Quick how to...narrow a fender

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Quick how to...narrow a fender

Postby doug hodder » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:11 pm

Since I'm a design as I go type, I found myself in a situation with a fender that didn't really fit like I wanted, (got a deal on an offbeat axle length). Wider wheels and tires might have taken care of this situation but it was too late for that.

First of all, I got the fenders from Grant. They are really really nice fenders, laid up in cloth not in shot chop and have plenty of thickness to them. These are the modernistics. The 9" was too narrow, barely covered the tread and the 11's that I bought were too wide for my tastes, made the wheel and tire look puny in there, and I spent too much $$ on those wheels and tires. Here's a before pic.

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First, trace the fender profile on a stable surface that you can shoot screws or nails into, I brad nailed some backer blocks against the line. That way you can push the fender into them without tweaking the profile.

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After you have determined just how much you want to narrow the fender, set the fence on the table saw and carefully rip off the interior flange. This gets reused. Mike A came by and it was handy to have another person to help do this as the curve of the fender caused it to be raised quite high at the end of the cut. Thanks Mike!

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I ended up ripping off like 1.25" of material. I then laid down some strips of waxed paper so that the epoxy wouldn't let it stick to the table, laid the fender down against the blocks, scuff ground the gel coat on the top of the original flange and the interior of the fender. Buttered up both sides with some thickened epoxy and pushed the flange against the back side of the fender. I used some strips of 1/4" baltic birch as clamps to hold the flange flat on the table and it pushed against the interior of the fender. You should use enough epoxy to get some good squish out, smooth it with a finger.

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After the epoxy cured, I trimmed the extra bit of flange that was sticking out on the front portion with a grinder and shaped the front interior opening to a nice curve. I have the original flange installed on a narrowed fender. Total time was only like 1.5 hours for both fenders, not counting the cure time. I think they are every bit as strong as the originals.

Here's an after pic... Doug



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Last edited by doug hodder on Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Juneaudave » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:18 pm

Doug...would a set of wheel spacers push the tire out enough to look right? Hate to cut into those nice fenders...
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Postby asianflava » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:23 pm

I have the same problem, I ended up going with the 11in fenders even though they are a bit too wide.

I can see 2 ways to do this, which one will you take:
Are you going to glass a new flange on the fender?
Or are you going to cut a section out and glass the 2 parts back together?
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Postby doug hodder » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:34 pm

Dave...wheel spacers weren't an option for me...I took out 1.25"

Rocky...I used the 3rd method...this was way less body work (like 0) than trying to do the smoothing on a strip cut out of the fender...sorry it took me a while to get it all posted. Dont' know if it is real clear...but basically cut the flange off and use it backed up on the inside of the fender.

I think this method would also work on the Kits if needed. It would however need some kerfing on the flange that you rip off to make it fit in the aft end of the fenders. Anyway...that's how I did it, worked for me. Doug
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Postby Juneaudave » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:24 pm

Wow Doug!!! You da man!!!! :lol:
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Postby doug hodder » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:09 pm

Everyone, please understand...my having to do this had nothing to do with the fender that I received from Grant. They are top notch! Plan accordingly, I failed to do so, and this is my solution for that situation. I create situations for myself, but I do learn a lot on the way... Doug
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Postby halfdome, Danny » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:56 pm

Doug, you've got my vote :thumbsup: .Your good at fixing your mistakes. Your an adaptable craftsman. ;) Danny
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Postby Jiminsav » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:01 pm

Doug..you Da Man..now figure out a way to move my center line of the axle forward 6 inches so that MY fenders from Grant look right.. 8)
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Postby Miriam C. » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:16 am

:thumbsup: :applause: A good thing to know how to do. :thumbsup:
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Postby Sparksalot » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:56 pm

Wow, that's a cool technique to tuck away for reference. :applause:
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Cutting your fenders

Postby eamarquardt » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:27 am

Hi,
From the sound of it you cut off the flange and and over an inch of material, then reattached the flange only to the origial fender using epoxy. Did you use any cloth to bond the flange back to the original fender. If not, you might consider doing this. I have concerns that an "epoxy only" joint will not hold up "on the road" just as a fender made entirely of epoxy (with no glass) would not hold up. Another option would be to cut the fender to the desired width, put the cut edge against a piece of plywood using waxed paper over the plywood as a release agent, then fabricating a new flange by using cloth and resin overlapping onto the inside of the fender. Just a different way of doing the same thing.

I have also cut axles in half and rewelded them to a new width. Given most of the is stress where the axle is mounted to the spring, a joint in the middle doesn't compromise it's strenght. This way won't, unlike your solution, balance the width of the tire to the width of the fender. It will just put the outer edge of the tire where you want it in relation to the edge of the fender.

Congratulations on extracting yourself from a "corner" you got painted into. It always gives me great satisfaction to "get outside the box" and solve a problem.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

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Postby Classic Finn » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:22 am

Now that is great work..and a good idea.. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Looking Real Good Doug (As it Always Does 8) 8)

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Re: Cutting your fenders

Postby doug hodder » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:31 am

eamarquardt wrote:From the sound of it you cut off the flange and and over an inch of material, then reattached the flange only to the origial fender using epoxy. Did you use any cloth to bond the flange back to the original fender. If not, you might consider doing this.
Gus


No I didn't use any cloth, I figured I didn't need to as I ground the gel coat off the top side of the fender that was to be reattached and ground the inside of the fender. It ends up that I reattached basically an L of material, the original flange in it's original position and the old top portion of the fender, glued up behind it. It gave me 2 glass cloth surfaces to bond to with the thickened epoxy, 99 sq. in. of contact each fender. I got a good squish that provided a fillet on the epoxy. Doug
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Re: Quick how to...narrow a fender

Postby Micro469 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:09 pm

doug hodder wrote:Since I'm a design as I go type,


and shaped the front interior opening to a nice curve.
Here's an after pic... Doug



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Do you mean the front curve around the wheel? Do you have a before and after pic head on ?
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Postby doug hodder » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:55 pm

John...I'm talking about the little portion just ahead of the tire and becomes part of the flange on the edge. My fenders had it sort of going downward. I set the fender on the table and then took a pen and marked it off level with the front of the fender and the rear. Take a jig saw and cut it off or grind the curve you want. Check this pic and compare it to what you have to see the difference. Doug

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