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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I will probably get hounded for this, but...

I am thinking everything through on the build up of my truck. The planning stages if you will. Some of you have seen the rendering I have placed in my first thread "The New Guy" ( <a href="http://www.hotrodders.com/cgibin/ubb/19/003302" target="_blank">http://www.hotrodders.com/cgibin/ubb/19/003302</a> )

I have just about tackled the frame part of the planning stages and I am now looking at other aspects of the modifications - more focused on how will I stretch the fenders...

Here is the idea I have came up with so far:
1) Cut the fender down the center most part of the fender well opening.
2) Take some 2" wide strips of sheet metal and weld them spaced out along the curviture of the inside of the fender.
3) Attack the fender with fiberglass matt (inside and out)
4) sand the hell out of it
5) apply fiber reinforced bondo
6) sand the hell out of it again
7) Primer

Here is why I am looking at doing it this way. The fender has a distinct body line along the fender. I see this as being almost impossible to reproduce with sheet metal in order to keep consistency.
I also think it would be very difficult to keep the curved appearance of the original fender without haveing tp fabricate many pieces and then weld everything up, grind smoothe and the finish.

Using the described method above, the 2" wide sheet metal pieces will help hold the shape of the fender for the fiberglass matt. It will also add strength to the fiberglass.

By fiberglassing both inside and outside of the fender, I can hide the strips and give me a smoother inner fender well for painting.

Since I haven't been on the board long, I haven't been able to feel out the group to see how ya'll feel about using fiberglass like this....

Will this work and do any of you have alternate suggestions or advice?

I have extensive fiberglassing experience, so I know how to fuberglass the fender in.

I had said once before that I had thought about getting one of the highly acclaimed custom bike builders to do this, but I believe the cost for this would be outrageous.

[ May 23, 2003: Message edited by: spl_dodge ]</p>
 

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Since you plan on going to that much trouble, I suggest you cherry out the fenders w/ the sheet metal patches/Bondo routine and then make a fiberglass mold from them. Toss the metal prototypes and use your new molds to make some new, totally fiberglass fenders. That way you could pop out new ones if they ever get wrinkled in traffic and who knows, you may have the next Microsoft and everyone will come beating on your door offering $$$$ for a set of your new fenders! Sounds like you will end up using about the same effort and material both ways but by making a mold first then fenders you will end up with a better final result and it will be easily reproducible.

You can mail order eveything you need including instructional videos and books from these guys. Best prices I have found and great service.

http://www.fiberlay.com/
 
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I am not a big fan of fiberlass fenders because of the problems if they are hit, although there are times when they are the best or only way to go. That said, I have to agree with "Willy". I would personally feel better with complete fiberglass pieces than what you describe. I would worry about stress cracks from combining the "glass" and metal on panels like that. Another idea would be to stretch them using parts from some other fenders for the "fillers". You would only have to worry about the condition of the other fenders in the area that you need the pieces from. That would save some money on the purchase of them. Just my opinion, not looking for an arguement.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No arguement from me....I welcome all suggestions.
I would like to explain, however, why that wouldn't be beneficial for me on this project.

The arch of the actual fender well opening has NO flat spot in it. I don't know of any way that I could get that to work.

I do however like Willys idea - and I have thought about that. I was a bit scarce on the use of fiberglass though...I didn't know how "real" hot rodders viewed fiberglass parts.....

Thanks for the info Willys and thanks for the comments/suggestions adtkart....
 
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SPL... As far as the "glass" parts...IT'S YOUR PROJECT! You have to be happy with it, no one else. I personally don't care what others think of what I am doing with mine. I do what I want. All day long I do what other people want done to "their cars". At night I do what I want to mine. As I am not that familiar with the body lines of that truck, you need to decide the easiest way for you. I would just go with one material, either metal or Glass. There are several people here that can help you with the right way to do the glass work. There are even some that will help you do it the wrong way! :eek:
 

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fender stretch

I also don't know about what your fender looks like, but here is my thoughts...
First off take a straight on picture of the fender.
Then in photoshop or any picture editing program, cut it up how you like. Most likely if it has a continuous curve in the wheel well, you would cut it right in the middle, then add a single piece of filler that would be straight. Since you cut in the center of the well, both the lead in and lead out sections attaching to the stretch filler will or should look seamless. Using the cut edges of the fender as a guide you should be able to form a buck and form the stretch pieces to match the fold in the wheel well nicely. I'll attach a picture of what I had in mind... of course if this is not what you had in mind, then never mind :)
 

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your approach is fine . I have done this several times with good as well as cheap results . it is also faster than building molds and you can also modify the shape as you go .
 

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i have done a set of old vw beetle fenders, which are completely curved as you know. to start with i picked a cutting line, then with the fender jiged to the car, run a grinder down it to give 2 parts.
then i welded in 2.5" bars to reposition the bit i cut off earlier. looking like a ladder runs spaced about 6" around the whole fender.
i then cut strips of steel and welded these inbetween the ladder runs. the result was a all steel fender that was 2.5" wider
this was then filled to the right shape and painted up.
i havent had the car on the road to know how it will holdup with vibration etc but i dont forsee any big problems as there is all steel behind the fillers.
aslo as it was cut on a curve it also lowered the fender to wheel gap as it got wider. i have some pictures which i can email you after the july holidays.
 

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Ok, I'm green both to the forum and to fiberglass, but here goes, on the chance it's not silly:

Combine the ideas above - make a fiberglass copy of the original fender and do the experimenting on the copy. I read in one of the journals where a guy used the top of his truck as a mold for a fiberglass headliner. (Lots of awesome work shown in those journals!) Couldn't you treat the original fender as a "plug" to make a fiberglass mold? If so, you could then crank out a fiberglass copy of the original, work out a cut line and maybe find a way to do an all-metal extension of the original fender.
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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What make and year is the truck?
Where do you want to stretch it? Do you want it longer before or after the wheel well or do you want it even?
 
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