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Old 09-28-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
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Interior front end cap-How do I fix it?

Any ideas?
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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If you can get the cabinet out from below it what I did was fiberglass the crack from behind. My cabinet came out and gave me access to work in there. Depending on how close you can match the pieces together the crack may not look that bad.

Otherwise fiberglass it from the front and refinish the complete end cap.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
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Thanks HowieE for the response. The cap is thin plastic, would be easy to spray paint it, but the cracks will be hard to cover up.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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If you get the cracks fixed (no advice from me on that) you can use white Krylon Fusion paint for plastics, satin finish, to get rid of the old banana yellow color I see in the photos. It will come out very well. The same paint can be used and will look great to take the yellow out of the tambour doors on the cabinet. Remove them totally and paint them outside the trailer. You can use either formica cut into strips to put in the aluminum trim in the photos, or cut down white (or other color) vertical venetian blind slats to fit the 1+" trim track. The Fusion paint will also make the refrigerator vent ugly yellow a nice white again, like when it was new. The bathroom end cap can be sprayed in addition, and will freshen the rig up. If you have an old yellowed AC interior cover, spray it with white Krylon Fusion satin and take the yellow out.

Just use lots of thin coats and take your time. Wear a mask on your face and tape and mask off anything nearby when spraying inside. Use a box fan to bring lots of air in, forcing the overspray out the windows. Do it on a warm, dry day. You will be amazed how nice it looks when done. And it does NOT look like it was painted, it will look like the original white plastic. literally the Fusion paint fuses to the plastic surface and makes it look original.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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I think the first thing I'll do will be to drill a small hole right at the very end of each crack. The theory is that this somehow relieves the stress and keeps the crack from propagating further.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
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The PO drilled holes at the end of each crack. However, they seem to be going on anyway, so I will drill new ones before continuing. Removing the whole cabinet is out, so I think I will use foam insulation behind the panel to give it support after it dries, then patch with bondo, then use idroba's idea of paint. I used Krylon Fusion on some of my plastic in my Excella II, and it worked well, so I will use it again. I have also used Krylon on my plastic (brown) cabinet latches, it makes them look like new. Thanks for the ideas, anyone else??
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rogerdodger View Post
The PO drilled holes at the end of each crack. However, they seem to be going on anyway, <snip>
So much for my brilliant idea - sorry! If you're really the adventurous sort, you might try plastic welding. There was also a thread here somewhere that talked about some uber-duty 3M epoxy kit.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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End Cap Fix

Stop on by the house and I'll give you mine. It's in great shape and is already out of the camper. I plan on putting in 13 panels of aluminum instead. Of course the drive might be a bit far.... 2100 miles.

I have read where folks fiberglass over to fix. In your case this might be best. That was the my first plan.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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Stop on by the house and I'll give you mine. It's in great shape and is already out of the camper. I plan on putting in 13 panels of aluminum instead. Of course the drive might be a bit far.... 2100 miles.
Hold it for me I'm on the way! Naa, just kidding. LOL I'm putting the repair on hold for now, still on exterior water tight repairs. Thanks all for the ideas.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:19 AM   #10
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Interier End Cap Repair

Hello all. When the front end cap on my 88 Excella cracked I unriveted the end cap and removed it to the work bench. I then from the back side got the splits lined up and crazy glued them to keep them from moving.
Once that set I fiberglassed the area from the back side. That was 17 years age and it has held up.
It's not hard to get the end cap out just a bunch of things have to be removed (window dressings and many small interior panels need to be unriveted). Not hard but time consuming.
Happy camping nm1oqrz
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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If they are like the ones in the Motorhome, they are made of Vacuum formed ABS.

The best repair for these is MEK, which is a solvent that will melt the ABS and fuse it together. This is not glueing... more like welding.

I made a slurry of ABS and MEK and keep it in a sealed quart tin, for when its needed. I have both black and white.


In this case(and I have cracks too in my end caps that I have to fix), you will need to take the cap out. Drilling the ends of the cracks is good.
When it is out, you need to Vee a groove or bevel each crack edge, especially the back.
Then using aluminum tape, on the visible side, to line up and hold the cracks in place. and smooth the slurry into the crack. on the back first. once the slurry is dry, you could paint another layer on and apply fiberglass over it using the slurry as resin.

You will end up with a strong repair, but the panel will have to be refinished.

I fixed my cracked and damaged spare wheel cover using this method.


Cracks...


Missing sections...


I started with using a cotton bud to wick just MEK into the cracks, wich melts the ABS and glues it together..


In the case of the missing part, I taped it back and front to contain the slurry...


Then I slathered it on, and put a layer of tape on to hold the shape... this took a week to go hard as the tape blocked the solvent evaporation..




Some of the areas around the clamp, are subect to stresses, so I used fiberglass and slurry to reinforce.
Here is was in progress..


Still need to paint the cover, not decided the color yet. I stuck it back on to keep it safe until I am ready.

The cracked and missing sections of my fairing are next!

In closing... its repairable, just trying to show you how!
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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"The best repair for these is MEK, which is a solvent that will melt the ABS and fuse it together. This is not glueing... more like welding."
Ok Keyair, it sounds good. Where do I get MEK??
Thank you,
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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MEK is a very strong solvent. Use gloves and a respirator while using it. Seriously! The vapors will sink right into your skin and into your blood system. It is highly effective at cleaning just about anything off of metals. It is also highly effective at melting plastic to fuse it back together again. You used to be able to buy it at Home Depot but I was told they stopped carrying it.

The repair you need to do is not a simple one. I know that is not what you want to hear, but it is more than slapping some bondo and spray bombs on it. I have a feeling the following is way more involved than you wanted to get...

I would suggest you remove the end cap. Then use ABS cement(Lowes, Ace, HomeDepot) and fiberglass matting from the back side to strengthen the crack. Once dry you can sand it down and paint it. Personally, I would NOT use the Fusion paint. I would use urethane auto paint. It is designed to be used on bumpers and will flex a great deal. These end caps are a structural element that aids in keeping the end round. Cutting corners on this may not give the results you want in the long run.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
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I just noticed you live in California. You may not be able to buy MEK in your state. You might have to drive over to Nevada...
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