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Terrawagen Fender Flare review.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

So, I've been a little busy of late and have not gotten around to repairing the driver's fender lip - messed up when someone vandalized the van by loosening lug nuts. What have I been up to? This:

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So its a transaxle vehicle very similar to the Vanagon, and of course many of you like the 944 axles on your Vanagons because they're stronger. I did a full transaxle and torque tube removal for a new clutch, rear main, etc. Then a full timing belt plus the balance shaft belt replacement, lots of sensors, hoses, front crank seal (don't ask) and a bunch of other stuff. And it would not start afterwards for 3 days of hard diagnostics due to a comedy of errors thanks to my buddy who's a 944 expert who "helped" me by moving a close tolerance sensor without telling me. Got it running a few days ago. Now its sprouted a couple oil leaks and a radiator leak and the motor mounts have collapsed. Sound familiar? That's what I thought, too. I'm never buying another German car. This thing has 59k miles and I am honored I bought it from my Dad.

So, you remember the crushed wheel lip? $2400 estimate to fix:

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I just got done pulling it back into position with pliers, hammers and my Vanagon's hydraulic bottle jack I carry instead of the stocker. Then I primed it and painted it with whatever silver rattle can paint I had around. Then I put Terrawagen's EXCELLENT fender flare kit over the damage after buying it from Peter at Van Cafe:


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Wow! Can I just say these guys know how to design a product? I am not exaggerating - I could have put this on in 30 minutes flat. They provide self tapping screws that are all of that and a bag of chips. I was skeptical and got the drill out and found a right size bit, etc. Then thought "WHy not, I"ll give it a shot against this thick German steel" Boy was a wrong and boy were they right. It is a pricey kit but I think it looks cool and you will not be disappointed at all. Great fit. Great material choice. A+ rating.

Doug
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erste
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

wow Shocked

Great job pulling that dent and covering it up. post some more pics!
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macjack
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Looks great Doug! And you'll get that other german humming along soon enough, I'm sure.
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Winston loves his. They completed his 'two tone' look when we installed 'em. Ecce:

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They are a tremendous product, and Winston's have held up well.

Best!
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WestyWanter
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Sorry to hijack, but what mudflaps are you running on Winston?

msinabottle wrote:
Winston loves his. They completed his 'two tone' look when we installed 'em. Ecce:

[pic]

They are a tremendous product, and Winston's have held up well.

Best!
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Glad your fender pulled out well and it's looking great again!
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figborg
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

I'm considering this kit as well. I have their Terrapods and like them a lot. Great product.

My concern with the fender flare covers is that they will trap moisture and encourage rust. Am I being paranoid?
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Looks great Doug!

Are the self tappers stainless steel?

How did you protect the self tapping zone? I'd love these as well, but I cannot talk myself in drilling the van Laughing Would PU glue work?

Any pics of the inside of the flare?

Aloha!

Alika

PS: 944 axles are not stronger than Vanagons, they allow more angle bc of smaller CV balls (thus, theorically weaker) Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry to hijack, but what mudflaps are you running on Winston?


OEM VW Rubber. I had to find pictures here on the Samba to install them correctly. I took mine to help others install them.

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Best!
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Here's another shot:
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I'm not sure about the screw material but they are extremely hard and coated black with a very hard coating. Impressive. I suspect a high carbon steel. I will see if they are magnetic. The grey line is NAPA seam sealer. A great product I used when I had the van painted. When it is dry (a week or so unless we get a warm spell) I will buy a touch up stick for the Toyota Sunburst Yellow and just run the paint down that sealer for a total hide. Like it never happened, 'cept I got those cool flares!

As for protecting the drilled holes, I am planning to pull them back off to see if I can re-install the S. African mudflaps I removed to put the flares on. I was unhappy with those mudflaps mounting system. A joke. Sure they'll stay on for an "urban warrior" type van usage with their little metal clips and the hokey thin metal screw clamps. But load those mudflaps up with some Idaho frozen slush and drag em over a stump and you'll be missing flaps in no time.

I plan to run these screws through the mudflaps AND the fender flares. That way they are solidly mounted and ready for real weather.

So, when I pull them off to do that, I plan to brush some paint on the holes, then after they are back on, shoot that purple battery terminal waxy coating on the back side where the screws protrude. The flares won't trap moisture as there are air gaps here and there that will allow for spray shot up there to also dribble back out. They don't have rubber edge seals which is good - those might trap moisture. They'll also take a wack from a car door without leaving a mark. My wheel lips already have a car door ding in two of them.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Nice write up. I've had my Terrawagen flares for four and a half years and they still clean up nicely with some Back to Black. A very well tought out addition to the van. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Doug-you're probably better off going with the original OEM mud flaps (like on Winston) rather than trying to get the stiff plastic S.A. mud flaps to fit with the fender flares.
The OEM mud flaps are much better quality, the only downside being the need to drill holes into the body, but the result is a stock setup. The frame already has the mounting holes-you just need to drill the ones in the sheet metal.

The hardest holes to match are the ones for the front mud flaps, being a blind fastener. On my van I changed this slightly by moving the flap forward to allow the two upper fasteners to have a nylock nut on the backside instead of the plastic blind fastener. By moving the flap forward these become accessible from the front wheel well. The lower mounting points remain the same, only in front of the jack point instead of behind.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

I have my OEM's mounted to the fender flare as well. I was considering getting the Flare Kit, and remounting the mud flaps them through the kit. But now that I see the Flares a bit closer, I'll have to reconsider that..... Think

A word about the OEM's and the S.A. mud flaps; Domo had a set of the S.A.'s, and I have the OEM's on Frank. Both held up to German winters just fine (and Austrian, and Italian...), they were fitted to the appropriate vans.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Impressive repair! I seriously can't even tell once the flares are on.

Thanks for buying our products!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Very impressive repair. It looks great - your hole van looks great!

Did these decals come stock? I'm pretty jealous
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Eric,

Well done - great product. So, up close all you can see is some dull areas of paint. I could NOT get the rubber marks off the paint - seemed melted in. So I used some wet sanding and now I should go back finer and finer to restore the gloss. I used a rubber hammer to really whale on the metal after getting it pushed out with the jack. I also cleaned out the crack of all remaining seam sealer, then used dental picks to clean it deeper, then could even sand it a bit in there. After that I cleaned it with brake cleaner sprayed deeply in it a few cycles. Some air to dry it, then a heat lamp for a half hour to fully dry it. Let it cool. Then masked the crack and sprayed self etching primer deep into it and let it run out the bottom. Another coat. Heat lamp for a half hour while I got the jack and found out the clever hydraulic tool my buddy lent me had dried out seals.

Pushed it back out into shape and the seam closed mostly. Then I pounded on the forward edge of the lip to shove the seam closed again. Then seam sealer. I also cleaned the inside of the fender to reveal the factory seam sealer had cracked due to the force. So I cleaned it with a wire brush, then brake cleaner, then filled the crack with the seam sealer and about a half inch on each side of the crack. I let all that get a good start drying while I started mounting the flares.

It was a really stellar fit. I could see where the fender lips of my freshly painted van were starting to take hits from gravel and it would be a losing battle with all the back roads we love. So these summarily ended the battle in my favor by completely covering them in durable UV stable plastic. They even looks good in the bargain!!

There's enough of a stand off (added width) that I suspect these also catch a LOT more gravel the tires previously tossed against the side of the van.

As a quadruple bonus, my family thinks I'm a genius for fixing $2400 worth of damage in 2 hours.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
Very impressive repair. It looks great - your hole van looks great!

Did these decals come stock? I'm pretty jealous
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Those stickers (and many more!) are available at Van Cafe:
http://www.van-cafe.com/search?noheadings=1&keywords=stickers
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

I am very happy with the fender flares from Terrawagen.. when I bough my van it has a small dent on the passenger side fender lip. The body shop gave me an estimate of $1K for repair and repaint the whole rear quarter panel, so I got the fender flares to hide it and give it a nice look too...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Terrawagen Fender Flare review. Reply with quote

Back right quarter panel just behind the wheel was backed into by a minivan in an Autozone parking lot. Caved in that panel area up almost horizontal (broke at the seam). The Terrawagen flare went with it, didn't break and didn't even mar from the hit. Bottle jacked it out, the flare came out after the severe twist like new, totally unaffected. Amazing.
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