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Discussion Starter #42
Alright, the job is done more or less. For the record, if anyone wants to know for future.

- I jacked the car up with a floor jack and a loose hockey puck between the jack and the car below the small oval hole along the fender. In order to get the clearance for the floor jack and puck, I had to drive the right side front passenger wheel up onto a couple rubber horse mats for a few extra inches. Loosened all 5 bolts on the wheel first of course.

- Once up high enough I removed the horse mats so I could easily get at the wheel to remove it. I placed a bare jack stand under the further front jack point (the one with 2 hollow circles) just as a drop point in case the jack gave out with the wheel off (it never did but knowing the jack stand was there helped). Since the solstice is so low to the ground, you would need stubby jack stands to use them properly. Mine were regular size and as a result I had to remove the stand piece and just put the stand frame there about a 1/2 inch below the frame jack point.

- The fender liner has a ton of screws and plastics inserted. Three plastic christmas tree type attached to hoses and inerted thru the fender liner from under the hood at the top (only 2 of the 3 were on the one I removed, and I was unable to pull the hose high enough to get the third to reach, so I left it on the replace as well. Hopefully this was not why it cracked. 3rd hole closest to the windsheild. All 3 screws are inserted on my driver's side fender liner.

- 2 larger #10 bolts and washers straight behind the wheel on either side -- These two I do not see how you could possibly remove without the wheel off.

- The perimeter on both sides of the wheel, 4 on each side, these are the screws some have replaced with plastic. I was unable to get the plastic replacements I got to work. I'll post a photo separately. For now the metal are back on. The upper right and lower left (as you face the passenger wheel) are slightly larger washers I believe.

- A final annoying plastic grommet style push screw under the front bumper fascia that fastens the fender liner under the front right bumper.

- So, total of 14 different friggin holes in this liner that need a screw or insert of some type.

I tried to compare the edges and orientation to the drviers side liner which has a small crack but has never been removed, I could not for the life of me get it to line up with the body quite the same and eventually just gave up and said "close enough, it's on there". Removing the fender to do the battery could have made this alignment a bit off.

That's about it -- Thanks for all the help everyone. Was an interesting experience jacking up the car and working on it at that level for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
So here was my question - Why can't I get these things to go in any further than the photo shows? I am probably just a dummy but what's the learning curve of using these plastic things and getting them to tighten and mount flush? Help?

Should I be removing the plastic screw and just using the outer plasti portion with the metal screw from the original or something? I'm confused.

 

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So here was my question - Why can't I get these things to go in any further than the photo shows? I am probably just a dummy but what's the learning curve of using these plastic things and getting them to tighten and mount flush? Help?

Should I be removing the plastic screw and just using the outer plasti portion with the metal screw from the original or something? I'm confused.

You pull or unscrew the center part of the head of the plastic screw outward about 1/4". this allows the outer portion of the screw to collapse inward, making its diameter smaller. Then you insert the screw fully into the hole. once it is in place, push or screw the center part of the head back in flush with the rest of the head and it will expand outward, holding the screw in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Okay so I was using them right. They just do not work in this application or I am just really bad at it. Tried several spots. It may be the metal clips or I'm not really sure. But I have tried with these things enough to know I truly hate them. It's off to the hardware store for some larger plastic black washers and back to the metal screws for me all around both wheels. I can push them in flush but then the screw absolutely refuses to go back in flush with great force by hand or the help of a screwdriver. They're just not working for me.
 

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Okay so I was using them right. They just do not work in this application or I am just really bad at it. Tried several spots. It may be the metal clips or I'm not really sure. But I have tried with these things enough to know I truly hate them. It's off to the hardware store for some larger plastic black washers and back to the metal screws for me all around both wheels. I can push them in flush but then the screw absolutely refuses to go back in flush with great force by hand or the help of a screwdriver. They're just not working for me.
The metal screws work fine with black plastic fender washers. Just don't tighten them up too much. also, the push in plastic type won't work unless you remove the metal screw clip.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
The metal screws work fine with black plastic fender washers. Just don't tighten them up too much. also, the push in plastic type won't work unless you remove the metal screw clip.
The metal screws work fine with black plastic fender washers. Just don't tighten them up too much. also, the push in plastic type won't work unless you remove the metal screw clip.
Thank you, your post about removing the metal screw clip makes me realize I am not crazy, just stupid. No wonder the push pins would not work. Yeah I'll go get the black plastic fender washers. Any size recommendations? If not off top of your head I will just figure it out. I think I'm going to try and put one on every spot around the wheel on the edges that I can fit one. The driver's size has a crack starting but I should be able to save it. Shame to toss out the old fender liner too. Just one cracked off section at the bottom but it was enough to do some damage with water intrusion behind the fender area for sure. Goes to show you why it's important they are on there snug and protecting the body.
 

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Thank you, your post about removing the metal screw clip makes me realize I am not crazy, just stupid. No wonder the push pins would not work. Yeah I'll go get the black plastic fender washers. Any size recommendations? If not off top of your head I will just figure it out. I think I'm going to try and put one on every spot around the wheel on the edges that I can fit one. The driver's size has a crack starting but I should be able to save it. Shame to toss out the old fender liner too. Just one cracked off section at the bottom but it was enough to do some damage with water intrusion behind the fender area for sure. Goes to show you why it's important they are on there snug and protecting the body.
I think the ones at Lowes are about 1" outside with 1/4" center. plenty big enough, also. if you have a crack, you can stop it from spreading by drilling a 1/8" hole in the end of the crack for a stress relief, then fill the hole with some black RTV or a piece of tape behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I think the ones at Lowes are about 1" outside with 1/4" center. plenty big enough, also. if you have a crack, you can stop it from spreading by drilling a 1/8" hole in the end of the crack for a stress relief, then fill the hole with some black RTV or a piece of tape behind it.
Good tips thank you! I found rubber washers not plastic, all the fender washers are steel silver. Were you guys talking about the black rubber ones or did your store have black plastic fender washers?
 

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Good tips thank you! I found rubber washers not plastic, all the fender washers are steel silver. Were you guys talking about the black rubber ones or did your store have black plastic fender washers?
Lowes has the black plastic fender washers. The black rubber will probably be too soft.
 

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Just a thought. If you can't find the plastic washers, just remove the center part of the push pin, cut off the back portion, and you have a black plastic washer.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
I was thinking the same. I found one pack of the 1/4 with a 1/2 inch diameter yesterday, another location seems to have more. Going to try putting on the 1/2 inch diameter to see if it looks like they provide enough coverage to hopefully prevent future stress cracks.1 inch total width would likely be a little better.
 

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I was thinking the same. I found one pack of the 1/4 with a 1/2 inch diameter yesterday, another location seems to have more. Going to try putting on the 1/2 inch diameter to see if it looks like they provide enough coverage to hopefully prevent future stress cracks.1 inch total width would likely be a little better.
The 1/2" will probably be OK. Its just my opinion, but I believe the stress cracks are mostly caused by installing the screws too tightly and stressing the relatively soft fender well liner. If you use a plastic washer, whatever the size, and just snug the screw up, It should be fine.
 

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The 1/2" will probably be OK. Its just my opinion, but I believe the stress cracks are mostly caused by installing the screws too tightly and stressing the relatively soft fender well liner. If you use a plastic washer, whatever the size, and just snug the screw up, It should be fine.
I think the stress cracks are caused when the liner wants to move, but can't because of the tight screws. The push-pins let it float.
 

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I think the stress cracks are caused when the liner wants to move, but can't because of the tight screws. The push-pins let it float.
John is correct (as usual). Thermal expansion rate of plastics is a magnitude of about 20 times higher than steel. Over large pieces like the wheel liner, that thing can grow about a quarter inch causing binding at the mounting points. Combining this with the fact that the plastic has to "weld" together on the opposite side of the mounting holes during molding results in the higher stress levels occurring at the exact location of the weakest part of the molded product.

Screws will work fine - just don't over tighten them. The push-pin type connectors are nice because you really can't over tighten them.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I'm now again debating removing the clips and trying the plastics again. Moreso even because I can't seem to locate these mythical black plastic washers anywhere. "Neoprene" (which it turns out is a fancy word for rubber I guess, just call them rubber) washers are in abundance everywhere I go. Fiber / plastic seems tough to come by, found just one pack at Home Depot that worked (fit them on just hidden and snug under the existing metal screw and metal washer, which doesn't seem to come off the screw). They went on well enough and it seems the liner has some extra play, tightened just to snug and not a hair more.

That said no luck at lowes, only black rubber washers, and tons of metal washers, no black plastic of any size, and very slim choices at home depot. Amazon seems to sell metric plastic washer kits by the boatload, which can work...or...I'll remove everything again along with the metal clips (at least for the ones along the sides of the wheel that seem to be crack prone) and use try the push pins again.

It feels so dumb debating this much about such a small thing, but I don't want to buy or replace a fender liner again.
 

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I'm now again debating removing the clips and trying the plastics again. Moreso even because I can't seem to locate these mythical black plastic washers anywhere. "Neoprene" (which it turns out is a fancy word for rubber I guess, just call them rubber) washers are in abundance everywhere I go. Fiber / plastic seems tough to come by, found just one pack at Home Depot that worked (fit them on just hidden and snug under the existing metal screw and metal washer, which doesn't seem to come off the screw). They went on well enough and it seems the liner has some extra play, tightened just to snug and not a hair more.

That said no luck at lowes, only black rubber washers, and tons of metal washers, no black plastic of any size, and very slim choices at home depot. Amazon seems to sell metric plastic washer kits by the boatload, which can work...or...I'll remove everything again along with the metal clips (at least for the ones along the sides of the wheel that seem to be crack prone) and use try the push pins again.

It feels so dumb debating this much about such a small thing, but I don't want to buy or replace a fender liner again.
Nothing dumb about it. it isn't a small problem. I prefer the screws because the push pins don't always seat just right (for me). just snug the screws enough to pull the liner into place. no tighter. You might try autozone or advance auto for push pins. either of those stores usually have a variety of pushpins you could use or, as mentioned earlier, you can make washers from them. If you already have some cracks in the liner, drill a very small hole through the liner at the very end of the crack to keep it from spreading further, and dab a little bit of black RTV in the drill hole just to keep the water out.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
I've got a 20 pack of the plastic pins already, now that I know I need to dispatch with the metal clips to use them I may go that route just so I can stop searching for plastic washers. Like you though I am also worried they are not going to hold the liner snug for me. I saw what water damage did behind the fender without a good seal there.
 

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Those liners will not provide a "seal" of any kind - they are merely "splash guards".

While the plastic push-pins will not be "snug" they will be secure. They won't pull out unless the center pin is pulled out first. Now that I think of it, had mine been secured with the push pins instead of screws that cat I hit a few years back probably wouldn't have done $2,800.00 worth of damage . . .
 
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