Zega Case Repair
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011
I had a little “oops” on the way back from camping last weekend. The bike wound up on its right side. The road was rough enough that the corner of my Zega case dug into the asphalt, tweaking the case and grinding up some aluminum.
The bag didn’t look all that bad until I got home and looked closely. The tilt initially worried me more than the bag as I though I might have tweaked the mounting brackets or parts of the sub frame where they attach. The first picture shows that the crash bars did their job, absorbing the energy of the fall by bending and ever so slightly adding a dimple to the valve cover.
The mounting bracket seems OK. I’ll loosen all the mounting screws and re-torque to make sure. The Zega bag, on the other hand, has some twists and bends on the inner side around the mounting pucks that caused the tilt. Now where did I put my big hammers.
Didn’t I just fix this last month? Oh, I fixed the rear outer loop. This time it was the front outer loop that was slightly bent. I’m getting good at fixing these tops.
Using the big hammer as an anvil helped me get the front corner of the box more-or-less in the proper shape. I took a file to the chewed up outer edge. Since several of the spot welds broke the box is not as strong as it once was. I think I’ll get some aluminum brazing rod to fill in the gap and provide some extra support. I’ll do that on the outside, and add some RTV to the inside to make sure water keeps out.
To get at the reinfoced upper edge of the Zega I removed the mounting pucks. That let me lay the inner wall of the box on a flat table and use some C-clamps to straighten the edge. I don’t yet know if this is going to be enough. It got too hot in the garage so I left the case as shown in the last image. I’ll get back to working on it in a few days.
Thursday, Sep 22, 2011
Nothing to do with repairing the Zega cases, but as long as I was working in the garage I pulled off the right crash bar and attempted to straighten a bit. While it was off the bike I cleaned and put some paint on the section of the bars that needed it. I forgot to buy aluminum colored paint after using up the little bit I had last time. I have something called aluminum chrome. It is shinny enough to be sickening at first but eventually fades to something closer to the original silver/gray. If it bothers me too much I’ll re-paint it after I get the right colored stuff.
When I removed the C clamps the bent upper edge was better but it still had enough of a curve to make mounting the cover a pain. I flopped the bag around and clamped the straight side down then used a hydraulic jack to apply some pressure to the bent rail, forcing it to bend slightly in the other direction. It helped. When I removed the jack it sprang back a bit. There is still a slight bend, but I can put the top on without issue. Good enough.
I used a hammer to take some of the small creases out of the back of the case. It, too, is straight enough. Before calling it an afternoon I cleaned up much of the old RTV sealer stuck to the case where the pucks mount.
Still to do is get some aluminum brazing rod to fill in a bit of the gap and add support where the spot welds were torn apart.
Saturday, Sep 24, 2011
‘I picked up some aluminum brazing rod and used it to add some support along the side where the spot welds had pulled apart. It’s not the prettiest repair, but it will do. I used some RTV sealer along the seam on the inside of the pannier to keep water out. I hope. I suppose I should test it.
More RTV was used when mounting the pucks. It took me longer to clean the old goop off of the mounting screws than it did to actually put the pucks back on the case. The only thing left to do is put the case back on the bike.
With the case back on the bike I can see that I tweaked the mounting bracket some. I can live with it the way it is.
All is ready for my next ride. Yeah, it’s only to breakfast with the SMBC tomorrow morning. The RTV will be cured by then. In a day or two I’ll check if the case is water tight.