Fabricate Fender or Replace

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2023 3:39 pm
I'm seeking advice and opinions from others regarding fender repair. The situation is as follows:

1. Fender Repairs Needed: Both fenders need repair. Specifically, the upper arch and lower rear section of each fender require new metal. This includes both the external surface and the internal structural components.

2. Materials Available: I have a sufficient amount of 18-gauge metal for these repairs.

3. Budget Considerations: I am working within a budget and am prepared to fabricate the parts myself. Both capa fenders are over $400 shipped and require stripping EDP, then epoxy, base, clear. I'm unsure if saving $400 is worth the trouble, but the fun factor.

4. Challenges:
- Precision Required: Fabricating two angle brackets that bolt to the A-pillar is crucial and these need to be made with high precision. The bracket is visible in the middle of the second photo.
- Internal Structural Components: Crafting the internal structural elements within the fender poses an interesting challenge, given the intricacies involved.

Any insights or suggestions regarding these points would be greatly appreciated.

image 1
20240101-January-W1_143525563_chrome.png


image 2
20240101-January-W1_143536118_chrome.png
Last edited by xF100x on Mon Jan 01, 2024 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2024 11:21 am
Your image links are no good.

Open your post and then look below this message box for the tab Upload Attachment.
Click that then click Choose file. At this point you find your actual picture and select it.
Next you click Add The File and then wait until it uploads. You will know because the cursor will jump back to this box and a link to your photo will appear below this text box.

Click to place your cursor where you want the picture to appear and the click the link to insert your photo in this box.
1968 Coronet R/T


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2024 3:38 pm
'68 Coronet R/T wrote:Your image links are no good.


fixed. i checked with a different browser and they did not appear. The images must have been cached in chrome to appear for me. thanks for the notice.

I will repair the fenders since its fun. Just wondering what ideas others may have. I've fabricated cross member braces, gusset plates, rockers, other components, so why not?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2024 9:22 pm
Have your priced replacement fenders for it? Even used ones from a dry place like Arizona where they won't be rusted may be a better investment than the time and material to fabricate them.
1968 Coronet R/T


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2024 1:13 am
'68 Coronet R/T wrote:Have your priced replacement fenders for it? Even used ones from a dry place like Arizona where they won't be rusted may be a better investment than the time and material to fabricate them.


I have. freight is expensive. sellers with rust free used fenders want 200+ for the fender then 150-200 for shipping each. then you have to trust what they claim to have is what they will send. then stripping and prep for paint. New Capa fenders are 100+ each with equivalent freight. That's $400+ as previously mentioned.



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2024 8:09 am
I am a Fan of saving Old Original Metal by Patching, A repaired piece is Better than any China Made knock off.

That Said in most cases the easiest method shaping the repair pieces is to cut up a cheap poor fitting China made replacement panel to make the Patches with.

The EDP coating you spoke of on new panels does not need to be removed be fore painting IF it is indeed EDP coating. A Quick rub with a Rag soaked in Laq. thinner will tell you.

Hard to tell what your working on please post year make and model. One of us may have a cheaper source than you have found?

What welding Process are you planning on using or do you plan on using Adhesives?
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:24 pm
Restoring a new body style 2004 Ford F150. I have a somewhat local salvage yard near me, but I doubt the fenders here are rust free and no better than what I have. I would not pay anything over a new fender plus freight(shipping) it's absurd what people are asking for used fenders when new CAPA and paint combined is cheaper.

If I purchased replacements, they would be CAPA fenders, so they're not cheaply made. That's what I understand, at least. I have a body shop friend who uses them due to insurance requirements.

I understand what you're saying. I really don't want to replace them, I prefer the original metal and there is nothing really wrong with these fenders other than the bottoms and some surface rust on the back and top of the arch. A little bit of elbow grease, problem solving, marker, and lightning glue can fix that. The only problem I see is the tab on the bottom needs to be fabricated fairly precise and welded since that tab is part of the alignment of the fender. I'll have to get a better photo later.

The photo I previously posted diplays the fender with the worse corrosion in the back structural supports. The other fender is not so bad and is mostly in tact but both fenders outside skin needs to be replaced.

Is it not true that CAPA fenders have true EDP coatings? I assume I can scruff the front of the panel EDP with a red scotch bright and MP170 it? The back of the fender on either the replacement or used are going to be coated with cosmoline or blaster surface shield, so no chance of rusting there ever again, haven't made my mind up on which I'll use.

I'm not messing around with metal adhesives. I'm using supercharged metal superglue that comes out lightning stick.



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2024 11:30 am
Welding the newer auto sheet metal has its short comings especially with a Mig.
Just my opinion but I would buy the newer panels and call it a day saving yourself many hours of grief trying to make the patch repairs look acceptable.

Now if they were unabtainium or $500+ each ya by all means repair them but when the parts are readily available it just doesn't make sense trying to repair unless you really want to learn metal shaping.

I have saved many many parts usually pouring more hours into them than the parts are worth. Keep in mind when learning you usually end up destroying some stuff in the learning process.
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2024 6:43 pm
I would agree. I'm not looking for a showroom just to repair some corrosion. I have a thread on the F150 forums displaying some work, not everything is uploaded as this has been a long work in progress since Aug'21, it's a truck.

I'm not the type of person who whines about someone kicking a Tesla bumper because that person was having a tantrum. If they keyed, it... that's another story.


mock up

PXL_20240108_215511436 - Copy.jpg
Rough mockups



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2024 11:28 am
xF100x wrote:I would agree. I'm not looking for a showroom just to repair some corrosion.

I'm not the type of person who whines about someone kicking a Tesla bumper because that person was having a tantrum. If they keyed, it... that's another story.
PXL_20240108_215511436 - Copy.jpg


I shoot for perfect that way I can usually accept the results when it doesn't come out perfect.

I am not as forgiving If some one kicked or keyed one of my cars.
Wanna see a Man get Mean?
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.
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