fiberglass fenders & hood - who has them, what brand, how much finish work? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:12 PM
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fiberglass fenders & hood - who has them, what brand, how much finish work?

I already dropped a lot of weight off of my front end on my 71 RS/SS Camaro with aluminum heads and intake, battery relocated to trunk, etc... I figured I can drop a total of over 200 lbs off the front of the car if, in addition to that, run fiberglass fenders, inner fenderwells, and hood.

I know the quality of some fiberlgass parts just plain SUCKS, and have been told that even the good ones will require some time spent on reshaping the edges to get them straight, gaps correct, and wave free.

I think I am going to get the inner fenderwells from Unlimited Products, as they are half what the only other place I saw had them for. I don't think I will dare to get the outer body panels from there.

I'm most likely going to replace my fenders anyway, so $189.99 vs $249.99 each might be worth it to save 30 lbs. Inner fenderwells will save me 28 lbs, and a flat fiberglass hood with my 80 Z28 scoop attached will save me 27 lbs over the stock steel hood and scoop.

I am looking for a bolt on hood that I can use my hinges on.

Wondered what brands out of the reputable ones that you guys have used, and feedback from people running fiberglass fenders.

I saw a 79 Z28 the other day with a glass hood, and the hood lined up flush height at the nose, and the sides of the hood were seriously 7/8" higher than the tops of the fenders! Come on, you can't even really fix that... I will be IRATE if I spend that kind of money and end up with a fitment like that.

Guys on the nastyz28.com board recommended to stick with only the best brands, VFN, Harwood, Glasstek, & Hairy Glass.

What do you guys think? Have you used these, and how much work did you end up having to do to make them look & fit good?

thanks,

Chuck

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Last edited by Chuck78; 09-10-2006 at 05:41 PM. Reason: misleading title, not generalized enough to get good response
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:22 PM
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The stuff I got from Unlimited "SUCKED!!".. If Harwood and VFN are still aroun. I have used their stuff with great results. None (very few at best) of the glass parts fit perfectly. Just like a lot of replacement steel panels. Ya gotta fit 'em to the car.

The last few rod bodies I ordered "un-trimmed". That way the builder can set his own alignments and door gaps.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:40 PM
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I'm trying to think realistically here... I could save 55 lbs (EDIT - miscalculation, 66 lbs!) by running a fiberglass hood and fenders... But at an initial cost of $1,000.... I need fenders either way, be it 'glass or steel. Goodmark steel fenders are $189.99 each. That's $400 after tax through Jeg's local store. And not much work to fit them compared to 'glass. Figure in a deduction of maybe $100 if I were to sell my steel 80 Z28 hood w/scoop or 79 Z28 hood. So that's still $500 plus a bunch of work to drop 55 lbs... Then to make it last, I'd probably just ditch the hinge springs, make a hood prop, ditch the hood latch, and use some hood pins up front.

I plan to definitely buy some Unlimited Products inner fenderwells, and a figerglass repair kit, as I want to drop some weight there still to make up for a larger sway bar and some firewall to a-arm mount struts (Herb Adams VSE/Fire-Am style). Also couldn't stand to chop up the stock inner fenderwells, as I want to modify them to have maximum outer lip tire clearance, meaning right up against the outer fender... and maybe even roll the lip a little...

In the end, is it worth the extra $500 to drop 55 lbs? What, I might gain a tenth in the 1/4 mile with that weight deduction, right? I wonder how much better it would corner by dropping 55 lbs more off the front?

Last edited by Chuck78; 09-11-2006 at 07:22 PM. Reason: error
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:43 PM
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One other question, when they say bolt on hood vs pin on hood, is the pin-on style intended to use a hood pin on all 4 corners? Would it not be advisable to bolt hinges to that type of hood, with no springs? Or do they not even come with provisions to bolt hinges on a "pin on" hood?

Last edited by Chuck78; 09-11-2006 at 04:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:58 PM
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The only name you need to know is Harwood .

Vince
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:07 PM
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They don't make fenders!

Might get a hood from them, but VFN will be the fender of choice, unless Rod N Race or US Body makes good fenders. Glasstek and Hairy Glass do not either.
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:15 PM
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Here is a thread that talks some about showcars unlimited , their quality and customer relations.
Just so everyone is warned about this company. Showcars Unlimited
i
I don't know if they are the same as the unlimited production company that you referred to, but ,you might want to look around a bit for an alternate source.

Mikey
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:17 PM
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You have steel fenders and hood now? Why not make your own fiberglass replacements? Get a gallon of "Basic No-Blush Epoxy" and a gallon of catalyst (about $85, total with shipping last time I ordered), some fiberglass cloth (don't use mat with epoxy) and some release agent. Make molds from your steel parts, make replacement parts in the molds. If you raise the temp while epoxy cures, it also raises the temperature the final product can withstand.

Depends on which is more critical to you at this point, time or money.
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:21 PM
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That would be a nice project if I had the time. I bet I could get it a lot straighter being 100% in control of the product's handling by the time it cures, but my current pass. fender has a small dent and a big rust hole, driver's fender has some poor slide hammer and bondo shaping work (which I took to bare metal), and I would need to patch them up at least somewhat straight before I made a mold even... Never worked with fiberglass myself, but doing repairs and modifications to it sounds like anyone could figure it out. Making my own panel seems a little more involved.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:47 PM
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I will tell you something right now, man. PLAN ON FIXING whatever you buy. I have a VFN rear clip for my Monte. MAYBE 2 planes on the whole rear clip match up. I expect to spend 3-4 full weekends fixing JUST the rear clip. (I'm slow) The VFN glass doors,,,,,,where's that puking emoticon?? The have more ripples than Oprahs behind. The trunk lid looks OK. Hood? I bought a used 6" VFN hood. That won't go on the car. I saw a Harwood hood come out of a box for a 68 Camaro. Not as bad, but still needs work.

Everyones glass sucks. Just plan on alot of work. Unless you don't mind ripples, bumps, misaligned bodylines...
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:36 PM
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http://www.glasstek.com/ Glasstek make some pretty good products
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