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Old 01-08-2006, 10:40 AM
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Gap problems fender to door when front fascia installed

Been working quite a bit on the 'stang lately, but am having difficulty with the front fenders.
I installed the hood, and bolted it up. It's on good and straight.

I lined up the fenders to have an acceptable hood gap. They gap good at the doors.

The problem I have, is when I install the front fascia, it pulls (twists) the lower fronts of the fenders outwards away from the center of the body. When this happens the gap at the doors tops stays the same, at the bottom, it increases to 1" to 1 1'4".

I placed the bumper on the front end just to make sure that the the fascia was not malformed. It is correctly shaped.

I tried the same mock up with the original fenders: same result.

If I bolted the fenders solidly at the door, then the fenders might stay in place. I'd really like to not force fit (twist) them though.

I am not that experienced with body work so any suggestions are appreciated.

In the attached pic, you can sort of see the larger gap at the bottom of the fender - door
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:06 PM
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What is this "facia" you are talking about? Is it the lower "valance" below the bumper where signal lights go? Or is it the "filler" above the bumper?

First off, there is a ton of different things going on here, it is pretty hard to tell from my dining room.

You are working with aftermarket parts, I recently worked on a 68 Mustang with the whole front end, rad support and all being Dii parts, HOLY CRAP,WHAT J-U-N-K! If that is what you are working with, good luck, you are going to need it.

Let's take a look at what you have observed. With the ORIGINAL fenders, they fit at the doors, right? That is UNTIL you install this front valance or filler, right? Well, the problem HAS TO BE with that valance, filler OR where it mounts to the fenders.

Did the original fenders fit with the ORIGINAL valance/filler? Of course they did. The only thing that can enlarge those lower gaps is RAISING or SPREADING the front of the fenders.

Sooooooooo, look to see what could be causing this to happen, either raising or spreading the front of the fender.

Brian
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:45 PM
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Fascia = the one piece fiberglass shelby front nose piece

I did haul all of the original parts from the attic (headlight buckets, valance gravel pan whatever)

I'll use these to help me figure out what is going on, but since the original fenders do the same thing when the bumper is in the correct location, I don't know if it will reveal anything or not.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:06 PM
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That's a pretty tough thing to figure out without being there. If the fender to hood gaps are reasonable, you can usually tighten down the fender bolts at the top of the cowl and at the rocker panel to lock in the fender to door gap. Then, who knows, you may need to "force the issue" a bit up at the front to make it all work. I've had those Shelby nosepieces be pretty far off before. Just boxing them up while they're fresh causes all kinds of problems. When I worked for Gene Winfield, we'd leave parts in a mold for WEEKS sometimes, the longer they stay, the better they hold their shape. You won't get that kind of attention in a production part!
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:09 PM
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Yeah, I am fully prepared to do whatever I need to do to the fiberglass, to make it look right.

I pretty much rebuilt my boat, so I am handy with glass work.

If I can get the fenders to gap correctly at the doors, then I'll make the fiberglass do what it need to do. There is some underlying reason why the fenders want to pull away from the doors, when I move the fronts apart to bumper width
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:23 PM
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It is like I always say "If an experiment yields unexpected results, question the experiment". Don't go looking for something, it is right there, the fiberglass piece IS effecting the fit. In your "experiment" of fitting the fenders, the "experiment" is going fine UNTIL you bolt the fiberglass piece on, then it yields unexpected results. THAT part of the "experiment" needs to be questioned.

Fitting aftermarket, damaged, customized, etc. parts can take a lot of "unknowns" to figure out. I do this stuff for a living and will sometimes fight something for a while and then WHAM, I see the problem which was pretty darn obvious, but just didn't see it.

Look at what it is about that fiberglass piece that is pushing the fenders up or out. I don't care if that bumper "fits", it is probably wrong too!!

Brian
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:20 PM
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I went to your homepage and looked at the photos of that project. It looked to me like there has been a considerable amount of work done to the front inner structure. If that is the case, it is possible that it is now higher than it is supposed to be. When that happens, the flex in the fenders could allow the gaps to be fine until you are fastening the lower front down. That tries to force the fender into the correct form, pulling the lower rear forward, opening up the gap. If you install the lower rear bolts for the fenders first, then try connecting the front, you will likely see the fender pulled in at the wheel opening, because you are trying to "stretch" the fender upward. If you have access to another 67 or 68 Mustang, you might want to check the heights on the front end as compared to the rest of the body.

Aaron
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:39 PM
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Yeah, that is one of the things I am going to check this week. I have the correct frame spec's for the car (which the body shop had when putting it together)

I'll level the car and see how it looks, dimensionally

The levels accross the car were exact, when I welded in the subfame connectors, I made sure.

That is one of my thoughts, that the front frames were tilted up. I don't think so though.

My thought is possibly the inner fenders and shock towers were mounted up too high on the frame.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:03 PM
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"The levels accross the car were exact, when I welded in the subfame connectors, I made sure.

That is one of my thoughts, that the front frames were tilted up. I don't think so though.

My thought is possibly the inner fenders and shock towers were mounted up too high on the frame."

The frame rails could be level and at the right height, but the inner fenders and shock towers, along with radiator support, could be too high. With the inner fenders and shock towers removed, the front rails have little to no support to hold them in place. When you consider the length of the fenders, the amount of rise in the front would not have to be that much for you to have BIG problems on the rear.

I would first check the height of the frame rails in relation to the rest of the car. If they check out, then check the height of the top of the radiator support and inner fenders from the frame rails.

Keep in mind that frame measurements are normally in metric readings. The normal allowance in the repair industry is +-3mm. The problem with that is that alot of technicians will not look at the big picture. If the rails are up 3mm, that is not a big problem. If they are where they are supposed to be, and the inner fenders are up 3mm, the same results. If each one is up 3mm, that adds up to 6mm, which is alot to adjust for.

Just something to check for.

Aaron
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:02 PM
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This was bugging me

I figured that I better rule out as much as possible, so I went over to the garage, and set up my laser level, and jacked the car into a level position and checked the dimensions against the specs

The only dimension that was off was the steering gear mounting hole (LH Side) +1/4" (11.25") the bottom/top of the front frame in this section match up exactly, so my guess is a bad drill location by the repro parts place.

All other dimensions measure up exactly (this surprises me a little, given that I did not see the body shop do anything close to setting up a laser level) including the critical upper suspension mounting hole.

So that's good I guess, I can concentrate on the inner fenders and sheet metal and fiberglass to see where it is going wrong. Still I'm a carpenter not a body man, so it will be fun learning maybe
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:36 PM
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I would ask if you have measured the TOP of the rad support at the first fender bolt hole, THAT is the spot that would be critical to the gap at the bottom of the door. The rails don't mean a darn thing at this point. Yes, I know if the rail is right, the upper is right. But that is all assuming that the relation between the bottom and the top is proper. I would ask you this, but it really doesn't matter. The fenders gap is correct UNTIL the fiberglass piece is bolted on.

Try bolting on the all the original metal parts.

Brian
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:13 AM
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No I haven't measured that yet. The body shop had the passenger side front (rad side) inner fender welded in wrong, so I cut that one out.

The rad support is one piece that connects into the frame rail crossmember, so it's dimension is fixed.

One possibility is that they ordered the wrong one (the rad support came with the car when I bought it) ie; 69 or 70 instead of 67-68

I am going to check.

Since I already mocked up with the factory (rusty) fenders (same result) , I am going to use the complete original car front end to get things all lined up and see where things go bad, if I can.

If I can get a look at another '67 in the local area to take some measurements off of, I'll do that as well, prior to cutting out more metal.

Thanks a lot for the help and advise...
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:01 AM
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If I remember, this evening I will try to get you the correct measurements on the height of the inner structure from the top of the rails. I have a 67 Stang in the garage with all original parts.

The radiator support does have a fixed height. That is, if it is an "original" and is installed in the correct location. If that part, like many of the others, is a reproduction, it may not be made to the right dimentions.

Aaron
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:31 PM
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I went out and checked my Stang. If you take a straight edge that will run across from one side inner fender to the other I have these measurements. There are 2 dents in the area where the left panel changes from vertical to horizontal. The first is about 8"-10" from the front and then the same distance back to the second one. Measure straight down to the top of the frame rail from the straight edge at the forward most dent. The measurement I got at the first one is 17 1/8". The measurement that I got at the second point is 17 5/8".

I hope this helps.

Aaron
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:49 PM
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Thanks for the measurements. I wnet over to the garage tonight to check how the car compares.

What I found was the shock tower on the drivers side sticks up higher than the passenger side. It looks like the upper control arm bolts are exactly level, but the distance from the UCA holes to the top of the drivers shock tower is + 1/4".

Next I checked the rad support. The crossmember between the frames is exacly level, but the top of the rad support is higher on the drivers side + 1/4" to 3/8". The bottom of the support looks like it is all welded in correctly, and level.

At this point it appears that there is a flaw in both repro parts.
I think I can fix the shock tower at the top by zipping off the top fender flange, lowering it, then welding and grinding.
The rad support I am not sure of yet. Maybe zip it off at the bottom where it meets the front cross member, lap the panel a bit and weld it there.

The car is sitting very close to level right now, but I am going to zip off some steel shims at work tomorrow, so I can get it sitting exactly right before I do any welding.
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