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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I managed, after much struggle with rusted on bolts and nuts, to separate the two halves of this later type thumb latch catcher. I want to use the top half to attach to another. It has a crack on the back of the outlet part but is an easy fix and isn't structural.

The one I'm replacing has missing plastic on the upper corner where it goes onto the mower and let's clippings fly past, so this will fix it.

I am really just doing this just to try it out and see how worthwhile it is to swap upper and lower halves with the best two halves to make one good catcher.

The pan head bolts with pan shaped slotted screwdriver heads were very challenging to remove due to years of grime and rust. Even though I sprayed with WD 40 and left for several days they were tough to unfree. Only two out of the six came off without breaking the bolt. I used needle nose pliers and a carefully selected driver bit for the slotted heads that fitted snugly. Even so they slipped easily and I had to cut a deeper groove to get the screwdriver to grip in one case, and use a vice grip on another once I unscrewed it out enough to get a grip.
Very difficult. Now I have to do the same for the other catcher. The bottom half of this is going straight in the bin as it has a crack along the upper lip where it attaches to the top half.

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Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
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Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi MF,
I bought one of these a while back and I find it very useful for repairing broken plastic bits
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/234365488870

Joined: Feb 2006
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Thank you Norm.

Unfortunately they're out of stock. Is It effective even on 2-3mm thick plastic oh catchers and it's strong enough for the rigors of mowing?


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
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MF, seems to be I have used it on the plastic sidethrow chutes on the Ariens and they seem to be standing up ok. I have stitched them all the way along any cracks using the "Z" type staples and it makes them pretty strong and is very quick to do. A few minutes gets most cracks repaired

Joined: Feb 2006
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Have you got a picture of the finished repair on the Ariens?


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
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Hi MF,
I thought I had more bits still here but obviously they have gone. It is a bit hard to see the repairs in this cover but it was badly damaged, broken/cracked in many places. Hard to see as I put some paint on the outside. To staple it together you have to clamp the pieces back together so it is nice and flat and then just start stapling away. I repaired one catcher where the lip had cracked and that came up fine

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Joined: Feb 2006
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Well you certainly can't spot them in those pics!
At that price, worth a try. If only they were available.
As long as they are strong enough, they look to be an elegant solution compared to pop rivets and metal.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
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Not the same one but very similar and will do the same job. Heaps better than any sheetmetal repair.
https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?

Joined: Feb 2006
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The link takes me to a general page on categories, not the item.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
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Don't know why it did that but heaps of them under "hot staple gun"
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/393981059906?_

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Bought it. Hope there's clear instructions.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
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No instructions needed MF, couldn't be more simple, or just have a look on Utube

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I shall NormK.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
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Hello MW and NK,

Clint Eastwood's version looks like a top tier version there mw. The video helps in understanding what goes on. I'm sure the inexpensive version will get the job done satisfactorily.

It's not exactly how I imagined it would work but It will be interesting what I can achieve with my set.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
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Think I will grab one as well - I have always done that with a soldering iron manually

Originally Posted by Mowerfreak
Clint Eastwood's version looks like a top tier version there mw.

MF, the one we are buying is the Crint Easwood one haha


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I'd be chuffed if it was made in Japan but I don't think it will even be that high end.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
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I used up all the wiggle wire ones so I ordered another 600 . I also ordered one of the hot air welders but I have only had a quick play with it and that didn't go too well. It is so difficult to work out what plastic you are wanting to weld and this is where the stapler is so much easier to work with

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Why the wiggle wire? Did you find any use for the others?


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I found it was easier to just butt the wiggle wires end to end along the cracks. Can't remember if I have used any of the others, all depends on the situation you want to repair. Most of the repairs I have repaired have been on what you would say were flat surfaces even if the have slight curves in them


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