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LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

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Jelle_vw
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LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby Jelle_vw » Mon May 18, 2020 4:36 pm

Dear fellow kiters,

The LE stitching on my Ozone Catalyst 7m '15 is somewhat streching / widening at some points.
At one point I can see the bladder through small holes.
Should I worry about sudden tears and or blow out of the LE bladder?
Do you guys think this will get worse quickly?

It's not very clear in the picture but maybe it helps.
Ozone Catalyst 7m '15 LE rip (compressed).jpg

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby PullStrings » Mon May 18, 2020 4:57 pm

When I see this problem i put a couple clear Tear Aid type A patches over the area
Clean area real good with Isopropyl alcohol and let dry fully
Make two round patches
First one 1.5 inch diam and apply
Then 2nd one centered right over it 3.0 inch diam and apply
It has extreme bond and stretches a bit but when overlapped it is quite minimized

Next time you pump just put less PSI pressure by 0.5 to lessen stitching tension
See if kite flies just as well next time you go out
If so you should not need to worry your kite will stay solid
If you do nothing at all to prevent the casing stitching from opening you could have a big explosion in time
Casing will blow along with the bladder
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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby kitexpert » Mon May 18, 2020 5:47 pm

Good advice from PullStrings. Some strengthening should be done otherwise there is a risk LE bursts and bladder also, resulting quite large repair work. So yes, there is need to worry, even though that is only few stitches.

Unfortunately Ozone kites have suffered from these issues, they have used dacron which feels suspiciously soft and gives in in seams. I remember one Catalyst which had bumpy LE, I didn't dare to put anywhere near full pressure in it.

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby Jelle_vw » Mon May 18, 2020 6:23 pm

Indeed good advice.
Thanks a lot.
I will follow it up and strengthen the bladder at this location.

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby Jelle_vw » Mon May 18, 2020 7:19 pm

PullStrings wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 4:57 pm
_put a couple clear Tear Aid type A patches over the area_
Oops, I just realize maybe I misunderstand you.
Do you mean patches on the bladder or patches on the casing?

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby PullStrings » Mon May 18, 2020 7:23 pm

Directly on the dacron casing
The bladder at this point is just fine
If you don't have Tear Aid type A get it from Amazon
It's not expensive to get a good amount of it
3 inches by 5 feet for about $25
Always good to have on hand for all types of repairs
Not just kiting

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby Craz Z » Mon May 18, 2020 8:03 pm

Send it out for repair. If you ever see bladder coming out of dacron the pressure energy will be pushed directly to that spot resulting in a POP!. Think dacron as the tire and the bladder is the tube. once exposed it pops.

If you use tearaid make sure to put it on the inside and outside of the LE to avoid chaffing or pressure from the bladder trying to undue the adhesive from the tearaid. again like patching a tire usually always done from the inside.

that one is in a tough spot for patching on the outside due to the "piping" like what you would find on upholstery. the tearaid won't adhere perfectly around the "piping" causing voids. Inside patch and outside patch would be best if you don't want to send it out.

another option most of us aren't thrilled about is kitefix it. glue in the reinforcement patch then dacron over it once it dries. A little more permanent then tearaid. and obviously looks more like "something has been fixed"

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby br44 » Mon May 18, 2020 10:02 pm

Here’s another option. Cut up a Dacron patch (I have some white Dacron to spare, btw), then clean the area and glue it with Sikaflex 291i. I did this before (strut seam, similar issue) and the patch held without problems.

The only issue is that the Sikaflex is a bit expensive, and I couldn’t buy just a little. Then once opened, it gets hard and unusable after a few weeks. But it’s a good repair, and you have to patch your LE no matter what.
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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby Craz Z » Mon May 18, 2020 11:06 pm

br44 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:02 pm
Here’s another option. Cut up a Dacron patch (I have some white Dacron to spare, btw), then clean the area and glue it with Sikaflex 291i. I did this before (strut seam, similar issue) and the patch held without problems.

The only issue is that the Sikaflex is a bit expensive, and I couldn’t buy just a little. Then once opened, it gets hard and unusable after a few weeks. But it’s a good repair, and you have to patch your LE no matter what.
good option looks the same price as a tiny tube of kitefix glue. with a caulk saver it might last 6 months ish and you could start a kite repair business with the amount in one of those tubes :D I'll try to remember this one cause kitefix is not easy to find but sika very well might be in a pinch.

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Re: LE stitching stretches / is widening. Need to worry?

Postby Milko0k » Tue May 19, 2020 1:12 am

At least you need to reinforce that spot.

I fixed the same problem by applying a patch of sail tape but on the inside of leading edge.
Through bladder access opening I pulled the leading edge out on itself to the point where stitching was stretched, cleaned it up with alcohol and applied as big and as wide patch that I could physically fit. Since then I haven't observed any further stretching.

Good luck with it.


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