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How to repair broken retainer tab on air filter box?


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So far I've only messed up two parts working on my Boxster:  one exhaust clamp and the rear retainer clip on the air filter box.  The black plastic tab broke as indicated by the red line.  As I was forcing it at the time, it flew off to parts unknown.

 

14703260708_e0d368f2d4_c.jpg

 

I bought a $50 used airbox assy. from a junkyard near Sacramento.  Later on I discovered the missing tab and metal clip when pulling the tranny for the IMSB change.

 

According to Wayne Dempsey, in order to remove/replace the airbox assy you have to PULL THE INTAKE MANIFOLD.  http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/23-FUEL-Cold_Air_Intake/23-FUEL-Cold_Air_Intake.htm  This sort of makes replacing the airbox to cure a missing retainer tab a non-starter IMHO.

 

Is Wayne right, or can you wiggle an airbox in and out without pulling the intake manifold?

 

The alternative is to "glue" the plastic tab back into place, with possibly some extra reinforcements.  I have a perfect example of an undamaged airbox sitting here which helps me plan.

 

What kind of plastic does Porsche use for such an airbox?  Is it ABS?  Most plastics are friendly to certain glues and not so friendly to other types of glues. 

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The airbox is not marked with any recycling symbols that I'm familiar with, such as these.

 

recycle-logos-1.jpg

 

But I did see in two places a suspicious marking "PP GF20".  A google search "recycling PP GF20" turned up that it's polypropylene glass-filled 20%.  So your idea was a good one.  Dank je.

 

Polypropylene is supposed to be difficult to glue.  Some suggest JB Weld Plasticweld.  There's a two-part superglue from Loctite that's supposed to work.  http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/sg_plstc/overview/Loctite-Plastics-Bonding-System.htm

Edited by Dennis Nicholls
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There are two-part epoxy panel bonder cartridges that can fix the broken tab and make a permanent repair.  One of the manufacturers is SEM.  They come in a dual-cylinder cartridge that mixes through a (disposable) dispensing nozzle at the other end as the trigger is pulled on the cartridge gun.  The chambers in the dispensing nozzles force the two elements to intermix thoroughly before coming out of the nozzle end and the resulting mixture is as strong as, or stronger, than the original material.  You can use it to glue and reinforce your original broken tab or you can build up a new tab and shape it with a dremel and files.  This material is commonly used in auto body shops to repair plastic pieces that commonly break under the hood in a collision.  This avoids having to buy a completely new piece and saves on removal and replacing labor.

 

Regards, Maurice.

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  • 1 month later...

3M has a 2 part panel bond that is available at most auto parts stores as well. I use to get panel bond from a automotive paint supply place here until I found it at Autozone. You can even use it to mold pieces with clay from any local craft shop. . If you have the broken piece, clean both edges (Wax and grease remover works well) or if needed score both edges to get a better adhesion. Take and mix the epoxy. I like using smaller batches and mixing on a body filler scraper. Use a backer as well. 3M provides a small screen patch with the epoxy. After applying epoxy let cure. I usually wait at least 24 hours without touching or moving the part. This would include not driving. I've used this method on motorcycle fairings that were in pieces. It works.   

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