The MGA With An Attitude
INCORRECT PIPING for Wings (Fenders)-- FT-039

On 6/10/2009, Dominic Clancy wrote:
"I have heard that "wrong" wing piping is again being distributed in Europe. I attach a picture of the correct stuff (left) compared to the other stuff (right)".

The correct piping will be silver-gray in color, thick enough to be fairly stiff, and tall enough to cover most of the width of the fender bolt flanges. When a bolt is tightened the flange come to bear against the flat of the piping holding the piping and the fender securely in place.

The incorrect piping is darker in color, somewhat thinner and flexible, and shorter in height. When the bolt is tightened there is insufficient bearing surface for the flange, so the fender flange is distorted and the piping is squeezed upward out of the joint making an irregular piping line with raised humps over the bolts.

Correct piping is currently being sold by Bob West in the UK and others who buy from him. Current replacement piping is usually supplied off the roll, not having pre-punched holes for individual applications. OEM piping was cut to fit individual applications and did have pre-punched holes (making for lots of different parts numbers and huge inventory problems). Additional reports of either good or bad sources are welcome.

Addendum, April 9, 2015:
The following pictures were just taken today from my car. This piping (from Moss Motors) 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.

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