?
    2) All dashes I have seen lack the 2 pieces for rear passenger door compartments and the front dash of the car, can i get em outside?
    3) Is there an aftermarket part from BMW?
    4) Once installed how do they come off?

    thanks guys
  • joe166joe166 Member Posts: 401
    I would look on a BMW site for advice on who has the best kit, but frankly, it looks to me like there are only one or two actual manufacturers and they are sold by several retailers. On the Lincoln LS owners site, they reccomend one particular dealer because they have given LS owners free shipping. Look for that kind of deal. As to your other questions, do a search and you will find that some kits are more complete, but I don't have the specific answer to your question on the particular pieces you mention. As to BWM, I seriously doubt that there is an "official" kit. Ask at a nearby dealership if they do the work and ask which kit they use. They may tell you. As to how they come off--with a lot of hard work. You probably shouldn't count on removing the kit. They do come off, but not easily and sometimes you are told to scratch up the surface being covered to increase adhesion. Even if you don't do that, the glue or solvent used to clean and prep the surface might well have damaged the underlying surface.
This discussion has been closed.