We all enjoy our motorcycles, especially during outings in the country or in off-road conditions. Unfortunately, accidents and spills are part of the process, resulting in broken body parts like fairings and fenders. Cracked fairings can be especially annoying since they can make a whistling sound or cause a vibration while you are cruising down the highway. However, broken or cracked fairings do not have to be scrapped or replaced. You can repair your ABS plastic fairings to like-new condition. You only have to follow some simple procedures and use some ordinary tools to make the repair yourself.
Place the fairing over a clean tarp on a workbench. Mark the outside perimeter of the crack with a felt pen, giving it at least a three-inch border on all sides and overlapping three inches past its end. If you have a piece that is cracked in half, mark the perimeter around the broken section. Wrap 200-grit sandpaper around a sanding block and scour the marked area all the way down to the plastic surface, removing all the paint around the crack area. ABS cement will not mix with paint!
Wipe the fairing with plastic cleaner after you sand down the area. Align the cracked fairing so both sides have an even surface. Use a C-clamp to cinch the surfaces together at opposite ends, if you wish. You can also tape the underside of the fairing together with duct tape. Pull the crack together as tight as possible.
Plug in your soldering iron and let it get hot. Lay the fairing on your workbench so the crack faces up. Run the soldering iron over the crack, applying slight pressure to it from one end of the crack to the other. You want to melt the sides of the crack so they flow into each other. Run the tip of the soldering iron gently back and forth without holding it in any one area too long (so it does not melt through to the other side). Try to depress a small V-shaped groove between the two pieces, to form a small valley. Let it dry.
Remove the lid on the ABS cement container. For a thicker consistency, allow the contents to air-dry for a half hour or so. This will create a paste-like mixture rather than a runny liquid. Use an old spoon to dip inside the container. Gently pour the ABS cement into the crack area, back and forth with long streamers. Make sure the build-up of the cement sits higher than the fairing's flat surface. Let the ABS cement dry and cure according to the label directions.
Wrap the 200-grit sandpaper around a sanding block. Use smooth, even strokes to sand down the built-up cement patch until you nearly reach the fairing surface. Switch to the 400-grit sandpaper and perform the same sanding strokes. Use the 600-grit sandpaper to bring the surface down even further. Finish sanding the area with the fine, 1,100-grit sandpaper--this will be the final surface prep before painting. Wipe all of the sanding residue away and clean the surface with plastic cleaner and a rag.
For added strength, sand down the inside of the fairing with 200-grit sandpaper, wipe it clean, and apply a large bead of ABS cement along the crack area. Repaint the repaired area after final repairs.
Tips and warnings
- For added strength, sand down the inside of the fairing with 200-grit sandpaper, wipe it clean, and apply a large bead of ABS cement along the crack area.
- Repaint the repaired area after final repairs.