Bodywork, Paint, Interior, Trim, & Wiring

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GT8MX
Bill Wessale
Houston
(43 posts)

Registered:
01/10/2014 11:28AM

Main British Car:
1968 Spitfire GT6 BOP 215 / Rover of some lineage

Custom fenders
Posted by: GT8MX
Date: February 27, 2014 09:23AM

I need a set of rear fenders made for my Spitfire GT6 project. I want them made out of metal. I pan to cut away the entire outer fender at the door post and the top fender seam and reattach the new fenders. I have a foam mockup of the fender shape that I want.

I have gone through the Forum but the threads are about flares. I need to widen the body, not just flare the wheel wells. I read Curtis' article about Weldone, [www.britishv8.org] and I am going to contact Weldone.

Does anyone have other recommended sources?

Thanks,

Bill


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: February 27, 2014 11:05AM

I did what you are talking about on my MGB. I built the new fender over the top of the old fender and then marked the outline about 1/2" in from the edges to cut out the old fender. The top of thenew fender is in 3 pieces and the bottom is one piece in front of the wheel and one piece behind the wheel. With cardboard pattern and some patience it is not as difficult as it might seem. You can use the pattern for each side by reversing the curvature of the piece. Don't use corregated, get some board that is similar to what cereal boxes are made of but heavier. I got mine from an upholstery fabric store.

You also have to make the inner wheel well and join it up to the outer fender at the wheel opening. You can see some pictures of what I did here [forum.britishv8.org] scroll down about 2/3 of the way.


GT8MX
Bill Wessale
Houston
(43 posts)

Registered:
01/10/2014 11:28AM

Main British Car:
1968 Spitfire GT6 BOP 215 / Rover of some lineage

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: GT8MX
Date: February 27, 2014 01:36PM

Jim: Nice job! That is a significant widening that looks classy. That is exactly the type of thing I want to do, but I'm not going to widen the body, and I hope I don't have to extend into the doors. But if I do, now I know how!

Here are some pictures that show what I am trying to do. The first picture shows the stock rear fender and the wheel hub of the new rear suspension extending to the edge of the fender. The tire extends 3" beyond the fender when a large positive offset wheel is mounted. Oops. The 2nd and 3rd show a foam mockup of the fender that I want to make with the final wheel and tire.

The issue is that I don't have an English Wheel or any experience with metal working, only welding. Is it reasonable to assume I could learn the English Wheel quickly enough to get a decent looking fender, or pieces that can be welded together? I'm not concerned about the welding and grinding, it's the shaping part that scares me off. This fender has enough compound curves that I think metal forming with a hammer and bag followed by a plannishing hammer would probably be needed.

Maybe I should be pursuing composites instead?

Thanks,

Bill
StockFender.jpg
SideViewMockup.jpg
TopViewMockup.jpg


BWA


(323 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: BWA
Date: February 28, 2014 03:21PM

You have a few options you can go the fibreglass route and you your foam buildup as a guide. Take a look at how this guy did his fibreglass fenders on his TR6 (Cowboy Ray's 71 TRZ06 (Part 2) in the project journals.
The other way is to use the foam buildup as a guide and make a wire frame from 1/8" wire that matches the shape of the fender. You then begin to create sheetmetal segments that have simple curves that you temporarly atttach to the wire frame. The best way to weld these segments together is to tack them together with a mig welder then finish the seams with a tigwelder and a hammer and dolly as you weld up the seam. Mig welding the entire seam is not advisable as it hardens the metal too much that you cannot properly hammer and dolly it afterwards.
The second route is very time consuming but after you were done you would be an expert on metal forming and welding!!

Cheers
Byron


Preform Resources
Dave Craddock
Redford,Michigan
(359 posts)

Registered:
12/20/2008 05:46PM

Main British Car:
72 MGB V6 3.4

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Preform Resources
Date: February 28, 2014 06:26PM

Bill, get a harbor freight English wheel and teach yourself to do it,there are videos out there to guide you along, google up'
Ron Covell, the tin man, john glover, all metal working guys.
Dave


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 01, 2014 02:32AM

I learned a lot at these sites
[www.metalmeet.com]
[allmetalshaping.com]


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2643 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: rficalora
Date: March 02, 2014 07:12PM

I think if it were me, I'd smooth out the forms using more foam, bondo, etc. and use them to make moulds and then make the panels out of fiberglass. It will be less effort and if the panels ever get damaged, you'll have the moulds to remake them. Search YouTube for something like "foam quarter panel moulds for fiberglass" and you'll get a bunch of examples.



Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 02, 2014 10:32PM

Oh Rob, where's the fun in that? Besides your arms will itch for days.


GT8MX
Bill Wessale
Houston
(43 posts)

Registered:
01/10/2014 11:28AM

Main British Car:
1968 Spitfire GT6 BOP 215 / Rover of some lineage

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: GT8MX
Date: March 03, 2014 12:43PM

Thanks for all guidance from everyone. I've been reading and mulling the responses and found myself bouncing back and forth from having steel fenders made, to forming them out of fiberglass, to forming them out of carbon fibre, to creating them from steel myself. Being an old engineer, I was driven to making a "decision table" to help me sort out the options. What I realized is that I should buy an english wheel, take a course in using it, and have at it.

I did locate a place close enough to me where I would be willing to drag the car and frame to them, and they would build and attach the new rear fenders for about $1500, which was acceptable.

If I made them out of either fiberglass or carbon fiber, I would have to make a foam mockup on both sides, pull a mold from them, and then layup the fenders in the molds. Then I would have to figure out a way to attach it to the steel body so it wouldn't show cracks after some wiggling / heating and cooling - I wasn't sure I wanted to trust adhesives. The carbon fiber would have a neat cool factor, but I would paint it anyway and weight is not a priority for me. Both fiber glass and carbon fiber would be messy from the resin and sanding.

Buying the english wheel and other metal shaping stuff may cost me about $1000, and I want to take a class / workshop to kick me up the learning curve, which will be another $1000, and this will introduce a two month delay to align with a class schedule, but what finally swung me to the DIy decsision is that I have a "passle" (as in several) other sheet metal pieces I need to make - firewall, trans cover, rear suspension cover - and what I learn can be applied to these as well. I don't want to be making these pieces out of fiberglass or carbon fiber, and I don't want to turn to a third party to get all this stuff built.

So I think y'all have guided me to an answer, even though it wasn't the one I was suspecting when I started this thread.

So now I'm off to find a metal shaping class that fits my needs. I know some can learn all they need by watching videos and reading, but I need hands-on tutoring. I can be made aware that something is possible from a video or from reading, but I have to do it to internalize what I've heard and seen.

Again, thank y'all for ringing in.

Bill


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 03, 2014 04:13PM

Bill

don't forget to check out the links I posted above. Lots of friendly and helpful metalshapers on there to get you started and help you along. It does get addictive and you will want good equipment. Check the websites for english wheels for sale or help in building your own. That's what I did.

New Wheel 021.jpg

The frame isn't difficult and you can buy really nice anvils. PM me before you buy anything and we can talk so you don't make the same mistakes I did on my first one.


GT8MX
Bill Wessale
Houston
(43 posts)

Registered:
01/10/2014 11:28AM

Main British Car:
1968 Spitfire GT6 BOP 215 / Rover of some lineage

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: GT8MX
Date: March 06, 2014 08:00AM

Wow! I doubt I would try to build one. It would never come out as nice as that. I will buy one *after* I have taken a workshop. I've already been warned not to be seduced by "cheap" and get a Harbor Freight english wheel. I'm currently shopping for a workshop that fits my shcedule.


Preform Resources
Dave Craddock
Redford,Michigan
(359 posts)

Registered:
12/20/2008 05:46PM

Main British Car:
72 MGB V6 3.4

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Preform Resources
Date: March 06, 2014 09:20AM

Jim, that's a pretty serious English wheel you got there !! but I'm not surprised lol, true the HF wheel is wimpy but the parts Bill wants to make are not very complicated and for $300. it would be a start AND you would get the rollers and anvil to go on to build a better one ,otherwise one would have to work slowly with the HF piece, Hell you probably have $1000. in material alone in that beauty of yours !
Dave


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 06, 2014 09:37AM

The HF wheel will work fine for smoothing the bumps after doing the forming on a shot bag. When you actually try to do the stretching on the wheel it doesn't work as well. The frame is really flexy and the anvils aren't very concentric with the bearings so it is a little lumpy. The flexy frame helps out with the concentricity issue but it makes for slow going, especially in steel.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(3006 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: roverman
Date: March 10, 2014 07:27PM

Almost ashamed to admit, I have a HF, springy-thingy. Plan is to ad more triangulation + possibly concrete inside. Wheel concentricity fixed by re-maching id. or od. ? It's on my bucket list to actually "use this", some day. Cheers. roverman.


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 11, 2014 02:37AM

Art

There are a couple issues with the HF wheels: the bearing bore diameters are inconsistent causing the bearings to be compresses and run rough sometimes, the OD is not concentric with the bearing bores causing inconsistent pressure on the metal. The inconsistent pressure is a non issue with the HF frame because it is so flexible but in a rigid frame it can be a problem. I bought a set of HF anvils on sale and with a 20% coupon but what I did was put each anvil in the frame they had on the floor and checked it for out of round by rotating it right next to the upper wheel and watch the gap between the two. I had about six sets open and hand selected the best bearings and lowest runout for each size. I made an axle that adapts them to my machine and only use them on small pieces when my 3" wheels are too wide. The wheels are pretty hard so you would probably need to grind rather than turn the OD to reduce the runout. The wheels are also full radius rather than having flats at the contact point but trying to grind flats will create a flat area of varying width due to the runout issue - better to keep them full radius but makes truing the OD more difficult.

Concrete won't make much difference in stiffness. You would be better off making your own frame. Make a 26" throat frame from large section rectangular tubing - mine is 4" x 8" 1/4" wall. The large section is what gives it the rigidity and you need it to be stiff both vertically AND horizontally.



Preform Resources
Dave Craddock
Redford,Michigan
(359 posts)

Registered:
12/20/2008 05:46PM

Main British Car:
72 MGB V6 3.4

Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Preform Resources
Date: March 11, 2014 07:28AM

Jim, I wonder how the hell they got so much runout while machining , given they had to start from the part centered ?! or maybe they did the OD grinding first then had to pick up the center for machining the bearing seats? I too have an HF setup ,still in the box.
Dave


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 11, 2014 09:41AM

Beats me Dave. All I know is that when I spun the wheels under the upper the gap would increase and decrease. Maybe they distorted in heat treat?


TR6-6SPD
Ken Hiebert
Toronto Ontario
(245 posts)

Registered:
04/23/2008 11:43AM

Main British Car:
1972 TR6 1994 5.7 L GM LT1

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: TR6-6SPD
Date: March 11, 2014 12:33PM

Bill,
Please keep us informed on your progess. I'm in the same boat, having to fabricate entirely new rear fenders due to an over abundance of wheel and tire:
IMG_2970.JPG

Ken


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(739 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: March 12, 2014 02:22AM

Ken

You should be able to make some really nice fenders for the Jag, sort of a huskier version of the stockers. Start them back by the tail lights and finish them up in the doors. You have a nice body line at the top of the fender to come off of. That will be one sweet Jag when you finish with it.


DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1259 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: Custom fenders
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: March 12, 2014 04:15AM

Holy crap Ken!!
You're my new hero.
You've taken the sexiest car in the world and made it more.....you know.
I think I have hair growing on my palms?

Cheers
Fred
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