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73-80 Brothers Replacement Fenders Installed

Discussion in 'The Body Shop' started by 1975Jimmy, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. 1975Jimmy

    1975Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey guys, reading through a lot of the posts here, it seems there has been little said about the fitment of aftermarket fenders on the 73-80 C/Ks. Well, My factory fenders have seen better days. I tried salvaging them a couple years ago by doing some rust repair, having grafted new sheet metal into some of the more nasty spots, but with two years having gone by since painting the whole truck, it seems that the metal worms are in full force and bubbles are popping up from the inside out. I understand that the early squarebody trucks were prone to rotting away while still on the showroom floor, so for the OE fenders to have lasted 42 years is a bit of a miracle. Thankfully the rest of the truck is in good shape. So a simple fender swap should get me back in business. I tried finding a good set of OE fenders, but everything out there has rust or damage on it, not to mention all the trim holes, which i won't be using. That said I went to Brothers showroom in Corona, CA and they let me pick out the two best aftermarket fenders in their warehouse. They're all really cool guys that work there, who all share the same passion we have for our rigs. Brothers price of $79 a fender was a sweet deal!

    I immediately noticed that when comparing the aftermarkets they sold me to the originals, they seem to be made from sheet metal as thick as the originals and the body lines appeared to be damn near perfect. As with any fender, it's going to be a process getting them fitted to the truck, but for any of you that were curious as to what kind of headache you might have to deal with using aftermarket fenders, specifically the ones sold by Brothers, I will keep you posted on how everything turns out.

    So far the old fenders are off, and new fenders bolted up. Body lines and gaps don't look too far off, and there is still more massaging left to do. We shall see how well it all lines up with the hood (which is also a reproduction) when all said and done.

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  2. Chief Brody

    Chief Brody Chief of Amity Police Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    For what it's worth, I gave up on the aftermarket fenders and went and found some fenders in the parts yard. The old ones fit perfectly. The aftermarket ones were off in height about 1.5 inches
     
  3. blazer74

    blazer74 Member Premium Member

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    I put aftermarket fenders on my 74 years ago. They fit ok but not really happy with them. The side marker lights don't fit quite right among other places.
     
  4. Chief Brody

    Chief Brody Chief of Amity Police Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Don't get me wrong, I am not against aftermarket fenders...one day soon that will be all there is available. But I have a hard time believing that these things are made from the real GM moulds...
     
  5. 1975Jimmy

    1975Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well, the goal here is to see if the end result achieved with aftermarket panels can in fact be acceptable. I'm pretty damn picky, so only time will tell.
     
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  6. blazer74

    blazer74 Member Premium Member

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    There acceptable but you will know the difference. Around the headlight bezels and front of hood can be an issue as well as the fender to hood gaps.
    They are the only body parts on mine that are aftermarket.
    I keep an eye out for a good set of oem fenders but I won't pay outrages prices for Nos ones that are out there.
    The Oringinal washer bottle won't fit if it was not the bolt on type if that matters to you. I think 76 was the change year.
     
  7. 76k5blazerr

    76k5blazerr Git-er-dun Premium Member

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    I appreciate you posting this and I would love to hear what you think of those fenders, I am going to have to do the same thing on my 76.
     
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  8. Rugby_7

    Rugby_7 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Also in to see fitment!
     
  9. 1975Jimmy

    1975Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Update: Everything has been painted, they should be fitted back to the truck by end of the week. Will keep you all posted.
     
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  10. 1975Jimmy

    1975Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    IMG_0538.JPG Well, the fenders have been painted and installed. I do have to admit, everyone was right. Comparing weight between the OE and aftermarket, they do tend to be a bit thinner and lighter than the old ones. But, they still seem pretty tough. I've spent some time massaging fitment of both fenders, the passenger side is about as dialed in as I can get it and gaps are nearly as good as factory. I still have some work to do on the driver side, but I think these things will work out for my needs. More photos to come.

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  11. Chief Brody

    Chief Brody Chief of Amity Police Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    That looks great. They are thinner...but very thankful that there are parts available for these rigs. That fit is as good as you could hope for with any fender.
     
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  12. RubberFloorMat

    RubberFloorMat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Nice write up.

    I've had to put replacement panels on quite a few vehicles including fenders on my previous blazer.

    That said the high dollar ones aren't normally any better than the certifit junk we used to use. Maybe I've been lucky because the stuff I've gotten has been mid range priced and been perfect after some massaging. Glad to see they look good!
     
  13. blazer74

    blazer74 Member Premium Member

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    Looks super nice!
     
  14. 1975Jimmy

    1975Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Anybody know what the 73-80 hood/fender gap spacing should have been from the factory?
     
  15. 76k5blazerr

    76k5blazerr Git-er-dun Premium Member

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    They look like they fit well, I couldn't tell a difference than factory. Do you think the brothers fenders are the same brand as all the other parts places? (lmc, classic parts, classic industries, AMD)
     
  16. Chief Brody

    Chief Brody Chief of Amity Police Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    somewhere between a quarter inch and half inch. I couldn't get my hood-to-fender gaps tight even with real fenders. But I was inexperienced and painted them before I fitted them properly with the hood.
     
  17. Chief Brody

    Chief Brody Chief of Amity Police Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I'm pretty sure they are all the same, although individual ones may be closer to spec...like CAPA certified
     
  18. 1975Jimmy

    1975Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I've only heard speculations about them all being made in the same stamping factory in Taiwan. I don't know the actual answer, but i'd venture to guess they probably are all made in the same place. I would only assume that brands like Goodmark, as well as retailers like Brothers and LMC must do some kind of quality control to keep customers happy.
     
  19. runamok151

    runamok151 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That looks real nice. I'd be proud to drive around in that truck.
     
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  20. rpcraft

    rpcraft 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I like the black mirrors. I picked up a set myself a while back. They were surprisingly affordable!!!
     

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