Holy crap, I just figured it all out.
The armoring, mod, or enhancement never needs to be repaired, just the shell.
This is nothing more than BW's attempt to get us to buy more cartel market and orange shells while leveling. Run your gear down to the red, then rip the mods out and slot 'em into new gear. Even with cost of ripping, it's still cheaper than repairs ...
Well played, BW. Well played.
(removes tongue from cheek)