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Old 01-01-2014, 04:26 PM
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door to fender fit

I am working on a 68 Chevy truck and pre-fitting all my sheet metal. I am satisfied with the fit of all so far except for the passenger side door to fender. Basically the edge of the door curves inward and doesn't look good to me. The doors and fenders are factory sheet metal. What is the best way to lessen the curve of the door edge so that it is closer to the fender profile?
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:37 PM
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It's kinda hard to tell but aligning panels is often a "dance". You sometimes have to get a "good fit" on a few panels instead of trying to go get the great fit on them. Often you are looking the great fit panel next to one that fits poorly. To try and make that one that fits poorly fit perfect up to the great fitting one is unrealistic. Not saying that it can't be done, you could make panels fit flawlessly with enough work. But realistically to try and get the poorly fitting panel to fit perfect like the one next to it isn't a way to go. To move the perfect fitting one a little so it just fits "good" so as you can move the poorly fitting one to it so they both fit "good" may be the way to go.

The first thing I see is moving the door out to fit the fender. This may not be the way to go as I am not there seeing every angle (though your photos are darn good) it's hard to say. But often this "Dance" is how it's done.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:05 PM
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Thanks MARTINSR. I can try and move the door out some. I guess my problem is I am not used to having the door edge curve inward like these doors do. Do most people just live with that?
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:28 PM
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Keep in mind that you need to constantly check door to fender clearance when opening and closing the door. Nothing worse than welding and grinding to get the perfect gap, only to realize the door edge grinds on the fender when you open it. Don't ask me how I know......

With that said a hammer and dolly will flatten the edge, and if needed you can weld a length of steel TIG wire/rod or arc welding rods with the flux removed to the edge to close up gaps and give you something fairly soft to grind and file to the perfect gap.

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Old 01-01-2014, 09:37 PM
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first you should line things up to the areas that don't move. Like your door to the cab and rocker. Your fender with the cowl panel and rocker. It looks like your fender needs to go out(according to rocker) and needs more bow but am assuming that you pushed it in to take care of the pillow affect of the door? Are they pillowed? Old Chevy's have doors that dive down in the front and rear. I personally think it's ugly but never really tamper with it unless told to do so. If you line it up a little better I wouldn't think the door diving down would bother you as much. I'd take a straight edge to the other door to see the natural shape of the edge and if it's damage than you can probably get a slide hammer with a very thin attachment in there and fix it while the door is closed and match it to the fender. If those doors are naturally pillowed, which I think they are, I'd try to get a better fit. You can also tilt the door out some but as Carolina Customs says, you start messing with that edge and you might have an interference issue when the door is trying to duck down behind the fender.

Thing is, it's really hard to tell with gaps from pics. Great gaps don't look much different than decent gaps on pictures.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:15 PM
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The edges of those doors did angle in slightly from original. I have an all original '69 and a couple "spare" doors and they are all like that. The suggestion of tapping it back out to match the fender better will work but you also need to watch what has been said about the fender hitting the door when opening. What people don't remember is that these were WORK trucks in the 60's not the status symbols like the last 15 years. The tolerances were much looser and fit not really a priority. Close tolerance fit can be achieved with the addition of wire to the edges to close gaps, but that is a lot of work for little gain.

You may be able to lessen the fender bow by shimming the bottom of the fender to stretch the curve. That is how the cars are fitted and may work for the trucks too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:44 PM
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I am going to try and see what came be done by shimming and adjusting pieces first.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:27 AM
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Sometimes the only way to get things to fit is with a 2x4 and a BFH.
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