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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Virage TXi - SMC hull internal ribs cracking

    Bernie will say 'I told you so'

    Today I noticed the SMC ribs around the hull insert for the front fuel tank bracket are cracking. The tank support bracket bolts into the insert, and prevents the tank from sliding forward.

    There are three separate rubber straps that go over the tank to hold it down.

    I am open to suggestions on the best way to repair this, preferably without removing the fuel tank.

    Any particular epoxy suggestions?
    Fiberglass or carbon fiber mesh

    Also found some 'ghost cracks' in the SMC ribs beside an unused engine mount insert
    This insert would mount a twin engine, but I have a three cylinder engine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    pro12,txi,msx140 SMOKEWAGON's Avatar
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    Wow, I wonder how deep those go? Do you think they are from stress? Maybe from shrinkage during the curing process, they might have been there all along. Might want to do a dye penetrant test and see how extensive the cracks really are.


    smokewagon,

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMOKEWAGON View Post
    Wow, I wonder how deep those go? Do you think they are from stress?

    Maybe from shrinkage during the curing process, they might have been there all along.

    Might want to do a dye penetrant test and see how extensive the cracks really are...
    I do think they are from stress while in use, not from manufacturing.

    I am not sure I really want to know how deep the cracks go

    I just want to reinforce the area around that hull insert for the fuel tank bracket so the cracks don't get any more extensive.

    I will slide the fuel tank forward and check the rear fuel tank bracket insert for any crack evidence there.

  4. #4
    Bernie's Avatar
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    I don't ever say I told you so .I can tell you though I am surprised it has taken this long .I have seen them from new so don't worry too much about the tank ones .Its the ones at the front left and right sides near the engine mount on the TXI that are the problem .It is only 1/4" thick there and it is where the hull gets pounded .You need to take out the engine then and fill the area till the height of the ribs .I will find the name of the 2 part epoxy but whether you have it there I don't know .

    Cheers

    Bernie

  5. #5
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
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    I found West Systems epoxy was most recommended for smc repair.
    I've used it and have to say it really bonds well.
    105 Resin, 206 slow hardener for warm cure temps., 205 fast hardener for cool ambient temps.
    406 colloidal silica for filler to keep the resin from running all over the place with great bonding properties. Fiberglass cloth would lay down easiest to wrap over and around webbing and radiuses. Carbon fiber is stiff material that wouldn't wrap things very well. It will tend to lift away from contours, but awesome for flat areas.
    You can find the product selection chart here.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
    ...Its the ones at the front left and right sides near the engine mount on the TXi that are the problem. It is only 1/4" thick there and it is where the hull gets pounded.

    You need to take out the engine then and fill the area till the height of the ribs...
    I actually had the engine off all the mounts recently, and the ribs around the forward engine mounts actually looked just fine, not even a ghost of cracking (so far).

    The rib cracking I did find and posted (last photo) was for the unused mount bosses, about half way between the in-service front and rear mounts.

    I will look into using the West System epoxy for the front fuel tank mount. I will need it to be quite thick, or it will flow away from where I need it to stay. Or rig up some kind of form to hold the stuff in place while it hardens

    Any tips on surface preparation to maximum the epoxy adhesion to the SMC?

  7. #7
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    West Systems is the bomb.. Prep would be grind away the surface to be mended to expose virgin material and lay it up. You can add chopped glass instead of cloth to help with the runs (Sort of like a paste) The fast cure sets pretty fast so running is minimised. McMaster sells West System epoxy or any good boat shop will have it..

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