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Old 07-08-2004, 09:41 AM
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51 Chev p.u. hood

I'm re-assembling a 51 chev p.u. that came into my shop in pieces. I was trying to put the front end together yesterday and after mocking up the front fenders and laying the hood in place,it appears the fenders are an inch too long, or the hood an inch too short. When the front of the hood is lined up with the front of the fenders, the gap is good down the sides, but along the cowl there is a space of about 1.25 inches. Are there different hoods for this series truck? [chev/gmc] The angle of the hood appears correct. This truck is a full custom, so any creative solutions are welcome.

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Old 07-08-2004, 11:26 AM
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The front of the fenders sounds too low. Loosen the two bolts holding the radiator support bracket and slip in shims until the gap at the firewall is correct.
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:18 PM
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The gap is consistant down the vertical part of the hood along the cowl. I put the inner fenders in today and I had the fenders a bit too far forwards before. It only improved by 1/4 inch though. I have replaced the lower cowl pieces where the fender mounts are. This area was non exsistent when the truck came in, so I have no measuring points. The patch panel determines where the back edge of the fender sits. I wonder if the patch panel is wrong? Does anyone know the measurement between the door opening and the back of the fender? All the angles seem right as far as the height at the front of the hood, etc.
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Old 07-08-2004, 01:05 PM
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That explains it. I have used those patch panels (rear cab corners and lower font fenders - never the firewall ones) and have found them to be 'reasonable interpretations' of the factory shape. They took a lot of massaging to get then correct.

Interestingly I just finished bolting on the front sheet metal on my '53 rebuild last night. What a pain!! I can't imagine how the factory could afford the huge amount of hand fitting and number of fasteners in these old cars. I will fit the hood tonight. My truck was in pristine shape when I disassembled it so I anticipate the hood fitting perfectly.

My recommendation is to fit the hood perfectly then match the fenders to that. Will probably require cutting out your patch panels and is a lot of work but that is where you will need to end up no matter how you approach it. Does the radiator bracket bolt to the front frame X-member and stand vertical? That is an important 'sky hook' to get everything lined up. If it is square with the hood, then the fenders will virtually position themselves.
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Old 07-08-2004, 03:59 PM
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Thats kind of the route I was starting to think along. The patch panels seem to measure out o.k. as far as the fender location goes, but I'm not sure yet. The front brace sits nicely, the inner fenders are somewhat mangled so it's hard to tell if it's in the correct location angle wise. The hood I have is 55'' long when measured along the center bar. My only concern with starting with the hood is the potential can of worms with the inner fenders bolting up, but I guess thats easier than lengthening the hood. Thanks for your help, this one has me baffled. Still looking for a measurement from the door gap to the start of the indent that the fender sits in. Mine is 3"" at the lower door hinge height.
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Old 07-08-2004, 05:51 PM
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I will be out in my 105F shop wrestling my fenders again tonight so will take some measurements and post them.
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Old 07-08-2004, 05:56 PM
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I have three hoods a 54, 50 and 49. They seem to have the same measurements.
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:22 PM
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Here are some measurements. From the front edge of the door opening in the body to the firewall where the body goes to a point between the fender and the hood - 14 1/4". On a line parallel ot the floor pan, the distance from the front edge of the door opening to the rear edge of the front fender - 2 1/4".

Also, there is a lot of play in the hinges where they mount to the body with two bolts from the inside. I was able to build a 1" gap like you describe by loosening those bolts and sliding the hinges forward. The front edge of the hood even looked like it fit. However, when I slid the hinges and thus the hood back, I got the perfect 1/4" gap and the front of the hood fit much better.
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Old 07-09-2004, 12:22 AM
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Thanks. Those measurements match mine, so i guess the problem is in the fenders. I tried two sets, 1 fiberglass set [junk, will hopefully never be talked into fiberglass again] and one stock set that someone has been messing with. Both had the same problem, [the fiberglass ones were actually worse - the solution from the supplier was to "just recontour them to fit" Great I just paid $1000 for something that needs two days work to get them to fit?] I'll just use the metal, thank you.
By the way, anybody have a decent set of fenders around N.W. U.S. or even better, western Canada?
The supplier did refund my money
Thanks again
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