TTL body joint repair


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While cleaning up a TTL L2.0A body after performing a crotch mod, the body suddenly broke in half at the waist joint.
Here is a description of how to repair this.

Tools needed:


TTL body disassembled at waist joint First I collected the loose parts of the joint. With a bit of shaking I was able to get the screw, the plastic cap and the plastic dish out of the mid section.

I left the tension spring inside the mid section as it is too large to fall through the slot.
parts of waist joint The reason why the joint failed was that the screw used for holding the parts of the joint together was too short.

The picture on the left shows that only the tip of the screw sticks out of the cap.
The short screw could only be turned into the peg by less than a full turn.
waist joint screw comparison This picture shows the screw from the TTL joint (left) compared to a screw of a size similar to the screws usually found in body joints (right).
cutting open body center section I decided to cut the mid section open with a thin saw, cutting along the glue seam between the front and rear halves.
This leaves a clean, narrow and straight cut that is easier to clean up and to glue back together than the ragged edges caused by trying to pry or crack open the section.

Before making the saw cut I twisted the mid section by 90 degrees to expose the most of the seam.

I held the body upside-down while making the saw cut to keep the loose spring inside away from the saw blade.
body center section with saw cut Cutting almost completed, notice that the cut was made at a tiny distance to the right of the original glue seam.
body center section, completing the cut I carefully widened the gap between the front and rear halves to get the spring out.
Then I used the tip of the saw blade to cut the inside of those parts of the seam that are hidden behind parts of the chest section.

Once the seam is completely cut, the mid section halves can be pulled away from the joint. I carefully sanded the edges of the halves flat to get a perfect match.

Then I noticed that parts of the original seam were not properly glued so I pried those parts off and glued them to the opposite half, this explains the grooves and ridges that can be seen on the edges of the mid section halves in the pictures below. There is no need to do this though, flat edges work just as well.
assembling waist joint Once the spring is retrieved from the mid section, the joint peg can be assembled again.
The plastic dish/ring goes on the peg first (curved side down) then the spring and finally the cap with the narrow end down.

I used a small pair of pliers to hold the peg just firm enough to keep it from rotating and fitted the new larger screw, tightening it just enough to make the cap touch the peg (the spring tension pushes the cap up).
view of assembled waist joint Joint reassembled using the new larger screw.
body center section viewed from the hip side Mid section viewed from the hip side.
Note that the track in the rear half is (a little bit) longer.
body center section viewed from the chest side Mid section viewed from the chest side.
Note that the track in the front half is longer.
rear half of center section fitted to hip joint By working the longest tracks around the joint pegs you can avoid having to work the other half of the mid section around the joint pegs as well.
So it is easiest to fit the front half to the chest section and the rear half to the hip section.
The edges of each half should be worked between the dish-like ring on the joint peg and the body part, this is a bit fiddly. The rear half should end up in a position similar to the one in the picture.

With this body the upper joint peg is installed with the disc and spring inside the chest, so I inserted the front half between the chest section and the base of the peg.
front half of center section fitted to chest joint Before putting the halves together it is easier to turn the chest section back to front as the cavity in the front is larger so there is more space to move the other half in position.
Then it is just a matter of sliding the halves together.
joining both center section halves Once the halves are in the right position, keep the join line between the halves open by about 1-2mm and use a cloth pin to apply drops of CA (instant/super glue) to the join line.
Then press the halves together firmly (be careful not to glue your fingers to the pin or the body ! Keep a small bowl of luke warm water within reach, just in case).
repaired body After letting the CA cure for about an hour I sanded the body smooth and polished it to a satin sheen using a 3M Microfine sanding pad.

Note that small amounts of CA cure in seconds, but I also used larger drops of CA to fill some blemishes I noticed on the body.




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