perroloco wrote:My kites are full of valve air leaks. Its time to tear all of the valves off and re-glue them. What should I use to clean the old glue residue off and which is the best glue to re-glue?
Before you put on your new valve clean both the bladder and the old valve with rubbing alcohol (you don't need 100%, 97% is good enough though right now I have been using 70%). You can also lightly sand both the bladder and valve to ensure a good mechanical bond in addition to the chemical one but I don't always do this. To restick the valve use 3m 5200 fast cure, that's the red tube, the blue tube cures in 7 days be careful get the right kind. I have done dozens of valve sticks and never had a failure. I have one fuel 13 (it was a good condition 2004 that I got for cheap) and the first time I pumped it up, it held air for about 2 minutes and then every single valve came off. I did a compete 13 valve restick two years ago haven't had a single leak since and it is now my main daily kite. To stick the valve apply a light code of glue stick the valve and then weight the thing down with some cylindrical object about an inch or two in size, you want the exact right size so the cylinder presses around the valve and then place a few pounds on top. The weight will ensure a good bond and squeeze out any bubbles. 3m 5200 says it will be fully cured in 24 hours but it will be cured enough to fly in about 4 hours depending on your temperature and moisture (it cures via water vapor). I usually do a valve restick before I go to bed and then fly the kite the next day. Some people use aquaseal but I like 3m5200 better. You can find it at your local hardware store (or ebay if your nation doesn't stock it locally). You will have to keep it in the freezer after your first use otherwise the tube goes bad. There is no cap tight enough to keep it from curing once you have opened it.
Valve traps and valve replacement stickons are very nice, you can fix your kite and be out on the water in five minutes, but at about $15 per valve, compared to $15 for a bottle of 3m5200 which does hundreds of valves, sometimes it's just not cost effective especially for older kites, the valve replaements would be worth more than the resale value.