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Discussion Starter #1
While removing my fender on my 2006 to replace the battery (got 8 years out of the second one, not too shabby, this will be battery #3), noticed that the plastic wheel guard (not sure of the proper name) has come completely off at the lower screw, and cracked at the middle screw. It looks like if I found larger flat washers I could just sort of "mend" this together without trying to find and purchase (at a premium I am sure) this entire large plastic tire wheel well that seems to be one big piece (not a fan but it is what it is).

Also was a little sad to see the starts of a bit of rust and wear on the underside of the passenger panel I took off, part of which may have been caused by the cracks in the guard not properly protecting that area.

Anyone seen this before and have any suggestions? While I have the battery out if there's a fix I may as well try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ah, found it. Fender liner. Not sure how tough this is to replace but it looks like not a lot of screws. Seems a few of you have done it. I'm not a pro mechanic per se but I know how to use tools. Guess I will shop around, would prefer to just put in an OEM one vs. a knock-off from what I have seen. Hopefully I'm on the right track? I'll call my GM stealership tomorrow to see what their quote is.
 

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Its not hard to replace, I had to replace both of mine in 2017 (my car is also a 2006) I would use the stock ones if they are still available. I have been told the aftermarket ones are shiny and thinner and do not fit as well.

Also the later cars did not use the screws that the early cars did on the lower rear they went to plastic push pins to allow the fender liner to "move" some.
 

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be careful - make sure you inspect your purchase before you leave the dealership - many people here have discovered that the new items got damaged in transit...
 

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They are easy to replace but, as cammerjeff said, the aftermarket liners are not as well made as the OE liners but they do work. I did as you mentioned and used black fender washers with good results. If you decide to go with pushpins you can buy them at your local parts store with large quarter sized heads. ( I prefer the screws.)
 

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The bodyshop at the dealer did this many years ago to my wheelhouse liners after changing them a few times under warranty and to this day they have never cracked again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for all the great advice everyone. Solstice owners are the best.

So did some of you keep the cracked part on and just use larger washers to kind of hold it in place? I did call my dealer and the OEM part is about 75 bucks so not a showstopper assuming it’s undamaged so maybe I’ll replace it, but I might also want to put on some bigger washers at the same time to prevent the new one from cracking again.

It’s not like I beat my solstice up or even drive it a ton so the fact it cracked at all is a bit shocking. It does look like having it cracked caused a lot of water intrusion In that area so definitely a spot it makes sense to keep sealed tight.
 

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The bodyshop at the dealer did this many years ago to my wheelhouse liners after changing them a few times under warranty and to this day they have never cracked again.
^ What Bob said, There was a TSB out for this (TSB #08-08-63-002) back in the day. I had mine replaced under warranty. See: Pontiac Workshop Manuals > Solstice L4-2.0L Turbo (2008) > Body and Frame > Fender > Front Fender > Front Fender Liner > System Information > Technical Service Bulletins > All Technical Service Bulletins for Front Fender Liner: > 08-08-63-002 > Aug > 08 > Body - Front Wheelhouse Liner Cracking

I would use the stock ones if they are still available. I have been told the aftermarket ones are shiny and thinner and do not fit as well.
The aftermarket ones are shiny, true, and don't look as nice. However they seem to be made from more flexible plastic and may not crack as easily as OEM. A few owners have fitted them without issue.

As sirwm said, the OEM ones tend to get scratched up a bit in transit. I bought a spare OEM one off Amazon and it came partially rolled up to fit in a (still large) box, but without padding or other protection, so it was a bit scraped where it touched the box.

This is a pic of the aftermarket ones, to give you an idea:

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. Very great knowledge here. I was just looking at the screws and hoping I don’t need to take the wheel off to replace. Part won’t be here until Tuesday anyway. I do prefer the factory look and fit. Wondering if I should try the push pins solution instead of the screws. Drivers side looks intact thankfully!

I’m jealous of you guys who got TSB work done. Many years ago, I took my dealer for a test drive of my 2006 and showed him the differential whine under warranty (light pressure on gas pedal at 30+ speeds) and he citied “normal noise and operation”. Now I hear later they replaced differentials and mine is still factory :(
 

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There are two schools of thought on pushpins vs screws. Both work. The pushpins allow the liner to flex somewhat and the screws provide a better fit. I used screws and black fender washers. It could be that the screws, if tightened too much without a fender washer, can split the liner eventually.

It is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't decisions.
 

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Ordered a set of the aftermarket ones from Rock Auto for a spare as soon as I got them out of the box I noticed how cheap looking and flimsy they were so I sent them back .OEM ones are still out there I purchased a set last year on Ebay for a good price I would not waste my money on the cheap Chinese versions .
 

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I stopped using the "Christmas Tree" type of push pin since it is easy to damage the surface the "head" of the Christmas Tree pin is resting on when it comes time to remove it, and that time will come... For example, take a look at the trunk lid liner and how many push pins there are when it's time to R&R the buttress release cable. Can you remove each one without damaging the liner? The answer is yes...but it takes considerable time and care and a couple always seem to screw up. So, rather than buy another liner, I went to removable push pins and have slowly been converting wherever they are used on the car. This is another case where Clips and Fasteners is a good source.

Push-Type Retainer 11/16 Head Dia. 7/8 Length
Push-Type Retainer 11/16 Head Dia. 7/8 Length
DescriptionPRODUCT CODE: A14753
More choices: open, scroll down and look around under related products

Push-Type Retainer 11/16 Head Dia. 7/8 Length
  • Trim Retainer
  • Black Nylon
  • Head Diameter: 11/16"
  • Stem Length: 7/8”
  • Fits Into 1/4" Hole
  • Replaces GM: 20664092; Ford: N804570S 1986-
  • 25 Per Package



Enjoy,

Richard Snipes
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks I may consider those clips. Good link. If I stick with the screws I’ll probably want to put some new slightly larger fender washers on there. Quarter inch hole is that right? I’d probably add them to the drivers side then as well to hopefully prevent a future break.
 

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when you buy the clips, dont buy them by the amount you need...buy them in bulk it;s usualy cheeper. I get them by bags of 100 cheep off flebay.( sofar for the wifes honda as the hoinda ones are dead and the replacement chana versions seem to be a little better,,and when you get a pile of them,,you dont worry when removoing them if they break.
 

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Thanks I may consider those clips. Good link. If I stick with the screws I’ll probably want to put some new slightly larger fender washers on there. Quarter inch hole is that right? I’d probably add them to the drivers side then as well to hopefully prevent a future break.
I think you can get black plastic fender washers at Lowes if you don't want metal ones. They'll fit the ronded surface better.
 

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I stopped using the "Christmas Tree" type of push pin since it is easy to damage the surface the "head" of the Christmas Tree pin is resting on when it comes time to remove it, and that time will come...
A tip for removing these Christmas Tree pins... wiggle and turn them while you're pulling - like you were unscrewing a bolt. This lets each little barb free itself (they are slotted into 4 radially) rather than bending all four back against themselves at once. You can often reuse them after this too, whereas pulling them straight tends to break off swathes of 'barbs'.
 

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Thanks guys. Very great knowledge here. I was just looking at the screws and hoping I don’t need to take the wheel off to replace. Part won’t be here until Tuesday anyway. I do prefer the factory look and fit. Wondering if I should try the push pins solution instead of the screws. Drivers side looks intact thankfully!

I’m jealous of you guys who got TSB work done. Many years ago, I took my dealer for a test drive of my 2006 and showed him the differential whine under warranty (light pressure on gas pedal at 30+ speeds) and he citied “normal noise and operation”. Now I hear later they replaced differentials and mine is still factory :(
I can tell you that the first time they changed my liners under warranty the tech took the easy way and didn't take off the wheel. He scratched the crap out of the liner getting it over the tire and got a blast from his boss because if it. Yeah it'll go but don't bother if you are all at all particular as to how the car looks.

Oh and as an aside. The TSB states the the push pins are to be installed on the back edge to replace the screws. My dealer put them along the front edge as well. Christmas tree clips are EXTREMLY easy to remove with the proper tool. If you are damaging things you aren't doing it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's a bummer but I appreciate the candor. Never had the wheel off and don't do a lot of jacking up cars, I do have a bottle jack somewhere I can break out, no time like the present to learn how to jack up the front and take the wheel off if that's the best way to replace this. Sounds like GM is going to give me a scuffed up one anyway from the sound of past experiences with OEM.

As for the fasteners, sounds like if I want to do it right then it's clips not screws.
 

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That's a bummer but I appreciate the candor. Never had the wheel off and don't do a lot of jacking up cars, I do have a bottle jack somewhere I can break out, no time like the present to learn how to jack up the front and take the wheel off if that's the best way to replace this. Sounds like GM is going to give me a scuffed up one anyway from the sound of past experiences with OEM.

As for the fasteners, sounds like if I want to do it right then it's clips not screws.
bottle jack may not get you high enough but you can try. There are only certain points you can jack without damaging the rocker panel. Use the search feature at the top of the page and seaech under JACKING POINTS. there are diagrams and pictures to show you where to place the jack for the front and the rear. Sly bob is right. It is possible to get the liner in without removing the wheel but it is more difficult and you can damage the liner stuffing it in around the wheel. You might be able to jack the car up high enough without removing the wheel but I doubt it.
 

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If you do not have a need to hang the suspension then jack under the lower control arm. There is usually a flat spot you can get the jack under. With the solstice being as low as it is you will want to drive that side of the car up onto a couple of 2x12' one about 20" the other 3-4 feet is ideal. screw the smaller one on top of the longer one 12" or so from one of the ends. then lay the board down in front of that wheel so the stack is farthest from the car. You should be able to drive up onto this without having the boards kick out or lift up at all. You can end up pushing the boards on the ground. If you do not feel comfortable getting a running start then taper the ends of the 2 boards that you will be rolling up onto.

When lifting from the control arm you are literally going to lift the wheel off the ground after a few pumps of the jack. This is because you are not hanging the suspension. You also get the piece of mind that you aren't going to damage anything because the weight of the car is sitting on the suspension! remember to either use a jack stand or use some blocks of wood to the front frame rail. You are only going to lift the car high enough so you can spin the tire. Then block to the frame rail get as close as you can to the rail. you do not want to have to lower the car 3-4 inches before it is sitting on the block. at most 1/2 inch. once you have the blocking in place take the wheel off (remember to loosen the lugs a little before lifting the car). Once you have the wheel off then lower the car really really slowly until the weight of the car is sitting on the block or jack stand. You will know this when the suspension is going down but the car is staying in place. you just want to take some of the weight off the jack you do not have to let the suspension fully decompress. Unless the jack is in the way I would suggest you do not take it out. and keep the suspension compressed This is the "backup" if for some reason the car slips. keeping the suspension compressed is going to minimize the amount of "falling weight".

If for some reason you have to be under the car this is always the way to go. I had a car drop once and thankfully I had left the jack in place with the suspension compressed otherwise I would have ended up with a crushed chest. It did hit my chest and I was sore for a few weeks and I was more then happy to be sore then to have the alternative DEATH!

It is as simple as this. If you do not think it is safe then it probably isn't. don't risk it. drop the car back down and start from scratch. The first time jacking up an unfamiliar car is always going to seem a bit hairy. You will find the ideal spot to jack it up and where to block or jack stand after a few attempts. Remember it is all about comfort. If you would not go under the car how you have it jacked up then you need to redo it.

I have gotten into the habit of sliding the wheel under the side that is jacked up under the A pillar area (rocker panel) make sure you do this jelly side up. do not lay the wheel down on it's face and slide it under the car. you will tear up your wheels. leave the face of the wheel up make sure there is clearance between the wheel face and the bottom of the car. You do not want to set the car onto the wheel. it is only there as a "just in case". It is so you know the car will never come crashing down to the ground with you possibly under it. The wheel getting damaged would be a small price to pay for saving your life.
 
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