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snowman11

Here we go again

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I love my bike.  If you have been on here for awhile, you will now that I bought a laid down and flooded bike and got her back up and running like a champ.  I had to plastic weld almost all the plastic as it's so hard or impossible to find new or almost new ones now a days.  Since getting the bike up and running 5 years ago, I've put on almost 14,000 miles, mostly commuting back and forth to work on the express ways.  86 miles round trip averaging 75mph.  Very minor problems during the past 5 years, only needing to replace the R/R and a new battery. 

 

Well I noticed yesterday before I left for work, that the front nose fairing was sticking out from behind the upper left fairing.  I thought that was odd, so I managed to pop it back into place and continued onto work.  When I got to work, I noticed it was popped back out.  Put it back in and placed a piece of packing tape over it until I could get home.  When I got home, I inspected this fairing and started to notice that I had multiple other broken tabs all over the front of the bike.  One of the upper fairing bolts was almost completely out and there was something loose under the upper right fairing. 

 

Started to take apart the front end and noticed that all but the mid right fairing had something broken.  I'm so glad the body panels didn't fly off while I was riding.  That would have sucked!  The loose piece under the upper fairing?  Yeah, the upper fairing bracket support had broken off from the frame.  The bolt was still there, but I have no idea how this would have broken.  I never got into an accident or hit anything.  The stay was brand new when I got the bike.  Is it possible to reweld this together while still on the bike or does it need to come off?  I also noticed that one of the bolts connecting this stay to the stem bearing area was missing! 

 

So it's time again to do some plastic welding.  The good thing is that the fairing didn't break where I previously plastic welded them before.  I use Plastex and it works great.  The first time I used Plastex, I had the white powder.  This time I'm using black powder.  I wish fairings for our bikes were easier to get.  At almost 30 years old, these plastic panels get brittle.  Hopefully all the panels will get fixed soon.  There is still more time to ride left this year.

 

 

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Snowman, you're ahead of me in body repair. Plastex. I haven't heard of it. You like it. Any drawbacks? The stuff I got was generic plumbers ABS goo. They told me it was just acetone basically mixed with ABS. I'm happy enough with it but I'm always open to better, easier, cheaper, faster.

 

Do you think the damage was only due to fatigue? I get those stress cracks from the old ABS too, but nothing so extreme. Sometimes, in places where people are not always honorable, bikes get knocked down and then picked back up when nobody is looking. Do you think that could that have happened here?

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No I don't think the bike fell over, you would have seen pieces of plastic on the ground and other damage to other areas of the bike.  I think it's just fatigue.  I've had very good luck with Plastex.  I'll keep posting pictures of my progress as I work on it. 

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6 hours ago, Gebruiker said:

I'm happy enough with it but I'm always open to better, easier, cheaper, faster.

 

 

Cheap?

 

Either use tape on the outside to push the cracked halves together or affix the crack with a tiny drop of superglue.

Dremel a wee V-groove on the inside  along the crack, drill a tiny tiny tiny hole at the end of the crack.

sprinkle in a little trail of baking soda, draw a line of super glue over it, sprinkle baking soda over it right away.

Solid!

 

I have a sneaky suspicion that the "special" powder (in whatever color) is baking soda/natrium carbonate sold at a premium...

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The fairing stay may have stress-fractured because the lower headstock bolt was missing?

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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19 hours ago, snowman11 said:

I've had very good luck with Plastex.  I'll keep posting pictures of my progress as I work on it. 

Snowman, Thanks for updating your progress. This is valuable stuff. I didn't find your original resurrection story. I'd like to follow it, if you have the link. 

 

18 hours ago, Dutchy said:

sprinkle in a little trail of baking soda, draw a line of super glue over it, sprinkle baking soda over it right away.

Solid!

 

Meanwhile, I'm not trying to hijack your link...but the baking soda/super glue trick sounds promising too. Dutchy, is the result rigid? My experience with the ABS weld is that the result is semi-flexible. Since the old ABS comes up with new cracks, the old patches flex some. That seems to help absorb the stresses of the old bits. But that's only a hunch. 

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Plasti-fix, Plasti-Aid, Plasti-Weld all give you the option of making or repairing parts, but can require some skill at fashioning/forming missing parts... https://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22655

 

I've used ABS glue to fill/glue thin cracks and it works well.  I've used ABS glue to weld on a backing/reinforcement of ABS onto a part to strengthen it.  I've also used ground up ABS with ABS glue to do the same.  The most successful and simple method I've used is employing a temperature controlled soldering iron to melt ABS to repair cracks, along with ground up ABS and larger ABS parts to fix, fill and reinforce ABS.  The welding of ABS with a soldering iron is probably one of the best ways, because you're keeping the material properties essentially the same, not relying on a chemical bond between two different materials.  ABS does not easily crystallize, unlike other polymers, with applicaiton of heat and welding.  As long as the temperature is not too hot, it will weld and regain most of it's strength and resiliency.

 

Just my two cents.  There are plenty of ABS welding "How To" videos on YouTube if you want to decide if that's a rout you might need.  It is difficult to replace parts with ABS welding.  That's better done IMO with the above products.  BUT repairing cracked or broken pieces and quickly reinforcing them, Welding with a soldering iron is fast, effective and cheap.

 

Matt in Haymarket

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progress is moving along.  I got the upper fairing bracket welded back together.  This weekend I should get more repairs done to the plastic.

 

As these fairings are harder and harder to fix and replace, one company Air Tech does make a full replacement of body panels for our bikes.  https://www.airtech-streamlining.com/honda-fairings-seats-fenders-parts/VFR7501990-93.htm  Has anyone actually purchased this kit?  If so, how is the quality and fit?  I'm not saying I would go this route, but it is nice to know at least one company makes body panels for us.  Any thoughts?

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21 hours ago, zupatun said:

I've used ABS glue to fill/glue thin cracks and it works well.  I've used ABS glue to weld on a backing/reinforcement of ABS onto a part to strengthen it.  I've also used ground up ABS with ABS glue to do the same.  The most successful and simple method I've used is employing a temperature controlled soldering iron to melt ABS to repair cracks, along with ground up ABS and larger ABS parts to fix, fill and reinforce ABS.  The welding of ABS with a soldering iron is probably one of the best ways, because you're keeping the material properties essentially the same, not relying on a chemical bond between two different materials.  ABS does not easily crystallize, unlike other polymers, with applicaiton of heat and welding.  As long as the temperature is not too hot, it will weld and regain most of it's strength and resiliency.

 

Matt, this is my limited experience as well.  Although I haven't tried a soldering iron yet. Just glue and other ABS bits together. Right now, I'm trying a few new bits. There's a pretty big hole where one of the dzus bolts apparently ripped out on a side fairing. It had been attached with a zip tie but I've actually filled the entire hole with a giant glob of ABS glue. Once it dries, if it dries like the rest of the panel, then I'll sand it flat and drill a new hole. I'll report if it works at my ongoing project page. My lower front fairing is also cracked and warped some. The cracks I'm patching with ABS glue but to correct the warp, I'm thinking of using a heat gun. I'm not sure. If I can heat the ABS until it's just pliable, and then flatten the piece, great. If it simply bubbles and melts, then I have a whole new problem. I'll go carefully.

 

off to lowes today. I'll look for Plastex too.

 

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1 hour ago, snowman11 said:

Gebruiker - here is the link of my resurrection of the bike if you wanted to see it.

I'll go there now. Thanks! I wish I'd spotted it before. From 2013.

 

Sorry again for hijacking your thread. Glad you're getting things in order. Were you able to weld your bracket in place? I'm going to guess probably yes, only because I've seen some experienced welders do amazing things in tricky places. 

 

I've been curious about those airtech fairings too. It's terrific they're available, even though I'll stick to patching and gluing mine for now.

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1 hour ago, Gebruiker said:

 

Matt, this is my limited experience as well.  Although I haven't tried a soldering iron yet. Just glue and other ABS bits together. Right now, I'm trying a few new bits. There's a pretty big hole where one of the dzus bolts apparently ripped out on a side fairing. It had been attached with a zip tie but I've actually filled the entire hole with a giant glob of ABS glue. Once it dries, if it dries like the rest of the panel, then I'll sand it flat and drill a new hole. I'll report if it works at my ongoing project page. My lower front fairing is also cracked and warped some. The cracks I'm patching with ABS glue but to correct the warp, I'm thinking of using a heat gun. I'm not sure. If I can heat the ABS until it's just pliable, and then flatten the piece, great. If it simply bubbles and melts, then I have a whole new problem. I'll go carefully.

 

off to lowes today. I'll look for Plastex too.

 

It doesn't bubble. It will soften and you can bend it. It is hard to get it evenly to higher temps because its thermal conductivity is low. Good thing about that is you can heat (sort of) select areas with a temp controlled hot air gun to move it into position.  I've done this...but it takes a while for a large area to cool into shape.

 

However cooling can be hastened with a damp shop rag or squirt bottle/misting with water to set or fix the shape.

 

Gloves may be needed...but will leave an imprint in anything soft.

 

Matt in Haymarket

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So I got the fairing support welded up and reinforced.  I've got all the tabs "welded" back on and made some new tabs for the ones that were missing.  I've replaced bolts and nuts that were missing and used the blue loctite so they won't come out again.  Hopefully I'll have the bike back together by this weekend.

 

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I remember the tab/bodywork nightmare that was my 4th gen...but it was a lovely bike til someone hit me...

 

Your work looks exemplary!

 

Matt in Haymarket.

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Can you tell us please how you fashioned the tabs? Did you make a mold of existing tabs? With clay? And then just use abs glue for the new tabs? Did you use Plastex for that part of the job?

 

I’m using zip ties in a place where  a couple tabs are gone. A poor solution.

 

thanks!

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I used a molding bar to form the new tabs.  Just heat the molding bar in pot of water press it over a good tab and once it's cooled, the bar remains the shape.  The Plastex kit came with a molding bar but I'm sure you can find these tabs at a local auto store.  The tab can be used over and over again, just by heating it back up and reforming it to what ever shape you want.  Yes I used all Plastex to make the new tabs.  It's just a powder so once the molding bar is in place, I poured the powder into the cavity for the new tab and used the provided "glue" to wet the powder.  I kept adding powder and "glue" until the tab was the right thickness. 

 

I've had the bike all fixed up for little over a week now and riding whenever the weather is nice.  The new tabs are working just fine and you can't really tell from a distance.  I'm very happy with how they came out.  I might tough up the tabs with some paint over the winter, but for right now, I just want to get as much riding in as I can before the snow comes. 

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9 hours ago, snowman11 said:

I used a molding bar to form the new tabs.  Just heat the molding bar in pot of water press it over a good tab and once it's cooled, the bar remains the shape.  The Plastex kit came with a molding bar

I'll have to take a look at this in the local automart. From your pictures, it looks like you're cracks and fractures are in the same places as mine...like around the blinkers. So I'll guess the design was notorious for weakness in certain spots. Thanks for writing up your solution.

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