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Old 05-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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Loose Fender Wells

While I was finsihing-up the Spring Cleaning and Summer Prep of my signature TT yesterday, I was cleaning the wheels and hubcaps, and I noticed "light" where I shouldn't have seen light.

On closer inspection, I found that there was a gap in the wheel-well between the floor framing and the fenderwell. Even closer inspection reveiled that the plastic fenderwell had a little bit of flex to it, and had pulled away from the wood. Seeing this, I went looking to see if a screw or two had come loose, allowing this to happen, and what I found surprised me.

It appears that the entire dual-wheel plastic fenderwell was "secured" by the manufacturer with 3 screws (there may be a fourth, but without pulling a wheel, I couldn't be sure), then the remaining perimiter of the fenderwell is held in place with simple STAPLES! TALK ABOUT SHODDY CONSTRUCTION!!!!! Even if they added 5 or 6 more screws on each wheelwell during construction, what would it take? Three minutes with a screwgun??? At a nickle for each screw, $0.60?????

I was planning on picking up new tires on my Memorial Day Weekend trip,then installing them after I return home. (I'm driving within 10 miles of a Tire Rack distribution center on my way to Mystic, CT., and they seem to be the closest place that I can get the Kumho 857's.) So now I'll install them one side at a time, and while I have both tires on one side off, I'll resecure the wheelwells with screws and seal them with some silicone caulk.

I'm posting this so that others know to take a look at how your fenderwells are secured. We had some mouse infiltration over the Winter, and the area just inside this fenderwell seemed to be the primary place that the mice made their home. Hopefully, making this repair will not only weather-seal the well, but also mouse-proof it, as well!
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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Good catch. Do you have a picture for reference?
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #3
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So I discovered this a couple of weeks ago, but today, I finally had an opportunity to tear it apart and fix it, so here's the run-down and some photos:

First, if you look at the two pieces of duct tape, they locate the only screws on the horizantal run on the outside of the wheelwell:


Next, after I pulled the plastic wheelwell liner out, you can see where the screws were (big oieces of tape) and where the staples were on the horizantal run (small pieces of tape:


Looking up into the open well, under the dinette benches, you can see that there is little to attache to:


I measured and cut some scrap 1x3 that I had left over to provide additional support and attachment points:


Continued in next post.......
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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The wood supports were then screwed into place:


A copius amount of sealant applied to the wheelwell:


And the well was reinstalled. I added about 8 more screws than originally used, long both the exterior and interior horizantal run. Once reinstalled, I added a bead of sealant from the inside as well:


Materials: about 6' of 1x3, 2 tubes of silicone sealant, about 8 screws.
Cost: Nothing! All materials that I had around the house, left-over from previous jobs.
Time: About 3 hours, including jacking, removing and replacing wheels.

Plans for tomorrow, so next weekend I'll tackle the other side.....
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:47 AM   #5
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I finished the project this week, and found that the drivers side wheel well was just as poorly secured, although it seemed to be more "intact" than the curb side. What I believe happened was that when the outside speakers were installed at the dealership, someone pushed down on the curb-side wheelwell, breaking the factory seal, and then cobbed-up the repair ane re-sealing.

I repaired the drivers side in the same manner, adding wood strips, sealant, and re-screwing, adding a bunch of screws to really hold the well in place.

I had to make the expected repair and reinforcing modification to the drivers side slide support while I had the wheel-well out. This is a problem, previously well documented by others, on almost all Rockwood Ultrallights equipped with a big slide. It seems that the factory just screws the support into the luan floor panel, with no lateral bracing and expects it to be secure.....

I had a side flange welded on the support, which lined-up perfectly with the frame flange underneath. I then re-secured the support with three 3" x 5/16" bolts and nylon-locking nuts all the way through the floor. On the inside, I reinforced with a small piece of 1/2" plywood and on the underside a piece of angle iron (an addition to the one bolt that was into the frame flange.

I appologize, but it really was too tight in there to get any worthwhile photos.
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