There she is: John Thomas' Windjammer III, Serial # 45966 on his 1974 Guzzi parade bike. John is a member of the Minnesota Patriot Guard where he honors fallen veterans at their funerals and escorts the funeral procession to their burial site.
Note the special cut-away for the crashbar. This is evidence this Windjammer was made for the Moto Guzzi. John's Windjammer had some cracks and I offered to fix them. Also, it would be a good opportunity to show you how, step- by-step, to repair your Windjammer with our Hotcha Repair Kit.
Stuff you'll need:
A little lacquer thinner to keep things clean. 5-6 latex gloves. A sheet of sandpaper to clean and roughen up the surface. A couple of "welders' Vice Grips." Time: I spent about 4 hours on this job.
|Our Hotcha Repair Kit has some scrap pieces of odd shaped ABS plastic and Special Hotcha Adhesive. These are the original materials we developed in the 1970s to make Windjammer fairings. |
There is no adhesive like our 2 part Hotcha. It bonds ABS like nothing else in the world.
The techniques shown here will work on any ABS fairing - which is what virtually all fairings today.
Begin with a Hotcha Repair Kit
Step One: Identify the cracked areas.
|The front cracks around the mounting bolts are likely to come from the bike falling over. But in this case, they are probably the result of an overloaded fairing coupled with front mounts that have been modified for the Guzzi crashbars. There is not a lot there to support an overloaded Windjammer. |
The only way we could put a Windajmmer on the Guzzi was to cut away the fairing and install a tunnel for the crashbar. We called it a "Mousehole." Yes, we had a fairingwright whose job title was "Mousehole Installer."
Because of the extra structure of the mousehole, the front mount was actually stronger. However, in this case, after 34 years, it let go. I decided to fix it to be stronger than the original.
|Step Two: Scuff up the surface to see where the cracks are and how far they go|
|Air tools are nice but you can do this with sandpaper. After you locate the crack, screw a wood screw into the open end to spread the parts apart.|
|Step Three: Mix up your Hotcha Glue: One part adhesive, 1/2 part catalyst - and moosh it into the crack with your finger. I use a latex glove for this. Force the Hotcha in so well that it comes out the other side. |
Then remove the screw so the plastic parts will close up. Glue bonds are strongest when the parts are close together and the least glue is used.
Use the lacquer to clean off any slobbered glue. You have plenty of time before it "kicks off." While it is "setting" you can work on the rest of the problems.
|Step Four: #45966 has cracks on both sides at the rear of the fairing, going thru the tonneau snap holes. I suspect that since both go thru the 1/8" hole we drilled for the snaps, the holes and stress from the stretched tonneau covers may be responsible.|
|We will fix these cracks by bonding in reinforcing plates of ABS into the inside of the fairing, where the patch will not be visible. Rummage thru the scrap pieces in your Repair Kit for a shape that is likely to conform to the shape of the Windjammer where it is cracked. You can always make it fit by heating the patch with a hot air gun or simply lay it on the surface of an old frying pan on a stove. Note: Over heated ABS stinks like burning tires. Your wife is not going to be happy. You don't need to get it that hot to shape it.|
|Cut the patch as oversized as you can, round it out and sand a bevel on the side you might be touching if you reach inside the pocket. No use in leaving sharp edges to snag your fingernails. |
Mix up some more Hotcha Glue and slobber it onto the mating side. Yes... I use latex gloves on for this, too.
|These welder's Vice Grips make this job easy. If you don't have them, drill a couple of small holes tor 8-32 screws - or Pop Rivits to pull the patch and fairing surfaces together. The crack on the right was long so I used two patches. You can see how I used an extra scrap of ABS to force the surface into the shape it is supposed to be.|
And finally: The SECRET WEAPON
We don't want this Windjammer to break in another 34 years so rather than return it to Mr. Thomas merely as it was, I decided to make an aluminum strut that would take the load off the mount and carry it up the very strong side wall. See that 6 mm screw? Inside the wall is another, big plate of thick ABS bonded in, doubling the strength, to guarantee that it will never break out.
Finished and ready for another 34 years +
The struts are .100" aluminum. You could make them out of steel. I don't think there is anything critical. The strut on the left was duplicated in mirror image for the right side. All edges of the metal were generously rounded so they do not introduce scratches or notches into the soft plastic.
Plastic is "notch sensitive." Cracks are likely to eminate from deep scratches, especially at the front mount where there is a lot of stress.
1/4" holes were drilled at the bottom to accept the normal Windjammer mounting bolts. When reinstalled the struts will be sandwiched with the front mount to form a strong structure.
It is 1975 again!
This Page Posted Mar 7, 2009
Updated Feb 17, 2010