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Old 07-16-2010, 07:23 PM
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Somethings not right..

Hi. I was working on my 37 Ford. Pulled it out of the garage to turn it around and drive it back in. I noticed that the tire on the passengers side front is sitting 3" away from the lip of the fender. The drivers side is about 1". I must of twisted something. It seems to sit straight. I know I have to bring the front down so the hood fits better, but something is different between the two fenders. I have 7/16" spacers on but still the gap is bad. Only thing I can think of to do is make some sort of spacer between the inner fender and the frame rail. Like maybe 1" square conduit. The hood hangs over the filler panel on that side also.. Any thoughts??
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:44 AM
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Any pics of the problem area?
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:54 AM
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Before doing any body mods, I would insure that the suspension is in the right place in relation to the frame.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:28 AM
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al, adjust your upper a-arms to plumb the tires first . the whole front end is mounted by the inner fender wells at the front. the braces can be bent to sq the front end . many of the 35-40's have been hit and repaired over the years. do some measuring on the body to make sure it is sq with the frame. ford specs were 1/4 in .
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:01 AM
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Fenders can be quite different as well. Before you panic you need to get under there with a measuring tape and find out exactly what is off, is the suspension over? Is the frame over in the front? Or is the lip of the fender different?
The little "skirt" at the rear of the wheel well could be bent in or out on one side (or in on one side and out on the other) creating this problem. You don't say exactly where on the lip it is off, but this is a VERY common area to be bent.

Just take some time and determine what exactly is off. You can make a "plum-bob" set up by hanging a string with a weight from it off a few key points under the car and mark off a center line on your garage floor and using that center line see what is off. A very large square going up to the fender lip can also tell you a lot. Remove the wheels and set it on jack stands or blocks of wood under the axle or control arms so it is sitting at "ride height" and put this square on the floor and up to the fender. Then measure from the square over to the frame. Do this at the EXACT same spot on both sides and see where you are.

Brian
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:08 AM
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ignore the outer lip of the fenders all together. go by the peak in the bottom of the fender . get your tires plumb and step back and look at it. when setting bodies the eye is mightier than the tape......
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:19 AM
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You are right shine, what something LOOKS like is the most important part when you are talking about simple body alignment. What I am describing is how to find out exactly what is wrong. In other words if the fender does have a lot more clearance to the tire, WHY does it? What to correct if you don't know WHY there is three inches on one side and one on the other.

Multiple measurements to narrow down exactly what is causing the difference is needed to correct the problem.

Brian
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:27 AM
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Here is an example of what I am talking about.

You can't see in this photo but he has the square on the floor. And you will notice the ruler taped to the square to extend it.



This is just ONE measurement, and it won't tell you much, you already know the relationship between the tire and the fender. But using this method and measuring over to the frame from the fender will tell you the relation from the fender to the frame. Then using it to tell the relation of the hub to the frame, using these measurements will tell you WHY it looks as it does.

Brian
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:28 AM
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you work from grille center out on these cars. most every one of them can be up to 2 in off on fender sides. once you center your grill you can correct the fenders. fat fender cars and model t garages did not mix well. pass side is always mangled.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:52 AM
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The problem is, he says the hood is hanging over the filler panel as well. THIS says that the radiator is in deed over, or the frame is and the rad can't be centered in the body where it belongs.

Or the body is sitting cockeyed on the frame, which isn't likely unless something is seriously screwed up.

All I know is pull out that measuring tape and find places to measure from (hardest thing for guys to learn how to measure something so oddly shaped as a car) and find out just what the heck is off.

You are right, that center line is where you want to start. Then measure off from there to see where you are at.

Brian
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:37 AM
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Well there are a couple of things I need to do.. I have to raise the coil spring up 1". It is just to low in the front. After putting the car on a real flat surface.. The wheels are indeed off. They kind of have that slant like VW's had. Everything seemed fine when I had the 235 75/ 15" tires on the front. When I went to 195 65, 15" tires in the front. It seems like it threw everything off. I have to straighten the front A arms. I had a good gap when I had it in the garage last Fall. I screwed up something. I am not panicing.. I have plenty of time to get it done.. I just have to slow down some.. Looking at both sides. The grill is sitting to high and is bent foward at the bottom.. I have to loosen it all up again and pull and push sheetmetal around. The car has a 4" drop in the front and a 2" drop in the rear.. The bottom edge of that filler panel has about a 1/2" gap on one side, and 3/4" on the other filler. Both top edges are tight at the top.. Thanks for the help..
Shine.. When I get the front tires pulled off again.. Can you re explain how to aline the front wheels?? Al
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APalusky
Well there are a couple of things I need to do.. I have to raise the coil spring up 1". It is just to low in the front. After putting the car on a real flat surface.. The wheels are indeed off. They kind of have that slant like VW's had. Everything seemed fine when I had the 235 75/ 15" tires on the front. When I went to 195 65, 15" tires in the front. It seems like it threw everything off. I have to straighten the front A arms. I had a good gap when I had it in the garage last Fall. I screwed up something. I am not panicing.. I have plenty of time to get it done.. I just have to slow down some.. Looking at both sides. The grill is sitting to high and is bent foward at the bottom.. I have to loosen it all up again and pull and push sheetmetal around. The car has a 4" drop in the front and a 2" drop in the rear.. The bottom edge of that filler panel has about a 1/2" gap on one side, and 3/4" on the other filler. Both top edges are tight at the top.. Thanks for the help..
Shine.. When I get the front tires pulled off again.. Can you re explain how to aline the front wheels?? Al
It sounds like you have a couple of issues. The wheel alignment can indeed put a tire in or out at the top or bottom or front or back a LOT so that could be the problem right there. But then again you say the hood is out over the side apron, THAT says something is off with the body, rad alignment.

Realistically you need to have someone align the suspension. There are ways (a google search will give you a zillion different looks at this) align a car a home but it is pretty difficult without purchasing some tools.

Maybe you should have it aligned first including the thrust angle (a 4 wheel alignment) and start from there.

You can set the camber and toe at home but you could be setting it with a totally screwed up caster and not know it. To set the caster gets pretty tricky at home. So I say just go have it done. You will need to get the thing up at the ride height you want with the longer springs first. You really do need all the weight in the car like the motor and trans.

And you need to bring it to someone who really knows alignment like a body shop who has an alignment machine or someone who does it as a specialty. Forget the tire shops, I have never seen a guy in one of those shops who can do jack. You REALLY need someone with a little passion for this stuff and not stare at a computer waiting for it to tell them how to do it.

Brian
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:59 PM
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We have a place in town called Johson Frame and Axle. The place has been around for many years. I am just talking about getting the front wheels to sit straight enough to bring it down and have them do there stuff on it. I was going to bring it in next Spring. I am just doing a little driving up to the end of the block and back. Still sits to low in the front. Do you know if those coil spring spacers are any good?? I have 2" drop spindles in it, and I cut one loop out of the coils I have. I thought that if I put the spacer in it would rase it by about 1". Looking at the car from the side, now if you look real hard at it. It starts high in the back and goes low in the fron, but when it gets to almost the grille.. It goes back up. By lowering the front of the inner fender down about 3/4".. It should pull the fenders down in the front and hopfuly straighten everything out.. Al
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:46 PM
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AP, alignment of front fenders, hood panels, grill shell/radiator and hood panel alignment with the cowl lines on the 35,6, and 7 cars and trucks can be a bear. If you have the original frame with the original holes, your job gets easier but there still is a lot of work. There is a little room to move the front and rear of the body left and right. You can shim the front sides up and down, evenly or differently on either side. The rear (and along the side rails) can be raised and lowered as well. To get the alignments you need, you start by placing the body at your best guess position. Then bolt on your running boards to the best guess position. All "bolt on" that I mention is barely hand tight because you will be moving parts around as you go. Next, bolt on your front inner fenders, followed by the rear fenders. Now put in your radiator and attach the stay rods to the cowl. Follow with your grill shell and then the front fenders. The hood panels will be the last items to be put on loosely. At this point you can start making adjustments. Study what movements are required to get your desired results. For example you have a larger gap between the left side hood panel and fender than you do on the right side. Raising the bottom of the right side of the radiator will move the top of the rad and grill shell to the left, thus closing the left side gap slightly and opening the gap slightly on the right side. The amount of movement is more noticeable in the front of the hood than the rear since the body did not move. If you need some movement in the rear of the hood panels, you can move the front of the body as far to the right as possible for the most movement and shim the right front corner of the body higher to effect some more desired movement. If the nose of the hood is nearly touching the top front of the grill shell but there is a gap opening up near the back top of the grill shell, there are a couple of things to do to start evening this gap up. First, lengthen the radiator stay rods forcing the grill shell and radiator more vertical. If this action causes the hood top to appear too short (not aligning with the top of the grill shell, or the gap between the hood and body is getting too large, then you need to do a combination of moving the body forward and lowering the body by removing shims in the front and lastly, raising the rear of the body. You should getting the drift on where all this is going. You can spend a week on this process and pull out a lot of your hair, but trust me, the end results will be worth all the effort. I can't overemphasize the importance of thinking through each and every adjustment you do and as you progress along in the process, you will find yourself going back and re tweaking several times before you are happy.

I never get too concerned about wheel positions and alignments until the car is basically finished and at very near it's final curb weight unless there is an obvious problem such as being noticeably too far fore or aft in the wheel well.

Trees

PS Some where along the line, I read a "How to do all the above" in one of Dennis Carpenter's catalogs. He has always published a lot of good information by documenting different tasks in different catalog editions. Don't know if I can find this particular one or not, but a call to his shop may get some results for you.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:00 PM
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AP, I just thought of something to add to the noise level. When I first built my 36 PU, it was a beginners project to learn paint and body work. I used mostly parts from 3 different pickups and some where along the line, I had some 37 parts mixed in (items such as a bed, fenders, running boards etc.) I picked out the best looking pieces that required the least amount of body work. When I got to the final assembly stage, I had a problem with the left running board not being wide enough to marry up with the front and rear fenders. I ended up fabricating a 1 1/2 wide by 3/8 thick flat steel spacer between the running board and frame. This remained in place and worked fine for 20 years and 207,000 miles. I did the truck again and when I reassembled again, I did not need the 3/8 spacer!!! I still have not figured that one out!

Trees
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