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Old April 19th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #1
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DIY: Fairing crack repair

Okay, so while installing my Sportisi hugger I screwed up and dropped the bike. I'm an idiot, I was rushing, etc. etc. etc.

The damage really wasn't too bad, so I've decided to repair it and live with it, at least for the time being.

When the bike falls over, the turn signal is what hits, and it overstresses the fairing and cracks it. Oddly enough, I can't find a single mark on the signal. Go figure. But here's what the damage looks like:





An interesting (and good) thing about ABS is that when it cracks, the edges tend to be really clean and they fit back together really closely. This same characteristic, though, means that it's tough to get the cracked pieces to line back up, because the edges of the cracked pieces hang up on one another and have to be popped back into place. I monkeyed around with a flatbladed screwdriver and did a tiny bit of additional damage, then I decided to use pressure, with the handle of said screwdriver:



This worked great. POP!

Now, truth be told, I could have just stopped right there. This is not a structurally significant area, and the ABS is stiff enough and the crack tight enough that the signal isn't going anywhere. But I'd bought the cement already, so what the heck.

Here's the stuff. It's nasty. WARNING: If you ingest this or inhale the fumes or do anything else boneheaded, you won't need Viagra because your d*ck is going to fall off. Get it on your skin and your face will melt. Et cetera. Just don't be stupid, okay?

Note that it's ABS cement, NOT PVC cement. It's also low-volatiles. And the label matches the bike. You can find this stuff at Home Despot.



CAVEAT CAVEAT CAVEAT: I have NO FREAKIN' CLUE if I did this right, or if I used too much or too little cement. For all I know I'm going to go out tomorrow morning and find an industrial-waste horror show, with a big melted hole in my fairing. Which will result in me buying a new fairing, which is what I was going to do anyway.

When it cures, this stuff literally becomes solid ABS, which is exactly what the fairing is made of. Therefore the repair will (in theory) be as strong as the original piece. I'm aware that I probably should have sanded the paint off, but this will probably be good enough for my purposes.

I pulled out shovels and rakes and implements of destruction (a chopstick and some toothpicks) and put a bead of goo along the crack. My objective was not to actually glue the pieces together, since as noted above they're tight enough not to need it. What I wanted to do was put a bead of solid ABS along the inside, to hold the piece together and keep it from flexing and making the crack bigger.





And now the result. This is what I'd call a good 10-foot repair... from ten feet away you cannot see it even if you're looking for it. It's almost a 5-foot repair. You have to be looking for it to see it from that distance.







So all is more or less right with the world... except....

When I picked the bike up after dropping it, this was lying in the driveway. I don't know where it came from.

Anyone got any ideas?

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Old April 19th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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Andrew, let us know how that holds up for you As for the bolt, I think that's the mysterious packing bolt that folks seem to find from time to time.. if you look at my past posts, I think there's one from a month or so ago addressing the same thing, but I don't know what the key word to search for it would be...
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Egad! So that's what people mean about the signal punching thru the fairing when it's outright dropped. Repair looks good though; I probably would've left a heavier bead on but if it's as tight a crack as it looks/you say you're probably right on.

+1 on letting us know how it holds. Assuming it does, might get in touch with Colorrite for some touchup paint pens (or I can lend ya mine if you like).
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Frankly I don't think the cement will have anything at all to do with its structural integrity. The pieces fit that tightly, there's plenty of residual stiffness and there are no stresses on the fairing in that area that would cause the crack to grow. I could probably have ridden the bike for years with it just resting in place and not seen any significant increase in the crack.

The only way I can see it being tested is if I drop the bike again, in which case I expect the exact same failure to occur.

Thanks for the offer of the touchup pen, but as you can see I really don't need it.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Fair enough. Still sad to see a fellow blue go down whatever the reason.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Nice work! Added to DIY sticky thread...
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Old April 20th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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Old April 21st, 2010, 04:11 AM   #8
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Told ya it would work!

For those that want to put a little cement actually on the mating surfaces for other repairs, the clear glue works well for that. Just be aware that the fumes are pretty harsh!
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Old April 21st, 2010, 06:11 AM   #9
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Told ya it would work!

For those that want to put a little cement actually on the mating surfaces for other repairs, the clear glue works well for that. Just be aware that the fumes are pretty harsh!
Had I chosen to do that (and frankly I probably should have), I would have inserted toothpicks into the crack to create a gap, applied the bead of cement, and removed the toothpicks.

The crack really does fit closely by itself, and the glue is thick enough that it isn't going to get drawn in by capillary action. You need to hold the edges of the crack apart to get glue on them.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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How well did the airhorn hold up?
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Old April 21st, 2010, 10:43 AM   #11
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How well did the airhorn hold up?
No damage. the bracket is very beefy.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #12
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Good write up but glue was not available at Home Depot or Lowes (FL).
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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #13
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Not in the glue aisle... did you look in plumbing?
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Old April 27th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #14
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Arrow

Sorry ABS Cement. Yes, not there.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #15
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http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-41749/Detail
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Old April 27th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #16
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I wnet to another Auto Zone, Advance Auto, Napa, Ben's Paint Supply, Ace Hardware, several Auto parts stores and nada. SOme guy at Home Depot mention that ABS piping is more popular on the west coast vs PVC on the east coast and this is the reason why IO'm unable to locate it in FL.

Thanks adouglas for the link. I will order it.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #17
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I'm in Connecticut....
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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #18
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good job, i cracked the left fairing in a similar manner (sidestand fail) I replaced the whole fairing though. Like you the light was spotless.

Might try this out on the old fairing and see if I can paint it white
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #19
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Wow this write up is the greatest thing since sliced bread!!! The exact same thing...same color bike...happened to me about 2 weeks ago...

I called my local O'Reillys and Bumper to Bumper and they said they had Epoxy (i think that's how its spelled) and a few other things for repairing plastic...but no ABS cement. Do you think these things would work just as well? or is the ABS plastic special?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #20
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The automotive epoxy will work fine just mix it right and watch the fumes too.

I like the tooth pick idea to get some in the crack, good thought.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #21
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ABS isn't special, the glue is.

You won't find it at an auto parts place. It's plumbing supplies. Go to Home Depot, Lowe's or your local hardware store.

Epoxy might work but it's glue and may not adhere to the ABS all that well.

ABS cement isn't glue. It actually MELTS the ABS chemically and when it cures you have solid ABS plastic. That's not what glue does... glue sticks two separate surfaces together. The surfaces themselves remain intact.

This stuff is more like welding. It melts both surfaces completely. There is no seam.

The trick is to keep it from getting on the outside of the fairing for obvious reasons. This is why you can still see the crack in my fairing, because the cement was not allowed to get to the surface (simply by not putting too much on).
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Old June 30th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Epoxy might work but it's glue and may not adhere to the ABS all that well.
I broke off one of the little tabs on the lower fairing that hold the lower fairing to the one that the gauges rest in, I used Epoxy to fix it. has Held just fine. I used the cheap kind from harbor freight tools. I didn't even know they made ABS cement
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #23
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FYI: each HomeDepot carries diff products so you might not necessarily find the same exact one. however, there should be others similar to what OP posted if you check the plumbing section of HD. I just picked up a bottle for around $6.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #24
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FYI: each HomeDepot carries diff products so you might not necessarily find the same exact one. however, there should be others similar to what OP posted if you check the plumbing section of HD. I just picked up a bottle for around $6.
okay, so what exactly did you pick up that you term as similar?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #25
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I broke off one of the little tabs on the lower fairing that hold the lower fairing to the one that the gauges rest in, I used Epoxy to fix it. has Held just fine. I used the cheap kind from harbor freight tools. I didn't even know they made ABS cement
I used epoxy to fix my fairing, and I really dont recommend it, it softens up with heat really quickly, if you really want tro fix it properly, use Plastic Weld gun with ABS rods
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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #26
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okay, so what exactly did you pick up that you term as similar?
still at work...will take a look when I get home
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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #27
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still at work...will take a look when I get home
cool, thanks!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #28
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It's the red color can, brand Oatey, all purpose cement for abs, cpvc, PVC, #30821
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Old June 30th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #29
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http://www.oatey.com/Channel/Shared/...se_Cement.html
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Old July 8th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #30
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomwalk101 View Post
I was told at Lowes & Home Deport the Red can All Purpose Cement does NOT have the same results and the ABS (light blue can) only cement.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 08:55 AM   #31
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thanks for this write up man. now there is hope for me to seal up my cracked farings better then tape and keep it nice and sturdy once it starts to rain.
i wonder if anyone had this stuff local to me? it would be nice not to pay 6 dollars to just use it once lol
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:31 AM   #32
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Great DIY, this will save a lot of people a lot of money down the road I am sure. No idea what that bolt is but it looks like the "packing bolt" some speak of and not something mounted on the bike normally IMO.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:34 AM   #33
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I figured it might have been the bolt that mates up with the nut behind the wheel, but when I stuck it in my ear the threads didn't match.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:35 AM   #34
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I was told at Lowes & Home Deport the Red can All Purpose Cement does NOT have the same results and the ABS (light blue can) only cement.
I would agree. That ABS stuff seems as if it melts two pieces back together.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM   #35
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I figured it might have been the bolt that mates up with the nut behind the wheel, but when I stuck it in my ear the threads didn't match.
I have a few suggestions on where else to try that bolt, but I won't.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:50 AM   #36
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I have a few suggestions on where else to try that bolt, but I won't.
You might as well have....
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 05:05 AM   #37
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That ABS stuff seems as if it melts two pieces back together.
That's how it works.

It has a solvent that will melt the base plastic, as well as having ABS plastic disolved into it. When the solvent flashes off, you have a nice strong plastic weld with a little bit of extra material. Just be careful of it on your paint, it will melt it off if you're not careful.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:48 AM   #38
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You could also probably use thin cyanoacrylate.....CA glue....also known as SuperGlue....but not that junk that is labeled Superglue....the real stuff. You can get it in a hobby shop.

The stuff is water thin, so it would wick into the crack. The trick is going to be makeing sure it doesnt run down the outside of the fairing. Because if it does it will NEVER come off.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #39
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Going to try this over the weekend. I didn't see the oatey brand but there was a weld on abs cement that looking at the web site for both looks to be identical. I'll post some befor and after pics of the patch job.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:55 AM   #40
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Sorry to hear about the fall, glad you're able to fix it fairly easily. I used fiberglass on mine: http://www.newninja.com/how-to/i-nee...ction-dammit!/
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