Opel GT Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A large area of the driverside fender on my 71 GT was badly rusted and the previous owner tried a fiberglass repair which was not well done and now the edge next to the door is rusting through. I don't think that the fender is worth the time or money to try and save sense it is to far gone. I have purchased a NOS replacement fender from usaopel and was wondering if anyone has attempted this repair before, cutting out an old fender and replacing with a new one? Is this a difficult job better left to the pros? Any tips or suggestions would be much appreciated!

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hello I am an ASE and I-CAR Master certified collision, automotive and heavy truck technician. I also on occasion teach autobody at our local community college. I think this qualifies me to accurately answer your questions. Yes, you can certainly replace the fender yourself if you know how to do this and have the proper equipment. The fender is spotwelded to the body in all areas - these must be drilled out with the same size drill bit as the weld. I would recommend a spotweld cutter - these will only drill as far as you need to go. You do not need to drill completely through all the layers of metal - just enough to remove the fender. Do this to all the spotwelds. Look close for the welds may be buried under multiple coats of paint, undercoating etc. The windshield will have to be removed as there are welds in the corner under the glass. After all the welds are drilled then gently work the fender metal until the metal is loose. DO NOT CHOP AWAY AT IT WITH AN AIR CHISEL! This will cause a great deal of damage unless you are very experienced with this tool. Once the fender is off check your new one for proper fit for once it is welded back on it is there to stay. If new holes are needed in your replacement panel either drill or punch 8mm or 5/16" holes. NO SMALLER! Very important for structural stability and retention of collision energy absorpsion integrity. The fender edges and their mating counterparts should be painted with a weld-thru primer. It is a zinc-rich (90%+) mix in which the zinc is actually plated to the bare metal by the weld heat. This is the best corrosion protection for this application. Place the fender in its position making sure all your gaps are even. Once this has been accomplished now you are ready to weld the holes shut (plug weld) with a mig (metal inert gas) welder. As all welders somewhat differ as in microwave ovens, test your settings on a scrap piece of metal first. When properly welded the weld will look flat and smooth with the surrounding metal. After the welding is finished then prime with a self-etching primer for best corrosion resistance. Then follow with either a urethane or epoxy primer before you paint the topcoat. I hope this has helped. If you have anymore questions feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 309-781-0693. Good Luck! Tlynn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Tlynn for your suggestions. Once I start the job I may have to email you with another question or two. I appreciate the assistance.

Jim
 

·
crazy opeler
Joined
·
558 Posts
While there are spot welds that hold most of the fender on, there is the front section that is brazed together, and because the replacement panel is not exactly the same as the original panel you will have to contend with a seam above the front wheel.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top