Author Topic: Plastic repair (cracks)  (Read 10167 times)

vic5491

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Plastic repair (cracks)
« on: June 18, 2012, 11:00:48 AM »
I recently bought a 2009 Sym HD200 that was sold new in Nov of 2011.  When I bought it, it only had 410 miles on it.  After I got it home I found a small crack at the right front lower edge of the headlight cowl where the top cowl mates with the lower one.  I would guess the PO cracked it trying to get the little tab to fit in the slot.  That did not worry me much as it was rather inconspicuous.  I put duct tape on the back to hopefully keep the crack from "growing."  Now a new crack has appeared that runs from the side marker reflector down to the bottom of that same panel.

Questions:

1/ How brittle are the body panels on these scoots and how inclined are they to crack from almost nothing?  Based on my limited experience with my HD200, the plastic body panels seem like they are very fragile to me. 

2/ What products (pls be specific about name) have been used successfully to repair relatively minor cracks and what is involved in making such repairs?  I do not want to start trying various products until I know which ones will work and will hold up over time.  Any good online tutorials with step by step pics and directions?

3/ How expensive is the entire front cowl (the one that fits around the headlight) and how available are they?  My scooter is an 09 in Silver.  Do the panels come painted to match?  Who should I contact to purchase the cowl?  Dealer, Alliance, etc?

Vic

pacnwfoto

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 02:17:41 PM »
> How brittle are the body panels on these scoots and how inclined are they to crack from almost nothing? 

Plastic panels usually don't crack unless stressed.  Look for something interfering with the fit.


> What products... have been used successfully to repair relatively minor cracks and what is involved in making such repairs? 

A glued butt-joint tends not to hold, so spare yourself the hassle.  Instead, get some resin and fiber glass cloth and layup a strip of it on the inside of the panel over the crack.  If you need to align the cracked area and hold it aligned before doing this, spot glue it with CA [cyanoacrylate, aka Super Glue] on the 'inside' of the panel.  For minor cracks, you can skip the resin and just drip CA on the cloth.  Buy CA glue from a hobby shop, they have it in large quantities and in several viscosities.  You can also get a spray-on accelerator solution for CA glue for instant bonds.  If you haven't worked with CA before, get some acetone, too.  In case you glue your fingers together, sloshing them around in the solvent will dissolve the cement.

After the glassing the crack will probably still appear as a crack on the outside.  If aligned with patience, it won't be too noticeable.  If it's ugly, you'll need to fill the crack with Bondo, sand, and repaint.

If the damage is bad enough to require paint, considering the time and materials it might be worthwhile just to buy new parts.
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scosgt

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 07:00:03 PM »
That spot ALWAYS cracks on the HD. It does no harm, it is just cosmetic.
I have been through three of those fairings.
yes, they come painted. The last time I bought one, it was around $55 delivered from Carter Bros. Sometimes they show up on EBay, but have the usual crack.

vic5491

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 08:18:05 PM »
Ok, here is an update...

I contaced a dealer today to see what the cost of the cowl would be and if it is available.  He said that Alliance had one in stock and that the cost would be $185 + $30 shipping plus tax for a total of $227.90.  I said I had no idea that it would be that much and that I would have to first try to fix this one since a new one is so expensive.  A few minutes later he said that they could include it with their next shipment and waive the shipping fee which got it down to about $200.  I then apologized for taking his time.  I explained that a fellow lister had said he bought a new one from Carter for about $50 and that I thought it would have been close to that but that $200 is more than I can justify spending right now on cosmetic cracks.  Suffice to say it appears that prices have gone up significantly boys and girls!

I then read a bunch of articles and posts about plastic repair and found that Plastex, Plastifix and Plast-aid seemed to have been used successfully by more than a few people on faring repairs.  I found that there was a distributor near me that carried Plast-aid so I bought some, cleaned up the back side of the piece using PJ1 Contact Cleaner, taped the piece tightly together on the outside and applied Plast-aid to the inside.  All appears good now.  You can barely see the cracks if you look very closely but no one would ever notice otherwise.  The repair seems very strong so I suspect this is the last I will have to deal with this issue although only time will tell. 

Incidentally, before I actually tried the repair, I cleaned a spot unrelated to the damage and put a dab on Plast-aid about twice the size of a bb  there, let it dry and I could not break it away with a small screwdriver with a sharp blade!  This stuff bonds at the molecular level, unlike epoxy which is a surface repair, and becomes part of the material it is applied to! Suffice to say, I am impressed!  Here is a link to the product.  I suggest watching the  video on the page.  Good stuff.  You can even tint it with artist acrylic paint readily available at arts and craft stores!

I am sorry that I did not document the process with photos but it is easy to use and I am sure that you can figure it out from what I have said in this post.

Cheers,
Vic

PS.  The cracks were caused by the panel being stressed but it sure didn't take much stress to break the panel.  The body panels on the HD200 are very flimsy to start with in my opinion.  I have owned NUMEROUS motorcycles with tupperware farings and I have NEVER seen anything even close to this flimsy before.



vic5491

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 08:19:57 PM »
Ooops...  here is the link I mentioned but forgot to include in my post.

http://www.plast-aid.com/index.html

gitsum

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 10:47:08 PM »
Hmmm...

Here again is an example of Alliance/SYM parts pricing that is very unrealistic.  And again there is no alternate source for parts, it's the Alliance/SYM way or the highway :(

This is really going to alienate current SYM owners and future potential SYM owners, it's just a matter of time, really a sad situation.

I think it would be enlightening to order a complete HD 200 piece by piece through Alliance and then calculate the total cost.  I think it would be like a $10,000+ scooter :o

Good job on the plastic repair and thanks for the info on the link ;)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 10:53:23 PM by gitsum »

scosgt

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 09:58:06 AM »
Hmmm...

Here again is an example of Alliance/SYM parts pricing that is very unrealistic.  And again there is no alternate source for parts, it's the Alliance/SYM way or the highway :(

This is really going to alienate current SYM owners and future potential SYM owners, it's just a matter of time, really a sad situation.

I think it would be enlightening to order a complete HD 200 piece by piece through Alliance and then calculate the total cost.  I think it would be like a $10,000+ scooter :o

Good job on the plastic repair and thanks for the info on the link ;)

I have to agree with you. I have bought several of those fairings, the last time my dealer stocked some from Canada. They were like $49 plus shipping. If they are going to turn into a total parts ripoff, the brand is dead.

sundance

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 01:14:13 PM »
Mike (I think) from Alliance has been pretty active on this board, it would be interesting what he has to say about parts prices.

Anyone know how to alert him to this thread in a P.M.?

I agree with this;

"I have bought several of those fairings, the last time my dealer stocked some from Canada. They were like $49 plus shipping. If they are going to turn into a total parts ripoff, the brand is dead."

Kiwiscoot

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 05:15:36 PM »
You buy your car in parts & see what it would cost you? Comparing part prices to the price of a complete scoot is like comparing apples to oranges. Both fruit but from different trees. Part vs scootes comes from different bussiness models. Don't run someone down just because you don't like the parts prices. My local dealers price is about 40% more for a replacement belt than what I can get it in from Europe. Does that make his parts prices a rip-off, no. He has a bussiness model for his spare parts that enables him to bring the scoots here for me to look at and buy. I can always go online to buy something if I don't like the price.
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gitsum

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 06:31:14 PM »
Kiwi, of course a total of all parts is going to be more than the complete vehicle, I was making fun of the pricing for SYM/Alliance parts.

The cost of that plastic panel is just as outrageous as a $400+ carburetor.  If scosgt got one for $55, how in the world does that go up to $228 :o

When I'm looking for parts for my Yamaha or Suzuki I have many different sources and choices.  It's called competition and it helps to make sure everyone is paying a fair price ;)
Just the other day I had to order fork seals, bushings, washers and whatnot for my Yamaha with a fork leaking oil.  $16 shipped for all the parts :)
Heck, I didn't even bother to check the prices anywhere else.

With SYM/Alliance there is no choice, and they are certainly taking advantage of that fact :(

After customizing and modding my HD 200 I really enjoy it.  It is a classy, capable and well built machine.  But that doesn't make up for the lack of parts availability and the really high prices.  You can't even buy a service manual for it!  No sir, I'm not going to play along and get bent over.  This is the last SYM that I will ever buy.


scosgt

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 07:45:33 PM »
The service manual is online for free. Save the complaints for real issues.

pacnwfoto

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 07:58:42 PM »
The service manual is online for free. Save the complaints for real issues.

Are you referring to the owner's manual?  If you've found a source for the shop manual [or parts manual] for SYM scooters or the Wolf, please post the URL.
Just say NO to ugly and impractical motorcycles.

scosgt

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2012, 08:20:53 PM »
The manual for the HD 200 has been around for a while, as in several years.
I will did up my copy and post it to my FTP server.
There is also a parts list, but it may be obsolete since Alliance may have their own.

scosgt

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 08:50:40 PM »
You can download the HD200 service manual here:

ftp://scosgt.hopto.org/HD200_Service_Manual.pdf

You have to type it in manually. The forum inserts http at the beginning and it won't get to the FTP server, so just type it into your browser exactly as it appears STARTING WITH ftp://

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 08:53:46 PM by scosgt »

gitsum

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Re: Plastic repair (cracks)
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2012, 08:53:07 PM »
The service manual is online for free. Save the complaints for real issues.


You would have to ruin my complaining!   I wonder if anyone from Alliance would send us a service manual if we asked?  They told someone here it was a dealer item only for the Wolf Classic.  

No matter, here's the link:   http://scootercommunity.com.au/files/folders/bolwell_sym_pgo/entry29609.aspx

YIPPEE
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 10:10:33 PM by gitsum »