These mesh guards were an AC patented feature to prevent muddy water rebounding from the wings, and splashing over the body paintwork. They have been lost from most ACs. The aluminium mesh corrodes againsts the steel fixings and brackets. The brackets
might also have been lost, leaving current owners with little data to work from.
I've made new ones from stainless steel, as it is easier to obtain mesh in that material. It does make it harder to shape and fold, and one needs to be careful that sharp wire ends won't get embedded in the tyres at the extremes of suspension travel. For the beading wire, I used slightly thinner (3mm versus 4mm) annealed stainless steel.
The rear guards are screwed under the wings at 4 points, using the same no.12 woodscrews that hold the wings on. I decided to add foam neoprene pads to put some space between the mesh and the wing panelling (they also keep water out of the screw holes). The rear end of the mesh then bends sharply downwards to a mounting bracket, and then bends rearwards, extending almost to the rear of the wing.
Firstly, I bent the beading into shape and test fitted it. Then cut out a length of mesh, wearing gauntlets, as the wires are very sharp. I made the mesh 2 to 3cm wider to allow for folding the edges. Once the rear end had been folded (as in the photo below), it was fairly easy to work along and fold the rest. I used wide jaw pliers and a fairly heavy hammer, plus thin-nose pliers for any stubborn wires.
I used M6 x 40mm stainless steel penny washers instead of the original mild steel 2 inch items, for fixing the mesh on.
There is a separate bracket for the guard towards the rear of the wing. It is easier to bolt this to the mesh first and then bolt the bracket to the chassis.
The front mesh is tapered from front to rear. It bolts to the wing-stay and then extends to the rear of the wing. The photo below shows my original and new guard (right-hand version):
Below you can see a front mesh guard being attached to its beading.
Note that there is a tapered lengthways fold at the rear end. To install the front guards, you need the mounting brackets attached to the mesh first (the mesh rests on top of each bracket). Then bolt them to the car. But you need to test fit the brackets to the car, to work out where exactly they bolt onto the mesh. The quick-release panel on the back of the wing, is handy for access. However, that panel can't be re-fitted once the mesh is fully installed, hence the need to have the rear bracket bolted to the mesh first, and then bolt it to the car (done from under the car). The mesh presses against the side-lamp tube (earlier ACs up to 1949), and so I stuck a neoprene pad in place (and more pads wherever the mesh touches aluminium).
The images below show the front mesh installed, starting with the front end, held with a 5/16 BSW coach-bolt. 1/4 BSF hex set-screws attached the mesh to the brackets. All fixings had 2" mild steel penny washers, which I replaced with 40mm stainless steel items. There is a long bracket at the top, over the wheel, and a small bracket at the rear.
The photo above shows the rear end of the front/left mesh. The guard uses just over 2 metres of mesh. To avoid the expense (and waste) of buying 3 metres, I bolted on a separate piece of mesh to complete the guard. The mesh is very rigid.
To be continued...
For information on mechanical maintenance, see the "Maintenance" section.