Restoration Plastic


oldplasticWe 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.

GSX 750 Katana Pop up head light plastic renovation.


 

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Even though plastic welding has been around since the seventies it is still surprising when a faring from that era comes in, how much fibre glass has been used to patch up the damaged areas. We were asked if it was possible to repair the plastic panel on a GSX 750 Katana the one with the pop up head light.

From what I have already said you would have gathered that these panels were in a bit of a state. Of all the farings that turned up it was the left and right side nose panels gsxrepairmissingglass

( the nose cone in this case is divided into three section two sides and a Bezel that fitted around the pop up head light) that presented the biggest challenge. The customer wisely turned up with two panels for each side. The problem was to work out how much of each panel was the original plastic and which pair had the least fibre glass holding it together.

Fortunately the headlight bezel only had a cross shape lug missing. In itself not a difficult repair

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 but time consuming to reproduce. All the side panels were heavily damaged where the side mirrors would be mounted. One of which had a big bit missing.

The first thing that needed to be done was to get rid of the large quantity of fibre glass from the damaged areas. 

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Once it had been ground off the outside of the panel. The stuff caked over the inside was gently persuaded to leave home, coming away in one piece. Almost leaving it clean enough to weld. It just go’s to show if it had not been fibre glass both sides it would have fallen out ages ago.

The one thing plastic welding does not like is contamination of any kind. Which meant we had to remove as much of the residue as possible to be sure it would repair properly.

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Once that was done new plastic was cut into shapes to replace all the missing bits. Because alot of the damage was concentrated in one place we had to be careful about over heating. By phasing the repair it would keep the heat shrink to a minimum, making for a better repair over all. You also have to take into account when renovating old plastic it has a tendency to get very brittle. A way round it is to temper the area with some heat before you start welding it together. This also helps to drive out any water that the plastic has soaked up over the years. This leads to a stronger weld and a satisfied customer.

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The big clear out.


Check out the web sites items for sale page. We are having a big clear out of old farings. It it a mix of manufactures, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki. We need he space so they are priced faringcollectionto sell.

It is no good leaving them on the shelf gathering dust. It is time to put them back on there respective bikes and back on the road.

Some have been posted already with some more to come, when we have the time. They are not all completely repaired but in good condition. There is a description on what is left to finish the panel off, so there are no surprises.