Cracked Louvre Fix


Created: 1/6/98

Last updated: 


Author/source: Seiler/DMC (Courtesy Luke Sandel)


Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 00:13:40 -0800
From: "lseiler(AT)radiance.com"
Subject: Re: DML: DML- cracked louver


>my louver on car #2324 has a crack, a break actually , on the passenger
>side. Have to be very easy putting them up or down. Has anybody
>attempted a hme repair, (epoxy, super glue, whatever), or is it
>something to send off to the big boys? Also some screws are missing from
>the rear trim that frames the license plate. Do any D sources sell
>these, or does someone know the size to ask for in the store? Thanks for
>the help!
>
>Ralph Isenberg (Yugoman(AT)webtv.net)
>

Hello Ralph,

I discovered that my louver was cracked(broken) and painted over when I got it home. I repaired it to a point that it now looks new and is quite a

I took a series of photos of each step with the intent of posting them on the list, but I never finished this project (posting to the list) because I never figured out how to upload or send the project in.

There are a few things to be aware of before you start a repair.

1. The louver is not flat, it has a curve to it and you must build a jig to hold it in the correct configuration when you do the repair.
2. The clearance between the gas strut brackets and the rear quarter panel are very close, you must not add any thickness on the out side of the gas strut bracket channel.
3. You can use any high quality 2 part epoxy or polyester resin to do the actual bonding.
4. Carefully mark the exact but position of the louver hinges on the louver so that it will be aligned when reinstalled.

To ensure a strong joint I used an aluminium "L" channel 3/4 X 3/4 inch and stainless pop rivets (counter sunk). Holes were drilled along the channel. The channel was also ground and bent to match the unbroken side of the louver (big Mallet).The inner side of the bracket and the under side of the louver along the broken side bracket at the gas strut bracket was sanded down to the core resin (about half original thickness). The channel was clamped in place with the louver in the original curved configuration. I used epoxy to bond the channel to the sanded louver underside and bracket angle, as well as in the crack, which was right at the connection of the gas strut bracket. When the epoxy was set I drilled and pop riveted the channel with counter sink facing out, then ground down the aluminium to be flush with the original thickness of the bracket channel, then applied more epoxy, filling all hollow poprivits and covering all the aluminium, let it cure, then sanded it again to match the original and then using engine flat black enamel painted the whole louver (3 very light coats). Reinstalled the original air tube brackets, bolts facing in and remounted it on the rear deck using the alignment marks.

 

The whole job took one week end.

 

materials cost $25

Tools:


1. 1/4 inch drill motor,
2. assorted drills and counter sink (1/4 inch)
3. pop rivet tool.
4. 0ne pound leather mallet
5. Right angle Grinder and steel cutting disk
6. Assorted sand paper and emery paper
7. Sanding block (12 inch 2X4 inch)
8. Hand tools for removing louver
9. 1 inch "C" clamps 6 each
10. Eye and face protection
Supplies:

1. One pint 2 part 50/50 marine epoxy or equiv'
2. 31 inch long 3/4 X 3/4 X 1/8 aluminium "L" channel
3. 12 each counter sunk 3/16 pop rivets
4. one can automotive flat black engine or high temp paint
5. 8 oz waxed mixing cups, mixing or popsickel sticks
6. Epoxy solvent, vapor mask, liquid hand soap
I would suggest any book on FRP use and repairs. available at most automotive or boat supply/parts/hobby shop.

If you are not failure with using these materials there are lots of books in the public library. You can make a mess but there is little you can do that is a complete pooch screw in a repair. If you don't like the results you can re do it until you like your work. The project need not be a mess or difficult, take your time, try out the materials first in a test project. follow all safety tips that come with materials have fun.

Lee
VIN#5729
Lic 81DMC-12

 


Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 11:17:46 -0700
From: raddad(AT)cmn.net
Subject: Re: DML: DML- cracked louver

Further to the cracked louver thread:

On my first D I experienced louver cracks, had them repaired and then experienced new cracks in different spots - always, however, in the "center brace". Obviously, one of the things to look at is what causes the cracks/breaks. The stress caused by raising the louvers with uneven pressure on one side or the other will, over time, caused stress cracks. Also, if the louver does not latch tightly (securely and snugly) vibration is a major culprit.

Long ago I obtained a brace that stiffens the center of the louvers. The problem has ended, permanently. When I got my new D I had the old louvers transferred simply to retain the brace. I, God forbid, must drive often on rather rutted gravel roads. They sometimes shake the fillings out of your teeth, but the louvers are still in one piece.

The brace is invisible until you raise the louvers, and even then many have not noticed it until I point it out to them. It is one of the best aftermarket investments I have ever made on my D.

Oh, yes, I got mine through Terri Jennings. I believe that Don Steger also makes a similar piece.


Dick Ryan
The Rad Dad

Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 13:41:01 EST
From: JSteuben
Subject: Re: DML: DML- cracked louver

ORRRRR, Contact PEGASUS AUTO RACING SUPPLYS at 1 800 688-6946 and ask for the Polyfix Thermal Repair System (page 124 of their current catalog.)

This stuff chemically welds almost any plastic. Yes, you can fix those pesky broken plastic pieces on your 'D'. I used it to fix my broken louver, worked great. But you must follow the instructions exactly because you don't want to make a mistake with this very potentent stuff. Is it strong? Pegasus handles only things for race cars, 'nough said?

BTW, the kit sells for $37.49, get a free catalog from them, you may reconize some of the stuff and it's lot's of fun to thumb through.

Good Luck, Joe

 



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