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Cracked fenders


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My 87 Avanti looks as if the front fenders cracked behind the wheel openings and have been repaired. I have been told that Kelly had a problem with cracked front fenders on his early Avanti's. <_< Is this true and what caused them to crack?

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  • 4 weeks later...
My 87 Avanti looks as if the front fenders cracked behind the wheel openings and have been repaired. I have been told that Kelly had a problem with cracked front fenders on his early Avanti's. <_<  Is this true and what caused them to crack?

Exactly where is the cracking (ie, when you say "behind the wheel openings, do you mean inner fender inside of the wheel openings, or wheel opening lip, or the area between the wheel openings and the door, or around a body mount)?

Most cracking around the wheel wells is likely caused by a poor choice of tire size, resulting in a clash between the body and the tire (hitting a bump while turning into a driveway, etc). You'll know it if that's happening to you, but it may have happened to a prior owner, who then got rid of the tires and repaired the damage.

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If the fenders had cracked they have been repaired. Both front fenders of my Avanti look like they have been repaired. There is a "wave" located at the rear of the wheel opening at about the belt line going straight up to the top of the fender. Someone told me at an Avanti meet that the first 120 of the '87 Avanti had a problem with the front fenders cracking I was just wondering if this was true and what caused the problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...

All Avanti II's have the possibility of cracking the front fenders just above the

centerline of the tire. The reason for this is that the Avanti II was raised in the

front to "level" the rake by Newman and Altman, the pair that bought the rights

to the Avanti from Studebaker. When they raised the body, it left an even larger

front wheel house opening, so they added a "filler" piece of fiberglass. You will

notice that the Avanti II fender above the tire is "thicker" then the original Stude

Avanti. This added filler, tends to hit the top of the tire on a turn/dip, due to

the exaggerated suspension travel on the Studebaker framed Avanti. I find it

quite odd that an 87 GM framed Avanti would do this too, but its very possible

that the track is wider on the GM frame then the Stude frame. This would put

the rim/tire package out closer to the fender and allow it to contact. This can

be solved by using skinny tires (ick) or by modding the suspension with taller

rebound bumpers so that the suspension "bottoms" instead of cracking a fender.

Personally I would rather be punished from the mistake of hitting a dip too hard

by being jarred in my seat, then visiting the body shop for fiberglass work!

Tom

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This isn't a tire issue. I've installed larger tires then what it came with and they don't contact anything but where the parking brake cable causes the inner fender to bulge out, and then only when I turn it to the right lock. This looks as if it may have been a stress crack at the rear of the wheel opening going from the belt line up to the top of the fender on both sides.

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  • 15 years later...

Many early Studebaker Avantis also have an odd looking 'flattened' area in the section of front fender described above.....usually when an early Avanti is restored, the body man will work that area over, making the flattened section un-noticeable.

I've heard the odd looking flattened front fender area occurred at the factory during the initial fiberglass body construction....It happened due to clamping pressure while resin was setting up.:o

( My own early '63 Avanti has this flattened area, right & left sides...which I chose to leave alone.):)

Edited by mfg
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