We do from time to time get asked to repair plastic on bikes that are more than thirty years old. These panels present some unique challenges. Panels made of ABS, age, this leads to deterioration that shows it’s self in a couple of ways. The first are fishers appearing in the panel as you pass heat over the area to be repaired and secondly moisture leaching from these hair line cracks. It is well known that untreated ABS is hydroscopic.
Recently we had a gent in with two very old Triumph battery covers that had stress cracks. I say stress but to be honest these were signs of their age. The next indication was the way little rivers of water came running out of the plastic as heat was passed over the repair area, with numerous fishers opening as well. This complication turned a straight forward repair into a bit of a challenge.
It is difficult to know how far to to take repair’s like this. It was handy that the owner was in the workshop to experience what was happening. We agreed between us to only make good the cracks and some of the fishers that lead into those creaks. Otherwise the repair would have become very expensive.
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From time to time I work on an heritage car. These are vehicles that are more than twenty five years old. .
Over the years I have done a number of repairs to the cars plastics but in this case was asked to look for the cause of an oil leak that was covering the bell housing of the gearbox. The leak was not enough to show a loss on the dip stick but caked the area in a black horrible mess. The leak was tracked down to the distributor. After all these years the O ring had gone hard letting some oil pass.
I thought that was easy, just go down the road and buy a new one! NO! NO! No! How wrong could I be. One little old O ring turned into an epic detective case to find someone to supply it. I ended up buying a box of a hundred, making this one ring more valuable than its weight in gold!. So if anybody is looking for one O ring in a metric size I’ll sell you one. I know! but I have got get back some of the cost!.
That is the problem with working on motors from the recent past, they are not old enough for people to start doing batch runs of parts to keep them going. Second hand parts in this type of case are not up to the job