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Well, at least the bindings worked - insert repair?


BrennanKMN
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I was out skiing last night and took a pretty good fall coming out of 5 ball going for 6. My OB4s released and that was awesome, that would have been a bad fall otherwise. However, I managed to rip out the back two inserts on the ski in the process. I added them a few weeks ago. They are brass inserts with JBweld around them.

 

Is there anyway to repair this? I was going to fill in the holes with epoxy, sand down the lifted part of the top of the ski and re-drill them.

 

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Inserts are meant to go into specific places in the ski core that have been reinforced with another material. You found out the hard way that you can't put inserts where ever you want. Personally I would get a new ski, you may have compromised the integrity of that ski.
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Plus I am not sure the OB4s released completely properly. I would like the bindings to release without ripping the inserts out of the ski. Still much better than getting hurt. I would probably get a new ski also.
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two part epoxy to fill the holes. Drill and reinstall inserts in virgin material. I actually coat my insert repairs with two part epoxy as well and then drive them into the ski. I have done this about a dozen times with great success. I actually just did it last night.
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First, oversize inserts are available. Get the bigger inserts and you should be able to make a repair as good as the original. I've fixed a lot of inserts this way and they work well.

 

Filling in the old holes with JB weld and trying to cut new threads hasn't worked for me. The hardened JB weld doesn't tap well or hold very well.

 

I have had tolerable luck filling the holes with steel wool impregnated with JB weld and using stainless sheet metal screws.

 

As a last resort, I've laminated a couple patches of glass over the pull out area and gotten that to work for a while.

 

Screws that pull out are a common occurrence. No structural damage has happened to any of my skis. Actually, I usually test a ski with sheet metal screws. When these pull out I replace with oversize sheet metal screws. When this pulls out I install inserts. When these pull out I install an oversize insert. When this fails, the ski is now really old and it's time for a new one.

 

On second thought, the ski is shot. Send it to me for proper disposal!

 

Eric

 

@lcgordon A toothpick will get a fair amount of material into the hole. Some kind of filler (steel wool of fiberglass) mixed with the JB weld can also force a lot of material in the hole. A heat gun makes the JB weld a lot thinner and it wicks into the hole pretty well (use regular JB not JB Quik and don't get it too hot as it will kick off very quickly). Finally, if you are putting a new insert in, coat the outside of the insert with the JB weld (not too much of this actually goes in the hole but it gets in the critical spots).

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The OB4 design can concentrate nearly 100% of the force at the front edge of the spring housing in an OTF. If the only screw holding it in is toward the rear, then that creates additional leverage. I would have been shocked if two inserts at that location (and potentially into air) would survive an OTF. You can see that it was not just pulled out, but torqued out, which makes complete sense with the physics.

 

At the very least, any new inserts should be as close to the pin as possible, but unless the manufacturer can confirm that there is solid material there, I would go with the 3M tape.

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I am planning on a new ski, so that will happen soon.

 

I used 3M tape before I added inserts and it came off after one set. What 3M tape do you recommend?

 

I am pretty content with what happened. I ended up about 30-40 feet from where the fall started. I was just past the first wake and I ended up about 5 feet from 6 ball with my ski another 5 feet away. Being able to get back into the boat with absolutely zero injury was a success with me.

 

@eleeski Where does one get oversize inserts? I am going to repair this ski and use it for a little longer until I start demoing skis next month.

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With all adhesives, prepping the surface and allowing full cure time are critically important.

 

I haven't used the (non-Dual-Lock) tape, but the Dual-Lock adhesive is plenty strong enough, so I doubt that's the problem. It's the same tape that Denali is using to hold on the binding plates and that @mmosley899 has used. From what I hear, the only problem is that it's almost impossible to remove! Perhaps one of them can tell you the specifics.

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Ace hardware might be a local source for you - they often have a great selection. Look for brass threaded inserts 8-32 in the trays that have fancy little bolts and furniture hardware. The oversize ones are easier to find than the small diameter one that pulled out (I order these online - Radar might be a good source unless you want to buy 50). I also bought an assortment of oversize inserts from Harbor freight. I haven't found them at Home Depot or Lowes.

 

Finding a tap for the big inserts is a bit of a challenge. I found a lag bolt that had the right threads but I had to try a few to find it. Experiment on something other than the ski. I find that tapping the hole before JB welding in the inserts works best. Remember to drill the hole to the proper size. Too small will cause cracking and too large won't hold.

 

Eric

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@oldjeep I have access to my high quality laminating resin (Applied Poleramic) but find the JB weld works as well for small repairs. It's a bit thicker and the thickening agent seems to add good strength. I haven't had as good results with other epoxies.

 

Really though, the convenience for small repairs is the magic. Cheap and easy to buy anywhere. Easy to mix just the right amount and get a good mix. Nice long work time. Flows well with some heat. Overnight cure time - faster with added heat. Pretty darn strong - if JB weld won't fix it you probably need a new one.

 

Big repairs get the laminating resin. Big filling projects get Superfil (slower but way better than bondo). JB Quik is a lower strength convenience product but I do use that a lot for insert installation when I'm lazy. Works OK on straightforward and clean insert installations but anything weird gets regular JB.

 

Eric

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The inserts I used were from an ace. They are brass and have pretty darn large threads - the attached pictures are rather misleading about the size. That is why I was wondering if you had a specific over sized insert in mind.

 

I will have to get some dual lock. I guess I was confused as that is not what I'd consider 'tape' that is an interlocking system. I was thinking more of a double sided tape - like 3M VHB tape.

 

I used JB weld based on the recommendations here. I have used 2 part marine epoxy in the past.

 

What tape/dual lock should you use on a demo ski? If it is impossible to remove doesn't that become a problem on the skis you do not keep?

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Probably VHB, except that VHB seems to randomly decide not to stick to some surfaces. I used some of it on my old race helmet and I snapped the mount and the go-pro case when I crashed, the tape stayed stuck. But when it was used on my (snow) ski it popped off like it was scotch tape.
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@oldjeep

I have experienced similar results with VHB. When it works it works really well. I find using a heat gun to warm up the surfaces before applying the tape made a huge difference.

 

 

Well I will fix it up the best I can and I'll let you know. OB4's have been a pretty good learning experience. I probably also need to keep my back boot looser, I noticed I was lifting the mounting plate off the ski while I was skiing bending it slightly.

 

It's all a learning experience...

 

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I would always use 3M VHB before I would put an insert into a ski where it was not designed to be put. Ski manufacturers put a nylon plug in the core to hold factory inserts in place. When you put an insert anywhere else in the ski it is always weak.
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Be very careful running the tension too loose. I guess it's not as scary on the rear boot, but heel retention should be quite high. I recently checked some snow ski charts and found 200 Nm for heel release, which it turns out is a LOT. However, snow ski boots have a stiff tongue which may act to force out the heel in a situation where a waterskier would tear an Achilles. So don't take that 200 number literally. Just realize that you really don't want to set releasable boots too loose.
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@BrennanKMN you should not have had to install inserts in the back of the ski, the hole pattern matches most ski manufacturers. @Than_Bogan 's comments are right on. I have been using the 3M double sided tape with no problems, other than trying to get it back off. Be sure to use tape in the places shown in the photo to make sure the plate does not flex up from the ski, which can cause unexpected release.

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Mike's Overall Binding

USA Water Ski  Senior Judge   Senior Driver   Senior Tech Controller

 

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I made an over sized insert for a friend the other day. He had a large hole in the ski.

Used a large brass screw. Filed it to dimensions in the drilling machine etc.

Made the threds.

 

Let's see how it will work out for him....

 

 

 

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When I use to put them in my goode yrs back I would fill the hole with resin dripped in then fill the insert with wax to keep resin out of threads then pick wax out worked pretty well.I've fixed ski like that just use a little matting and glass fix the bad spot
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I didn't realize these were aftermarket inserts. That does make the fix more difficult. I've used plastic threaded wallboard anchors with ss sheet metal screws on some big holes but the strength is not as good as the brass anchors. Still, they worked for a while.

 

@spicoli 's fill with epoxy and glass might work for a while as well. I'd still use the jam nuts on a bolt installation tool instead of wax. I can't wax the inside without getting some on the outside. Also you might be surprised how much material is still there for some grip of the pulled out insert and it might not be a drop in. Some matte over the top of the insert might help a lot too to repair the surrounding skin.

 

I looked for Reflex glue on posts but they weren't on the website anymore. I've never personally used them but it sounds like it might work for you if you can find them or some equivalent. If you try them, let us know how it turned out.

 

Tape is another good solution. I've only used Duallock (another option? but with it's own issues). My experience with the Duallock would have me recommend an oversize plate to bond to the ski. This smooths out the point loading at the edges of the plate where the shear forces are largest. Again let us know what you used and how well it worked.

 

Eric

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