Plastic in the cold


Welcome to a freezing start to the new year.
 
This weather has implications for automotive plastic ( farings, bumpers, etc,etc ). Plastic looses its elastic properties when the temperature drops making it hard and brittle but this does depend on the plastic material used.
 
There are two main categories of plastic hard and soft. Hard plastics like ABS  used  in motor bike farings, can become very brittle and break easily. Soft materials like Polyprop , being more flexible , will not crack so easily but will show signs of stress in the cold.
 
With the weather as cold as it is, it means that any damage your plastic receives will be twice as bad. So take a bit more care around that bike stored in the garage.
 
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Custom GSXR side panels.


We were asked tosuzi-gsxr-upper-side-panels customize some Suzuki GSXR upper side panels. This a story from warmer times.

It was early spring when we had a call from a gent about doing some custom work on a Suzuki GSXR. He wanted to give his side panels that Yoshimura look. The out line was would we be able  to make a series of air vents and weld them into the side panels. I was more than interested as one of my first custom jobs was a GSXR of roughly the same year. So I have a bit of a soft spot for these bikes.

Over the weeks that followed it became clear that there was not the budget needed to allow us to fabricate the vents from plastic and weld them in, as the customer wanted. Which was a shame! When it comes to making parts from scratch it is labour intensive. But all was not lost the customer had discovered a set of fibre glass vents that matched what he wanted to achieve and asked us if we would be able to make them fit.

After some weeks the vents turned up at the workshop and with a bit of trepidation I opened the package. I have nothing against fibre panels but I have seen some really bad ones.  These surprised me, they had a quality finish and looked the same size. On very careful inspection one was slightly smaller than the other and they curved more than the panels they were being fitted into; which in the end lead to an over complicated fitting arrangement.

suzi-upper-side-panel-loverOnce the holes were cut to shape in the side panels, some plastic material was cut to fill the gap left by the original vent.  Then a lip was cut into the plastic where the new fibre vents would sit. If they had not been made with an exaggerated curve this part of the job would not have been necessary.  It took two of us to bond each vent into place. When this was set the vents were then fibre glassed in with a water proof matt to stop weather degradation. When the fibre glass was dry we used a special flexible filler to fill between the two materials to reduce the chance of cracking. 

It is always nice to hear that the customer is happy with the results especially when it is done long distance. 

Lets hope there is a change in the weather soon.

Top Ten Faring Repairs?


 

This just a bit of fun. Our top ten repairs.

 

cracking

 

1. Welding up a  cracked  panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

windscreenfingerreplace

 

2. Windscreen finger replacement.

 

 

 

broken-offtab

 

 

3. Sections broken out.

 

 

 

headlightlug

 

4. Relocating mounts on headlights.

 

 

 

 

 

groundoffsections

 

5. Ground off plastic from bikes that have slide down the road.

We rebuild these with plastic not filler.

 

 

bodylug

 

6. Panel support mounts.

 

 

 

 

gsxheadlightbezel

 

7. Making mount post from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken-intobits

 

8. Broken panels.

 

 

 

 

One panel made from two

 

9. Missing part taken from a donor panel.

 

 

 

 

smallreplcementparts

 

10. Small parts made from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we had the idea to do this everyone thought it was great. The reality is that we could not agree in what order they should be placed or if we had the images required to make the top ten. It would be fair to say that these are the most common repairs we see and to a certain degree can be complicated  to complete.

Single sided repair? updated.


single sided repair 1

What a single sided repair could look like before new method

Wherever possible we try to fulfill the wishes of our customers. The work we are asked to do can be complicated and delicate at the same time, which can lead to some compromise.

For a long time one area of repair that our customers keep asking about is single sided repair. It is one of the most difficult repairs to achieve. Why? Because the customer adds a complication by not wanting to spend out on an expensive repaint. Which is very understandable when it comes to those annoying small accidents that happen in garages and sheds across the country.

sigle sided repair innerside

Inner side showing welding with new method.

The reason this type of repair is difficult to complete is the heat from the gun penetrates through the broken area and puckers the paint and in some circumstances causes heat shrink. This leaves an unsightly look to the outer finish.

We have over the years completed this type of repair without this happening but it can be unpredictable in its outcome. Because of this we have been looking for a way to stop and or reduce the damage to the outer paint, leading to a more acceptable finish. Very recently we have come up with a method that may give us more control when it comes to single sided repairs. We are still in the early days of it’s use but are encouraged so far with the materials we have used it on. I must point out that this type of repair is only any good for small none structural repairs because this repair does not address the

This repair was completed using the new method.

This repair was completed using the new method.

issue of strength and is more likely to fail in the future. How far in the future only time will tell. We will always maintain that the double sided repair is the best and strongest as it gets rid of the crack completely.

We have noted that there is a fly in the ointment, namely super glue – people will insist that they have a go; we do not have a problem with this attitude but we ask that you use something else because the message is: super glue does not work!! Not only that it makes repairing it properly much more difficult and dangerous where plastic welding is involved and increases the cost.

Top Ten Faring Repairs?


 

This just a bit of fun. Our top ten repairs.

 

cracking

 

1. Welding up a  cracked  panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

windscreenfingerreplace

 

2. Windscreen finger replacement.

 

 

 

broken-offtab

 

 

3. Sections broken out.

 

 

 

headlightlug

 

4. Relocating mounts on headlights.

 

 

 

 

 

groundoffsections

 

5. Ground off plastic from bikes that have slide down the road.

We rebuild these with plastic not filler.

 

 

bodylug

 

6. Panel support mounts.

 

 

 

 

gsxheadlightbezel

 

7. Making mount post from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken-intobits

 

8. Broken panels.

 

 

 

 

One panel made from two

 

9. Missing part taken from a donor panel.

 

 

 

 

smallreplcementparts

 

10. Small parts made from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we had the idea to do this everyone thought it was great. The reality is that we could not agree in what order they should be placed or if we had the images required to make the top ten. It would be fair to say that these are the most common repairs we see and to a certain degree can be complicated  to complete.

It’s time to retire and repair for next year?


bike-repair With the bad weather coming it is time to get all those crack and nicks repaired so your bike is in top condition for the new years season.

I’m reminding you now, it will be to late next year. You’ll be sorry.

 

Times are changing.


2015-03-03 16.25.10We are changing our opening times From the first of October we will be open Saturday from

9 am to 5 pm

We are trialing this until December, If it proves popular then it may be here to stay. To balance this out we maybe closed on a floating day during the week. You will need to phone anyway so It should not detracted from our excellent service. We look forward to seeing you.