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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 12-23-2012, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aftermarket rear fender fit

Anyone out there have any experience with repop stainless rear fenders? The blade type I bought for my '66 fits like crapola. The radius is wrong (large radius to follow tire) and it is twisted. Plus there are two indents for the top bracket that are not on the original fender.

I'm going to call the dealer, who is a reputable guy and see what he says. I don't want to start drilling holes in it to see if it can be made to fit, only to find that it won't and then am stuck with it.

Any input would be appreciated.

regards,
Rob
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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D'oh!!!

Talked the vendor today. It's Don Hutchinson, by the way. Don said the fenders are made by hand on an English wheel so they are never perfect or identical. He's had to tweak more than one in the past to get it to fit right.

I asked for tips on starting and he said to either start at the front mounting bracket or the center/top strap and get the relief for the shocks lined up and then go from there.

So I went out into the shop and started again. After several test fits and twisting and yanking on the fender to make it straighter than it was when I got it, I noticed a minor detail. The top strap that bolts onto the top shock mounts is not symmetrical. It is offset to one side. Swapped it around and the fender fits much better. Went up and checked my disassembly pics and yup, confirmed I had installed it backwards.

Looks like the fender may need a little trimming and a bit of twisting for a perfect fit. But it will be much easier now than intially thought.

regards,

Homer Simpson
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I seem to be a one-man thread here. That's okay. Here's some more info.

That first fender was still not right. It had a curl to one side that no amount of twisting or wrangling would make fit. So I put it in the van and took a ride out to Don Hutchinson's to exchange it for another. Don was great about it, gave me my pick of what he had. I thought picked one that looked better, but after spending several hours in the shop today, it's not much better than the first.

I did go a bit further today and drill a hole for the front mount, thinking I could force the fender into place. That was a bad assumption.

Now that I've spent some time looking at this and the other fender, plus laid it out next to my OEM fender, it appears that the forming process give it a turn to the left. It is very subtle from a visual POV, but very obvious from a fit-up POV.

So, I'm now on a quest for a shop that has an English wheel and somebody that knows how to use it well. I think I know what needs to be done to the fender to make it fit properly. I could probably do it if I had any experience on an English wheel, but I've got zippo experience.

And to be clear, I have no issues with Don or his products. Don was more than happy to exchange the fender. I drilled the forward hole in it and therefore, I feel it is now mine to deal with. I am disappointed that somebody in the UK is producing fenders that will not fit without major rework and selling them as reproduction fenders. I'm posting this so others are aware that you could run into problems with repop UK stainless blade fenders fitting properly and making them fit is not an easy fix.

regards,
Rob
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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might be an idea to post where the fender (Dam!! You've got me calling it a fender now, -not a mudguard!) came from in the IK?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I wonder if it's the same Don Hutchinson in my BMW club?
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE M View Post
might be an idea to post where the fender (Dam!! You've got me calling it a fender now, -not a mudguard!) came from in the IK?
See Dave, there's hope for you yet.

I with you on trying to learn who made the fender. I'm pretty sure that Don buys all his parts from John Healy. So, I was thinking of asking John if he would tell me who the maker or distributor in the UK might be.

This morning I found a local shop that has an English wheel and is willing to take a look at the fender. He does a lot of British car restoration work and was referred by a friend of a friend and both have had work done there. So I'm off to see him today.

I'll probably PM John Healy in the meantime to see what he thinks and if he can give me the name of the UK supplier/maker. Could be they had a run of bad fenders.

regards,
Rob
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have heard it said, I think it was in that DVD Brittown, that hanging a rear fender is an art. Re- hanging mine is on the to do list this season. With a 16"tire and lowered it really shows off center. I hope I don't ruin any paint.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Called John Healy and when I described the distortion of the fender he said that they are all like that. They were made by Chris somebody in the UK. According to John he recently put a PT boat Packard engine in a Rolls Royce car.

He's apparently not making fenders any longer. So what is still available it probably all that is available until somebody else decides to give it a try.

They are made via a series of forming rollers. The machine is hand fed so if you don't load the fender in correctly every time, it tweaks it this way and that.

Stainless is the hardest material to form and what would take one thru the rollers for a aluminum fender will take two or three for a steel fender and 6 to 8 for a stainless steel fender. The chromium gives it a spring steel quality which means it likes to go back to its original shape. My guess is the two relieved areas for the chain guard and oil tank are formed later on an English wheel, but I could be wrong about that.

After talking to John, I went to the local shop with the English wheel. Owner was very nice and took quite a bit of time to look at my fender and advise me. He had an MGTD on the shop floor, a Cunningham in the back (1 of 10 in existence) and an Aston Martin DB4 on top of his paint booth. There were lots of other cars in there and he said he has another 6000 sq ft building behind the main building full of cars awaiting restoration. He has a 2 year wait at present.

He looked a my fender and said there is not much he can do. He said best way is for me to fit it to where it needs to be and let the front end go where it wants. Then with everything bolted up, start twisting and yanking on the front end until I get to be where it needs to be.

John Healy said they've had good luck horsing them into place as well. The body shop guy confirmed what I thought was the right approach so my confidence has been raised to put a few more holes in it to hold it in place while I try to reshape it by brute force.

I guess we'll see how it goes. If all else fails, I guess I can revert to painted fenders and call it a domestic market bike.

regards,
Rob
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That familiar refrain "they are all like that" I hear that a lot since I started with this bike
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I bought a front mudguard (as we British call them!) from Shropshire Classics a few months ago. It was supposedly a T140D mudguard in chrome finish, made by LF Harris according to the bloke at Shrop.Classics.

When it arrived in the post I couldn;t belive my eyes when I unpacked it - it looked like something a 12 year old would have got only 6 out of ten for in metalwork classes. The chrome was so thin on the underside you could literally see through it, and rust was already starting. It was out of shape so if you placed it on the floor you could rock it side to side, and never get all 4 'corners' down. Also, the metal was sardine can thickness and the rolled edge at the front was almost to a point, and underneath looked like someone had folded it over with their fingers.

In a word, unbelievable. Shropshire insisted it came from Harris. They did refund me, after quite some debate. I won't be shopping there again. But the worrying thing is that I have since bought 3 grabrails, the first two new, from different suppliers, both supposedly made by Harris and both (and the third, bought privately from ebay) no good - they just are not faithful copies and can't be lined up without bending something.

I find it completely unacceptable that people are making such rubbish, and I really don't think anyone should be selling sub-standard repro parts. Its no good saying they're all like that - if the shop knows they aren't right they should either be selling them as seconds with a clear warning and a big discount, or not selling them at all IMHO!
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