plastic repair


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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1fastgl1100
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:33 pm
Location: Ocala, Florida
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A and 1982 GL1100A Modified

plastic repair

Postby 1fastgl1100 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:54 am



I purchased a new (USED) to me front fairing that had less damage than my old one. however it did have a few areas where someone had mounted rocker switches and allowed plastic to crack and a larger hole to develop.
my cure was to strip the paint and working from inside out (its a bitch getting inside without splitting the fairing in two but I did it) i roughed up the surface with a dremel. then applied a thin coat of 60 min epoxy and a fiberglass mat (from the inside) and allowed to cure 24 hrs.
once cured (fiberglass stuck to plastic but still soft in center) I mixed up fiberglass epoxy and coated the mat and applied a second layer from the outside (sandwiching the plastic between the fiberglass) after curing for 48 hrs I sanded and applied body filler and now after priming and paint its is hard to tell it was ever damaged.
Plastic welders are available but I have had good success using fiberglass on rigid plastic pieces.



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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: plastic repair

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:08 am

1fastgl1100 wrote:I purchased a new (USED) to me front fairing that had less damage than my old one. however it did have a few areas where someone had mounted rocker switches and allowed plastic to crack and a larger hole to develop.
my cure was to strip the paint and working from inside out (its a bitch getting inside without splitting the fairing in two but I did it) i roughed up the surface with a dremel. then applied a thin coat of 60 min epoxy and a fiberglass mat (from the inside) and allowed to cure 24 hrs.
once cured (fiberglass stuck to plastic but still soft in center) I mixed up fiberglass epoxy and coated the mat and applied a second layer from the outside (sandwiching the plastic between the fiberglass) after curing for 48 hrs I sanded and applied body filler and now after priming and paint its is hard to tell it was ever damaged.
Plastic welders are available but I have had good success using fiberglass on rigid plastic pieces.


When I got my 1100, someone had repaired a few cracks in the fairing the exact same way. The problem is, fiberglass/epoxy expands and contracts at a different rate and different amount than ABS. After a couple of years of hot and cold weather, the fiberglass started breaking free of the plastic. Worse, part of it adhered to the plastic, part of it didn't so now the heat/cool cycles caused the cracks to grow even larger.

The best way to fix cracks in ABS is with more ABS. The sure-fire, fail-safe method of fixing cracks is to clean the existing piece, take a flat piece of ABS and bond it to the existing cracked piece using ABS solvent. This chemically melts both the original cracked piece as well as the sistered repair piece, and causes them to become one piece of repaired, thicker, stronger plastic.

I used this method to fix several cracks on my wife's ABS-clad Pacific Coast. There were quite a few cracks growing all over it. I pulled all the bodywork off and bonded the ABS pieces to the back of the areas with cracks. The cracks are now virtually invisible, no paintwork required - and the pieces are now stronger than they were originally. I also recreated several broken tabs on the bodywork using the same method - cutting a new tab out of a piece of ABS, and bonding it to the original piece, along with ABS slurry (mixture of ABS shavings and ABS solvent). Again, just as strong or stronger than the original piece.

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RoadRogue
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Location: Castlegar BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 1500SE

Re: plastic repair

Postby RoadRogue » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:47 am

The ABS solvent cement can be picked up at any hardware store that has a plumbing section. The really nice thing about the ABS cement that you have in the States is that it is black just like the plastic on the bike. I have to get friends to bring it back for me when they cross the border, the cement here in Canada is yellow. It works the same but doesn't cure invisible.

I have repaired cracked saddle bags, trunks and fairings to as good as new condition with ABS solvent cement. I have even made missing pieces. Most plastic shops will have sheets of ABS for a reasonable cost but you can make your own from ABS plumbing pipe. 2" should give you a piece over 6" wide after you cut it and heat it up so you can "unroll" it. Just make sure the wife isn't home when you use her oven , but if she catches you , you can blame me :roll: Once heated and the pipe is now soft, not smoking, I sandwich It between two pieces of ply wood and stand on it till its cooled . makes a nice flat piece to start working with. If you want to reheat it to make a patch panel of a certain shape later you can. I cant remember the best temp to heat to but I would start at about 250 and keep an eye on it. You only want to soften the plastic not melt it.

When repairing cracks in the ABS parts of my bikes I will stop drill the crack with a 3/16" bit and open the crack up a bit with a dremel tool to make sure I can get the solvent cement to bond to both sides of the crack. of coarse this means a bigger scar but if I am going to repaint anyways its not a problem. Inside patches work well if you don't want to repaint and just need to reinforce the area. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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WingAdmin
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: plastic repair

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:26 pm

RoadRogue wrote:The ABS solvent cement can be picked up at any hardware store that has a plumbing section. The really nice thing about the ABS cement that you have in the States is that it is black just like the plastic on the bike. I have to get friends to bring it back for me when they cross the border, the cement here in Canada is yellow. It works the same but doesn't cure invisible.


The reason for the black ABS cement is because that stuff has ABS already mixed in with the solvent. I use this stuff from Oatey, it's black and works amazingly well: http://www.amazon.com/Oatey-30916-Speci ... ingdocs-20

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: plastic repair

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:28 pm

RoadRogue wrote:When repairing cracks in the ABS parts of my bikes I will stop drill the crack with a 3/16" bit and open the crack up a bit with a dremel tool to make sure I can get the solvent cement to bond to both sides of the crack. of coarse this means a bigger scar but if I am going to repaint anyways its not a problem. Inside patches work well if you don't want to repaint and just need to reinforce the area. 8-)


I don't typically stop drill the cracks, but I will open the crack up with a dremel tool - but I do it on the back side, to avoid marring paint on the front side. Then a layer of ABS cement, coat the ABS patch, and press the patch into place over the crack. Clamp lightly for half an hour, let it cure for a few more hours, and it's better than new.




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