We have a restoration forum I never post much here but thought I would share an in progress restoration ... just one of many.
Those long coupe/convertible are rests are in pretty high demand and am reluctant to throw them out these days. I've had pretty good luck repairing minor cracks and respraying them black or white. The last parts car had a really nice driver side arm rest and is headed to Australia. The passenger side had pretty decent side vinyl and OK top vinyl but 2 significant cracks. In fact it was almost broke in half. Anway, I thought I would clean and try the epoxy trick and srape with the vinyl paint and see what I end up with.
So, here is what I'm starting with. Is it worth trying to save?
If these are ABS, I would use ABS glue and a thin piece of ABS to fish plate the back side bridging the cracks. If not ABS, find an appropriate solvent base adhesive and compatable material to fish plate the break. Solvent base adhesive will weld the material together making a stronger repair. HTH
David, I've done them before ... although not on cracks this extensive. The epoxy's available at the local home improvement stores seem to do the trick and hold permanently. Just make sure they are rated for plastics .. .some are not. I've experimented with a few but have migrated toward using J-B Weld 50176 KwikWeld Steel Reinforced Epoxy. It is listed for various plastics and PVC and can drill sand, etc. It starts to set in about 6 minutes and and cures in about 4 to 6 minutes. I cleaned this arm rest earlier today and just applied some of the epoxy and will get some pictures up tomorrow.
mine look just like that,, i havent tried to fix them as i just thought it was character, but they dont rattle or shake ,, the do fine on my 63 coupe.. mine are same color as this one..
I was considering the idea of making a few of these out of stainless steel and giving them a brushed steel look to match the top of the door handles. I think it would look good if I could make it match the dimensions and curves of the original plastic piece.
Ok,epoxy has cured and bond feels very strong. In fact it feels like the plastic would break way before the epoxy breaks. When I set it, I let it tack for a about a minute or so with some epoxy in the gap then put a heavy amount on the back and and thin amount on the front ... since I will need to sand down smooth. Here are some pictures:
Have worked with a lot of epoxy ( and CA glues ) over 20 years of hand building balsa RC Aircraft that I flew on a regular basis
Over 20 plus planes at one point with 30 to 60 inch wingspans and unlimited vertical performance
Alcohol is very helpful when working with epoxy
It can be used to thin epoxy when needed and —will smooth an epoxy surface to get it closer to smooth before it drys
Very good for epoxy clean up on surfaces and hands
Excellent to remove any oily residue from any surface to prep it for repair
Little experience with JB -weld quick dry —but a super big fan of there 6 hour dry epoxy
JB- Weld has to be one of the very strongest bonding agents on the market
Steel infused epoxy that results in a hard as steel bond
I don’t think I ever experience a failure of a JB - Weld repair myself and I have repaired RC engine crankcases with the stuff for the long haul at times
A lot of great times out at the Air Field on some great days enjoying all that nature has to offer
I flew on Long Island with the engineers from Speary and Grumman Aircraft factories that we’re building Space Shuttles during the week
Very nice job on repairing that arm rest
Exterior smooth down smooth as that layer was more to hold in place as the back and in the cracks cured. Now I do my little trick with some Pro Bond wood filler. It usually takes a few layers... but usually helps cover the old crack. I have used the PlasticWeld JB weld to smooth out over the crack line but the wood filler seems to work as well and once mounted to the door panel should not be flexing.
Would some type of fiber tape. On back of panel help w structure, mixed w the epoxy or watever setting compound you used
Probably hundreds of way to skin this cat. I'm sharing what I have done on the past that has worked. The J-B Weld Steel Reinforced Epoxy seems more than efficient. I believe you said yours were cracked... might be a good chance for you to try your suggestion and report back. So far I've got about 15 to 20 minutes in this project in addition to about 15 to 20 minutes I probably spent giving the arm rest a good cleaning.
Gotta tackle the leaks, but good to know a repair is possible
What color paint will u use or will you just get the paint store to dyermine the colorv with there digital scanner andhv them mix a smaal amount , then touch up?