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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Brooklyn
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Steel vs FG fenders - pros and cons

Hi All,

I am in the midst of researching the pro's and con's of FB vs Steel Turbo flares.

One aspect is of course the price of each.
Aside from weight savings - can anyone educate me on the lessons learnt about the two different types of installs?

I have read that steel is easier to install, does not necessarily react badly with primer / paint etc... but FG can be shaped if needed.

I am really stuck here. I aim in reducing overall car's weight..i have decided to go with FG front fenders - but it feels like most of the weight savings are on the front of the car...and not much / anything on the back...

Don't know what to do...

Old 03-21-2016, 05:37 PM
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Location: branford ct
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FG in no way should at any time reach badly to primer or paint .???
the only time I have heard of that is the person used totally the wrong products for composite materials . but the same can be said for metal .

it's a myth that FG is a big savings on weight . most mas-produced fg panels are not much lighter in weight . in fact I have found some even scale out weighting more then a OE steel panel .
as a designer and builder of composite panels and full car bodies it's not the materials you use to get the panels to be low weight but it's the way you build them . if your going to buy off the shelf FG panels your looking at little to no savings in weight .

one is not any easier FG or steel then the other to install they both are just different so not being apples to apples it makes no difference what you pick to install .
steel is some thing you would want if your building a street car as it will keep the value of your car higher .
Old 03-22-2016, 03:42 AM
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this is a nose I'm building out of FG for a import drag car the owner competes nationally in the NHRA .
granted the front fenders are many inches wider then stock having to fit 11" wide tires . the savings in weight over steel fenders is only 1.3 LBS per fender over stock .
the front bumper scales out to be just about the same weight being 1.1 lbs less weight .
we do what is called a low weight layup with the FG this is achieved by not using any jelcoating and matting materials . we use just enough resin to wet up the panel and no more we also do not use jelcoat as jelcoating adds half of the total weight to the panel .
you can't see in the photos but you do see the weave of the low OZ cloth we use . you will always see the weave of the cloth even when we are finished painting the panels . to racers they don't care about that but for people with street cars they tend to not want to see the weave of the cloth once the car is painted .
Old 03-22-2016, 04:11 AM
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this nose for the NC miatas I built out of FG at 1st there is a weight savings of 7 LBS . later ones we made including the chin spoilers are being built out of carbon fiber and one layer of Kevlar the weight savings is 1/2 of the plastic and steel nose panels . being a aerodynamicist and having a aerodynamics program when we design things we always design them to be more aerodynamic over stock . we also try and add some down force when we can any ways .
the splitter we also designed on the aero design program also . it was designed to run at a certain ride height as any change in ride height will effect the cars performance . this is because if more or less air flow is passing over and under the splitter it will also change the efficiency of how the splitter is working .

Last edited by 962porsche; 03-24-2016 at 05:23 AM..
Old 03-24-2016, 05:16 AM
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Cool looking miata!! Nice work! I don't think I would trust the quality of some of the fiberglass aftermarket stuff. To me steel just seems more permanent than fiberglass.
Old 03-24-2016, 01:18 PM
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962 those stripes are amazing - are they painted or vinyl? It looks great
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:32 PM
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just vinyl for this as the Miata is only used for racing and about a year ago I bought a 50" vinyl cutting setup . you think it looks like nemo from the movie finding nemo ?? LOL I sure do !

I agree I like steel if your using the car for street use . FG or composite is fine for tracked cars as if you get a little some thing happening no big deal .
on the flip side composite pieces can be grafted onto steel with good success but you have to know what your doing to do so .
the same can be said for steel to steel over the 40 years I have been in the business I have repaired more badly installed flares then I can remember .

Old 03-25-2016, 05:09 AM
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