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Old 04-16-2008, 08:08 AM   #1
2NDSOUT
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Mad Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Okay,

I'm trying to calm down, but trying to replace my fender last night turned from a half hour/45 minute job; into a 4 1/2 hour ordeal with nothing resolved!!!

Back story:
In January I hit a small patch of black ice at 30 mph. I didn't do any frame damage but I crunched my right front quarter panel on my 94 SC1. I know that replacing a fender is a relatively simple job.

Here's what happened last night:
I got all of the appropriate 10MM bolts out: Top 5 bolts, the ones that are on the bottom lower fender piece near the door, and the one bolt that is inside the door jam at the top. When I got around to the front to remove my headlight housing, I removed the two 10MM bolts that have the safety brackets on each side, those came out ok.

My issue is this: There are two retaining clips that are held in with 10MM bolts on the side bracket that is welded to the frame. The front one is EXTREMELY RUSTY. With some PB Blaster that 10MM bolt came free. The one that is the 2nd one that is closest to the wheel is basically now, pretty much destroyed, as I spent the better part of 3+ hours trying to get that 10MM bolt removed from the retaining clip, and the damn thing wouldn't budge. It's pretty much going to need new retaining clips, which I should be able to get from the dealership...hopefully...at an inexpensive price. The reason why I need to get this removed is that the bottom part of the front of the fender on my broken fender, the small "lower lip" as I will call it, broke off and that flat piece that goes in between the stud plate is still in there, and in order to put my new replacement fender on, I need to get this 2nd retaining clip and 10MM bolt removed.

I'm just frustrated, I think it was a bit of a poor design on how these fenders are attached to the lower bottom fascia, if you ask me.

I'm probably going to get a pair of bolt cutters, as this seems the only feasible option at this point. I've tried holding the retaining clip with: A bolt out, a wrench, a C-Clamp, another Socket wrench (trying to turn the opposite direction), wire cutters....you name it...I probably tried it last night. Now the damn thing is so far stripped, the only thing that will work will probably be a pair of bolt cutters.

Does anyone have any ideas of something that may work that I haven't tried yet? This is just frustrating. What should have been an easy 45 minute job, has now turned into a day+ pain in the ass, and now I need to get new retaining clips to hold the fender onto the lower fascia.

Looking for suggestions here.

Thank you.
...
Bryan

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Old 04-16-2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

when round a head on a bolt beyond recognition i find the next smaller size 6 point socket, hit it onto said bolt with a hammer and they usually come right out. especially if you soak the bolt with penetrant before.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddio View Post
when round a head on a bolt beyond recognition i find the next smaller size 6 point socket, hit it onto said bolt with a hammer and they usually come right out. especially if you soak the bolt with penetrant before.
Tried that. My problem is that the 10MM bolt is Seized with the retaining clip (what is left of it) still attached..so when you go to turn the head on the 10MM bolt; the bolt AND the clip turn TOGETHER...the part of the 10MM bolt that is stripped is the other end where it comes OUT of the Retaining Clip. The 10MM bolts are Vertical Bolts that are attached from underneath through the wheel well. From my frustration last night, I stripped off the pointed end of the 10MM bolt. The head of the Bolt is fine, just that the Bolt and Retaining Clip turn with each other now.

Are bolt cutters my only viable option now?
...
Bryan

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99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
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97SW2 266K Miles
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

2NDSOUT, you might as well calm down. It seems that every job has one or two little snags that take longer than they should. Every DIY'er has been where you are numerous times. It's part of the territory when you work at home without all of the perfect tools or a well-stocked parts department. Heck, even the dealerships don't have well-stocked parts departments anymore. That's why they keep your car overnight for the simplest jobs. Just look at the money you save overall and the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing a thorough job.

It's hard to tell from your description if you are just dealing with a rounded-off bolt head, or the retaining clip is spinning or the thread of the clip is stripped and the bolt is spinning within it. In any case, call the dealership in advance and find out if they stock your part(s), or if they need to order it in for you. That is some time saved already. If the bolt head is rounded off, daddio's suggestion is a good one. Or I have found that sometimes looking for the "just smaller" SAE socket will make for a tight fit, especilly if you have room to tap it on.

If you have a spinning or stripped retainer, see if you have the width of a hacksaw blade to get at the bolt shank. If so, get a fine-toothed hack saw blade and wrap some tape on the end that will allow you to hold the blade and pull it with the teeth cutting. It won't take long to work through a small bolt and you won't need to find a bolt cutter. Sometimes you just have to break old fasteners and get on with the job.

Good luck,
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post

Are bolt cutters my only viable option now?

or if you have a Dremel tool and can get it in there, use a cutoff wheel on it and get it out of there.

or as stu suggested, a hacksaw blade.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stu View Post

It's hard to tell from your description if you are just dealing with a rounded-off bolt head, or the retaining clip is spinning or the thread of the clip is stripped and the bolt is spinning within it . In any case, call the dealership in advance and find out if they stock your part(s), or if they need to order it in for you. That is some time saved already. If the bolt head is rounded off, daddio's suggestion is a good one. Or I have found that sometimes looking for the "just smaller" SAE socket will make for a tight fit, especilly if you have room to tap it on.

If you have a spinning or stripped retainer, see if you have the width of a hacksaw blade to get at the bolt shank. If so, get a fine-toothed hack saw blade and wrap some tape on the end that will allow you to hold the blade and pull it with the teeth cutting. It won't take long to work through a small bolt and you won't need to find a bolt cutter. Sometimes you just have to break old fasteners and get on with the job.

Good luck,
stu
I've calmed down about this...at least now I have

I bolded up above in your post as to what I am dealing with right now. I called the Dealership that is close to me, but they wouldn't have the retaining clip/bolts until Monday or Tuesday, as it is not something they normally have in stock. The 10MM Head is still good, but the pointed end of the 10MM bolt that goes through the Retaining clip is stripped due to me trying to get it off as stated in my previous posts...

I'll see if I can get a hacksaw or bolt clipper. I'll probably stop at Home Depot or someplace like that on my way home to see what they have....

At this point it would be less expensive to go with a Bolt Clip or Hacksaw. Dremel Units are upwards of $100 at least. I'm going less expensive as money is a bit tight right now..
...
Bryan

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94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Didn't think of this happening to me...but wow. That sucks.

Can you get vice-grips (either directly on the retainer or across the fender/retainer) or a C-clamp (across the retainer/fender) in there? Dunno if that'd work but it'd give you something to try for now.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Didn't think of this happening to me...but wow. That sucks.

Can you get vice-grips (either directly on the retainer or across the fender/retainer) or a C-clamp (across the retainer/fender) in there? Dunno if that'd work but it'd give you something to try for now.
Yeah..I tried that too.

Here are some photos of the seized bolt and the rusted front clip. Now you can see why I am looking for some replacement retaining clips.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bad Clip.JPG (25.4 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Rusted Clip.JPG (20.2 KB, 38 views)
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

That's exactly what happened to me, getting a fender off a salvage yard car a coupla years ago. At least with the fender broken away, you have some working room.

You were trying to grab onto the round part of the clip that the bolt threads into, to keep it from turning, right? Problem with that is, whatever you were gripping it with was also putting pressure on the the area where the bolt is threaded (seized) into it, compounding the problem. Try this -- turn the bolt from below, so the far outside flat sides of that clip are "perpendicular" to the car. From the photo, it looks like the clip is, right now, oriented so the flat sides are parallel to the centerline of the car. Turn it 90 degrees. Then put a vise-grip on the very outside of the clip, on those flat edges of it, rather than on the protruding round part. Adjust the vise-grip so that you have to nearly break the bones in your hand in order to lock it down. Put the socket on the bolt head from below, put as long pipe on the handle for leverage, grab the vise-grip and let 'er rip. DON'T bother with any more PB B'Laster; your better hope is that you'll just twist off the head of the bolt, and be done with it.

Another option -- it looks like there's a bit of space between that spaceframe extension / bracket and the bumper cover. You could put a metals (hack) blade on a reciprocating saw (sawzall), and just cut the bolt off by slipping it into that space.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

EDIT (edit period timed out): Sorry - I was looking at the wrong photo (of the "okay" nut) when composing the above. With what little is left of that nut, I'd say you're screwed. Break off what's left of the fender, to give yourself some space between the bumper cover and bracket, and slide a hacksaw or sawzall in that space.

One final option would be to put a vise-grip on the protruding end of the bolt on the top side, put a 10mm socket and long lever on the bolt head from below, and turn them against one another, with the express intent of twisting the bolt in half.

Is this the DUMBEST place on Earth to use those stupid "speed nut" clips, or what?
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

First, take a break, you will get it eventually, right? So you might as well relax. It's a small thing, in the big scheme of things.
A glass of chocolate soy milk usually helps me, but most normal people crack open a beer.

Looks like hacksaw-vise grips-Liquid Wrench time. Take your time, you are AT LEAST 10% smarter than the tools and fender, after all. Cut things away a little at a time.
...
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

UPDATE:

On my way home, I stopped Home of De Pot (Home Depot). I was going in to buy a hacksaw and bolt cutters. Better to have both. So I bought a small hacksaw, I didn't need anything too big ($4.97) and a $14 pair of Bolt Cutters. I had a revelation on the way to the store when I left from work; after calling two of the local Saturn Dealerships and talking to the Parts Dept. the infamous Retaining clips were nowhere to be found.

I thought, well maybe I'll get myself some 10MM Bolts and 10MM Nuts to go with them. Home Depot didn't have what I was looking for...so I picked up the Hacksaw and Bolt Cutters.

I stopped by O'Reilly's, since there is one that is a mile from my house. I don't have a very good track record with O'Reilly's as the few times I have been in the place they haven't had what I have needed. Well, today was different, they sell replacement bolts and nuts in all different sizes and I found some replacement 10MM pieces that would work for what I wanted to do. My thought was if I cut out the bolt that was bad with the retaining clip, I would just use new 10MM bolts with retaining nuts to reattach the fender to the lower fascia.

I got home and put the hacksaw to work and not even a minute later the seized bolt was history! Thank God!
I worked on getting the new 10MM Bolts with retaining nuts in place and it worked! I would highly reccommend this as an alternative if you have an issue with your fender and the retaining clips have gone south. It was something like $4 total for both the package of bolts and nuts, but well worth it. I replaced my brake pads and rotors while I had the wheels off, so I got alot done tonight on good old Amber. She's rolling with 332,280 miles as of 04/16/08; and I couldn't be anymore happier of a Saturn owner. The replacement fender looks good. You really can't tell it's a replacement unless you are right on top of it. It looks really good from a distance.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow of how the car looked in the process along with some pictures of the replacement bolts in place and how it all turned out.

I'm a happy camper
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
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Gone 3/12

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Old 04-17-2008, 09:13 AM   #13
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Morning Update:

As promised: Here are some pictures of the new setup for the Fender. You'll see the new bolts that I put in, as well as a couple of shots of the car being worked on.

Just glad to be done with this...it was a bit of a pain in the arse, if you know what I mean.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg In the Shop.JPG (17.5 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg New10MMBolt.JPG (22.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg New Panel in Place JPG.JPG (14.4 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg NewFront10MMBolt.JPG (18.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg PackagesofNewBolts.JPG (13.6 KB, 19 views)
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
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91SC
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Why didnt you just ask me? I already did that.
...
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy View Post

Hey Uzzy,

As I read through your post...that bar that you were asking about that is at the top that swings down, is a support that bolts to the rail on the side of the car when you re-attach the fender. I believe it is for extra support. I asked myself the same question, but according to the FSM it is a support bracket that goes in with first bolt at the top part of the fender (NOT the one that is inside the door jam)

I had totally forgotten that you had replaced the fender on your car.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Hey Uzzy,

As I read through your post...that bar that you were asking about that is at the top that swings down, is a support that bolts to the rail on the side of the car when you re-attach the fender. I believe it is for extra support. I asked myself the same question, but according to the FSM it is a support bracket that goes in with first bolt at the top part of the fender (NOT the one that is inside the door jam)
FSM? I don't have one.

That thing still seems like extra parts to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
I had totally forgotten that you had replaced the fender on your car.
Well I R&Rd it. The same one went back on, because it's plastic and didn't break.
...
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy View Post
FSM? I don't have one.

That thing still seems like extra parts to me.
FSM=Factory Service Manual

That is what I was referring to there...

did I miss an inside joke?

Oh....wait a minute...I just got that you referring to the bracket arm inside the fender. It is there for support as it is attached to the upper part fo the rail on the car, as the only other support is the door jam bolt and the bolts that follow the fender down the rail. The bottom 4 bolts at the bottom of the passenger door support it as well, but not as much as the top.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

Last edited by 2NDSOUT; 04-17-2008 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Re-reading of the post...misunderstood first time....
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fender Replacement has me MAD!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
FSM=Factory Service Manual
I know, I just ain't got one...Mr. Fancy Pants

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Oh....wait a minute...I just got that you referring to the bracket arm inside the fender. It is there for support as it is attached to the upper part fo the rail on the car, as the only other support is the door jam bolt and the bolts that follow the fender down the rail. The bottom 4 bolts at the bottom of the passenger door support it as well, but not as much as the top.
Ya, extra parts if you ask me. Uneeded.
...
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