X1/9 Front fenders – I have always wondered ...

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by mid79, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. mid79

    mid79 Youth Revisited

    The fiberglass fenders currently offered up on eBay (see the FSW posting) has prompted me to ask this question.

    Are the X 1/9 front fenders "structural" at all? I believe they're welded in pieces, so, in my mind, they could be part of the overall structure. They could add a slight amount of structural rigidity or they could be simply aesthetic.

    And to take this academic questioning just a bit further, if one were to remove the steel fenders from an X 1/9 and replace them with fiberglass fenders, would that change the chassis dynamics in any appreciable way?

    I know, any response is going to start with "It depends on your intended use of the car…" :grin::)
  2. Grant Kelly

    Grant Kelly True Classic

    spanaway wa
    are you trying to lose lb's?

    It really boils down to intended use..sorry... :) If you are trying to drop pounds off an X, I would start at the back, such as fiberglass decklid. cut out trunk floor etc. that would bring you closer to 50/50 distribution. The front is all ready the light end. As far as structural. It has some , but apparently not enough as to be compensated with bracing. This coming from me is observational as I have not cut fenders off mine . Light wheels is the first (and last) place I go on an X1/9for dropped pounds .Grant
  3. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    I thought about doing the fenders on my car but was afraid it would take away some of the structural integrity so left most of the fender when I did the custom work. These are pretty sturdy little cars and I have looked at some radical cutting and they seem to hold up but couldn't bring myself to do the whole thing. Some of it was because of the extra mold making and work in general. I also thought about the doors but laziness won out there too. The hood and front of my car are glass up to just under the parking lights on the sides. The rear deck and roll panel are glass. I shaved about 40 lbs. total.

  4. Kevin Cozzo

    Kevin Cozzo True Classic

    dallas tx

    how do you keep your car cool, with no radiator opening?
  5. mid79

    mid79 Youth Revisited

    Just an academic question

    I'm not planning any changes for my X1/9 around the front fenders. I was just curious about switching the metal ones for fiberglass and what some of the benefits and drawbacks might be.

    As if I didn't have enough to think about ...
  6. Black-Tooth

    Black-Tooth Tony Natoli

    +10 what Kevin said! nt.

  7. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Missouri, USA
    It is an electric X1/9

    Check out the info in this post.
  8. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    If they were structural - it would not be wise to do the Dallara conversion.

    Since that is a 'thing' and the entire front & rear sheet metal is removed to accomplish it (as I will be doign this year, hopefully), I would estimate that the chassis is more than rigid without the external sheet metal in those areas.

  9. mikemo90

    mikemo90 True Classic


    it all depends on the type of flair you are using. dallara, cut radial into the existing metal and bend out to support the fender and glass them together. bubble flares, cut as much as you can to clear the tires. remember that the gap between the glass and metal has to be filled to keep water out.
    one of my x's has "ipa" type flairs and I had to re-bond them.
    what a mess the PO left.
    keep all the metal necessary to make the transition and to use "fusor"
    and small self tapping sheet metal screws to hold the mess together as it cures.
    PITA for sure, but strong as hell.
    and.......keep the bonding agent as thin as possible to remove all spaces between the two.
    screws out and small holes left to fill in.
  10. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Fenders front & rear are not structural, as with the majority of visible rust areas on the exxe like the cubbies at the side of the engine compartment, cubbies at the very rear of the trunk and such.

    What IS structural are the box section sub frame that runs under the front of the chassis that ties to the front suspension and similar for the rear. The two triple layered rails under the two front doors, the center tunnel AND the coolant tube cover that protects the coolant tubes (anyone ever tried to remove this cover will discover a surprising number of spot welds holding on the cover. There is a very real reason for this). The roll over hoop is also part of the primary chassis structure along with the power train box identical in concept and design to the Lancia Stratos (same individual designed both).

    One never appreciates just how sturdy, solid, tough and rugged the exxe chassis really is until one has cut one up to have a look-see. Oh, the sheet steel is on average 1mm or 0.040"thick and much more in some structural areas. This is the hidden reason why an exxe is so heavy and weighs more than the Fiat 128 series passenger cars.

    So, if weight savings, larger wheels-tires are in order, have at those fenders.

    Hasbro likes this.
  11. Black-Tooth

    Black-Tooth Tony Natoli

    AFAIK and IMHE the wings are not a "necessary"...

    structural support.

    BUT, no one can deny that they do add to the rigidity to some extent and BTW, the glass fender just might be STRONGER.

    I dunno if these are still $150 bucks which is a great deal, but if I were not racing in some SCCA class and was to go to all the trouble of installing glass wings, I'd do a complete Dallara kit... which are 10% off at MWB...

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