Author Topic: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)  (Read 3544 times)

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sa mokin

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In the spirit of redirecting the Forum to it's original direction - I'd like to start this week by contributing a "how to" article.  Now, I am not a mechanical guru like Smoken, Maddog, or Terry, so please excuse my lame ways of doing things!  I am sure that our members will be able to improve on my solution to this issue most of us face - so please post your critisisms/corrections/feedback to make this article better for everyone! I wrote this awhile back so I hope someone gets some use out of it - enjoy!

How to make your own Wheel Arch Spats

Do you want to give your Moke a fresh and sporty appearance with the addition/replacement of rubber Wheel Arch Spats? Can't find them anywhere? Don't want to spend $130 per pair on eBay for Chinese copies? Don't worry - read on to find out how you can make your own that look just like the originals! (and cost less than Chinese copies!)   ;)





Difficulty Rating - Basic/Intermediate

Cost - Under $150 for fronts and backs (2 pairs)

Time Off the Road - 0

Time to Complete - 2 to 4 hours (Helper required)

Tools needed:

Drawing pen
Straight edge/ruler
Masking tape
Hobby knife set
Dremel sanding tool (or generic rotary hand tool with many attachments)
Drill
sand paper / sanding disc
(1) White Out pen
(1) pair of aircraft tin snips ($2 shop/ Hong Kong Shop)

As our favourite automobiles are all at least 29 years old and older - it is becoming increasingly difficult to source original new parts to restore our machines. Reproduction parts are a popular alternative and with the invasion of the CHOKE and associated repro parts - you can pay through the nose for parts that may/may not fit your model of Moke - at "big" prices.

The Wheel Arch Spat first appeared on the Export model Mokes - and continued to be a popular feature throughout the cars production. The reasons they are so popular is the amount of spray it deflects off the tyre when driving in wet or muddy conditions. They also give the car a modern appearance. This part set is no longer available and at the time of writing only CHOKE stockists exist with front repros - however - whether your Moke came with them originally or not - let me show you how to make your own and give your car a new look, and save some dollars along the way, and get the satisfaction of making them yourself!

Step 1: Source Material

The first step is to source your materials. You will need:

(5) large sheets of project paper or thin cardboard at least 80cm wide (available at most newsagents)
(1) piece of 2 Ply 6mm Insertion Rubber - 1200mm wide x 1000mm long (Clarkes Rubber www.clarkrubber.com.au)
(28) 5/16 x 38mm nuts & bolts (any hardware store)
Rubber Bonding Cement (any hardware store)
At least 1 original front and rear spat to make a template or a set of pre-made templates

Step 2: Identify/Prepare work area

You will also need to find an area to work in that will allow you to flatten the sheet of rubber and to trace, cut out, shape, and drill the spats. This whole process is a messy affair - so I caution you not to use the kitchen table to do this. The smell of burning rubber is also a side effect best kept to the shed or workshop. The debris is like sticky black sawdust so you may want to cover the immediate area with drop cloths.


Step 3: Create Templates (if you have/can borrow originals to copy)

Take a sheet of project paper/thin cardboard that you can source at most newsagents - large enough to copy one spat. Lay the spat on the paper and carefully draw an accurate outline of the spat. As most originals are puckered due to the brackets they were attached with - make sure the spat is flat on the paper. Use weight temporarily to flatten out the spat to draw the outline. Then cut the spat shape out of the drawing as carefully and accurately as possible.

Make two copies of each spat. (resulting in two fronts and two rears)

Copy each rubber spacer with project paper as well - making sure to mark the bolt holes accurately - and number them according to their position on the spat as they are all different size spacers on the front spat and two different size spacers on the rear spat. Then cut the spat shape out of the drawing as carefully and accurately as possible. Label each piece Front or Rear and position of spacer for easy assembly later.


Step 4: Arrange Templates on Rubber Material

Next we want to arrange the templates on the rubber sheet in a way to maximise the efficient use of the material.  (you can get an extra set of fronts or backs if you are clever in the layout!)

When you are happy about the positions - it should look something like the picture.




Step 5: Transfer the Template to the Rubber Material

Using a white out pen (also easily obtained at any newsagent or department store) - trace each item to the rubber - making sure that each template is secured to the rubber and does not move while you are tracing the item. The white outline can be easily seen when you are cutting the material - and the white out is also easily cleaned off after cutting. Each spacer will need to be drawn twice for each spat - as the thickness of the spacers are 12mm which is double the thickness of the rubber. The spacer pieces will be bonded together to form the final spacer to be used during installation of the spat.



Step 6: Cutting out the individual spat items (2nd person required)

This is one of the most difficult steps to complete and also the most time consuming. Your success will depend on your skill level, the material quality, and the tool(s) you use to cut the rubber. I can only give you my advice using my own experiences. You may have a better way of completing this task - and if so please share it with us!

The first thing I did was tried to get some idea of how easy/difficult it was going to be to cut the rubber.  I identified an unused area to practice on and made a couple of cuts. I was very lucky in that I observed the shop keeper when he was cutting my piece off of a roll and saw he needed a fair amount of hand strength in cutting the rubber.

I chose an unused tool I had purchased from the $2 shop a year ago and had not used - a pair of aircraft tin snips. These allowed me to use my hand strength to "crank down" on the cutters to apply the needed force to cleanly cut the
rubber. Being a new tool - they were also very sharp and cut through the rubber with ease.

Here is where your helper is required. The rubber sheet is heavy - and I found it useful to have my helper grab one side of the rubber sheet and gently pull away from the cut. This seemed to assist in the speed at which I could accurately cut and helped me to be accurate because I did not have to worry about lifting the rubber sheet. Identify a piece close to the edge of the sheet and cut a line directing lining up with a line of a spat item. Slowly cut out each piece. Do not worry about rounding corners at this stage - but try to cut as close to the outline as possible. We will use the dremel to round corners/shape later. ( The “Dremel” is a brand named made in the USA hand rotary tool that has hundreds of attachments to let you do just about anything!  www.dremel.com)

**Work smarter not harder here - cut the sheet so you can work on a small portion as you cut each piece.**

Hint: Try to be as accurate as you can here - the final product depends on it. Cut right on the line. Through the copy process - the outline will be slightly bigger so by cutting on the line this will help you to be as close as you can be. This will also stop you from having to do extra clean up later when shaping the corners occur. Take your time with each cut. I found that my tool cut in a 45 degree angle if I used a full stroke - so by doing "little cuts" I got a much better straight edge cut. You will have to assess how your chosen cutting tool is performing an adjust accordingly. This is not an exact science and any previous experience you may have in arts and craft can come in handy here.

Step 7: Bonding the Spacers together

Take each set of spacers and carefully bond them together using the Bonding Cement and follow the instructions regarding its use. I used sandpaper to rough the surfaces before I applied the adhesive and used a weight to apply pressure while they were drying.



Step 8: Shape each spacer

Using my Dremel tool and a sanding attachment - I shaped each spacer to be as even as I could get them with my eye - making sure that the outer edges of each piece was smoothed and shaped into one uniform surface.
This was a quick but messy process - and depending on you cut accuracy will determine the time involved in this step. You could also use ordinary sandpaper but it would take a long time. As long as they visually look uniform and are close to the original size - this is adequate. (I'm fussy)

Step 9: Drill holes in spat and spacers

Using a drill and a 3.5mm/4mm drill bit  - drill holes in the spacers and spats to line up with the existing holes in the car if you have them. - I used the existing spats and laid them over the top of the new cutouts and marked the position of each hole. I then drilled a small pilot hole on each mark. In turn I held each spacer in position and drilled the proper hole for the bolt through the spat and spacer together using the pilot hole. This method was successful. I also used the hole markings on the templates I created and drill the holes on those marks.  This method was also successful. It is up to you. If your Moke has no existing bolt holes in the fenders - you may want to get your helper to hold the spat in position while you drill through the whole assembly.





Step 10: Test Fit

Here is your opportunity to get an idea if your spat is looking the part. Do a test fit without the metal brackets - and use the bolts to temporarily fix the spat to the car. Test each hole to see that the bolt fits easily through
each hole in the assembly. Make any necessary adjustments to the spats/spacers here.




Step 11: Clean up/ Shape spat

Your spats are nearly finished - but you may have noticed either uneven cutting edges or little cotton strings hanging out of the cut rubber from the ply. The corners of the spats also need to be rounded to look like the original. But at this point - you could customise the spats to look any way you wish - especially if you prefer a
different look or modified functionality. I used my Dremel once again to clean up the edges and round corners. I got rid of unwanted cottons by taking a disposable lighter and quickly heated the edges to burn the cotton away. Clean the spats and use Armour All polish to shine the spats up after handling it throughout the process.

Step 12: Final installation of Wheel Arch Spat

Install each spat on the car using washers. A dab of oil on each washer will protect the paint when you tighten each bolt. Ensure that each spat has the required metal bracket installed in the correct direction to complete the job.








Total Cost of the Project:

Project Paper       $ 4.00
Insertion Rubber   $94.00
Nuts & Bolts       $ 6.00
Bonding Cement   $10.00

Total:             $114.00


For those that do not have existing wheel arch spats – here is a look at the metal brackets that are used to shape/add stability to the spat. You can make your own out of some scrap thin steel sheet – cut and bend to suit.


« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 09:09:25 AM by sa mokin »


1980 Californian
1976 Moke  (CYM)
1972 Export Moke

Casper

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2010, 07:50:52 PM »
Exelent post there SA! :) comprehensive and easy to follow. I'm ready to tackle this one  ;D


Casper
1977 Californian

Terry

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 08:12:54 PM »
Hi,

And I think they look a lot better than the Choke ones you can get on eBay. www.minis.com.au had some sets made up using a similar technique as described by SA Mokin so if you are feeling a bit flush and not wanting to do the work yourself.

Also if you don't have the metal brackets to give it the right shape they do look ordinary.

Terry

Ps. Nice post. :)
Cujo. 1999 - 2016

this little piggy

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 08:24:46 PM »
Pics etc on these brackets also on previous post

https://www.mokeforum.com.au/index.php/topic,3385.0.html

copy of which is outlined below

TLP III (red) did not come with rear spats.  I stripped TLPII (blue) of its all of its spats and brackets and went to clarkes rubber and a local engineering/fabrication place.  Have purchased the rubber for the spats, and have had some lengths of metal bent into shape for me to cut and drill to replicate the brackets. 

Here is the cross section of the bracket




here is the reproduction sample (black) on top of an original bracket (silver)



Here is the layout of brackets required for front and rear.  The front guard brackets are on the top.  The rear guard brackets are on the bottom.  The rear guard spats also require a small L shaped bracket for the 90 degree section at the mudguard.  The reproduction does not have holes drilled in it (yet)



original



reproduction




Basically I have had the engineering/fabrication shop supply the material in approx 1 metre lengths, and I still have to cut to shape and drill the holes.  I also have to cut to shape the rubber surrounds, but easy enough to draw pattern with liquid paper pen on the rubber.

ROUGH cost of full set of 4 (materials (rubber/metal) and bending alone) is $110. 

There is also a related topic from SA mokin regarding how he made a set of these.  Happy reading

http://mokesinc.org/index.php?topic=1515.0

EDIT: Links fixed to work on the new version of the Forum................Newie
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 07:00:27 PM by Newie »
this little piggy
        THE FARMYARD
10/1977 Californian TLP (white) The Pig
08/1978 Californian wannabe TLPIV (Green Machine) Newie's Goat
08/1977 Californian wannabe TLPIII (Moke-a-Cola red) Little Red Rooster
unreg 08/1977 Californian TLPII (Blue) Blue Heeler

aussieclown

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 08:52:21 PM »
For those who want something different, I used white large truck mudflaps and acheived the same end result.

AC

The Checker Plate King, at least it does not rust

Terry

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 09:39:26 PM »
For those who want something different, I used white large truck mudflaps and acheived the same end result.

AC

And for a really wierd look i worked on a Moke years ago where the owner had made his out of the clear plastic that you might find cut into strips for doors around food, like supermarkets and butchers shops. It was a bit odd at first but he painted the metal brackets black and against the white moke it wasn't too bad, but not really something i have ever thought to want to recreate.

Terry
Cujo. 1999 - 2016

Maddog

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 10:02:44 PM »
And for a really, really weird look you could use truck spray suppressor brushes - kinda like giant eyebrows! ;D

But great post SA, you have inspired me to make my own!


Thanks, MD.
Mickey 81 Californian Arnold 82 Californian Baldy 82 Californian Ron 79 Califakian Eskymoke 82 Californian

Step aside coffee, this is a job for alcohol!

this little piggy

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 06:13:38 AM »


Quote
truck spray suppressor brushes - kinda like giant eyebrows!


Purchased some of that to go around a gap at the top of a roller door.

Known in the the trade as

"Hairy Armpit"
this little piggy
        THE FARMYARD
10/1977 Californian TLP (white) The Pig
08/1978 Californian wannabe TLPIV (Green Machine) Newie's Goat
08/1977 Californian wannabe TLPIII (Moke-a-Cola red) Little Red Rooster
unreg 08/1977 Californian TLPII (Blue) Blue Heeler

Pete Power

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 06:57:36 PM »
Top post
Happy Mokin
Regards
Pete

1981 Californian 1275 Galv "Mighty Moke"

"Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive!"

Ian

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 05:38:02 PM »
Very good post SA, you should put yours on ebay.
Ian
Victoria Point
Brisbane
Qld

74 Moke - modified BMW K1100 cylinder head, 1330cc thick flange (ex automatic), A+ crank & Rods lightened and balanced, 4 pin diff, intercooled Turbo. Baboon brake conversion, uprated steering/suspension,

HSV Hunter!!!!!!!!!!!

sa mokin

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 09:30:08 AM »
I know this is an old thread but the question gets asked occasionally so I thought I'd post some pics of the final product  ;)





1980 Californian
1976 Moke  (CYM)
1972 Export Moke

spider

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 12:40:42 PM »
WOW, what a damn awesome right up SA, good on ya mate. I was going to but the Choke ones, but now I'll make some.
Old Moker's never die - they just smell that way

It's not whether you win or loose but how you play the game.

Pete Power

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Re: How To Make Your Own Wheel Arch Spats (and save some money too!)
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 02:45:25 PM »
Must get around to replacing that less than perfect one I have,,
Happy Mokin
Regards
Pete

1981 Californian 1275 Galv "Mighty Moke"

"Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive!"

 

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