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Thread: Fiberglass rear fenders?

  1. #1

    Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Just bought a 64 mkII 3000. Runs great. getting ready to take it down to replace a few chassis bits, and found the girl has fiberglass rear fenders, and the trans tunnel is fiberglass also. Everything looks good with these parts, just wanting to know what is the deal with these products. Where they available at some time for repairng rust problems.

  2. #2

    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    The transmission tunnel is fiberglass as stock. The fenders/wings should be steel. The fiberglass was used to replace rusted steel but I'm not sure whether its because the steel were not always available, or because of concerns about cost or rust. You might want to check your sills- I understand those were sometimes replaced with fiberglass ones instead of steel too.


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Healey Journal</span>
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    1967 Austin Healey 3000, 1972 Jensen-Healey, 1962 Rochdale Olympic

  3. #3
    Jedi Knight nevets's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Fiberglass body panels are not OEM replacement parts and to the best of my knowledge, were never offered by the factory (BMC) as an alternative to steel (or aluminum) replacement body panels. I believe fiberglass panels were and still are available from a number of sources as a less expensive/corrosion-resistant replacement for metal panels. I will leave it to others more knowledgeable about such things to comment of their intrinsic value.

  4. #4

    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Hi guys, I have alittle experience with the fibre glass replacements since they have been on my BJ7 since the early '70s. Of course the value is in the eye of the beholder, and i never intend to put my car up for concours pedigree, but no one, and I mean no one has ever known that some of my Healey has fibre glass body panels unless I've told them. of course a concours judge only in reaching up under the radius of the fender opens would then notice that there is no lip on the inside of these wheel opennings. These panels were a period aftermarket replacement pieces that were desireable for weight savings and long term durability, as they of course will never rust, and there will never be analytical corosion forming between steel and aluminium at the fender to shroud seems. They were rather popular with the ralley set because of reduced weight. You could get fenders, sills, and boot lid. In over 30 years mine have never cracked, and still look good. I consider these pieces to be period correct just like the polished aluminum valve cover, the aftermarket extra capacity radiator, and the special grind road race cam. You could say that the car is particularly rare because it was set up to Rally in the early years and did rally in Europe. So it has all the trim and fittings to show for it. So many people still look at my car and say, 'boy it looks great'. They don't realize that in truth it needs retored for the stuff you can't see underneath. But that'll get done one of these days. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif[/img]
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

  5. #5

    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    I've also got a rear shroud made of fiberglass and I'm sure that front ones were available too. The fiberglass seems to weight about the same as the alloy one. I bought a "lot" of two front and one rear wing and a rear shroud for 25. I've got the proper metal ones that I'll use, though... I'll probably sell the fiberglass at some future time, I think the rally folk still want them....


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Healey Journal</span>
    Just 5 years into a 2 year project....
    1967 Austin Healey 3000, 1972 Jensen-Healey, 1962 Rochdale Olympic

  6. #6
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Fiber glass rear shroud??? I have a 59 100-6 and would love to find one. Please let me know if you know where I can get one. Kevin 213 804-9582. Thanks

  7. #7
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    My first big Healey was fitted with fibre glass fenders all round by no less than John Chatham, they were on offer back in the seventies as an alternative to steel so if it was good enough for john then it was OK by me. Given that the rear fenders are a collection point for mud, grit etc. you could consider them to be 'an upgrade' as they will not rot.
    #


    Bob

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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    back in the seventies I was hit in the driver side wheel area by a lady who pulled out into me. the drivers fender and the shroud were damaged quite heavily. of course healey value at that time was low and the insurance company wanted to total the car. I made a deal for a settlement that would allow me to keep the car....bn6 with a 289 ford conversion. I repaired the inner structure damage and replaced the shroud and all four fenders with fiberglass. a job not for the less than very patient. nothing was marked and it required a considerable amount of time fitting and drilling and fitting and drilling. I later sold the car but the current owner still says that the fit and finish are indistinguishable from factory steel and aluminum....wish I still had the car!!!
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

  9. #9

    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hughes View Post
    My first big Healey was fitted with fibre glass fenders all round by no less than John Chatham, they were on offer back in the seventies as an alternative to steel so if it was good enough for john then it was OK by me. Given that the rear fenders are a collection point for mud, grit etc. you could consider them to be 'an upgrade' as they will not rot.
    #




    Bob
    Hope you got some of John's Modsport fenders.



    Rick

  10. #10

    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Fiberglas replacement fenders were used quite often in the 70s after factory stocks of original parts dried up and no one was yet making reproduction fenders. Short of cannibalizing originals from a wrecked car - which also happened a lot in that era - it was the only option if your originals were missing or not repairable. There was some stigma attached to using fiberglas, but for a time it was about the only option and so it was tolerated if not exactly "approved of."

    Then after reproduction fenders became available, the stigma of fiberglas panels got worse and was very much looked down on for a long time. This may have softened somewhat over time, but it remains a negative factor. If you're restoring a car to be a top-notch original example for concours, the auction block, or just because you want a no-excuses/no-stories car, then you must avoid fiberglas. If you want a "driver" just for personal use and showing at the occasional local car show, then I doubt anyone would say very much about, and it's likely that they'd never know if you didn't tell them.

    However, before you decide to live with the fiberglas, I'd recommend considering the long game and what the car will be worth when you (or your heirs) sell it. It won't be a positive factor, and if you're at the point where replacing the fenders would be natural - such as a body restoration or frame replacement/repairs - I'd recommend returning to steel fenders.

    Others will likely have a different take, but that's mine. Good luck.
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



  11. #11
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Speaking of the rear fenders being a collection point for water, mud, debris, etc., has anyone ever fabricated a shield to close off the cavities in front and behind the rear wheels? Have been thinking of taking some thin aluminum and cutting a strip that would cover the openings. It could be attached where the wheel arch meets the inner fender and simply abut the outer fender. Seems like it would prevent most of the junk from getting in there. Maybe it's been tried before and won't work?

  12. #12
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    I lined the inside, lower 12" of my front and rear fenders with fiberglass to stop corrosion.
    John, BN4

  13. #13

    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    If the area has been painted well, then just pull the junk out now and then. Keeping it open for any water to run out and good air flow would be the best bet in my mind.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

  14. #14
    Yoda
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    Quote Originally Posted by vette View Post
    If the area has been painted well, then just pull the junk out now and then. Keeping it open for any water to run out and good air flow would be the best bet in my mind.
    Seconded.

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    Jedi Warrior roscoe's Avatar
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    Re: Fiberglass rear fenders?

    We all know that the reputation of old big Healeys having less than sufficient ground clearance in the rear is usually leaf springs that are weak. I live on a long gravel driveway, over which I drive slowly. Despite taking care, I have vacuumed pounds of gravel from my rear fender pockets. Before I replaced my leaf springs I was sure it was time to vacuum when I would scrape my exhaust system.

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