Red Inner Fender Restoration - ClassicOldsmobile.com

Red Inner Fender Restoration

Old July 26th, 2016, 04:05 PM
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Red Inner Fender Restoration

I have been asked many times over the past year to restore red inner fenders for people. I don't like doing it and always said no. I now had a guy talk me into it but only because he understands it is an expensive process. I am going to make this thread to show what can be done but not how. I learned most of this process on my own but was missing some finer points for final steps. I had some great people give me ideas when I was doing my car but they said I can never reveal what they are and I will honer that. There very well may be faster and easier ways to do this but the only way I know how takes an insane number of hours.

I will post some pictures during the process and document how many hours I have in them so people understand just how much time is involved. This will be a several month thread likely because I don't have large amounts of time to put into them at once.

If this goes well and someone is interested I may (key word MAY) consider doing more of them. You just have to understand that the final results are based on just how good they are to begin with.


This is what I am starting with. The top is not bad at all. Some areas have a slight orange tint from the original red but I hope to bring a little of that out of it. The bottoms are VERY white but not chalky at all. The white is what I will have the most time in. Two of the fender mounting holes are ripped out. I may only fix the bad one and leave the other one because it has enough to still hold tight. I never fix anything that don't have to be on these things.
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Old July 26th, 2016, 04:08 PM
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If anyone knows who these belong to please do not mention his name on here.
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Old July 26th, 2016, 04:31 PM
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I know you will have a lot of interest in this. You have a great deal of patience to do this job. Subscribed.
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Old July 26th, 2016, 05:27 PM
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I'm in.

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Old July 26th, 2016, 10:39 PM
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I had some great people give me ideas when I was doing my car but they said I can never reveal what they are and I will honer that.
Why would people keep info on how to restore parts, want to keep it to themselves, we are always learning new or different ways to restore our cars and parts, whether cheaper, better or quicker and I fail to see why anyone would want to keep that to themselves. This site is about learning and sharing knowledge of and about our cars. Not trying to bash you Eric, but helping others with their cars is what we are about.
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Old July 27th, 2016, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 1969w3155 View Post
Why would people keep info on how to restore parts, want to keep it to themselves, we are always learning new or different ways to restore our cars and parts, whether cheaper, better or quicker and I fail to see why anyone would want to keep that to themselves. This site is about learning and sharing knowledge of and about our cars. Not trying to bash you Eric, but helping others with their cars is what we are about.
I agree but I give my word that I would not share the steps. The part that I learned myself is that it takes a crazy amount of hours with 800 to 1000 sand paper to get the white removed as much as possible but after that there is alot more to it.
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Old July 27th, 2016, 07:59 AM
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Wow, seriously?? You know how to do it, But you don't do it for any one, and you wont share how, so other olds enthusiast cant help them selves have a nicer car?? Wow, no wonder there are so few olds, compared to Pontiacs, Buicks, and chevys, those forums are full of nothing but guys sharing and helping!!!!! Wow!!!
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Old July 27th, 2016, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rtanner View Post
those forums are full of nothing but guys sharing and helping!!!!! Wow!!!
This forum is no different. Take a look around and you'll see everyone helps when they can. If you promise someone you won't divulge information on a process in order to learn a process and you keep that promise, I'd say that's a respectable thing.

There are "trade secrets" in every business. And there are some pretty smart guys around here who will probably chime in with what they think the process was that he used. I'm sure it can be figured out, but Eric is a guy of his word and if he told someone he isn't going to give the info away, then he isn't. It's that simple.
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Old July 27th, 2016, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rtanner View Post
Wow, seriously?? You know how to do it, But you don't do it for any one, and you wont share how, so other olds enthusiast cant help them selves have a nicer car?? Wow, no wonder there are so few olds, compared to Pontiacs, Buicks, and chevys, those forums are full of nothing but guys sharing and helping!!!!! Wow!!!
The place that give the information browse this site often they told me so if they want to share they can or if they tell me to I will. I could be wrong but I think the only time they will do a set is when they are restoring an entire car. If someone has the drive to do it and want to spent 10-40 hours on a set then they can experiment and gather the information like I did. The info is out there if you spend the time looking and calling. It is not hard, just lots of time to make them as good as possible.
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Old July 27th, 2016, 09:04 AM
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A Mans Word...

I fully Respect Eric and His decision, He gave someone his word, and he is a man who keeps his word, can only respect that, especially in this day and age. It is up to the other party to share or not, this isn't on Eric, he decided to write and divulge what he is comfortable with, he could of just kept his mouth shut and we would have no idea where to begin, LOL.


So Thank you Sir, watching along patiently, and I salute you for keeping your word.




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Old July 27th, 2016, 11:47 AM
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Some people are never satisfied with anything...

Thanks for starting the thread, looking forward to the progress and updates.
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Old July 28th, 2016, 07:56 AM
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he said he would post pictures and the amount of time it takes to do it. im sure there are a lot of people on here that can figure out what he's doing by looking at the results plus a little research. give someone your word you must honor that word
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Old July 28th, 2016, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by oldolds88 View Post
he said he would post pictures and the amount of time it takes to do it. im sure there are a lot of people on here that can figure out what he's doing by looking at the results plus a little research. give someone your word you must honor that word
I will be following along. I love spending mindless hours restoring things and it always amazes me how things can be made to look like new.
Thanks for sharing what you can. I respect your choice of whatever it is you decide to share and what you don't for whatever reason. It's your thread.
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Old July 28th, 2016, 04:31 PM
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Don't look like much for one hour of work. I pulled the staples out and done a general cleaning with soap and water. Next will be getting the road tar off the bottom side and getting them spotless clean all around. They must be spotless clean and dry of any oils or cleaners before anything else, Just clean dry plastic.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 07:34 AM
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I got the tar off the bottom side of the passenger inner fender. I started wet sanding with 800 in the real bad white areas but in a couple bad road rash areas I had to use 400.. I don't like using 400 unless I absolutely have to, 800 is the most you want to go in most places. If at all possible you don't touch the top side with any sandpaper. I wanted to see just how much of the correct color would come out so I moved to 1000 on part of it and then on to the finish on a small area. The picture looks good but it is not the perfect shade. It is as close as the bottom side of this set will be though. At least you can tell a big difference from the before and after.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 08:19 AM
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Looking good
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Old September 8th, 2016, 10:41 AM
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i use tire foam on my dirt bike plastics, tank and fenders, brings the color out nicely. ever tried similar cleaners ??
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Old September 8th, 2016, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by stan 65 cutlass View Post
i use tire foam on my dirt bike plastics, tank and fenders, brings the color out nicely. ever tried similar cleaners ??
I have used different kinds of trim shine for them to clean them up in a used car but to restore them to as close to new as possible it takes much more work. When I am done they will have nothing on them and completely dry from any cleaner or trim shin of any kind. On a restored car I would not use anything more than a damp cloth to clean them.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 12:24 PM
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Got alot more work done to the bottom side of this one. It had something on it that has stained the plastic to deep to sand it out. It will not be noticeable when installed in the car but I am not as happy with the bottom side as I would like. The most visible areas of the bottom side has turned out well. I have the top side cleaned and started some minor work on top. This is off of an A/C car so it has some good rub marks from the lines that will not likely come out but it is going back on the same A/C car so that should not be a big deal. At this point I have 12 hours in them but a long way from finished.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 01:57 PM
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Old September 8th, 2016, 02:09 PM
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Nice work thanks for sharing.
Have you ever tried lacquer thinner on fender wells?
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Old September 8th, 2016, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
Nice work thanks for sharing.
Have you ever tried lacquer thinner on fender wells?
You can but you must use a very soft cloth and don't let a little piece of dirt get in it. The lacquer thinner can make the surface slightly softer till it completely dries and the smallest grain of dirt is enough to scratch it creating more work.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
You can but you must use a very soft cloth and don't let a little piece of dirt get in it. The lacquer thinner can make the surface slightly softer till it completely dries and the smallest grain of dirt is enough to scratch it creating more work.
Thanks for the reply
Are there any other negatives to using Lacquer thinner, like making the plastic weaker or discoloration risks?
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Old September 8th, 2016, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
Thanks for the reply
Are there any other negatives to using Lacquer thinner, like making the plastic weaker or discoloration risks?
I have used it several times and there really is nothing to worry about as long as you take your time with a soft cloth. If you have some scratches and don't get it clean enough it will make them look white. The white will clean right out after it is dry but it will scare the heck out of you if you were not expecting it.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 07:22 PM
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Nice work there Eric.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 09:07 PM
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I am working on a set right now, I wish I would have taken before pictures. I started out with a good cleaning with easy-off oven cleaner. then started wet sanding with 120 grit. i found out through trial and error the wet sanding works best, but this has to be done with very little pressure. I am up to 1000 grit right now, I hit some of the rough areas with a small map gas torch ( CAREFULLY )
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Old September 9th, 2016, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Shradezz70S View Post
I am working on a set right now, I wish I would have taken before pictures. I started out with a good cleaning with easy-off oven cleaner. then started wet sanding with 120 grit. i found out through trial and error the wet sanding works best, but this has to be done with very little pressure. I am up to 1000 grit right now, I hit some of the rough areas with a small map gas torch ( CAREFULLY )
There are a lot more things you can get away with on black ones. I tried easy off oven cleaner on a junk red inner fender to test how it would do and it severely stained the plastic. Don't think you could get away with the torch on red ones either. The red shows up every imperfection far more than the black ones. Those do look good though.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 06:04 AM
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Very nice work Eric, thank you for sharing this
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Old September 9th, 2016, 10:15 AM
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Would a product like Spray Nine be safe to use for cleaning red fender wells?
Have you ever tried using baking soda or vinegar?
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Old September 9th, 2016, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
Would a product like Spray Nine be safe to use for cleaning red fender wells?
Have you ever tried using baking soda or vinegar?
I have never tried either of them. I did use Super Clean one time and it discolored the plastic but the color came back after a day. I will not use that again. I love using WD-40 to clean the tar and lacquer thinner works well to detail them even more. I don't use much else for cleaning because I am to scared to experiment.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 12:32 PM
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What about peanut butter and jelly? Does that work?
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Old September 10th, 2016, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 70-442-W30 View Post
What about peanut butter and jelly? Does that work?

You might think I'm joking but both vinegar and baking soda are very good cleaning agents .
Vinegar is a mild acid and can also be used for de-rusting.

If you look on you tube I'm sure you will find videos on both these products being used for cleaning and in the case of Vinegar cleaning and de-rusting.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
I have never tried either of them. I did use Super Clean one time and it discolored the plastic but the color came back after a day. I will not use that again. I love using WD-40 to clean the tar and lacquer thinner works well to detail them even more. I don't use much else for cleaning because I am to scared to experiment.


Thanks again for the great feedback!
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Old September 13th, 2016, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
You might think I'm joking but both vinegar and baking soda are very good cleaning agents .
Vinegar is a mild acid and can also be used for de-rusting.

If you look on you tube I'm sure you will find videos on both these products being used for cleaning and in the case of Vinegar cleaning and de-rusting.
Meant to reply to this, but I was out of town and staying offline.

I didn't think you were joking. I know certain foods have great cleaning ability based on their chemical composition. Just was referring to how surprising that truly is and how it sometimes takes some trial and error. With peanut butter and jelly, at least it would smell good. I don't think anyone likes the smell of vinegar.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Shradezz70S View Post
I am working on a set right now, I wish I would have taken before pictures. I started out with a good cleaning with easy-off oven cleaner. then started wet sanding with 120 grit. i found out through trial and error the wet sanding works best, but this has to be done with very little pressure. I am up to 1000 grit right now, I hit some of the rough areas with a small map gas torch ( CAREFULLY )
I need to do my black ones that were painted and peeling. Glad to find this...
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Old October 15th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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The bottom side is coming along well on the driver side but the top most visible area is not cooperating with me. I almost never use sand paper on the top but I have no choice on this one. I think (hope) 1000 sand paper will get it. I always get a little nervous when doing that on the top side. I should be finished with the bottom side of this one by later tonight.
I need to look at my notes and see how much time I have in them. I document each time I work on them but not figured it up for a while.
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Old October 15th, 2016, 08:00 PM
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The bottom side of this one is as good as it is going to get. The top side I ended up having to start with 800 and then to 1000 sandpaper. It is starting to look better but it will never be perfect. I will spend more time on it before i call the top done.

The pictures are almost pointless because I can't capture what I am seeing in person.
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Old October 15th, 2016, 08:13 PM
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Figured up total time and it is a little less than I thought. I am at 15 hours so far.
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Old October 16th, 2016, 04:39 AM
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Great thread here Eric. Will be watching closely before I commence on my red inner fenders in a month or so. Thanks for sharing.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 11:31 AM
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I fixed the fender hole that was ripped out. It turned out very good. Cut out the same section from a junk red inner fender to fix that area. I will sand it just a little to make it smooth but I will not make that spot perfect because it is not going to be seen and the more material to stay there to stronger it will be.

The other spot that was cracked I can only do so much with. It don't look that great and I will not do any more work to that area. The less that section is handled the better.

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