Hey there,   yep we’re still here ;)  We’ve been dealing with some of the growing pains of an expanding business lately so blog posts haven’t been as frequent as I would like but hopefully we can work on that as soon as I can catch up a bit.  Anyways,  it’s been a few months since I’ve updated the TA22 that we brought in and are currently in the process of restoring and modifying for one of our customers so I think it’s about time to catch you up on some of the progress we’ve been making.  This is about what the car looked like on the last update which you can find HERE.

I had just finished up mocking up the over-fenders on the car and getting the wheel spacers dialed in to get the wheels sitting in the fenders exactly how I wanted.  Now that’s taken care of it’s time to modify the OEM fenders so we can actually drive the car with the substantially wider setup.

The first step is to get the fenders mounted to the chassis which requires drilling a few well placed holes.

Like on some of the over-fenders I’ve done here before,  instead of using typical rivets I’ll be using these very nice stainless steel button-head Allen bolts instead which I feel have a much nicer look.  You can also control the pressure of which they are tightened to as well unlike rivets which can sometimes tend to crack the fiberglass around the holes.

Here you may also notice some of the marks I have made along the over-fender which tells me exactly these need to be modified in order to fit the body as tightly as I’m looking to get them without any trim in between the body.

Once they’re unbolted I can now make my mark for where the factory fender will be cut.  In my own personal opinion if you are running over-fenders you may as well cut out the original fender as much as possible to be able to fully utilize the extra space for wider wheels and prevent the tires from making contact with the body under full compression.

The front fenders are pretty straight forward as they are a single layer of steel and it’s one simple cut.

Even the larger over-fenders will still have their limitations however and with the increased width and offset the tire will still contact these areas under full steering lock.

They will also contact the inner fender as well which cannot be eliminated without a serious amount of fabrication.

For most people (excluding drift cars) this will only be a nuisance while making U-turns anyways so I have made a pretty simple solution to reduce the amount of steering lock the car will have and prevent the tire from contacting the chassis in the form of extended steering stops.

With the front fenders modified we should now have plenty of room for the new setup

Now onto the rears.  As you can see from this picture the stock fender would be somewhat problematic with the new setup.

Same method here…  this cut will be a little different at the ends because we don’t need the extra room there and due to the way the inner fender is designed it has to be cut like this in order to re-attach the two.

The outer quarter panel is spot-welded to the inner fender so I start by making a specific cut that will allow me to separate the two and still retain as much of the inner fender as possible.

I won’t install a rear over-fender on a car without reattaching the inner and outer fender for a few reasons.   The first reason is because it’s ghetto,  plain and simple.    The other reason is that if you don’t make a complete, sealed  barrier again you will end up with a trunk full of water and dirt and eventually a fender full of rust.  The last reason is that there is a decent amount of chassis rigidity that is lost when the two panels are separated and on these old cars every little bit of strength you can retain is very important.

In a perfect world I would just shape the inner fender out to the quarter panel and be done but because of the convex shape of the inner fender, bending it outward is impossible without making a few well placed cuts.

But before I do that the entire are must be taken down to a clean, bare metal surface so it can be properly welded.

The space between the cuts will be vary based on what you’re dealing with but if done properly there will only be a very small seam in between when you’re done.

After a bit of forming, hammering, pulling and welding we now have the inner fender reattached to the outer.

And I can now cut off the unused material.

At this point the car has more tack welds holding the two panels together than the factory spot welds but for this car I wanted the final product to be finished entirely in metal so next up is the very tedious process of making hundreds of individual tacks until there is one continuous weld bead that can later be ground down.   The reason for doing so many separate tack welds is that you want to be able to skip all around the fender so that you don’t put too much heat in any one area at a time that can cause the entire outer quarter panel to warp.   Also leaving the paint close to the weld area can also be a good gauge of how much heat you are putting into the panel as it will discolor very quickly when it gets hot.

At his point I can now start grinding.   The small marks you see in the picture below are ares that will neet to be re-welded because there wasn’t quite enough penetration.

This shows how many welds needed to be redone on the second pass.  It’s pretty easy to see how this can be such a time consuming process with literally hundreds of individual tack welds on each fender.

But in my opinion the finished product is worth all of the effort, even if it may never be seen.

And with that, the fender modification is done!

There’s still a mountain of work to be done on this one to get it where we want it so stay tuned for the next installment. In the meantime here’s a little preview of what’s to come….