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Library Home Page > 1st Generation (1983 to 1993) > Body & Chassis
Fixing Cracked Trunks
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The Famous Cracks

> Is there some way of repairing these cases without replacing them

Answers

My 1984 has developed some cracks around the rear edges of the trunk. I have not considered any sort of repair yet, since the cracks have not seemed to get any worse over the last 5 years or so (each crack is as wide as a fingernail and about an inch long).
If I were inclined to repair it, I would use the same method that I use for all plastic repair - use my soldering iron on the inside to melt the pieces back together.
On the saddlebags, I had fracture cracks where the metal support held the bags. This was fixed by cutting a 6inch by 6inch square of aluminum which I got from a shop that makes sign lettering. I drilled out the rivets, attached the new piece of aluminum inside, and re-rivitted it together. This has worked quite well now for 5 years or so. ........Scott MacMartin

This was to the best of my knowledge a common problem for the 83/84 venture. It supposedly happened on the later ones with the adjustable backrest. Anyhow, for my box what I did was stop drill the cracks with a very small bit, and then clean the box with acetone and put fiberglass 2 layers in it. Havent had any problems with the saddlebags. The box has held up well since. I just got a box and all the racks from an 86 which I am going to put on my 84. so I may have an box for sale in the near future and there are many pieces out there yet. Let me know if you need to know where or if you will try to repair yours. ....Hank

I wrote about having sucess with epoxy a few months ago. I've used 2 different types of epoxy. The first one I used was slow setting liquid epoxy, and it worked amazingly well, except that it did crack when I fixed the bottom of my travel trunk, but lasted a couple of years first. Of course, I saw that it also cracked about a day before my wife and I planned leaving on a week's bike vacation, so I went up to my local auto parts store and picked up a tube of the putty epoxy that you always see at the counter and spread a layer over the slow dry. That was about 5 years ago, and it's still holding. I use slow setting for most plastic repairs, but I don't think it'd work to hold a side cover pin. I'm happy you started this topic though.....I had one of my pins break while I was draining the carbs for storage last month, and I'll probably fix it with ABS glue or maybe send for the stuff from Swanee that was suggested here. BTW, I now carry a tube of the putty epoxy when we travel. This October while we were on another trip, I noticed a crack starting on the sidecover. I stopped it from spreading with some putty epoxy on the inside............Frank Denk (83)

I had a fiberglass aftermarket fairing on my previous bike. It had a crack nearly invisible when parked (apparently from a fall-over) . The crack in the fairing inner shell where it was bonded to the outer shell to form a base, and it ran a few inches forwards from the trailing edge. At highway speeds the crack would open; very unsettling to see once I found the cause of the movement and instability. (Putting fender washers on the fairing mounting bolts wouldn't fix this; maybe J-bolts would have.) Ace Hardware sells a two-part "High Impact Plastic Bonder" epoxy for $3.99.  It is packaged in the usual 1 oz. twin plunger/mixer. The package says, "Applications: Hard/Soft Plastics, PVC, CPVC, Wood, Metal and More." It has to be mixed for about 30 seconds, then it "sets in 2 minutes, has handling strength in 10 minutes, and reaches full bond strength (3500 psi) in 24 hours." The package says it is a translucent color but it is more like a cloudy not-too-subtle yellow. I spread the crack open and filled it with this epoxy as best I could, which wasn't easy because of the short pot life and thick consistency, little room to work with the fairing still installed, and trying not to spread the crack further. I probably didn't get more than a teaspoon into it. For reinforcement inside the fairing, all I could do was "caulk" the fiberglassed seam the crack ran through. Success! For the half year I kept the bike, this epoxy withstood highway speeds and normal turbulence, my wrestling with the fairing to do engine and wiring repairs, and temperatures from summer to winter.  Fiberglass isn't the same as ABS but I don't see why this isn't worth trying for $4. Also, consider the possibility of heat damage from the plastic weld process. The drawback of epoxy is that if it does not work, then you probably need to remove all traces before trying something else. Therefore, clean and scrape or sand the paint off an inconspicuous spot and apply a dab to see how it bonds to the ABS. I offer these cautions: the chemical odors are unusually powerful (like spreading superglue with a paint brush) and this epoxy will damage the finish of anything it touches - and will NOT come off - so don't smear it; after it has cured you can trim off or sand any excess. Also, if you can, reinforce the repair from the inside...........Good luck and let us know the results. Roger

The stuff these people make works great. I fixed mine before a 3000 mile trip all over Montana, Wyoming,Idaho and it even held up to many miles of bad roads in Yellowstone Park. This is not ordinary epoxy..........Tom Baumen
Swanee & Company
1550 South Main Street Milton
Freewater, OR 97862
(541) 938-6174

 

Last update: 11:14 PM Saturday, September 25, 2004

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