China trip report, the visit of a dashboard and plastic injection factory

In China its Monday morning when we leave, let’s fuel up for a 300km road trip north of Shanghai, cool country where pretty girls fuel up your car…:)

Parking lots do look the same everywhere, the only difference is I can’t understand anything from the billboards…..:)

The price of the gas for those who are interested… it’s in RMB, for you to figure out…:)

First factory today is the factory where they make dashboards. It’s not a secret I’m looking for over 10 years for a good dashboard manufacturing plant that can make the dashboard old fashioned like it should, with a steel “bone” connected through foam to the vinyl. This procedure doesn’t be used anymore in modern cars as everything is plastic injection molding these days.

This old procedure we need to make a perfect copy for the 1303 dashboard.

How it works is simple, the steel “bone” is on the upper part of the tooling… the vinyl in the lower part. The chemical mixture that will become foam is poured on to the vinyl. When you close the tooling the chemical mixture becomes a foam that glues the metal part and vinyl together. The vinyl is continuously sucked into place with vacuum. it looks very simple but how to dispense the chemical mixture is very very important.

Before going into the “wedding” tool the vinyl is preformed on a wooden buck. The vinyl is therefor heated to +/- 300°C.

Discussing the details… there is three different models in 1303 (or super beetle to our american friends) Dashboards… You know BBT, we will bring you all three…:)

Next was a very high-end plastic injection factory… specialised in LED headlights… very huge operation, working principally for OE. But because of certain connections they would like to work for us as well… finally we found a possibility to inject the perfect tail light! If the tooling will be affordable. That is…

Will there be a BBT tooling in between soon?

Plenty of High end injection machines, hyper modern and hyper clean factory!

They even have “clean rooms” for assembly of certain headlights… looks like a clinic to me… perfect for a nurse who can’t withstand blood…:)

Assembly of smaller parts like indicators don’t need”clean” rooms off course, they’re just assembly lines.

Thanks to Mike for driving me around whole weekend and Monday, I enjoyed this first leg of my 2019 Asia trip fully!

Time to go to the next destination, about 450 km south in the city Ningbo.

Since the government invested here over 200 billion US dollars in high-speed trains this is the way to travel inside China. and you’re not alone. there’s plenty of trains and the stations look like airports as big!

The trains themselves are MONSTERS! they’re 399 meters long!! and drive up to 350kms/hr! With all luxury on board!

Truly amazing!

Tomorrow new adventures…. if I can keep up with my Blog as internet is pretty restricted here.

Stay tuned!


Leave a Comment
  1. How long will we have to wait for the new dashboards for 1303, and what is est. price? C’mon, tell us more! 🙂

  2. Thank You for your comment
    at this point we try to find a competitive manufacturer for the steel bone inside the dashboard, and we didn’t locate yet, but we keep on searching… once we have that we have to tool up for that part, will be a couple of months more or likely, from there we have to start up the toolings for foam and vinyl, we have those toolings already, but we have to start up, clean, polish and make them work… I can not say anything but hope to finish the 1303 dashboard project in 2020, but as said no promises can be made….

    stay tuned on our Blog for all further information…

    Always at your service


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