Oct 17, 2014

Project 180SX: Front Wide Fenders, pt. 1

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Project 180SX:

Front Wide Fenders, pt. 1

by Dustin Mankin

About a month or so ago, I posted up that I was given some wide fenders as a gift. While also looking like they were pulled right out of papa Smurf's ass, color-wise, they were as broken as a battered housewife after a cold dinner.

The first thing to do was to knock that horrible Smurf paint down. It's not so hard to do with a DA, and if I remember correctly, I used 180 Grit on an air powered DA. With the amount of work needed, it's fine if it's a little bit rough. The extra scratches will help the body filler, fiberglass, and gel coat adhere.
In the back is the rear lip that I was gifted. I began sanding that down, too, but as of now, it's still not finished, and I don't know when it will be.Being completely honest... I'm just not thrilled about this lip. It won't perfectly flow with the Type-X sides and front lip, so I'd almost rather go with no lip at all. I'm still thinking about this one. Back to the fenders!

If you look in the picture above you can see the big section of paint missing from the fender above. That is this crack in the fender, making it wobblier than an 80-year-old-man's..... walk... yes... walk. Get it out of the gutter!

The spots like this, I used a belt sander to knock down the paint, gel, coat, and some of the fiberglass. This will make a really good dip in which to add some FRP or Epoxy Resin.

In this corner it was more of the same situation.

And here is the belt sander in action, working on the underside of the fender.

We planned on reinforcing several rear areas of the fender with more layers of fiberglass mat. To prepare for this we belt sanded the areas down, as mentioned above. This also gives more texture to the area, so that the mat and resin can better adhere.

The epoxy we used is a combination of Fiberglass Resin and a white powder, with a consistency of baking soda. You mix it until it looks and feels about like Elmer's school glue, and then it's ready to go on. I'm told that it's almost the strength of fiberglass mat, but more sculptable and moldable, much like bondo. Slap 'er on thick, boys.

Here it is, drying in the sun.

After curing ( I don't remember how long, maybe 2 hours or so), to full strength, we began to sand it down. Not a lot is left on, but it does a good job of filling in cracks and holes. So those nasty cracks we had are almost fixed, from the front at least.

And here it is, waiting for the next day I can work on it. I decided that instead of doing mega-posts of 30 pictures once a week, you might like to see smaller posts with less pictures, but more frequently. What do you think? This would make it easier to get more content to you! Hit me with a comment below, and tell me if it's cool.

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