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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Swingarm Mounted Fender Replacement - Part 2

The biggest challenge I was facing, and a large part of why it took me so long, was trying to figure out how to mount my new fender to the swingarm.  My last fender had nice flat sections that made mounting relatively easy.  The new fender was all curves and I was scared to mess it up or destroy it.  I actually got some inspiration when I took my daughter to the playground and saw how curved pieces of the equipment were bolted together.

I used paper templates to figure out the radius of the fender and then bent a thin piece of steel to follow it.

Once I knew the small piece fit the fender perfectly, I made a wooden form out of a 2x4.

Then I heated a thicker piece of steel with a MAPP torch and tried to bend it around the form.  Smoke poured out and it smelled like a campfire.  The wood was rather soft so it didn't hold its shape very well.  I had to re-heat and re-bend the steel a few times hoping some section would match my small template, which it finally did.

Here are the two pieces of steel that would eventually become a mounting bracket.

I used my cutting wheel to do a rough cut on the flat stock and used my grinder to clean it up.

Here are the two new pieces next to the old bracket I used with my last fender, which was really just a piece of angled steel.  I didn't have to weld that one.

Here is a mockup of where the new bracket was going to go using the same mounting holes I drilled through my swingarm for the last bracket.

I drilled mounting holes in my new bracket and used a Dremel and file to connect the holes on the flat stock so the bracket could be adjusted.

The only thing left was to weld it.  Keep in mind, I am NOT an experienced welder and have a very cheap flux core welder from Harbor Freight.  This was my setup:

Stop laughing.  Anyway, my first step was to make a small tack weld and ensure the angle was good because I needed something slightly off 90 degrees to match the fender.

Once I confirmed the angle, sparks and welding spatter went everywhere as I welded the bracket up.  My welds are not pretty and required a few passes but they eventually joined the metal successfully.

Stop laughing.  A neat stack of dimes they are not, but my crappy-looking welds actually cleaned up quite nicely.

Here's the bracket mocked up on the fender.  It fit very well.

The other bracket is up next.

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