Rear fender wheel arch / flare fix - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Rear fender wheel arch / flare fix

After stripping my car down I found the drivers rear wheel lip was banged up pretty good. The passenger side is a little dinged but serviceable. I was wondering if you guys had any tips or tricks on how to fix it?

I tried to reshape it and stupidly cut some slits in it to try and make it a little more pliable which only made it worse. Now the thing is ripply as all hell. Would my best bet be to purchase a new fender and graft the lip on to my old one? Or just keep trying to bang it into a serviceable shape and then filler the rest in?

I know pics will help so I'll get some when I get home. The car is in epoxy (was starting to flash rust) which made it REALLY apparent. It's pretty fugly.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:42 PM
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I've always been curious myself, but patch paneling is all that I've seen, nothing like a small lip only patch.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Photo attached... Guess it's not as bad as I thought but would still like advice here.
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File Type: jpg 20170320_163531_1490048192339.jpg (88.1 KB, 71 views)
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:47 PM
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Hammer and dolly it as close as you can get it (make a template or use a straight edge) to keep filler to a minimum and go from there. No sense trying to graft in a whole 'nother piece(s) of metal.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:53 PM
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I'm very interested in this post as I have a rear flare that is beat to hell...

I have mine "close" to minimize filler, but recently have been considering replacing it since the filler would then go on the quarter panel body, which seems to me would be easier to shape (since, you know, flat) rather than the lip...I am also worried about longevity as I plan to drive my car as often as possible.

Thoughts?

EDIT: To the OP, they sell replacement panel for just the flare....FYI

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I've seen the fender repair pieces but, if I can shape this one back into serviceable w/ minimal filler, I'd rather do that. Mostly from a 'learning metal work' perspective though. If I cant get it the way I want it i'll look at grafting in.

I'll continue to beat on it with a hammer and dolly.

@Woodchuck

When you say 'make a template'. Are you implying to cut a piece of metal roughly the contour (based on the other side) and use that to help guide the hammering?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 09:37 AM
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Wouldn't heating it up with a torch to soften the metal before hammering help? When they are bent, the metal stretches, and simply hammering them straight leaves them too long causing ripples. You have shrink it back down.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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I can give that a try as well. So i'll take off the epoxy on the fender edge, heat it, beat it and try and get it back into shape.

I assume I shouldnt re-introduce the slits to make it easier to shape? That was probably my biggest error here but it's been corrected.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:14 AM
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I wouldn't heat it, that may just end up extending the problem area with warpage. The metal is not thick enough to require heat.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:19 AM
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I have used the "heat and quench" method to shrink metal, but you have to be sparing with it because it will raise the hardness making it more brittle. I got some rippling around my fenderlip (mine was bad enough I borrowed a stud welder to start it) I would put a torch on a quarter to silver dollar sized spot and heat it just past blue but before red, tap LIGHTLY on the high spots then quench it with water that was lukewarm to the touch (as opposed to ice water).

Worked well for those areas where I beat a little too zealously.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:26 AM
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This is an ideal repair to use a stud welder with. HF carries a whole kit for under $100 that will pull out all those dents no problem. I used it several places on my car to fix inaccessible dents like this. The welder is also good for shrinking metal (use it without a stud and quench while still red). It has a low duty cycle and the slide hammer is just about terrible but it's good enough to get the job done.

Get it close, use a straight edge to make sure you aren't going too high, prime with epoxy primer and skim with filler and you'll never know it was damaged.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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I totally forgot about the stud welder! Have one stashed under my bench. Before getting crazy with heat and beat I'll give that a whirl.

Would you recommend adding a little heat after zapping the stud to the low spot prior to slide hammering it?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser012001 View Post
I totally forgot about the stud welder! Have one stashed under my bench. Before getting crazy with heat and beat I'll give that a whirl.

Would you recommend adding a little heat after zapping the stud to the low spot prior to slide hammering it?
Nah. If you let the affected area cool on its own it will soften the metal naturally. It takes surprisingly little effort to move sheet metal. Just don't try to do it all in one whack. Use more studs than you may think you need and go slow and it'll pull out. In some places I've put the studs in as tight as the welder will let me.

Oh, and don't try to bend the studs off. Clip them and grind. If you try to bend them off you'll just pull a hole out of the metal. You can also use bright finish nails if you run out of studs and don't feel like going to HF.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser012001 View Post
Thanks. I've seen the fender repair pieces but, if I can shape this one back into serviceable w/ minimal filler, I'd rather do that. Mostly from a 'learning metal work' perspective though. If I cant get it the way I want it i'll look at grafting in.

I'll continue to beat on it with a hammer and dolly.

@Woodchuck

When you say 'make a template'. Are you implying to cut a piece of metal roughly the contour (based on the other side) and use that to help guide the hammering?
No, I'd use stiff cardboard or thin (lauan) plywood. You can use a cheap kids compass to scribe contours on the cardboard using a "good" wheel opening (the other side) as a guide then cut it out with scissors. Make multiple templates for different points around the wheel opening.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 04:02 PM
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So consensus seems to be get it close and fill the rest (1/8" or thinner of body filler?). Is this a durable approach for a car that gets serious miles on it? Seems like an area that would be prone to rock chips, which in my understanding, rock chips are a much more painful fix when there is underlying body filler.

am I crazy?

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