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How do I re-hang front fenders so that they appear level?


Joe-Bob

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I had a fab shop install a Fatman front frame clip. It appears to be square, level, and correct. However, when they rehung the front sheet metal clip, it now sits 3/4 of an inch lower on the driver's side.  Again, the frame sits perfectly level from side to side, but the front wheel cut-out is 3/4 lower than the passenger side.  I'm sure there is a way to rehang a fender to raise it but I'm unsure where to loosen bolts and how to go about it.  Right now the driver's side tire rubs when turning and I'd like to raise the fender to clear it.  Do any of you guys who do bodywork have any suggestions before I muck it up even worse? ? And taking it back to the fab shop is not part of the equation, we no longer see eye to eye.

Passenger side.jpg

Drivers side.jpg

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How are the fender and hood gaps?  How is the radiator support?  Adjusting the radiator support may open up fender and hood gaps. What type of suspension? If coilovers, a simple adjustment on ride height may be the fix.

Edited by Dave72dt
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Thanks for the reply.  The gap at the cowl on the driver's side is about a 1/4 inch wider than on the passenger side.  It seems like if that were closed up, it might raise the front of the fender, which is what I need.  But I'm not sure how to do that.  To me, it looks like there are four bolts that hold the fender to the body and one more at the top/cowl.  Would I loosen all except the bottom bolt, lift up the front and retighten?  Is there a way to adjust one side of the radiator support?  I didn't opt for coilovers, so they are not adjustable.image.jpeg.29c180bfe06aca1f7f77066a15a4c3f3.jpeg

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Compare the gap at the top and the bottom.  If they're the same, the fender needs to go back.  Lock that gap down first.  The front can still be moved around a bit.  If it's wider at the top than the bottom, the fender can come up in the front.  How's the rad support fastened?  Can it be shimmed, slotted holes?  Since it's been stubbed you may have to modify what your fabricator did to mount sheet metal.

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The driver's side is wider at the top than the bottom, but it's flush to the top of the fender where it begins to level out over the wheel.  That point where it begins to change contour is where the extra space is, compared to the passenger side where it is tighter.  The fabricator kept all of the front sheet metal, with the exception of the hood, together as a unit.  There is one mounting point in the center of the new cross-member where the radiator support is mounted.  Fatman had me take plenty of measurements and everything came together right where it was supposed to.  The frame is square and level side to side from the ground.  They've made this stub for a few years now, and the fabricator was very thorough with that part of the work. They just seemed to have issues with hanging the sheet metal and mounting the hood.  Toward the end, I had to quit paying them by the hour to scratch their heads and farm stuff out to more guys that scratched their heads.  What started out as fun began to turn into a financial nightmare.  On the other hand, it's not as expensive for me to scratch my head, and it is driveable at this point. 

Gap.jpg

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Supported in the center you should be able to rotate it a bit, one side up, one side down to even up the gap above the tires.  Hood fitment may change as a result.  These old cars and trucks never had the fitment gaps we're accustomed to on the modern cars so some compromise in gaps may be necessary.  You can spend HOURS gapping cars and never get them perfect.

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This will never be a show car, I just want it to look pretty good from 20 feet or so.  I did just reconnect with an old high school buddy of mine who is a retired bodyman.  He's going to take a look and may be able to give me a hand.  I will try and get some pictures up soon when I'm just a little happier with how it looks.  Thanks for the encouragement and pointers!

42.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Solution?  My brain just doesn't understand logic... When my car was at the fab-shop, they installed a Fatman front clip as well as new Posie dropped leaf springs in the rear.  They installed new shocks all around.  I had the shop recently correct some things not pertaining to any suspension work, and somewhere along the line they leaned on the car and discovered that one of the new rear shocks was not working correctly.  After installing a replacement for the non-working rear shock the car appears nearly level in the front as well as the rear.  It's not perfect, but very few will notice anything unless I point it out.  I'm calling the problem solved, but my brain just doesn't understand it. LMAO!  I hope this gives someone in the future a new way to look at this problem. Thanks everyone!

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  • 4 weeks later...

If the suspension components were not setup/working properly all the way around, the car could've been "off balance". For example, if you slightly raise the back driver's side, the front passenger's will go somewhat down due to the changed weight distribution. That just means that the frame was probably not seating perfectly level 😏

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