Using P-Tex candles for bodywork repair?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by meat popsicle, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Just curious if anyone out there has experience with P-Tex candles, used for repairing ski/snowboard bases. They are fairly easy and inexpensive to use - and I thought (after hearing Ricky's suggestion - thanks for the idea bud! - commie DVDs in the mail :thumb) that they might be good for minor repairs to plastic bodywork on bikes.

    I have some fresh road rash on my 03 KTM 640 Adv's tank and I am considering getting some candles and repairing the scrapes/gouges. Probably include sanding off the rough stuff (as little material as possible), then filling in gouges with the P-Tex material.

    Wondering about issues like longevity of the P-Tex, will it stay bonded to the tank plastics, and does it accept paint or maybe a primer? Here is TOKO, the manufacturer of the leading P-Tex product's webpage:

    http://www.tokowax.com/

    More soon: just wanted to post to see if anyone had tried this or similar, or had experience with P-Tex use. :thumb

    EDIT: THE TANK IS NOT METAL!!! :D
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  2. dp63130

    dp63130 none.

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    Sadly, I have spent to much time with p-tex.. I've been teching for 9 years and have in that time put in 2 feet of edge, replaced 6 inches of core material, to many t bolts to count, etc...

    my feeling on ptex on metal isnt a great one... if the tank is cold the p-tex wont bond and even if it does it is susceptible to vibration.

    I would consider using 2 part epoxy with a little graphite powder mixed in to make it pliable. I'd take the tank off and set it up in such a manner that the epoxy "puddles" on the spot. -Build a dam of duct tape to keep the epoxy where you need it.

    you might wanna order a Base File Radial / Bastard File to cut down the epoxy without touching the paint. . . you can find them on that site you mentioned under edge repair.

    dp
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  3. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    oopsie, my tank isnt metal - its some sort of high tech plastic stuff, maybe a composite - lemme go find out.

    thanks for the tip on the bastard file... :lol3 i will look into it
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  4. Different Drummer

    Different Drummer On The Road Less Traveled

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    I agree with the epoxy. You can get some fine powder to form what is called fairing compound when mixed with the epoxy. ( Check out the WEST SYSTEM ) Much better idea than the P-Tex. Can sand by hand nicely.
    I would use wax paper though instead of duct tape. Epoxy will not stick to it. Similair to using a mold release.
    Good luck,
    DD
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  5. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    ARGH!!!


    The Tank is NOT Metal...
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  6. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    I fix my PLASTICtank of my 640 with a rod of "plastic welding material",,I don't remenber the proper name but i can ask and it bold to the surface like it was part of it from day one,,in fact alex frits(sorry if i miss spell) repair a bunch of broken one(not just rash but Crack) with exelent results,,you do need to use a very focal heat sourse and warm up the plastic before you bond them togheter...
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  7. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    :lol3 thank you Ricky! I was beginning to wonder there :huh

    Plastic Welding Material sounds more probable than the P-Tex candles, probably accepts paint too (I dunno if P-Tex will but I can test this). Was it difficult? Require special equipment? One of the appealing things about P-Tex is you can get by with a hot iron (some carbon contamination but is the gun worth it?).

    I looked around a bit at this plastic welding... BIG field! I don't know were to start but I did find this stuff:

    http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=164855
    Forum Discussion - good stuff with the following links:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=41592
    Cheap Plastic Welder - think it requires compressed air...

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=41602
    Plastic Welding Rods

    http://www.plasticweldingschool.org/tech/techtips.php
    Tech Tips

    http://www.plasticsmag.com/ta.asp?aid=3750
    More Tips

    http://www.stanmech.com/HowToWeldPlastics.htm
    How To Page

    That should do it for now, back to you Ricky! :D
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  8. dp63130

    dp63130 none.

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    well if it aint metal.. get yer p-tex. not extruded p-tex the cheaper stuff that burns easy with a small propane torch.

    Clean the tank with rubbing al-key-hal let dry then warm the tank with a blowdryer or heat gun and drip away. Some carbon will form at the end of the burning p-tex but you can usually regulate how much forms by keeping the propane torch near....

    when the p-tex is still clear and extremely hot take a steel scraper or a p-tex roller* and smash it into the scratch while gently heating it with the propane torch. -that way the plastics have a chance to bond. after that.. its all about dressing it with the file to smooth it out.

    if you have a large scratch its nice to make a little inverted shelf something like this --/ \-- so the p-tex has some where to latch on to...

    just my 2cents
    d


    *ptex roller: http://www.tognar.com/base_repair_tools_iron_ptex_gouges_damage.html#SVT-PTR
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  9. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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  10. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    So not the Toko stuff? That web page you linked below has some candles and strips (BIG THANKS for the link as I couldn't find much thru searches...); some say the strips are better - you?

    Thank you for the techniques! :freaky sorry if I dredged up any painful memories... :D the info is worth ALOT more than 2 centavos amigo! :thumb

    WOOT! great link! :D
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  11. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Thanks Frank, the ultimate tool... :evil, but that sounds like an expensive piece of equipment! Kinda looking for a layman's how-to thingey. :D

    Now there are two ideas floating here: one is the ski/snowboard base repair technique and the plastic welding repair technique. One important thing I don't know about either is if you can paint them after curing... :ear

    Good info on the base repair idea on dp63130's link:


    "It's pretty easy to repair gouges and dings on ski or snowboard bases, but the p-tex repair material you use will determine how long your repairs will last. Soft materials (like drip candles) make fast and easy fixes, but wear quickly. Harder materials (like repair ribbon or techo stix) are applied with an iron or pistol, but make repairs as durable as your original base. And when a gouge exposes steel edge material or fiberglass, use copolymer string because p-tex usually won't bond in these cases. "

    And an internal link to Tips:
    http://www.tognar.com/bsreptips.html

    :thumb
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  12. Different Drummer

    Different Drummer On The Road Less Traveled

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    Calm down! :huh I posted that reply prior to knowing the tank is not metal.
    By the way, the epoxy technique will work nicely on your tank as well. Very durable, easy to work ( sand shape etc ) and will take paint to boot. :thumb
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  13. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Thanks Drummer Boy, :D

    I had just posted the reply that the tank was not metal then came back to find your reply... just being silly. Thanks for the tip that the epoxy will work with a plastic tank but I would like to try more native materials first. :thumb
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  14. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    So P-Tex is made of:

    http://www.custom-shop.com/pages/p-tex.htm
    "Snowboard and ski bases are produced from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, a dense, abrasion resistant thermoplastic with low friction properites. Base material grades vary slightly in their density and additives, but all are capable of absorbing wax, and differ from regular UHMW because they are specially treated for bonding with epoxy resin. P-tex, Isospeed, and Durasurf are the 3 main brand names in the industry, and all are high quality parts, used by most major manufacturers."

    Polyethylene eh? Did a search around the web and there are paintable polyethylenes - but it might depend on the additives. I think it will require a test.
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  15. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Note: before you run out and buy candles, read here:

    http://www.tognar.com/base_repair_t...ge.html#SVT-PTR

    the candles create a softer less permanent material. i am looking into the strips that are the strongest repair material according to the above source. :thumb

    also, look around their webpage. lots of stuff that could be useful for this and other projects. thanks again dp... !!! :D
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  16. dp63130

    dp63130 none.

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    thanks again dp... !!!

    no problem. pm me if you have any questions. or need some vendors.
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  17. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Alrighty! The KTM 640 Adv. tank is made from PA (Polyamide). A big thanks to Happe for posting that info here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1101598&postcount=15

    Scoot Jockey thought it might be a special variant called "P6 composite" but I don't have any other info on that. Hopefully those types of details won't matter.

    So if the tank is polyamide and the P-Tex material is polyethylene. Should those mate w/out problems? Likely. I do know that the polyethylene tanks are not paintable due to gas vapors getting thru the tank material and acting as solvent on the paint, however this would be PE on top of PA so the fumes won't get there. That would be different if you were fixing a hole, PE would not be a good idea if you wanted to paint.

    So, so far I believe that P-Tex type repairs would be fine for applications that do not require painting (some unpainted tanks are PE and could be repaired with same) or are on top of PA so that vapors are blocked before they reach the PE. Otherwise P-Tex would not be suitable.

    With that info I am leaning towards plastic welding and some type of PA material; I would rather learn one method for most situations than multiple for all. Speaking of methods here is a post for quick and easy field repairs (good stuff):

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1101615&postcount=17

    Thanks Gary! :thumb

    Time for some more research on the plastic welding materials and methods. More later. For a thread on the KTM tank material discussion see here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62087&page=1&pp=10

    :freaky
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  18. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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  19. Happe

    Happe Offroad Nut

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    Hi meat,

    my mate, the cheap alcoholic with the ability to weld plastic, told me that you shouldn't weld PA with PE.
    If you want to know if your tank is made from PA or PE cut a small piece somewhere and put a flame to it
    If it burns green its PE
    If it burns with thick black smoke its PA
    If it burns green with thick black smoke your fingernail is on fire too.

    BTW, a friend had to repair his Adventure tank in the middle of Peru. The tank was cracked. He repaired it with an soldering iron :evil

    After PA welding you can paint it as a new tank

    cheers

    Stefan
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  20. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    It would be nice to know what it is but I doubt they will say. Thanks anyways Frank. :D
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