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Bandit 8th edition bladder question

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kjorn
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Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby kjorn » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:01 am

Hi,

Got me a Bandit 7m, 8th edition (2015) which I crashed into some prickly bushes. So... :(

Took LE bladder out. Found and fixed 39 little holes. Put bladder in kite, pumped up. Stayed up for about an hour.

Pumped up hard, sprayed soapy water on LE. See about 17 bubbles appear. Some along the Dacron seams (no indication of where the pin-prick is :( ... ) .... Questions:

1. Keep patching? If so how to find super tiny holes?
2. Are my patches leaking? (Patch Tool Super Patch GP-2 ... alcohol wipe, then paper towel, then stick on, then 1 day to dry)
3. If I replace the LE, are stick on valves worth it? Or go fully welded for an extra £50 ?
4. What year Bandits bladders are compatible? Can I got with a 2016 or 2014 LE? Will they fit a 2015?
5. What have I missed? Should I be doing something else to make my life better?

I want to keep this kite for a long time. I know in the reviews it always says that the Bandit is fun, and I've always wondered how do you define that? Compared to a torch or vegas? Those are both fun. But flipping heck, the Bandit is just more funner than those other kites. I don't know what it's doing differently, but it is super fun to fly. It makes me happy (well, until it tried to kill me and dived into a prickly bush)

Thanks people,

kjorn

PS I'm surprised that kite companies don't care about older kites. F-One don't stock the bladders for my kite. This really makes me wonder about picking up more used Bandits. And if I do grab one, then I'll be damned if I pay much for it as I can't get cheap spares. This must drive the sales down for new kites if after a few years people can't shift them. Kite companies should sell a cheap care kit for older kites. Get a LE replacement, a spare strut bladder, some patches, bridle line, pullies etc etc all at cost.... that would keep used kite prices super high, meaning people who buy new would buy new far more often? Right? If they are sure their 2 year old kite is going to make them a bunch of $$££ to put towards the next new version? If I had a new Bandit and in a years time it was worth 25% of what it is now, I'd just hang on to it and not bother upgrading.

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby GregK » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:42 am

Highly doubt your patches are leaking unless you didn't clean the bladder before applying the patches and they have come off during re-installation.

Might want to check on the old bladder the location of some of the new pinholes. If they are repeatably close to the original ones ( same pattern ) then the thorn tips are still stuck in the Dacron fabric of the kite's LE and you'll need to get them out before putting a new bladder in and making holes in it. Removing thorn tips will not be easy to do with 100% certainty.

If you decide to patch all the holes in the original bladder again, before re-installing it in the kite, pump the bladder up alone drum tight. Measure the maximum circumference. Leave the bladder overnight. If the circumference is the same in the morning the bladder is pinhole-free and ready for re-installation. If it's shrunk, you still have pinholes in the bladder - back to the soapy water tank !

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby GregK » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:50 am

To find the super tiny pinholes, you need to inflate the bladder in sections between the 1-pump valves. This will allow you to pump up that section of bladder to super drum tight pretty well across the section, stretching the bladder maybe 15 - 20 % circumferentially and opening up those tiny holes.

Also splash on a mixture of dish-soap to locate them, as the low surface tension of a soapy water mix form & show bubbles better than immersion of the bladder into water. Holding the bladder under water creates enough backpressure and the higher surface tension of pure water at the pinhole will plug the tiny pinholes and they won't show. Need to cover the bladder with a thin film of soapy water, then air will still flow out the tiny holes.

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby GregK » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:52 am

During a screening leak test ( kite pumped hard & coated with soapy water ) the air will leak out the nearest hole in the Dacron. Often that's a stitching hole at the LE closure seam, canopy-LE seam, or another spot with stitching. Leak will typically be in that general area.

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby Pemba » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:57 am

Not sure if you're interested but I've bought bladders of older models at wanikou.com, they seem to have a lot. So far no quality issues and they appear friendly enough and communicate well.

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby kjorn » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:37 pm

GregK wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:42 am

Might want to check on the old bladder the location of some of the new pinholes. If they are repeatably close to the original ones ( same pattern ) then the thorn tips are still stuck in the Dacron fabric of the kite's LE and you'll need to get them out before putting a new bladder in and making holes in it. Removing thorn tips will not be easy to do with 100% certainty.
Thanks for the advice. I will keep trying to patch the holes.

I did check the dacron for thorns. I will push a small childs arm into the LE to double check. My far arms won't fit through the bladder insertion hole.

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby PullStrings » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:55 pm

GregK wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:42 am
Before re-installing it in the kite, pump the bladder up alone drum tight.
Measure the maximum circumference. Leave the bladder overnight.
If the circumference is the same in the morning the bladder is pinhole-free and ready for re-installation. If it's shrunk, you still have pinholes in the bladder
Well said ...i just want to share how i measure differently
What i do is take a sheet of white paper and fold it twice lengthwise
Unfold... then following the 3 creases... i cut with scissors to make 4 same width strips
Depending how big is the circumference at the bladder's widest point i will use 2 or 3 of the strips
Using masking tape i make myself a single continuous strip...overlap 1 inch of each strip with tape....two will measure 21 inches...three 31 inches
Take the long strip and wrap it tight over bladder biggest area...usually that area is 100% pinhole free...tape it tight...make sure ring of paper is quite snug and does not spin
Reason for being pinhole free at widest is that air pressure is at it's highest there and pinholes are much easier to find...and if you found holes there... it's already patched up

If after overnight test the paper ring is just as tight then all is perfect...put it back in LE casing
If it is a tiny tiny looser then go back to find the one(s) you have missed using soapy water
I like to rub the soapy water by hand all over the inflated bladder.....i buy ready made liquid for kids to make bubbles...it is very efficient to locate the extra small holes
Do not dilute the liquid or it wont work as good...you may not see the bubble(s) right away as you rub...wait a bit...be systematic...do end to end lengthwise sections
Pump that LE bladder about 20% more than the casing itself
Do this indoors on clean floor....outside debris / sands spurs etc can damage bladder....also indoor being quiet you might even hear air escape
Make sure all your 1 pump valves have no air coming out of it...you can block them shut with small rubber corks

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Re: Bandit 8th edition bladder question

Postby kjorn » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:47 pm

Thanks for all the replies. Quick update on where I am...

I have slogged my way through a world of pain and misery.

I soaped the bladder in sections. I used some wood, wrapped in soft towels to clamp sections of the bladder off so I could pump it up in my front room. Put the radio on and patch in the warmth.

So the last time I had the whole bladder out of the kite I had around 57 patches, some patches covering two holes.

Put the bladder back in the kite, pumped it hard, sprayed liquid soap on it and found another 8 areas that were bubbling...

I nearly gave up (it sucks going to the bike shop to buy more patches :( ) but I took it out to check that the patches were all holding. They seemed to be. I couldn't peel them off, so I guess they are good.

One set of holes with 3 patches in very close proximity was leaking a little. So I inserted a patch into the bladder via the dump valve and patched it from the inside. This worked.

I have no idea how many patches are on the bladder at the moment, more than 60. The kite seems to be holding air. Just need to check it on the water.

I contacted a bunch of shops and F-One. No replacement bladders. None on eBay. You can buy custom made ones from France (welded valves) for around £100 .... I couldn't decide whether to buy it or not. I depends on how much value you place on your own time and experience. I found it frustrating but interesting. Self growth. Dealing with an issue that seems impossible. "Just keep patching. Make sure each one is 100% perfect." Now do this 60 times.

Thanks for all the help :)


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