Plastex Plastic Repair
January 6th, 2006 by
Because ATV’s are covered in plastic bodywork and not stainless steel, most everybody, at one time or another, can expect to have their plastic bodywork crack. This cracking can occur from either an impact, rollover or from a stress fracture. Either way you are left with an ugly looking crack. The crack could be just cosmetic, or it could be structural. The G.T. Motorsports Plastex™ Plastic Repair Kit is not so much concerned with a cosmetic repair, although depending on the crack, it does a pretty fair job, as it is at creating a repair that is actually stronger than the original polyethylene bodywork. The various kits that G.T. Motorsports produces consist of powdered plastic, which is available in three colors: black, white and clear. This plastic powder comes in a squirt bottle which is then squirted into a small squat container. The plastic solvent is then transferred to a small squirt bottle, onto which a plastic needle cap is attached. Wearing latex gloves and working in a well ventilated area, you carefully squeeze a drop or two of solvent into your choice of plastic. The plastic powder will ball around the solvent needle. This ball is lifted upward and placed in the repair area. Now you have but to squeeze the solvent bottle slightly more to flow additional solvent onto the plastic ball to liquefy the powder and allow it to flow into the repair area. Add additional solvent as needed. This is how a basic repair is made. The major differences between repairs are how you prepare the plastic surface to accept the liquefied plastic powder. Polyethylene ATV plastic requires drilling holes on both sides of the crack so the liquid plastic can flow into the holes, providing a solid bond because the plastic solvent doesn’t dissolve polyethylene plastic.
Another interesting feature is the kit’s ability to actually recreate missing plastic parts like cover bullet mounts that are pushed into rubber grommets. It can even recreate a surface texture on the reproduced part. These operations are accomplished with their molding bar. Basically it is a strip of waxy plastic that turns soft at 130°F. Placed in 130°F water, the molding bar becomes malleable, and can then be formed around an existing part. Once cool, the bar can be removed and inserted into position to be used as the mold to recreate the missing part, right down to its surface texture. When filled with the plastic powder and solvent and allowed to harden, the mold is removed and the resulting repair will look like the original. The molding bar can be reused by simply reheating to 130°F again in water. Also stripped plastic threads inside holes can be rebuilt using a bolt and the plastic powder. The bolt’s threads must be lubed with a petroleum-based lubricant so the plastic won’t stick to it. The plastic is dissolved around the bolt and the bolt is inserted into the hole. When the plastic hardens, the pre-lubed bolt will unscrew from the hole, leaving new threads! Is this stuff cool or what? G.T. Motorsports has an excellent full color instruction sheet.
Besides repairing ATV fenders, we tried repairing other items like a household plastic fan that had fallen off a shelf. The white plastic did an excellent job of repairing the grill work. Then we used the black plastic powder to glue together a broken plastic arm of a dustpan. It has held together despite repeated banging’s during use here at the shop. The G.T. Motorsports Plastex™ Plastic Repair Kit is highly recommended. G.T. Motorsports P.O.Box 18308 Reno, Nv. 89511 (775) 852-4066