Fibreglass front end...?

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Fibreglass front end...?

Postby penski » 21 Nov 2005, 23:31

Just an idle thought I had earlier today at work.

Would a fibreglass 1-piece front, secured using Dzus fasteners to where the wings bolt on 'work'?

Keep the inner wings as is and have the outer wings/bumper as one or two mouldings...

It'd certainly save a bit of weight and would mean you could save your steel wings from possible damage...

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Postby spyke » 21 Nov 2005, 23:36

but thats the thing saving steel wings from damage, but all you doing is weakening the car and more damage will be done with fibre glass
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Postby penski » 22 Nov 2005, 15:51

I thought the outer wings were not structural..?

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Postby Tortron » 22 Nov 2005, 23:23

if you were to hit anthing the steel ones would protect the inner ones alot better, to saying that you shouldnt be hitting anything in the 1st place.
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Postby penski » 22 Nov 2005, 23:46

I'm talking about everyday knocks kinda thing...Plus they wouldn't rot. ;)

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Postby Tortron » 22 Nov 2005, 23:49

well in that case put me down for a front end/valance :)
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Postby iety2004 » 23 Nov 2005, 17:56

When u say front end, are u including the front panel?

cos im pretty sure that would be structual, the wings an the bonnet u could get away with.
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Postby Neilyman » 23 Nov 2005, 18:25

1 peice full flip front...Herald/Vitesse stylee, would be the dogs!

Should be easy enough to build an inner wing support, come rad mount from 3/4" square tubing.

Nice winter project there to keep you out of trouble Penksi :)
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Postby Tortron » 23 Nov 2005, 20:33

perhaps a bit of steel in there to keep the structure, wouldnt have to be much id think
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Postby penski » 23 Nov 2005, 21:11

Neilyman wrote:1 peice full flip front...Herald/Vitesse stylee, would be the dogs!

Should be easy enough to build an inner wing support, come rad mount from 3/4" square tubing.

Nice winter project there to keep you out of trouble Penksi :)


My winter project involves products made by Eaton, bits off a Rover V8 a belt and a mad grin ;)

From scrutinising the car and Haynes' manual, I think that the only essential structural bits would be the inner wings and chassis rails. Bracing at the front of both (including mounts for the rad, allowing the rad to sit further forward) would help.

But...would it be better as a single-piece item attached with pins and dzus fasteners or as an outer wings and bumper section attached by dzus fasteners to the original outer wing mounts and a bonnet attached by pins?

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Postby Harry Flatters » 23 Nov 2005, 23:29

You'd need something at the front to tie it all together.

My vote would be retain the inner wings, chassis rails, headlamp / slam panel and associated bits & pieces, just ditch the wings, front panel and valance, then make a one piece to replace both wings and the front panel, incorporating your spoiler of choice in place of the valance.

I think you'd find you got really fed up of undoing all the Dzus fasteners and lifting off a great big chunk of fibreglass to replace a headlight bulb, so either flip front on hinges or a separate bonnet might be the way to go.

I suspect that the welded on front panel probably gives a bit of extra torsional resistance, so it may be worth putting a bit of extra strength back in to replace that.

One problem with glass wings always was the extra thickness of the fibreglass (for strength) messed up all the shut lines and panel fits, so you'd have to watch that.
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Postby penski » 24 Nov 2005, 08:26

Panel fit? On a British car? Pah! ;)

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Postby hsr2.6 » 24 Nov 2005, 17:58

well my car is having a fibreglass front end this year.it does'nt matter if it's steel or fg if you hit it hard it's going to be a mess........
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Postby Harry Flatters » 24 Nov 2005, 18:13

:lol:
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Postby penski » 24 Nov 2005, 18:17

What series allow complete FG fronts though? I know a lot of series restrict it to opening panels only (bonnet, boot and doors)...

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Postby Miss Icey » 24 Nov 2005, 18:45

Speaking from Mini experience (as I guess this would apply to FG front ending a Chevette).

I'm FG fronting my mini, to make it road legal you need brace bars.
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Probably pretty easy to fabricate some yourself.

Also when FG the mini you need to cut some of the inner wing away, well actually most of it!


Will it be a flipfront? If so I suggest using 'Caravan' connectors - keeps the nasty wet and dirty out.
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Postby Miss Icey » 24 Nov 2005, 18:48

Harry Flatters wrote:
I think you'd find you got really fed up of undoing all the Dzus fasteners and lifting off a great big chunk of fibreglass to replace a headlight bulb, so either flip front on hinges or a separate bonnet might be the way to go.



I've found these which I will be using - IMO better than Dzus fasteners.

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Just going to put an extra small square panel on my 'a' panel just to give it some extra strength :D
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Postby Harry Flatters » 24 Nov 2005, 19:29

I think that's the point I was making, my impression was that Penski was thinking of attaching via the original bolt fastenings but using Dzus instead, so lots of them. Flip front'd avoid that.

I guess the brace bars replace the strength you've lost by removing outer & part of the inner wings, given that pretty much everything on a Mini is structural?!

Mate of mine had a nightmare getting an MoT on a spaceframe Mini wih no boot floor and a beam rear end.....
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Postby Miss Icey » 24 Nov 2005, 19:34

Harry Flatters wrote:I think that's the point I was making, my impression was that Penski was thinking of attaching via the original bolt fastenings but using Dzus instead, so lots of them. Flip front'd avoid that.

I guess the brace bars replace the strength you've lost by removing outer & part of the inner wings, given that pretty much everything on a Mini is structural?!

Mate of mine had a nightmare getting an MoT on a spaceframe Mini wih no boot floor and a beam rear end.....


Sorry I should read more closely :oops:

Yes - the brace bars replace the strength you loose when you remove the inner wings!
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Postby penski » 25 Nov 2005, 10:48

I was thinking Dzus fasteners every second or third bolt hole for the wings - they're not that hard to remove...ten minutes?

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Postby Harry Flatters » 25 Nov 2005, 18:28

No, but it'd turn minor jobs into a bit more of chore, plus you'd then be dealing with a big unwieldy chunk of fibreglass, so I was thinking if you were going to include the bonnet it'd pay to make it separately opening - or make it a flip front if it was all one piece with the bonnet included.
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