Well I’ve gone and done it. Took the better part of the day but my fender is now fixed. Not the prettiest job but it will have to do for now.
What I’ve learned is that it is possible to change the fender without removing the bumper. I was worried it would take forever. Luckily it didn’t take as long as I thought it would, the most time consuming bit was trying to find the plastic clips that hold the fender liner in place. I picked up some universal Dorman fasteners which don’t sit perfectly but again they’ll have to do. Despite my best efforts most of mine broke even though I was perfectly gentle, I guess after 11 years they get so brittle there’s no way to reuse them.
Another difficulty was getting the side skirt removed enough to get to the bottom bolts. Lucky I didn’t break those clips, universal wouldn’t have been an option, dealer only part.
And finally the new fender I got was somewhat bowed. It took a lot of time to bang it into shape. And even then there are rather large gaps between fender and bumper and fender and hood.
Here’s some photos:
So, in this process I used zip ties and hundred mile per hour (100mph) tape… like in NASCAR (lol) or more commonly known as Flex Tape available from TV in As Seen On TV ads or in my case picked up at Walgreens for $12.99 (4” inches wide 5’ feet long) I used a fraction of it on the cracked bits on the inside of the bumper so that the fender liner has something to attach to. And on the fender headlight bit which cracked off in the accident. The same bit was meant to be screwed into the fender, but for the life of me I could not align it, so I zip tied the damn thing in place. If I took the front bumper off I probably would have been able to tighten it correctly. For now zip ties and tape will do. Going to go for a spirited drive to see if anything loose shakes out. As of now everything is attached tightly. I did scuff up some paint on the car from the sharp metal of the fender, not to mention murdered my hands with cuts and scrapes.