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Washer Bottle Crack Repair


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#1 Tornado99

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 08:54 PM

Im attempting to fix cracks on my '88 Mini's windshield washer bottle. It is the odd shaped one to fit in front of brake vacuum booster, only used for two or three years before they were moved to the boot on the SPI, and so its pretty expensive to replace ($100+ here in Canada).
Been watching a few videos on folks repairing HDPE plastic petrol tanks (same material as the washer bottle) with very large cracks, using only a soldering iron and some cut up strips of plastic (oil bottles are usually HDPE).
My bottle is cracked along the mounting bracket fitting notches.

Ive all but completed this "welding" operation, just got a few pin holes still to locate and seal. Need todo final test fits on the mount bracket and reshape if needed. A Dremel with little round mandrel ball seems to be a good fit in the long groove notches.

#2 Cooper Mac

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Posted 17 August 2020 - 08:08 AM

I have the same washer bottle that has cracked in the same place! I think mine is just one pin hole, but I haven't got round to trying to sort it out yet.

 

I was just going to try and puddle the plastic with a soldering iron, but would you suggest adding some material as well?



#3 Tornado99

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Posted 17 August 2020 - 04:12 PM

So far ive managed to seal one side. Other is giving some grief. I had tried to do that side with epoxy and fibreglass to reinforcing as it was a stress crack. After grinding back to shape found it to. Still be leaking. So I went with melting the plastic directly, then filling with bits of oil container plastic (HDPE type, same as the washer bottle) cut into strips and cleaned with degreaser brake cleaner. This worked on the one side but has been difficult on the previously epoxied side. Keep getting pinhole leaks appearing around edges of melted material. I check by blowing into the washer pump nozzle with a bit of hose and have soapy water along the repaired areas.
I think one issue is my soldering iron is not hot enough to really melt the plastic enough. It tends to get a bit clingy and goopy, not flowing. Will need to try another iron I have someplace.

#4 sonscar

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 07:01 AM

Maybe try a gas powered iron?I have one where you remove the tip leaving a very small blowlamp type thingy.Steve..

#5 Tornado99

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 03:18 AM

OK I found and used an old soldering iron, pencil type, and it did a better job melting the plastic to a more liquid state. Able to seal up the affected areas and no more leaks found. Go it back in car and filled with washer fluid now. Seems good.
Saved me $100.

#6 Ell.s

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 08:27 PM

I just used plastic glue the type that melts it chemically. Worked perfect first try.

#7 Tornado99

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:44 PM

Well my repair didn't go as planned. After a few drives with the bottle filled, I discovered it had popped out of the mounting bracket. Tried re-fitting and saw that the molded section was not properly engaging with the metal bracket, due to changes in the plastic groove dimensions from the welding operation. Tried some re-shaping with the soldering iron, got it fitting better, but then the crack had become opened and it was leaking again. Decided this repair was a no go as the area was just too difficult to get right and still be strong enough for mounting. 

 

Have a fresh bottle on order....


Edited by Tornado99, 14 September 2020 - 07:46 PM.


#8 Trissy B

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:37 PM

I have cracked in the same place too!! I brought a second hand one off ebay which turned out to have a fine crack too!!

So I got another one and on testing it leaks as well!! You couldn't make it up.

Maybe I will give the plastic glue a go. What did you use? At least I've got a spare if I mess it up!

Is this the "D" shaped unipart bottle?

#9 Tornado99

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 10:44 PM

Most glues will not work on the white plastic of the washer bottle. It is HDPE, same stuff they make canoes and kayaks, gasoline jerry cans, motor oil bottles etc. out of.
If you have a fine crack, not a worn through area like mine had, you should try a soldering iron to melt the material along the crack into a "V" shape, then back fill the V with added plastic from an old oil bottle etc that is also HDPE plastic (look at the molded in label somewhere on the bottle to see recycle lettering). Make sure iron is good and hot and plastic gets almost hot enough to flow a bit. Should be a good fix if original not to bad.
I think the real issue is the metal bracket having sharp edges against the plastic. Maybe try grinding edges rounder or using some kind of protective tape?

#10 Tornado99

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 05:40 PM

Welp, looks like the new, $100+ dollar washer fluid tank has suffered the exact same failure as original, cracked along the moulding where it mounts to metal bracket.
I still have the old failed one. Planning to cut away the moulding mount, fit a plate of aluminium inside/outside the cut out, are rivet or bolt them together, sandwiching the surrounding plastic. Silicone sealant to form gasket for waster tightness Then bolt on a couple of alu flats cut to length so they slide into body bracket.
Will photo whatever I come up with.

#11 cal844

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 07:01 PM

Why not just get one made in ally?

Yes not original specification but would look cool

Edited by cal844, 03 May 2021 - 07:02 PM.


#12 surfblue

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 07:20 PM

Had one of those old glass washer bottle ones in the garage until recently but had a clear out and it went to the skip.

Edited by surfblue, 03 May 2021 - 07:20 PM.


#13 Tornado99

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 08:30 PM

Why not just get one made in ally?

Yes not original specification but would look cool


Ummm, sounds like it would cost several hundred dollars minimum to have someone fabricate one for me?

#14 Tornado99

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 08:34 PM

Had one of those old glass washer bottle ones in the garage until recently but had a clear out and it went to the skip.

.

That might of been an expensive mistake!

Saw a video of an old gent with original '59 Mini, beat up but still a goer. He wanted and found an original glass jar type reservoir and paid 800 pounds for in ebay. He was so happy to get it.

Any move to another type of container for me will require re-thinking how the electric pump connects to it. The stock one has a moulding which pump snaps into and seals the pick spigot on a rubber bushing.

Edited by Tornado99, 03 May 2021 - 08:36 PM.


#15 MiniCarJack

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 08:46 PM

 

Had one of those old glass washer bottle ones in the garage until recently but had a clear out and it went to the skip.

.

That might of been an expensive mistake!

Saw a video of an old gent with original '59 Mini, beat up but still a goer. He wanted and found an original glass jar type reservoir and paid 800 pounds for in ebay. He was so happy to get it.

Any move to another type of container for me will require re-thinking how the electric pump connects to it. The stock one has a moulding which pump snaps into and seals the pick spigot on a rubber bushing.

 

 

You could maybe go for a universal kit which comes with a new reservoir and 12v pump, there are quite a few options on Amazon, Ebay etc from what I've seen, and they're really cheap.

 

Or if you can get an externally mounted pump you could get creative with just about any container you like  :D

 

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