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Anybody here broke one?

I pulled into a rest area somewhere in southern TN just in time, got out and saw my driver side front fender sticking out about 4 inches. I had a semi spit a large turtle out at me the day before that I ran over on that side is all I can figure did it, then I guess the screws in the fender rattled out.

Stupid brace has 2 holes in each end and very little metal around the unused hole, that's where it broke.

I found some plumbing strap I had used to secure an ac capacitor in my tool box so I used it to get me home along with duct taping the top.

I can't find fender braces with lengths listed, they all seem to be model specific for cars and trucks.
Don't like the plumbing strap solution.

Thought about taking it in and getting it welded and having them weld the unused holes shut, it appears to be aluminum so I can't weld it myself.
Also saw I can buy a piece of aluminum strap/bar at the lumberyard for next to nothing. I could drill holes in that and bend it.

What have you all done or would do?

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I use brake line. It's rigid enough, can be cut to length and when you flatten an end you can drill a nice hole to secure it.

John

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1 hour ago, Gary 05 AMB DST said:

The screws holding my fenders are screwed to fiberglass. They need to be retightened or glued when the play gets to loose.

Gary 05 AMB DST

I moved mine.  Nothing magic in where Monaco put them.  If you want them to stay place, the use 3/16 pop rivets in the fiberglass side with a washer on the end so that you get two good clamping surfaces.  Ordinarily, I’d recommend SS, but since you will be working below the fender, a long handled tool, which is what you need, will not work,  if you purchase a cheap pneumatic tool from Harbor Freight, then use SS.

Then put the other end where it works.  The brake line, flattened, sounds like a good idea.  In a pinch, use aluminum strap from Lowes.  I use the washered self drilling screws….with the rubber washer.  Drive then, but final torque by hand.

 NOW, if you vibrated and pulled out the fender, inspect the upper portion, where it is attached to the body,  I had the 2 fronts vibrate and make noise,  there were maybe 3 vertical (driven straight up) in each one.  I added 2 more.  TRICK OF IT.  Again, do not use your drill to final seat. There is or were on mine, a gap between the fender and the body,  if you don’t you run the risk of pinching the gap and cracking.  Maintain the existing gap….trust me, putting a pop rivet there ain’t a good idea.  A 1/4” ratchet works great.  I also use the metal roofing screws as they have the vibration (expansion/contraction) washer and are. Nice hex washer.

Good Luck…keep us updated..  

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3 hours ago, JohnC3 said:

I use brake line. It's rigid enough, can be cut to length and when you flatten an end you can drill a nice hole to secure it.

John

That sounds like a great idea, already have some in my amazon cart since I saw your post.

27 minutes ago, Tom Cherry said:

I moved mine.  Nothing magic in where Monaco put them.  If you want them to stay place, the use 3/16 pop rivets in the fiberglass side with a washer on the end so that you get two good clamping surfaces.  Ordinarily, I’d recommend SS, but since you will be working below the fender, a long handled tool, which is what you need, will not work,  if you purchase a cheap pneumatic tool from Harbor Freight, then use SS.

Then put the other end where it works.  The brake line, flattened, sounds like a good idea.  In a pinch, use aluminum strap from Lowes.  I use the washered self drilling screws….with the rubber washer.  Drive then, but final torque by hand.

 NOW, if you vibrated and pulled out the fender, inspect the upper portion, where it is attached to the body,  I had the 2 fronts vibrate and make noise,  there were maybe 3 vertical (driven straight up) in each one.  I added 2 more.  TRICK OF IT.  Again, do not use your drill to final seat. There is or were on mine, a gap between the fender and the body,  if you don’t you run the risk of pinching the gap and cracking.  Maintain the existing gap….trust me, putting a pop rivet there ain’t a good idea.  A 1/4” ratchet works great.  I also use the metal roofing screws as they have the vibration (expansion/contraction) washer and are. Nice hex washer.

Good Luck…keep us updated..  

After looking at it at the rest area I decided to just take it off and put it in the bed of my silverado toad. Front end though was filled with foam and glue, no way it was coming off.

Back end though, like you say, gap between fg and metal. Top 2 screws were just gone. Bottom one had unfortunately cracked the side of the hole so it was still there.

I'll relocate the bottom hole, put screws in the other 2 holes, and add a few others.

Saddest part of the operation though is I think I'll have to remove the adjacent basement door to do this, barely room for a screwdriver in there with the door shut, no access with door open. 

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FishAR, you can purchase rod at Harbor Freight to (weld) (more like brazing) aluminum.  It is actually an alloy that makes the attachment stronger than the aluminum.  You must use a stainless steel brush to burnish the aluminum so the melted rod wil stick.  It can be done with a regular propane torch.  Works well, I have used it to make several repairs.  God Bless, Ed & Sylvia

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Same thing happened several times. I just pick up some aluminum flat stock, cut it to length, drill the holes, and screw it back in with stainless screws.

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When I went to the auto parts store to find something suitable, brake line was way, way more expensive than 3' pieces of 1/4" cold rolled steel. 

I expect the solid steel I used, will outlive the brake line.

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/28/2022 at 1:57 PM, JohnC3 said:

I use brake line. It's rigid enough, can be cut to length and when you flatten an end you can drill a nice hole to secure it.

John

I bought brake line. When I got the old brace out of the basement storage to make a new one and looked it over good, it was identical to the brake line I bought. I thought it to be a solid rod but it isn't. I made a spare since both sides are the same. Putting the new brace on was easy.

I just tackled this yesterday and what a pain when it comes to the fender part. Can't get a #2 sq driver on a screwdriver through the gap. Thought I would take off the basement door to give me room, well I found that it also has 2 screws in that miniscule gap holding the hinge. I honestly don't know how they built the thing. I bought a 6 inch extension for #2 square that would barely fit. Duct taped the gap on both sides so I wouldn't scratch the paint, and managed to get it in there. Had to work the screw up from the bottom since screw head wouldn't fit through the gap.

The little ledge they give to screw to on the fender isn't big enough and it's not substantial at all so I put a washer on there too. I checked the other fender and there was a screw missing there so I duct taped the edges and replaced that screw also.

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17 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

Yeah, the hollow tubes rust until they break at the thin part where the holes are drilled. 

If you go that route, probably a good idea to make spares!

I think it will be fine, never had a problem until the semi threw that monster turtle under my driver side. I absolutely hate it when someone, especially a large vehicle, usually a truck driver, passes me then immediately cuts me off so I can't see what's ahead.

I'll check it on the regular, along with the fender screws now that I know how flimsy that whole assembly is.

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