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Thread: Fiberglass vs. metal fenders

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    Registered User 7T1240's Avatar
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    Default Fiberglass vs. metal fenders

    I'm considering fiberglass fenders when it's time to paint my car. The metal fenders seem to dimple easily, and fiberglass would seem to eliminate this issue.

    So, I'm curious, for those who have considered this option, which did you choose, and why.

    Thanks, Gary S.

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    '72 240Z(G) 3.2L
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    FG cracks, is lighter but doesn't dimple. It can be made into any shape you want (flares, etc.).

    Metal dimples, is stronger, a bit heavier, rusts.

    I use metal on my street 240 and FG on the track car.
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

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    Registered User madkaw's Avatar
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    I will say this, I have a set that Im selling, but I was suprised how decent they looked and fit. When I discovered them on a car, I couldn't tell they were fiberglass at first, then i noticed no rust what so ever, then a closer look I realized they were glass. I wouldn't have any problems using them on a Z, but my car had perfect fenders and were painted already. They do crack, vs. denting, but it would take a lot to crack one. It also depends on whether your more comfortable fixing glass or metal. And yes, they are lighter, but metal fenders are heavy-not really.
    Steve
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    Registered User 7T1240's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnosez View Post
    FG cracks, is lighter but doesn't dimple. It can be made into any shape you want (flares, etc.).

    Metal dimples, is stronger, a bit heavier, rusts.

    I use metal on my street 240 and FG on the track car.
    Hi John.
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not concerned about weight, the car is a mostly stock daily driver. If I did go fiberglass, it would be in the stock fender configuration. I'm not really too concerned about rust, as the car is fair weather only. But the metal fender's susceptibility to denting is a big concern. To spend the money on paint and bodywork and have that go all for naught with minimal carelessness concerns me.

    So, are all fiberglass fenders prone to cracking, or are some better engineered and reinforced than others?

    Gary S.

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    Registered User 7T1240's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
    I will say this, I have a set that Im selling, but I was suprised how decent they looked and fit.
    Hey Steve.
    It's your ad that prompted my interest in the subject.

    Gary

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    The quality of FG pieces is dependent on the builder and the buyer. I have seen and sold FG parts that were good for racing (just barely) and others that were works of art.

    I have two sets of FG fenders in stock (Bad Dog Parts) and they are so completely different in quality and fitment I am amazed that they are serve the same function.
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

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    I have been debating on what I should go with myself but I think its gunna be FG.

    If your just going to attach them by the rivets FG wins. If your gunna fill in the gap between the fender and the flare go with metal or it can crack at that spot pretty easy.

    Other then that, unless some jerk with a shopping cart hits your flares you shouldn't have any problems with the durability do to the location of the part itself.

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    They're discussing fenders, not flares.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01 View Post
    They're discussing fenders, not flares.......
    But they go on the fenders!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01 View Post
    They're discussing fenders, not flares.......
    <--Me.

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    Painted fiberglass tends to fade more than painted steel so you will get a color difference over time. The amount of change varies by color, red being the worse, while white you can barley tell. Nice thing about glass once you know how to work with it, in some cases it is easier to repair.

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    Remember, steel fenders are stock, the way the factory built it. If you ever want to sell the car and find a buyer who's into a factory correct car, he'll ignore your car. Also fiberglass, because it's lighter, often implies track use. This may also be a turn-off to a potential buyer, unless they plan on track use for the car. Fiberglass takes finishes differently than steel, so that can be a factor when you get down to the final finishing and painting of the car. Personally, I'd stay with steel unless they were badly rusted and replacements were too costly.
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    Mike B
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZMarty View Post
    Remember, steel fenders are stock, the way the factory built it. If you ever want to sell the car and find a buyer who's into a factory correct car, he'll ignore your car. Also fiberglass, because it's lighter, often implies track use. This may also be a turn-off to a potential buyer, unless they plan on track use for the car. Fiberglass takes finishes differently than steel, so that can be a factor when you get down to the final finishing and painting of the car. Personally, I'd stay with steel unless they were badly rusted and replacements were too costly.
    My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't put fiberglass fenders on a stock car unless it was a Corvette .

    -Mike

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    Just want to say thank you to everyone who weighed in on this question. I discussed these options with one of the painters I'm considering, and he also expressed a preference to work with the metal fenders that are presently on the car as opposed to fiberglass. Monday or Tuesday I should hear from him on his estimate.
    Gary S.

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