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.

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Plastic welding book update.


It is now possible to purchase a copy of our Plastic Welding Guide Direct, just click on the high lighted words which will take you to blurb.

plasweld_book

The fun and games we had producing the book were posted sometime ago with that in mind this link will take you to that post.

You can also find a link on the web site Plasweld

 

Flattened and Broken could it be saved.


Look away to painful to watch

Look away to painful to watch.

A very rare Kawasaki Z 400 battery cover turned up the other day. The cover managed to unclip itself from the bike while the owner was out for a spin. Before the owner could retrieve it from mortal danger he had the unhappy experience on seeing it crushed under the wheels of a car. So close and yet……

 

On unpacking the close to death part it was examined very carefully. Can it be saved? We rushed it into the workshop to start ‘life support’. There were a number of things that needed to be checked. Plastic of this age can suffer from age related symptoms – water retention and fishers in the surface when

Extensive damage shown from the inside

Extensive damage shown from the inside.

heated. Also the material type had to be checked so it could be matched with one of our donor patches. Without this knowledge ‘life support’ would no longer be needed. Fortunately we had a good match, meaning the prognosis was good. In fact when we tested the material it was in excellent health if it was not for the crush ‘injuries’ and missing bits. So we could bring the panel back to full health but it would take time.

Damage from the outside

Damage from the outside. We were told not to rebuild the dummy air vent.

Before dealing with the breakages we slowly reformed it’s shape by heating the damaged areas that had not broken off. Slowly but surely heat and pressure was applied, bringing it back to its former shape. Then painstakingly we stitched together all the cracks. It is surprising how much stitching

Flattend area reformed

Flattend area reformed. Showing missing lug.

was done – near on six metres! With a part this badly damaged it’s repair has to be staged so that it did not get over heated. Because of this it spent a lot of time in ‘recovery’.

Now that the panel was strong enough it was time to replace the areas that were missing.

Shaped and scraped

Shaped and scraped

For this we used brand new plastic. All the parts were cut to a rough size and then tacked into place. Again taking care not to use to much heat. As we worked, it steadily regained its ‘health’.

New lug made from plastic.

New lug made from plastic. Also shows internal stitching together.

Now that the ‘surgery’ was complete the panel was placed in the recovery area to give the repairs time to settle in. Then the brutal task of flattening and shaping the welding and new material would begin. Once done it would be ready for a new paint graft.

Reformed and welded corner.

Reformed and welded corner.

Rebuilt corner with new plastic. Shaped and scraped

Rebuilt corner with new plastic. Shaped and scraped. The darker areas show where the new material has been added.

Tweet tweet.


 

The best looking coffeehouse and coffee in lincoln

The best looking coffeehouse and coffee in Lincoln

We have opened a twitter account under the name of @pw_mitch it is a little thin on content and followers for now but we are working on it when we can. If you so feel inclined please join us and we will follow you back. A bold statement I know. I am always surprised at the number of friends we make and not in a cynical way.

It is a marketing tool but we will not be flooding it with special offers and adds. It will be an extension of the blog with some of the posts you see here being promoted there. We will be commenting, posting and sharing things that interest us and hopefully you.

Come joint the party we look forward to seeing what you get up to as well.

Plastic welding book update.


It is now possible to purchase a copy of our Plastic Welding Guide Direct, just click on the high lighted words which will take you to blurb.

plasweld_book

The fun and games we had producing the book were posted sometime ago with that in mind this link will take you to that post.

You can also find a link on the web site Plasweld