Well, time to install some rear fenders. The cars fine without them, and they’re not required for my racing class. But without them the car throws up a lot of junk on to the cars behind me. Not a good thing for them.
So, out of the kindness of my heart, and the goodness of my soul, I installed the fenders. But only for you, David. ‘Cause I wound’t want to damage your ‘Vette. Yes, I know. I’m a hell of a guy, and there’s really no need to thank me. 😉
The rear fenders and brackets supplied with the kit are designed for stock sized Miata tires and wheels. My Hoosier R6’s are 275/50-15 – quite a bit larger than stock. So I had to modify the brackets to make them fit. I’m not a great welder, but I am adequate. I can make strong welds, even though they’re not pretty.
The basic idea here is to mount them the way Exomotive planned, but move them back about 1″. Not too hard. I used some 1″ square tubing to space out the front bracket. And I used some heavy steel to make a new bracket for the rear mount. I wanted the fenders to sit pretty close to the tire, so I made the brackets to sit about 1″ off the tire.
Once the brackets were made for one side, it was a fairly simple matter to copy them for the other side.
I welded on some small tabs to the round bracket, to make it easy to run a bolt through.
Clekos made the job of holding the fenders in place real easy as I drilled the other holes. I bolted the fenders on using 1/4″ button head SS bolts, SS washers, and nylock nuts. Easy to disassemble if needed, but still pretty vibration proof.
The installed fender. It didn’t match the curvature of the tire as well as I wanted it to. But it did work. It didn’t quite cover the entire width of the tread, either. But enough to get the job done.
That didn’t work out so well. We went to the track last week end for 3 days of racing. The fenders worked really well. Kept a lot of the crud off the cars behind me, and kept it from flinging rubber bits at the front of the car.
But, the front bracket was not sturdy enough. It uses the upper brake caliper bolt as it’s one and only mounting point. Not nearly strong enough. The vibration eventually broke it in half, and allowed the fender to drop down onto the tire. That’s a bad thing. Created so much smoke, I thought the car was on fire.
Ruined a perfectly good tire, too. Fortunately, I had spares, so I replaced both rear tires.
On the third event of Sunday, the other fender bracket broke as well. Yes, I know. When the first one broke, I should have been smart enough to remove the other one. I should have recognized a design flaw when I saw it. But, I didn’t. Yes, I’m dumb. Cost me another brand new Hoosier.
And this is what it looks like when the fender is down on the tire. Look at about the 3:40 mark.
Quite a mess. But repairable. I already have some ideas on how to make that stronger. If I don’t like it, I’ll fab some completely new brackets, and hang the fender off of the side of the body, not the spindle.
2/18: I think I’v got the rear fenders where I need them to be. I didn’t have to touch them last season. They held up well, and never came loose.
But the fronts were a different story. They are a constant hassle. I’v had to work on them many times, trying to keep them in one piece. Every time I solve one problem, another one crops up. By the end of the season I think I have the brackets bolstered enough that they will survive.
I’m not a big fan of the fiberglass fenders, either. They’re big and bulky, and stick up too far. On full lock, they hit the frame a little bit. I’m going to try and make some flat fenders out of aluminum. We’ll see how that goes.