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Old 08-24-2011, 10:21 AM   #1
kantuckid OP
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Repair pitted fork tubes?

Yes, I know about Frank's & hard chrome to do it right. These are hard to come by tubes as is my $$$! So, I have seen a few posts on the web where some have used epoxies of various types to fill deeper corrosion pits-any ideas that worked for you?
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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I have araldited my fork tubes, so far 6k miles and hauling my big ass around on the worst roads in the uk and they are still fine.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #3
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I've heard that smearing JB weld on the pits, letting it dry, then polishing with super fine sandpaper works well.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chammyman View Post
I have araldited my fork tubes, so far 6k miles and hauling my big ass around on the worst roads in the uk and they are still fine.
I googled "Araldite" and it leads to www.huntsman.com a company that makes many products. I looked under automotive and that narrowed it down(also many other items in industrial area) to a few dozen-what did you use? Many of their items are not global and also not consumer available, as limited to industrial use.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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I can't remember which one it was.

I have used araldite, household epoxy and liquid metal to do them and have had success with them all. But my araldite ones are the ones I have done and used daily and racked up the miles quickly on.

What I done basically, cleaned the tubes, went into the damaged areas with picks to get out all the corrosion, cleaned again with solvent, then applied the epoxy.

I then used 800 grit to get the most off, then 1200 grit then finished with 2k grit.

Yes it took a while but you cannot feel the damaged areas at all, its for all intents and purposes perfect, however you can see where it is. I used clear araldite and you can see the dings in the tube but cannot feel them.

I think I have pictures on my laptop, I'll need to check.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
I googled "Araldite" and it leads to www.huntsman.com a company that makes many products. I looked under automotive and that narrowed it down(also many other items in industrial area) to a few dozen-what did you use? Many of their items are not global and also not consumer available, as limited to industrial use.
I was researching this same topic a few weeks ago for a PC800 I recently bought with pitted forks. Simply polishing mine with 800 grit paper seems to have done the trick for me. I was looking for Araldite in case the polishing wasn't going to be enough to fix my forks; from what I could tell, it looks like Araldite is damn similar to JB Weld - at least that's what I would have tried if I thought I needed to fill in some of the pits.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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More ideas...

The clear repair with Araldite could be made more 'normal' looking by the addition of aluminum filings, or stainless perhaps.

To clean out the rust and pitted areas, use Naval Jelly.

I've used silver solder to repair pits and dings. Can't even tell where the repair was made.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kniepm View Post
I was researching this same topic a few weeks ago for a PC800 I recently bought with pitted forks. Simply polishing mine with 800 grit paper seems to have done the trick for me. I was looking for Araldite in case the polishing wasn't going to be enough to fix my forks; from what I could tell, it looks like Araldite is damn similar to JB Weld - at least that's what I would have tried if I thought I needed to fill in some of the pits.
As I said , Araldite is not just one product-it is lots of products-like 15-20 in just the automotive category. I have never seen that brand line for sale in USA, in spite of the website showing it here for certain products. I was thinking of taking a dental burr and cleaning up the pits, then clean and fill.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:50 PM   #9
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I already thought of silver solder but wondered if the chrome would flake? I'm pretty certain the chrome will flake if I braze the pits. Phosphoric acid(what I use for body work anyway) will clean it up too, but a burr will insure there's no rust in the pit.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wmax351 View Post
I've heard that smearing JB weld on the pits, letting it dry, then polishing with super fine sandpaper works well.
One of them guys was me. It only worked for a while. The fine print on the JB Weld packaging does state that it is resistant to petrol, oil and battery acid. The surface was probably not exactly clean (I only applied acetone to clean the surface), and the rust must have contained enough dirt/grime/particles to prevent adhesion of the JB Weld, combined with the thinness of the application ... it just didn't work out.

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Old 08-24-2011, 08:45 PM   #11
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JB Weld worked on a few pits for me until I sold the bike a year later. It sure beats having fork oil spittle with every bump or brake.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:54 PM   #12
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Clean pits with acetone, apply super-glue and shave down with a razor blade. repeat annually if required. This works well on an old trials bike I have.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:03 PM   #13
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Loctite has several industrial products that will work if the corrosion is remove. Problem is they come in large quantities. For those that want to spend the $: Loctite Fixmaster Aluminum Liquid, # 97453 will do it & available from various sources for ~$55-60 per. Also there is #97443, Stainless Steel Putty which is harder and also "silver" in color to match hard chrome but does dull even lathe cutting tools so not an easy thing to level after the fill job. I'm going to play with some Versa clear gel epoxy from O'reilly's Auto Parts or Devcon Plastic Steel from many places , and if not that I'll just silver solder it with a lower temp silver solder-~1100 degs..
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wmax351 View Post
I've heard that smearing JB weld on the pits, letting it dry, then polishing with super fine sandpaper works well.
I've done this to stone chips in the forks of my '02 Honda Magna that happened while I was"Magnacrossing" (off-roading) it a couple of years ago. It worrked very well. Went down to 1000-grit wet sandpaper, and then finished it off with a spray of Tremclad "Bumper Chrome" from a rattle can. Worked well, and difficult to tell unless looking close.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:30 PM   #15
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Good Thread!!

I have a small spot on my forks too, just a tiny period size one though. I have a epoxy on hand but may try the aluminum fix stuff. I believe JB weld is porous but don't know 100%.I'm not too crazy about JB weld, I just fixed a Touratec GS seat that was JB welded up, had to soak the studs in Berrymans part dip for a week to get the stuff off, finished it up with epoxy thickened with cabosil. I just might try that on my forks instead.
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