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Marty's ELF (Willie)

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Willie with his spiffy rear fender and crass commercial message
Posted by Marty on March 3, 2014 Full Size| Slideshow

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2 Comments

Reply Marty
7:07 PM on March 31, 2014 
It took me an entire frustrating long day to install the fender over the wide Hookworm rear tire, but I learned many lessons which will hopefully make your installation a breeze...
STEP 1: Remove the cargo baskets and the coroplast panels on both sides of the rear wheel (they are held on with velcro strips).
STEP 2: Cut or grind the rear plastic panel cutout to make room for the fender (I used a Dremel tool with a small grinding wheel). I used a contour gauge to outline the fender profile, and extended the opening to touch the bottom of the aluminum storage tray. I did NOT remove the rear wheel to install the fender.
STEP 3: This is where I made my biggest and most time consuming mistake. I totally removed the rear caliper brake assembly (including the brake pads and cable) in order to fasten the fender directly to the frame and have the brake mounting bolt secure it. I did not jack up my ELF, so all the work was done while lying on the (hard) ground. It was a major pain to re-install and re-adjust the brake and to position the fender where it did not rub the tire or interefere with the brake operation. It still seemed to rub somewhere no matter how I bent and adjusted the fender. What I SHOULD have done (and eventually did do) is to attach the front of the fender to the TOP of the brake assembly by removing the plastic cap from the brake mounting bolt head, remove the bolt (WITHOUT having to remove the brake), attach the fender and secure the mounting bolt. This was much easier to do and it totally eliminated the brake/fender interference issue. Even though the front of the fender is about an inch above the frame, it still keeps everything dry in wet conditions. Since you modified your ELF with a rear disk brake, you could just use the hole from the original caliper brake to mount your fender fairly easily.
STEP 4: The 2 fender braces that came with the fender were too short to reach the rear wheel mounting area without rubbing the tire, so I extended them with four 2" mending plates purchased at my local Home Depot. I used 10/24" stainless screws, lock washers and lock nuts to secure the mending plates to the fender braces and drilled out the other end of the brace to 3/8" in order to make the hole large enough to fit over the rear axle. This allowed me to mount the fender without having to drill holes in the rear wheel mounting brackets. I simply removed the axle nut on one side, attached the fender braces, replaced the axle nut and repeated the operation on the other side.
The fender has been on for about a month with no problems so far. I did glue a thin rubber strip between the fender and the rear panel, as the panel was scratching the paint off the fender due to normal movement when riding my ELF. I do apologize in advance if this wordy post provides TMI.
Reply Peter
12:16 PM on March 31, 2014 
I love the two tone. Can you explain for everyone how you put on your rear fender? Thanks