ABS/MEK on 1997 Coleman

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by greatdane, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. greatdane

    greatdane New Member

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Hello!
    How any people have used the ABS/MEK method to repair cracks, holes on thier roof?
    How well did it work, did it last long?
    Was it hard to do?
    Starting on the roof repair next, kinda nervous about fixing it...don't want to cause more damage.
    Thanks for any info...

    4kids,1great dane,2cats,1turtle and a spouse all under the same roof,lol
    '03 GMC Envoy XL
    '97 Coleman Cheyenne
     
  2. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave New Member

    2,321
    1
    Oct 29, 2008
    Lake Orion, Mi.
    I've used this method to repair several cracks and actually filled a hole in an ABS back panel on an older Coleman. I repaired a couple of cracks but I'm the orginal owner on my Niagara so I'm getting the roof replaced. I used white lego blocks and the MEK. It made a very workable paste. I also got a few pieces of old roofs from my coleman dealer. They had several old roofs laying behind the dealership. You will have to disolve the ABS into the MEK. What I found to work best is to clean the area around the crack, Drill relief holes at each end of the crack, apply MEK to the crack and immediate area to soften the ABS at the crack. apply the paste to fill it and then let it setup for a few minutes. You can then use a little MEK on a cloth and smooth out the edges and stiple the finish a little to try and match the roof surface finish. After it has set, you will need to paint it. It's really pretty simple to do.

    Built for comfort...not speed.
    97 Coleman Niagara 87 Coleman Sun Valley (project) 08 Chevy Trailblazer
     
  3. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

    5,391
    1
    Aug 20, 2007
    Western MA
    I have to fix a pretty substantial cracked area in the front ABS Propane cover of my Starcraft. When you do this repair, please post up pics and details if possible?
    Thanks!

    *Kevin*
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2001 Starcraft Constellation Gemini <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 96 Cherokee 2dr 5spd, Booked '09: 54 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_tongue.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tongue">
     
  4. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    1,510
    88
    Jul 30, 2008
    I have repaired at least a couple of dozen ABS cracks with MEK goo. I do everything that RhinoDave does, except dtrill the relief hole. Never saw a need, since the crack is gonna be solvent welded back together instead of having a glue put in it....Anyway, I have learned that it is best to put a piece of fiberglass cloth in between the layers of the goo.

    After your repair hardens a few days, you have to paint it or it will yellow and turn brittle....A good repair will last the life of the camper.
     
  5. MovingRightAlong

    MovingRightAlong New Member

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Salem, NH
    Greatdane, excellent question because I have a 1.5 inch hole that I need to repair thanks to the ice storm we got this past December and I am pretty nervous about it myself.

    Dave('74) Stacey('74)2 Boys '04 & '07
    Duke 1999
    96 Coleman Cheyenne and 05 Sienna.
     
  6. greatdane

    greatdane New Member

    73
    0
    Mar 4, 2009
    Thanks for replying back
    I guess I don't understand how the MEK works as a bonding agent when it actullay melts the ABS.... Will "White PVC pipe" work as ABS material?
    Is there a certain mixture part for making the goo? like one part MEK to One part ABS?
    I will take pics and post them
    wish me luck,lol

    4kids,1great dane,2cats,1turtle and a spouse all under the same roof,lol
    '03 GMC Envoy XL
    '97 Coleman Cheyenne
     
  7. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    1,510
    88
    Jul 30, 2008
    White PVC is a different kind of plastic and will not work.

    You can get ABS pellets from Apache Sales Corp. A half pound bag will go a long way.

    MEK doesn't act as a bonding agent. It melts the new ABS into a goo. It also melts the old ABS when you rub the crack with straight MEK on a cloth. The MEK in the goo further softens the crack a bit. The goo and old ABS melt together. The MEK evaporates away leaving a hard plastic repair.

    I mix the pellets and MEK about 50/50 in a baby food jar and let it sit overnight stirring a couple of times in between. If your goo turns out too thick, add a bit more MEK and stir it in. It will thin right out. If your goo is too thick, leave the lid off the jar a few minutes. The MEK evaporates quickly and the goo will thicken.
     
  8. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave New Member

    2,321
    1
    Oct 29, 2008
    Lake Orion, Mi.
    PVC = polyvinyl cholride
    ABS = Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
    Different stuff.
    The mek is really just a solvent to melt the ABS. It melts the ABS back together. I just add enough MEK to make the paste easy to use, thin enough to flow into the crack but not so thin that it's difficult to spread. Never really measured the amounts.

    Built for comfort...not speed.
    97 Coleman Niagara 87 Coleman Sun Valley (project) 08 Chevy Trailblazer
     
  9. lkaskel

    lkaskel New Member

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    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    Maryland
    Thanks everyone for your input here!!! My question is what kind of paint should be used to cover up the MEK once it is set up?
     
  10. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    1,510
    88
    Jul 30, 2008
    I use exterior gloss latex. You can get it color matched to your trailer. If you roll it on with a high density foam roller, it will go on very smoothly. You can get those rollers as narrow as 2 inches for small spots.
     
  11. del013

    del013 New Member

    4
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    Jul 21, 2009
    Pittsboro NC
    Hello

    Founfd this site by "google", searched for ABS Roof issues. Does anyoe know if any type of "class action lawsuit" has been attempted? I'm the 3rd owner of a 97' Coleman SunRidge and the roof is terrible and beyond repair.
     
  12. Skerhive

    Skerhive Colorado

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Colorado
    Greatdane, I need to do the same to my Sun Valley--I have a crack almost the whole width of the camper. I'm interested to know how it turns(ed) out.

    What are the recommendations of using Snow Roof for sealing and painting over the ABS/MEK as I've seen posted in another thread?
     
  13. Oski88

    Oski88 New Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Tigard, Oregon
    I don't know one way or the other. However, my gut reaction is it is unlikely since Fleetwood/Coleman is covering it under warranty to the original owner.
     
  14. VaDreamer

    VaDreamer New Member

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    Jul 29, 2009
    Virginia
    Does anyone know if Fleetwood / Coleman is even still honoring the warranty for original owners? My dealer says they are not. This would seem to be bad business for Fleetwood, but maybe they are in trouble any way and just don't care.

    My dealer has had my camper for 6 months now waiting on a replacement.
     
  15. mschepac

    mschepac South Jersey

    1,381
    7
    Apr 22, 2008
    South Jersey
  16. Jessie

    Jessie You don't scare us, we work with toddlers

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    Sep 27, 2008
    Calif
    Hey mschepac,

    Thanks for the great before and after pics of your repair. I am really nervous about the slits in my roof and thought my awning slit was horrible until I saw yours. I'm so happy to know that it can be done and your pictures PROVED IT!!!

    I really appreciate it.

    Jessie

    97 Coleman Westlake
     
  17. mschepac

    mschepac South Jersey

    1,381
    7
    Apr 22, 2008
    South Jersey
    Jessie,
    My pleasure. I spent quite a bit of time thinking 'how am I going to tackle this', but after thinking it through it all worked out. The worst part was I didn't even know it was there, I was fixing a couple of minor cracks on the top, saw small one by the awning bag, lifted it up and wow... I was reading all of the problems people were having and thought to myself 'mine is in pretty good shape' NOT.... I am a lot less fearful now.
    m
     
  18. Skerhive

    Skerhive Colorado

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Colorado
    Thanks for showing the pics. Now I just need to find a weekend to do mine.
     
  19. plywoody

    plywoody New Member

    5
    0
    May 26, 2009
    Any word on this one buddy? Original owner of 2000 Mesa looking to either get the top replaced or start the AB/MEK repair route this winter.

    Thanks.
     
  20. plywoody

    plywoody New Member

    5
    0
    May 26, 2009
    FYI. Got this response from the 'new' owners of Coleman yesterday......so guess there is some discretion to be used by your dealer.

    Please allow me to apologize for the problem you are experiencing.

    I would recommend you contact an authorized FTCA - Coleman Camping Trailer dealer, near you. The dealer will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend a repair or replacement. The dealer will also be able to determine if this is a warranty issue.

    To locate a dealer, return to our web site at <http://www.colemantrailers.com> and select the Dealer Locator.

    Regards
    Customer Service
    FTCA - Coleman Trailers, Inc.
     

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