Fairing repair advice

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by Antics72, May 20, 2013.

  1. Antics72

    Antics72 New Member

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    Hi all. I love this forum and the caring advice given out.

    I took delivery of an immaculate red 02 a few weeks ago. Awesome bike, micron exhaust, pc111, mra screen.

    Now for the BAD news....I've dropped it, already....stupid,stupid,stupid,stupid mistake. Over balanced at walking pace. Went to put rh foot down on footpath, the ground was lower then I expected. Down my beautiful, immaculate baby went. In front of my girlfriend and her 3 kids....Super embarrassing, and stupid. To make it worst, it was on an exposed agrigate concrete driveway. Really sharp stones!

    So the damage is scratched rh and upper fairing, dented and creased tank (from the rh fairing), scratched mirror and bar end. The rearmost fairing bolt has cracked through the fairing and bent the bracket. Where the bolt normally goes through the part of the fairing (bolt recess) has half broken away, leaving about a 5mm gap, angled. I can't flex it back to where it should be, and therefore can't glue/weld it back together.

    My question is...should I use heat (butane solder gun) or chemical (nail polish remover) to get it back where it should be? Then I can fix it with either glue or weld? How do I make it plyable for a few seconds?

    I'm not too worried about paint at this stage, but I do want to be able to fix and secure the fairing. Don't think any lesser of me, but I have used nail polish to fix stone chips in the past with reasonable effect.

    The plan with probably be to get a Chinese fairing and tank cover kit from these guys Wholesale Vfr800 2002- - Buy Cheap Vfr800 2002- from Chinese Wholesalers | DHgate
    And leave the fixed fairing in the shed, once I get it painted.

    Any advice greatly accepted.

    Cheers guys, Antics.
     
  2. NormK

    NormK New Member

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    Not sure but maybe a hair dryer would get it hot enough to soften up a bit, I had my fairings all welded up last year by a bloke who does plastic bumper bar repairs. Cost me $500 but without fairings these things are pretty ugly
     
  3. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    I'm sure others will chime in soon, but the Chinese fairings have been known to have fitment issues and the tank cover in particular seems to always be an issue. This could be from a particular vendor but you can do search on "Chinese Fairings" and see if you can find some more details. With that, although I haven't had a chance to use it yet, I just bought a plastic repair kit. It consist of a powder and a liquid activator. Plast-aid® multi-purpose repair plastic for your repair solutions. the sizes they offer are for small fixes, but it was relatively inexpensive (<$20.00 USD). Plastic welders are another option but unless you have some spare bits to practice on you might not want to make your fairings your first go at it.
     
  4. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    Don't heat it. You will warp it permanently. If it flexed and cracked, it can be put back.

    Remove the bolts/screws holding the tail on and remove it. Off the bike you can flex it to where it can be re-aligned. Then put it back on, get everything where you want it and do a weld from the top. Not all the way through, just enough so it will stay together. Use a kit like the one below. I have done a couple of repairs so far and the iron method works just great!

    [​IMG]


    When it stays together, take it back off and weld from behind with some reinforcing steel mesh. When the inside weld is done, put it back on the bike and finish the top weld by building up a bit. Now you are ready to final shape with 120 sandpaper and a block, then 300, then 800 and then paint. Make your own ABS welding rod by buying a $3 piece of ABS pipe from Home Depot and cut it into strips.

    Good luck.

    Jose
     
  5. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    Never saw anyone resurrect busted up plastics b4 and make a thread with photos illustrating the process.
     
  6. Antics72

    Antics72 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys, Ootvs- that plast aid looks like awesome stuff. Don't think I can use it in this case though.
    DaHose- I have taken the fairing off, and I can not get the plastic to flex at all. That is the problem, it is rock hard and won't budge. That is why I was curious about using either heat or chemical to temporarily soften the abs.
    Have you tried heat before? The reason I ask is that I played with plastics at uni many, many years ago and can remember two things; that it has a memory (oops there's a pun) and also that it has a releasing agent in it (otherwise it wouldn't come out of the moulds). If heat is definitely a no go, then I was thinking of using plumbers glue (which is full of mek) to both soften it and bond it.

    Any thoughts?

    I'll see if I can get a photo uploaded.
     
  7. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    Wish I knew a guy with links in his signature that may have repaired lots of destroyed plastics and showed photosof the tools and process used......
     
  8. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    No worries, I figured the Plast-aid wouldn't work on the one piece with the gap, but in case there were other cracks or broken tabs it might be useful. In case you haven't picked up on it...Check out the 5th Gen Resurrection thread in TinkerinWstuff signature for plastic repairs.
     
  9. NormK

    NormK New Member

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    And you can also reinforce it on the inside with fibreglass
     
  10. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    Tink is throwing a hint out there for you, mate. Look at his 5th gen. resurrection thread. He re-assembled a completely broken up fairing and did a fantastic job. He used the heat blower type tool and mentions about clamping things so they don't warp.

    For small fixes, I really like the small iron. You can bevel the crack and fill nicely because the heat is very localized and you don't really have to worry about warpage.

    Can you post up a pic. of exactly where the damage is? It sounds like you are describing the kind of cracks I still need to fix in my rear cowling.

    I would not reinforce with fiberglass. It's messy and it can separate. If you reinforce with steel mesh and then layer fresh ABS on it, it truly welds to the substrate and is a lifetime repair that won't peel off.

    The ABS glue should weld it back together, but it takes a day or so to set. The welding is ready as soon as it cools. The heat doesn't affect its physical properties. ABS will melt and harden back to original condition just fine.

    Jose
     
  11. Antics72

    Antics72 New Member

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    Thanks guys, thanks tink....yeah I'm a bit slow on the uptake, I was wondering what you were going on about...I'm feeling :der::der:

    Managed to get a pic added, bottom left corner shows the crack, you can make out the ding in the tank too. Hoping a mobile dent removal guy can fix it?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    Lots of great points here.

    I also do not recommend glues or fiberglass. It makes it near impossible to rework again later. Plastic welding takes some work to master the technique and your first attempt or two is bound to fail. Practice in a bad fairing is recommended.

    The worst part if the whole deal is paint matching and prep. If you can scrounge the bucks, you will really be money ahead to just buy a new fairing.
     
  13. Antics72

    Antics72 New Member

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    Thanks tink
    I've had lots of reading on your 2previous projects! Wholly shit man, you're a gluten for punishment, but with great results! I wish I had the spare time to do something like that. But being a single custodial dad of a 14yo daughter, working full time in the Air Force and trying to maintain a new not living together relationship with a lovely girlfriend who has 3 younger kids, doesn't leave me much time to "tinker with stuff".

    So I'll be removing the fairing again shortly and using my butane soldering iron to have a go at the repair, I'll post how it goes. I'm going to use butane heat (gentley) to soften the plastic to bend it back into shape, then ill use an elec soldering iron to weld...that's my plan anyway.

    A couple more questions; How the hell do you undo the bottom 2 plastic clips(?) that holds the two side fairings together, they have Phillips heads but won't unscrew. Only one is fitted, I'm assuming its worn out. The PO (2004-2013) was not very mechanical, he only did one of the oil changes and said he just broke the plastic clips off and replaced them, because he couldn't work them out!
    The other question is related to fast idol, when cold the fast idle fluctuates considerably between 2-2.5k rpm. It doesnt return to idle if reved. Once it's been ridden and warmed up it idles nicely with good throttle response. Could this be drop related?

    Once again thanks for the interest/advice. This is a truly awesome forum.
     
  14. mastergregor

    mastergregor New Member

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    One word of caution here. Front fairing is made of ABS, side fairings are nylon - polyamide glass filled to 10%. If you look inside the fairing you will see the plastics designation.
    Now, ABS will NOT stick to nylon. Actually, nothing will, as there is no real glue for it. Heat/melting method is the only way to go.
    I have actually repaired right lower fairing on my 98 vfr, and I used heat and a similar HF kit pictured above. It worked very well. As a plastic filler I used nylon zip ties from the hardware store. Just make sure you have nylon plastics, as kind of plastics is very important.
    For the bending, a heat gun will nicely soften the plastics for manipulation. Just go slowly, and feel when there is enough heat to make it playable, but not melting.
     
  15. mastergregor

    mastergregor New Member

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    Ah, one more thing, in order to have more cohesive and uniform plastics, it is advisable to remove paint where you weld plastics, so that paint does not pollute the joint and cause weak adhesion of plastics.
     
  16. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    Something doesn't jive here - I've used the same ABS rod on both the cowl and the side panels with great success as detailed in the thread photos mentioned previously.
     
  17. mastergregor

    mastergregor New Member

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    I guess your mileage will vary. However, based on plastics designation of side panels, they are PA-GF10, which is polyamide reinforced with fiberglass cloth only (not fiberglass resin). Polyamide and ABS are not compatible plastics, you can do the research for yourself on how to repair PA properly.

    Now, depending on the method used, if you used heat, it is very likely enough PA was mixed into the resulting joint to make it structurally sound.

    Again, YMMV.
     
  18. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

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    Try Utube for some vids on ABS bike repairs. Same deal on ABS repair on cars too.

    Some good tips here.

    The paint has to be removed
    If using "fiberglass" if you must, it can work but the substrate has to be rough.
    There are some chemical welding compounds that work really well.
    ABS plastic is the same stuff as black plumbing pipe and joints.

    Fixing that tank is a maybe using the latest tools. The process works well on round dents but not on creases. Never really tried this but there is a method using heat and a can of compressed air that is worth a try.
     
  19. mastergregor

    mastergregor New Member

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    Again, side panels are NOT made of ABS plastics. At least they are not on my 98 vfr. So I would first make sure what plastics you are dealing with. Take a look at inside of the fairing, and find the letters/numbers that specify what type of plastics you have, before you start.
    ABS will have "ABS" printed and polyamide(nylon) will have "PA".
     
  20. Jackstand Johnny

    Jackstand Johnny New Member

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    Have any of yall used ABS cement? Like the kind thats thinner than water? I tried it with no sucess at all. Just wondering if it's asy to screw up in the prep process or something. also when you say ABS rod are you talking about welding plastic?
     
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