| 4WD MODS
UFIXIT WINDSCREEN REPAIR KIT
This handy kit can fix chips and minor cracks
My better half and I bought a Ufixit kit at a Camping and Caravan Show, as an experiment. Our 4WD already had a couple of decent chips and a crack that wasn’t going to get it through the next roadworthy inspection, so what the hell: if it didn’t work we’d only kissed $35 bucks goodbye.
The kit came in a blister pack, with all the bits needed. No additional tools were necessary. We’ve since found it best to put all the kit-bits into a plastic lidded container, so we don’t lose anything. That’s also a safe way of storing the razor blade that’s included, for trimming off excess resin.
The fact that the kit relied on ‘resin’ made us sceptical, because resins have a nasty habit of ‘going off’ and are useless when you need them, or, they come as a two-pack and you always run out of hardener when you still have plenty of resin left. Fortunately, the Ufixit system uses a one-pack resin that lasts indefinitely and requires no hardener, because it ‘goes off’ in the presence of UV light.
The kit includes an applicator frame with four suction cup feet, a screw-action injector, thin plastic strips and the aforementioned razor blade.
The maker suggests that the repair job should be done as soon as possible after the chip appears, because you don’t want water and dust inside the fracture. Our process when we’re travelling is to cover any chip immediately with one of those little clear stickers O-Brien Glass hands out for nothing, to stop any contamination of the chip. We use the Ufixit kit when we have a spare half an hour or so.
Step One is to move the vehicle into a shaded position – away from UV light and-remove the O’Brien sticker. Then clean the area around the chip with waterless hand wash and dry off any excess with a towel.
Step Two is to mount the suction cup frame over the chip, with the resin-outlet hole centred exactly over the stone’s impact point. This impact point is usually a tiny hole in the glass surface, with blister-like crazing underneath it, inside the glass.
Step Three is to screw the injector housing into the frame, so that the hole in the rubber tip is precisely over the impact point in the glass. It’s worth fiddling around with this alignment, before locking down the suction cups, because it’s vital that the resin flows directly into the hole. The injector housing is then tightened so that the rubber tip is in firm contact with the glass.
Step Four is to put a few drops of resin into the injector housing chamber and then screw in the injector plunger, which forces the resin into the fissure. You can check from inside the vehicle that the flow has penetrated the chip. In cold weather it’s possible to blow hot air on the inside of the glass to encourage resin flow, if it hasn’t penetrated to the bottom of the chip.
Step Five is a repeat of Step Four, until the chip has virtually disappeared and then the vehicle can be put in sunlight, to cure the resin.
Although it’s not intended to repair long cracks in windscreens we’ve had success with the Ufixit kit in reducing annoying refraction from small cracks.
The best results when filling cracks are achieved by having an offsider use gentle hand pressure from inside the vehicle to pressurise the glass outwards – too much pressure makes the crack run, we found, so gently does it! Pressure opens the crack on the outside of the windscreen, making it easy to hand-drizzle a fine bead of resin into the gap.
When resin has displaced air from the crack it’s time to place the thin plastic curing strips on top of the repair and move the vehicle into sunlight. Some cracks we’ve filled have disappeared entirely, but the usual result is a hairline effect, instead of a wide slash of silver refraction that’s annoying to look through.
Any surface resin is easily scraped off the glass with the razor blade and the resin bottle comes with a press-on sealer, so there’s no waste.
With patience it’s possible to do a professional-looking repair to most small chips and cracks, prolonging windscreen life.
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