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Classic Truck Project Section

Fender Welting Installation
General Application

fenwelt1.jpg (12707 bytes)If you have ever installed fender welting, then your know how much trouble it can be.  If your new to the hobby, this article will guide you through the   process of installing fender and body welting. Even if you have been doing this for years, check out some of tricks that may help make the job easier.

First, you might ask your self "What the heck is welting and what is it used for"? The use of seam welting can be found as far back as the turn of the century. Welting was primarily uses in the construction of   railroad passenger cars and horse drawn coaches .  The use of welting was to provide for a squeak free weather seal between 2 flanged metal surfaces.

Early automotive construction methods utilized welting in their construction to provide squeak free, weather resistant seals between fenders and cowlings.  As design methods improved the way sheet metal components were attached to automotive chassis, the need for welting faded.  The advent of new materials such as seam chalk and other products changed the way manufactures built cars and trucks.

fenwelt4.jpg (7541 bytes)Some of the first welting used in automotive construction was made of canvas or of a heavy cotton material folded over heavy twine and sewn.  The material was then covered in a lacquer based doping material, usually black or brown in color. Because this type of welting was constructed of natural materials, it did not hold up very well over time.

Much of the new welting on the market today, is made of vinyl materials and stitched with mono-filament type threads. Another types of welting are made of polyurethane, and are extruded in one piece. The use of this new materials offers the hobbyist a second use for welting, accent. Many manufactures offer custom welting in designer colors that match or accent the vehicles body color.

As shown here, this welting in made of polyurethane and tinted Black.  It's solid construction makes is a little more difficult to install, but it has a longer life than most other materials on the market today.

fenwelt1.jpg (12707 bytes)This photo show's the flanged area where the welting is to be applied.  Originally, the fender would have been attached loosely to the body with  enough room to slip the welting in between the fender and body.  Slits would have been cut into the material to allow for the fender bolts.  The fender would then be tightened. The lacquer covering of the original welting was tacky enough to hole the welting in place while the fender was tightened.

Today, if you were to use the same method, you would have problem. The vinyl and polyurethane materials are slick, making them very hard to keep in place during installation. [more]