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Mark (smokey mow)

Fitting Front Cycle Wings

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We all have our different ideas as to how to go about fitting the front cycle wings to their stays, some prefer bolting, whist others will wither bond or glass them in place. As a guide for others and to give you a few ideas this is how I’ve just gone about doing mine.

Firstly the problem; the old wings have been on the car for 3 years and were originally bolted in place with M5 bolts and small washers. After 7000 miles this is the result and there’s a lot of cracking of the gel coat around the fixings.

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To attach the new arches I’m using Big Head fasteners, bought From East Coast Fibreglass I’m using M6x20mm studs (cut down to 15mm) on the front stay and M6 sighted nuts on the rear stay. The reason for this is so that they’re more easily removable.

The plan is to bond the Big head fasteners to the wings with sikaflex and then apply a couple of layers of fibreglass tissue over that.

The Bigheads were bolted to the wings and then to ensure that I didn’t accidently bond them to the wing stay by mistake I wrapped to wing stay with kitchen food wrap. To ensure a good bond the inside of the arch was lightly sanded and then cleaned with a degreasing solvent.

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Next the back of the fasteners were liberally covered with Sixaflex and the wings pressed into place. To ensure the correct alignment I measured the height of the back edge off the ground and checked this to ensure the nearside and offside arches were both the same. Centralising the ach on the tyre was all done by eye, as from experience of building the car that normally seems to work better than using a tape measure on GRP parts made by Westfield :d

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That was then left for a day to cure and the arches were unbolted.

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Any excess Sikaflex was trimmed off with a Stanley knife and side cutters, then an additional layer of Sikaflex was smoothed over the arch and head of the fasteners.

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This was then left for a day to cure. I’m applying two layers of fibreglass tissue over this to reinforce the connection. The first layer being chopped strand matting and the second layer over that of surface tissue, which has been cut 10mm larger than the first to overlap the edge.

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Laid out in order ready to be applied.

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I’m using a 2% mix of Catalyst to resin so for the 125g of resin I mixed 2.5ml of catalyst to it. This was weighed out on the kitchen scales, but if you don’t live on your own then make sure you’re not spotted using them in the garage. :oops: In the absence of having a syringe for the catalyst I also found a small calibrated measuring spoon in the kitchen draw which was perfect for the job :d

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This mix gave me a working time of about 25-30 minutes before the resin started to drag, but this was just long enough and just the right amount of resin to apply the 8 rectangles of glass. There’s no photos for the next bit as I was working quickly before the resin started to cure, and my hands were’nt clean enough to hold a camera.

Using a paint brush the inside of the arch was coated in the area where the fibreglass was to be applied. The first layer of chopped strand matting was then pressed down into this. Further resin was stippled on with the paint brush to wet it and all the while ensuring the tissue was being pushed to conform to the required shape without forming any voids. The second layer of surface tissue was then added on top of this and further resin stippled into this.

This is what it looked like whist still wet

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And then after drying

PIc12.jpg

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All that was then left to do was bolt it all back into place. Washers and nyloc nuts are used on the studded fasteners, whist for the others I used M6x15 bolts with spring washers and thread locked.

Pic13.jpg

The finished result and all ready for Stoneleigh.

:t-up: :t-up:

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good write up there Mark.

is it advisable to spray on any arch protector of sorts afterwards?

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It certainly wouldn't hurt to use a rubberised paint on the inside of the arch, i've got a small chip on the rear arch that was caused by a sharp stone hitting it from the inside.

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I am glad I did mine with bigheads, it looks so clean.

Darve - I undersealed mine before fitting

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Good job. Where did you buy the tissue?

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Good job. Where did you buy the tissue?

The same place as the bigheads, east coast fibreglass. I bought Their fibreglass repair kit which came with everthing i'd need.

http://www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk/p-749-fibreglass-repair-kit-clear-resin.aspx

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While buying resin, catalyst, mat etc it's worth getting a can of Acetone too, it's handy for cleaning down brushes, measuring pots, workbenches etc. after grp'ing, but also very effective as a last panel clean on the cycle wings before you start adding fresh grp.

Watch the fumes though! (Also don't use any polystyrene/ABS based plastic containers, it'll melt them).

Unless you're going for an extreme lightweight car, a good thick coating of a nice rubbery underseal will do wonders for helping to reduce the star cracks you can end up with on the gel coat side of the wings, caused by small stones hitting the inside of the wings.

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Excellent write up Mark. Will be very useful!

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Unless you're going for an extreme lightweight car, a good thick coating of a nice rubbery underseal will do wonders for helping to reduce the star cracks you can end up with on the gel coat side of the wings, caused by small stones hitting the inside of the wings.

What about C/F wings, do they need similar treatment?

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I would. if you want to keep them looking smart. It's not unusual for the upper surface of the more decorative CF products to be gel coat anyway.

Even full pre preg Carbon Fibre products may be very strong, but without additional reinforcement, they can be susceptible to impact damage. (It's one of the reasons you sometimes see Kevlar incorporated in to CF parts)

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My cycle wings that WF supplied are just plastic with a carbon fibre look-a-like top surface.

(Just in case anyone didn't know they were available)

Hopefully they will not be as brittle as GRP and will not crack.

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