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Thread: 1970 rear fender welded tight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Racine WI
    Posts
    40

    Default 1970 rear fender welded tight

    Hello all, I picked up a '70 shovel that had been sitting for 15+ years. The sheet metal was repainted 15 years ago and never installed. It started to rust from sitting so I had it dip stripped. I found the rear fender had the rear/lower section tig welded so the hinge is inoperable. My first inclination was to carefully grind the welds off and make the fender work as intended. But then I thought that without a center stand, would I ever use the hinge? On my hardtail pans I always roll the rear tire onto a 2X4 and then use the centerstand and fender hinge when I change a tire. With my '74 Electra Glide (That I've had since '78) I don't ever remember pivoting the rear fender. What do you guys think? Make the fender hinge work or leave it so the paint stays perfect on the hinge??? First one I've seen welded, anyone seen this done?

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Curly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    377

    Default

    Carl Olsen welded his '36 EL rear fender flap so it wouldn't mess up the paint. To extreme for me. I have a '67 FLH and even with it jacked up on one of them small roll under cycle jacks I use my flap to get my rear wheel out during services and such. Especially if you have bag brackets on it you need to get the wheel out. They wouldn't have went to the extra cost and time to make it hinge at the factory if they didn't think you'd need it. Just sayin'.
    DrSprocket

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Either welded or not, they both are a pain no matter which way you go about it. In my opinion, one who decides to tack the rear fender should only tack the lower half rectangle alignment tabs to the upper half. The primer and paint cannot be aloud to get to thick at the seam essentially gluing the two pieces together. The same applies to a non-welded fender at and under the seam. Also make sure that the hinge works properly and the lower half does not scrape the upper half on a non-welded.
    Today's paints are the high-build, which creates problems at the hinge and seam. I only use epoxy primer on this area.
    As far as using the hinge, I do not use the hinge on any of my bikes. I have no issue removing the rear wheel.
    Good luck! I would also like to know how people to about this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    I've always used lead around the mating areas of the flap, and main fender. Lead is more work, but it takes the abuse of using the flap, and it can be worked to achieve an excellent seam. The hinge itself is a different story and the next paint job I do (which will be this year) I'll mask off the hinge, and paint it later with a thin coat of paint. I like the benefits of the hinged fender on a rigid frame H-D.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Racine WI
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Yes, mine is just tack welded on the rectangle alignment tabs. You cannot tell its welded from the topside. I'm leaning toward removing the weld to keep it operational. Yes I have seen many fenders with thick primer and paint that distorts the rivet heads and hinges. That really looks crappy!

    Curly

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    225

    Default

    My 1977 fender works great without scraping. My 1969 is a pain and does not work without scraping so I am painting two rear fenders for it with one being welded.

    I wish I could post pictures(using a kindle), because the factory gaps are much different between the two.
    Last edited by ryan; 03-13-2019 at 08:29 AM.

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