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Replacing the Rear Fenders on my 74
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JonAllenRizzo
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Joined: September 18, 2005
Posts: 281
Location: Grand Junction, CO
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Replacing the Rear Fenders on my 74 Reply with quote

My replacement fiberglass fenders came in on Thursday, so this weekend I decided to tackle the job.

Here is the old
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No telling how long these have been on the car, 20 years?
Perhaps so, when I first saw this thing three years ago the rear fender was broken then. It feels so nice to be finally replacing them. I think the car has suffered enough indignity having it's undercarriage showing all these years. Don't you?

So I soaked the bolts a couple days in advance in liquid wrench, but I am still not off to a great start. The first two bolts broke no matter how gently I worked them.
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Time for a new tact, and going even slower. I would start loosening the bolt till I felt any resistance then I would spray more pb blaster and liquid wrench. Then tighten the bolt again, hopefully working in the said lubricant. Out again till resistance and repeat. Slow and steady I get the next 14 bolts out without incident.

Now back to the broken bolts. I carefully drill each bolt starting with a small drill bit and working up till my easyout fits right. More blaster and try and pull the broken bolt. It's no use. Anymore pressure and I am going break my tool.

So I get out my old friend the tap, and summon more patience and more liquid wrench.
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It's is paying off, I have successfully drilled and tapped the two broken bolts and have gone on to tap the rest just to clean them up before I put in new bolts.
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Now in researching fenders and their replacement on this forum I read about using masking tape to transfer the bolt holes to the new fenders.
After some trial and error the tip holds true. I place the tape on the car, over the bolt holes and carefully feel for the hole (no jokes please) and mark it's center. I also mark the bottom of the body with a black line. This gives and idea where to put it on the fender.
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Then I remove the tape and put it on the fender. When I first did this, I put it on the inside, but then my black lines marking the end of the body did not line up. So then I moved the tape to the outside of the fender being careful to keep the front and back orientation. You can see in one of the pictures I marked F for front to help with this. After all drilling holes in your brand new fenders is kind of nerve wracking right?

I should say so! My goal here is not to drill twice, although I accept the possibility of having to elongate a hole or to.
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I bought I new drill bit so it would be as sharp as possible. I really the bits with the tiny tip to help keep them from walking. Are they called "brad points" I can't recall right now.
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Another consideration I tried to account for was when I turned the tape around to top of the fender, the "inside" edge, or measurement from the metal edge the fender sits against when it is installed has now flipped to the outside. So to counter this I tried to center the holes before I drilled this meant measuring the distance from the inside to the center of the hole and then, measuring the mark on the masking tape to the inside edge of the fender. Without over thinking it, it meant I drilled sometimes a little inside my mark.

The last thing I had to do before fitting the fender was, remove a build up of material on the inside metal edge on the body. It seemed to be some kind of caulking maybe to seal up the older ill fitting fender. You can see some of the build up on one of the above photos

I started the top bolts first and worked my way down.
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As I thought I did need to elongate a few holes but over all I am very pleased with how the holes were drilled. I wish I could remember who wrote that tape tip, but thank you who ever you are.

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I used new hardware, but my local store did not have 8mm fender washers, but 5/16th seem to work well enough.

Once tightened up I noticed a few gaps to the body, but not bad for the price I paid.
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Only on the drivers side I needed to squeeze a little of the old fender molding in there to close the gap.
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I think when I take them back off to paint them I will put new molding in there to give it a more finished look and close the rest of the gaps.
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Over all I am very pleased with the fenders. They are 2 inches wider than stock and I got them for $140 for the pair from Glass Action in Prescott, AZ.

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Maybe some day I will have body color fenders on all my VW's Wink
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BeetleBobby
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Joined: January 25, 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Rear Fender Installation Reply with quote

Really a great write-up with pictures on the installation. It should answer all questions on how to do this project.
Thanks for the great post. Smile
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ThingOw181
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Joined: July 06, 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That tape trick is fantastic. I have some fiberglass fenders that I have been working on and have a couple of elongated holes myself (just hung the fenders to build a bumper.)

Looks good, and great price!
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Ferretkona
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Joined: December 03, 2005
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Location: Columbia, CA
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Thing Shop makes a rubber beading made for fiberglass fenders. It should help prevent the fiberglass from cracking from metal to fiberglass connection.
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vdubthing
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Joined: May 02, 2017
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Replacing the Rear Fenders on my 74 Reply with quote

What size tap is that you are using?
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Ron Domeck
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Replacing the Rear Fenders on my 74 Reply with quote

Fender bolts should be 8mmx1,25
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Shoyrtt
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Replacing the Rear Fenders on my 74 Reply with quote

Those factory fender bolts sure like to break. Sad I like to use the welded nut trick on a broken bolt before using an easy out. I find the heat of the weld really does the job on a stubborn, rusted bolt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRrz-cphBY4

Great job on the fenders! Cool
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THINGONER
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Re: Replacing the Rear Fenders on my 74 Reply with quote

looks good!
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