Garmin Vista Cx Repair…

13 01 2011

Just add a beer to steady the hands...

The glue holding the rubber moulding onto my Garmin Vista Cx failed due to overheating.  I considered keeping it as an inside the car unit, but when I looked at what I could replace it with for brevets and other outdoor use [sea kayaking, hiking, bike touring, etc…] there was nothing that seemed like it was worth the upgrade except the Delorme GPS/SPOT unit and I balked at the cost since I spent too much $$$ at Christmas. As critically I didn’t want to learn a new OS/mapping system when I got back from Baja.  So I decided to try and repair the problem.

Funky glue needed cleaning off...

I assembled the necessary stuff to complete the repair:

  • rubbing alcohol
  • scrubby [turned out to be useless]
  • paper towel [very useful]
  • cold beer and limes [very useful]
  • seam seal & freesole

Step one was to clean off the old glue.  I used the alcohol and paper towel to remove it.  It came off easily. Took about 1 beer to get both the unit and the rubber moulding clean.

GPS cleaned...

There was some clear material under the rubber moulding over the button holes.  I ensured it remained in place.  Hopefully that will keep things waterproof regardless how well I glued the moulding back on.

Rubber moulding mostly cleaned...

Once everything was clean I gave the alcohol some time to evaporate before I glued things back together.  Waiting about 1 beer seemed to do the trick.

Two kinds of goo...

I fix everything with shoe goo.  Seam Seal is runny Shoe Goo.  Freesole is Shoe Goo sold in a small tube.  You only get to open the tube once and after that the goo glues the cap on so you resort to punching small holes in the tube at various spots.  Eventually the whole tube gets hard and you throw it away 50-70% full.

Looking at my options I grabbed the Freesole since it wasn’t as runny and I thought it would be less messy.

First application of goo...

I goo’d the rubber moulding on with an initial application of Freesole.  As you can see from the photo above there were some gaps and areas of poor coverage, but until the initial goo dried it’s hard to know how much more you need so I let it sit overnight.  You can add goo on goo anytime so better to go slow and apply it a few times than to go nuts the first time and wish you’d used less.

GPS goo'd right good...

I let the second goo application dry and checked the unit.  It works fine and seems like it will stay together for the rest of the natural life of the unit.  I’ll test it out when I use it on brevets this spring.  I get no awards for a neat job, but that’s lack of patience and dexterity!  It doesn’t affect the use and nobody will want to steal my GPS…=-)

You can probably do better…=-)