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BTW, if you have a better place to procurer these panels in USA, please let me know. Online videos make it look "pretty simple" operation.
 

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I personally would paint them first, and then leave them for a week to cure before fitting.
If you're having them painted for you it should work out cheaper, as they will only have your parts to contend with in the body shop, rather than your whole car.
I did all the groundwork on my Mk1 Ford Ranger tailgate, (wet and dry, filler, etc.) and took it in as it was. It only cost me £120 for them to lay the paint and lacquer.
Another tip is to tell them you'll be paying cash, don't need a receipt and you're not in a hurry.
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You need to understand what's going on and It's already here in my posts. Once the rust rot starts it will be severe along the top and rear because they stuffed the same gray water absorbing foam they used for the roof pump box up inside each fender. Jack the front, remove a wheel to pull out their foam liners top and rear then see whats going on behind before deciding your repair route. Repairing these thin steel fenders and still having to paint over the repair with hard to match opalescent paint is a no brainer IMHO. The metal is very thin and the foam (sound absorbing?) liners will have already killed them. I have no foam in my new fenders and no appreciable increase in road noise, but then it is a diesel. :)

Check out what I did with a pair of new aftermarket front fenders, repainted and the insides coated in anti stone chip paint.
Front fender rusting (under warranty?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi all, I thought I would reply with some "lessons learned" in replacing the two front fenders on a 2007 EOS 2.0T.

1) The front fenders are prone to rusting because the factory installed foam rubber at the 12-oclock position above the wheels (to dampen noise?). This causes chronic rusting.

2) The panels are easily available (at least in USA) from various sources (e.g. carparts.com) and fit like a glove.

3) Removal and install is pretty smooth with help from a number of YouTube videos. The only "trick" is the part where the steel fender meets the plastic bumper. There is a long plastic key that is tough to pull out and re-install.

4) The jury was mixed on pre-painting versus "panel painting afterwards. I had one collision shop quote US$1,800 because
they said the headlights need to be removed before painting. I went with another body shop that does "panel painting" for about US$650 for both. More pics to follow.
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The jury was mixed on pre-painting versus "panel painting afterwards.
It's probably the case for both because most off car painting won't match and they usually have to do on-car color blending into adjacent panels. My fender paint job was as good as it could be, but I can see the color difference comparing the hood and doors. Hell, I should have had the whole car painted! :)
 
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