View Full Version : Bail Me Out Guys!! WTF Should I Do Here?
10-25-2003, 08:21:00 PM
Today I hung a bunch of sheetmetal to line everything up before painting.
The passenger side fender is looking good except for the top where it transitions to the door. A pic is worth 1,000 words, so here goes:
I think I will wait until I test fit the hood before taking any action. I can't leave it like that, looks like chit.
The fenders are used GM, but not from this car. It looks like I will end up having to modify the door or the fender to get everything in the same plane. Anyone tackled this one before?
Good thing I test fitted the sheet metal. Very time consuming, but will probably be worth it. I scratched up a bunch of stuff, but primer is easier to fix than paint.
FWIW, here are a few other pics of where the project stands as of now:
[This message has been edited by MikeM79 (edited October 25, 2003).]
10-25-2003, 09:04:00 PM
I'm no body expert by any means, but it looks to me like you need to adjust the door hinges to fit the new fender. It appears that you have the fender and the door the right height at the top to match.
First, make sure there is no slack in your hinges, and especially the upper one. Then loosen the bolts on both hinges on the door side and see if you can't get that seam to line up the way you want.
You are right. Always align sheet metal perfectly before doing any body work or painting because you will mar it somewhere along the way.
The fenders can be shimmed, but that picture looks to me like you already have that part right. You can move the fenders up and down, or in and out, but the door will probably turn out to be the panel that can make the seam parallel like you need.
Body work is "putzing". It takes a lot of time and patience, or a lot of experience. Those of us who lack the experience, need to keep on trying until we get what we want.
10-25-2003, 09:19:00 PM
how are the door gaps at the quarter? in the pic the fender to door gap down low looks awful close, also have the doors been off? if not then they are probably right notice I said probably, my drivers fender had 7 shims in it when I took it off
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10-25-2003, 10:26:00 PM
Yes, the doors were off. The passenger side door has a new skin.
The gap between the door and the quarter is good, nice and even. The door closes pretty well.
I went out and had another look. I noticed that the gap between the top of the door and the bottom of the roof pillar is closer on the passenger side. Gary's hunch appears to be right, the door could stand to come down a hair. But if I do that then the main body crease line on the door will no longer line up with the one in the quarter panel. Argggh!
I putzed around with this one door and fender all afternoon. I worked from the back of the door forward.....get the body crease to line up from the quarter to the door, then get the gap between the door and the quarter to look even, etc.
The best I could do was to leave myself one problem. Other attempts left more than one bad gap. This part is no fun at all.
10-25-2003, 10:37:00 PM
basically line it up with the piece that doesn't move first, and make the rest fit as good as possible, keep in mind these things weren't perfect from the factory
a friend of mine just went to a ford show, and was marked down because the gaps were too good
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10-25-2003, 11:48:00 PM
Start with the quarter to door alignment and move forward. It may be that a shim behind the fender mount to the A pillar may help. Panel alignment is all trial in error in my experience. When all else fail carefully and slowly bend stuff when it is close enough. The gap that I see will not be fixed by this method though. I did not read all the replies, hopefully, somebody typed information that made more sense.
10-26-2003, 01:12:00 AM
Well- not that I can be of direct benefit here- but I had a long talk with a body guy a few years ago about this (this guy was talented- I was watching him form a steel fender edge (i.e. outer wheelwell edge on the quarter panel with a freakin' body hammer and tin snips- nothing else- and g-damn- within 5 minutes he had the panel perfectly made with maybe .5 mm worth of skimming needed to flatten it- not bad for a rather compound part)- either way- I paid this guy for a few hours of this time to re-align my front fenders/end/hood which never did come out entirely "perfect" in a couple of places- and after raising sh!t with him and going back-forth and talking to a couple other body guys about it- it seems that the only way to see "almost perfect" everywhere is a complete panel alignment- i.e. start at the "solid" part- the quarter panel, and assuming all the lines on the panels are straight (this may have to be measured)- build forward (as people have mentioned)- i.e. door, then quarter, then header panel- the come up the other side of the car the same way and readjust the header, put on hood and monkey with it too. Alot of panel/tab bending may be required and/or shims, and by the time you're done you may have spent 35 hours on it. And again- this assumes that the spacing and straightness of body lines on all the panels are correct to start with.
I wasn't willing to pay that kinda money or time myself... Your gap is pretty large however- so I think maybe it's time to adjust the fender (shim front end) and then the header to match as required. Now, at this point will the body line be perfect or will there be an undesirable angle to it on the fender? I guess the question then becomes- how much of an angle is acceptable or not noticable from 10 feet away? My point- maybe there isn't a definitive possibility of "perfect" so you have to decide where the imperfection is going to be/be the least noticeable.
Edit: Or, you could of course add some metal to the panel where the gap sits- assuming everything else is set/"perfect" already- i.e. customizing the panel for your particular car's setup.
[This message has been edited by Eric (edited October 26, 2003).]
10-26-2003, 01:32:00 AM
It looks like the top of the door could come in some, and the fender could be moved down a bit.
10-26-2003, 01:35:00 AM
Do you have another fender you could test fit? Perhaps your fender is from one of the later years (76,77) and the tolerances were different. Or maybe it is just a odd fender because it sat in somebody's garage in an awkward posision for 10 years.
Seems like a lot of work, but it might narrow down your problem to either the fender or the car.
If you find out its a bad fender, a repop is only $200 and would save you from doing a lot of customizing to get it to look right, but then you aftermarket parts http://www.nastyz28.com/ubb/frown.gif and that opens that can of worms.
I am going to replace my pass fender with a repop soon (lower rear cancer) and would let you have mine... want to pay shipping from WA?
10-26-2003, 07:00:00 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions.
This is one of the more frustrating things car things I have attempted. Basically, the problem is that it is impossible to shim one place without it moving something somewhere else.
When I stick the hood on I will decide what to do. There are three body panels all within just a few inches in this area, so let me see what the third one looks like. If I get 2 out of three in the same plane then the odd one will get "massaged" to bring it in line. The good thing is you can't see both sides of the car at the same time so it would take a very sharp eye to pick up whatever sleight of hand I end up using.
[This message has been edited by MikeM79 (edited October 26, 2003).]
10-26-2003, 09:11:00 PM
Mike take a cross measurement of the hood opening.from what I see in your picture the gap is wide at the very top of the fender where it rolls over,is this correct? if so the front of the sheetmetal is shifted to the right,if the top gap on the left door is tight then the core support is shifted (to the right)you may have to loosen the fenders from the support and move them around a little,maybe the support too
call me if you need more info or if I missread the picture.
10-26-2003, 09:30:00 PM
Thanks for the input.
I took another look at it today. It appears as if the door simply doesn't curve enough. At least it is not as curved as the door on the other side. Perhaps the door got jostled a bit in shipping / storage, or maybe the door was this way from day one.
If I can "persuade" a bit more curvature into the top corner of the door then everything will line up fine. I will probably weaken the door shell a bit with a cut off wheel then take few measured whacks with a rubber mallet until it lines up then do the bodywork to conceal my savagery.
11-15-2003, 08:37:00 PM
I had the same problem...used a mixture of the advice above and got it perfect..
Start from the quarter panel and move forward. Make sure the door crease is a continuation of the crease in the quarter panel. If you have any sag to your door, you'll be adjusting forever and will still not look good.
Assuming you have no sag to the door...your situation looks like you may need to move the door down and in ...but with ample numbers of shims on the top mounting location...I say this only because it looks like you had the creases pretty close ..but you absolutely need to have the creases matched up!
11-16-2003, 09:43:00 PM
This may help some.
read the 4th post down "Basics of panel alignment" by MARTINSR
[This message has been edited by D Stroud (edited November 16, 2003).]
11-17-2003, 07:21:00 PM
Buy a nice soft rubber mallet and hit away at the top of the fender becareful though the panel is FU*#edyou can see where the curve isn't enough.
11-17-2003, 09:01:00 PM
I already hammered on the door to make it curve a tad more and covered my tracks with a skim of bondo. Now just gotta prime it and block it.
Ssssh. Let's keep it our little secret.
[This message has been edited by MikeM79 (edited November 18, 2003).]
11-18-2003, 07:51:00 PM
Seen 3 camaros at a show and since I have the same problem I took a hard look at all the gaps closely.
Believe it or not, all three looked liked yours. Right in that spot. You dont notice it so much with a good paint job, in fact, when i looked beyond the paint, on all the cars, the gaps left alot to be desired, on otherwise nice cars.
11-18-2003, 08:09:00 PM
I remember replacing the passenger fender on my car. Spent two whole days dry fitting it, grinding out holes and bending the A mounts, etc. Finally, I added a few shims and got all the gaps to look like stock with no bondo required. Had to replace the passenger side hinge for the hood to get it all to fit correctly and look stock. It takes time and patience to make it all fit together correctly. Saved myself a bundle doing it all by myself. Just my $.02 worth! http://www.nastyz28.com/ubb/wink.gif
11-19-2003, 07:04:00 PM
ive read these posts and i was wondering has the body mounts been checked to see if theres any play in the frame to body, seeing how the fender mounts to it and the door to the body
11-20-2003, 12:13:00 AM
It looks like the top of the door needs to be pushed in quite a bit, judging by the gap between door and A-pillar. Face of pillar should be flush with door face with approx 1/4 to 3/8 gap between the two. I have found it best to align door first then "make" fender fit after.