|The MGA With An Attitude
Installing FENDER PIPING #4 -- BD-115C
This article is not so much about installation as about the aftermath or final results. BBS discussions from time to time touch on the "irregularity" of some currently available fender piping, being wrong dimensions, wrong color, or discoloring badly after installation. These pictures from my car show such problems with piping procured from Moss Motors USA in recent years. This piping is too narrow top to bottom, does not cover the whole bolt flange and will squeeze out of the joint easily. It also discolors badly in short time turning from silver to black, and it is not easy to clean up.
See pictures above, just taken today from my car (April 2015). This piping was new in June 2008, now nearly 7 years in service. There has in the past been much discussion in these forums about the ill fit and bad discoloration of this part with time (search the archives).
The Moss piping I have been using for decades is as noted a bit too thin, soft, pliable, and a lot too short on height. It does not cover the full width of the fender flange or matching body mounting surface. It is not possible to punch a round hole for bolt clearance, because the piping flange is not that wide, so it ends up with notched bottom edge. When tightening bolts the plastic squashes and pushes upward out of the joint causing an upward bulge (camel humps) in the visible piping. I have managed to live with these physical issues. With a certain amount of finesse (lots of time and patience) during assembly the initial visible appearance is not too bad. I have posted pages on my web site detailing how I manage to install this part. It would be much better and much easier to install if the cross section of the piping was as large as the original issue part.
The worse issue is serious discoloration (decomposition) of the piping after installation. In the past my car has been garaged when not in use, but it has been driven about 10,000 miles per year. Since last installation of new piping in 2008, it has 6 years garage storage and 40,000 miles travel, followed by 11 months and 37,000 miles on the road. Within six months of use (including garage storage when not driven) the piping starts turning from silver gray to darker gray. With a year or two of use it is quite dark and very difficult to clean (at least without damaging paint). You might have at it with Goof-Off and a tooth brush for some improvement (early on), but in essence it requires removal of some of the decomposed surface material.
You can see from the picture after several years of use the exposed surface is completely decomposed, looking like it has corroded or evaporated much of the material, discolored and cracking and rough texture. The plastic material is apparently very susceptible to exposure to atmosphere and sunlight, not at all suitable for this application. Moss Motors has been notified, and I am awaiting their response.