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Neoprene drysuit repair and modification - Urgent request!

Discussion in 'Repairing your own Gear' started by jvisser, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. jvisser

    jvisser Angel Fish

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    Greetings,

    I'm on a tight schedule, so I sincerely appreciate repsonse quickly so I can get my gear in order in time for my dive plan.

    So, question 1: The seams on my never-used, new-old-stock neoprene drysuit are taped, but the tape is coming loose in places, and completely off in other places. The adhesive seems to have been clear or invisible, or perhaps not enough. What is the recommended procedure for sealing seams? Should I attempt to reattach the tape? If so, what adhesive? If not, what is the preferred seam sealing procedure?

    Question 2: What is the correct or preferred method for attaching valve ports to a 2-side nylon lined neoprene suit? Should the nylon be removed from the neoprene in the attachement area, or should the nylon simply be soaked with adhesive for attachment?

    Question 3: Field repair - what type of material, and adhesive, and technique should be used for field repairs of leaks, such punctures, leaking seams, and etc.?

    Question 4: Should a neoprene neck seal be trimmed for fit, or stretched, or perhaps both? (corotid sinus reflew concerns, or just plain too tight!)

    Thanks very much!

    jv
     
  2. Bob3

    Bob3 Dive Shop

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    #1: plain old wetsuit cement is the prefered glue to be using. Avoid AquaSeal & other "low stretch" adhesives in areas that get a lot of movement. Follow directions on the can & don't rush things. Most frequent mistake made is not waiting 'till the glue has dried to the "tack free" stage.

    #2: do not disturb the nylon. Be sure to degrease and scuff the glue side of the valve port. No glue needed on any inside washers, etc.

    #3: here again, plain old wetsuit cement is the prefered adhesive. If you do a repair in a high stretch area with something like AquaSeal, the material right next to the repair will almost always fail. Then you have a mess & will wind up having to cut out the entire messed up area.

    #4: Do not trim neoprene neck seals, stretching will allow them to eventually take a set. Use a can, ball, tank, etc. Overnight or at least a few hours is good.
    After you dive the suit for an extended amount of time & the neck seal has stretched permanently, you may do a trim if absolutely necessary.
     
  3. jvisser

    jvisser Angel Fish

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    Thanks Bob! Wow, this board is great, the members are uncommonly knowledgable and helpful.

    Thanks for the informaiton. When I got the suit I installed the valves myself accorinding to the instructions of the seller, which turned out to be just as you prescribe - leave the nylon in place, scuff the glue side of the ports, and use wetsuit glue to attach. He even supplied both the emery cloth scuffer and the glue.

    On the neck seal, I read what I thought were instructions for a neoprene neck seal, which must have actually referred to a latex seal, and I trimmed it, removing about 2.25". It was very, very tight, so much so that I feared I would asphyxiate - I was in distress! I can't imagine it would stretch so much. I trimmed it to a snug fit that I can roll in (so the outside surface contacts my neck. I can inflate the suit on the surface and the neck holds air very well.

    The question is, thoug, will this be safe and dry? If not, where can I get a replacement neoprene neck seal in a big hurry, and how do I replace it?

    Thanks in advance,

    jv

    p.s. installed new Viking valve ports and valves on this suit.
     

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