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…=-)




5 responses

13 01 2011

i am starting to research gps units and plan to pick one up in the coming months. my budget will be very tight, but it looks like you can find these units used on ebay for about $100usd. seems like a great deal. not sure you can find a better value for a bill, but i will keep my options open. any recommendations for a budget gps would be appreciated.

13 01 2011
Andy allsopp

Well. They say “form follows function” and in this case by some considerable distance.

BUT, kudos. It works. One brick less in the landfill mountain, one dent less in the wallet.

14 01 2011

@Alan – depends what you want to do with it. Almost all the Garmin GPS units from the last 5 years will do fine for typical hiking/camping needs. For biking/ driving the Vista Cx/HCx units work great. No real need for anything fancy unless you are doing something unusual.

@Andy – from 3′ away it looks fine…the macro shot isn’t kind to the repair….LMAO.

14 01 2011

God I love Shoe Goo. A few tips I’ve collected from working with it all the time:

1. If you put a little petroleum jelly or mechanical grease on the threads of the tube, you will be able to use it multiple times.

2. Shoe Goo works even if it’s a bit dry. If you take a semi-dry blob and squeeze it between two surfaces, it will usually hold very well once it dries fully.

3. It can be applied in stages, because it’s flexible and doesn’t require a complicated application procedure. For example, when I use it to fix shoe soles, I usually do a little part at a time, wait a day for the glue to dry, then pull back the next part of the sole, and repeat.

4. For precise work, Shoe Goo can be applied through a disposable plastic syringe.

5. Wooden Popsicle sticks, especially when cut or broken in the middle, work really well as precise and disposable applicators.

15 01 2011

@Iyen – thanks for the tips!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: