Driver's side fender gaps & Rust proofing. - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Driver's side fender gaps & Rust proofing.

Hi Guy's,

I hope I'm posting in the right section, if not, then I hope the Mod's move it to the right one.

I have two questions for all of you who have tackled restorations on your rides. The first is: How difficult is it to get the driver's side front fender aligned on my '65 GTO. The gap between the fender and the driver's door has now started to rub when I open the door. What would be invoved to get this gap set properly. I have both the 1965 Tempest shop manual and the '64 - '72 restoration guide but can't seem to find any good pictures or diagrams that show how to do it. As you guessed it, I am a complete noob when it comes to sheet metal and body panels.

My second question is: I bought my '65 in Maryland this past Feburary, it was never outside that area, the body and frame are in good shape, nothing major, just alittle surface rust starting to form on the under side and along the inside frame rails. I want to get the car Krown'ed, up here that's a spray on oil/wax rust inhibitor. No holes drilled, just sprayed on the underside and inside the frame.

I plan on doing a restoration in a couple of years, so this would be until I start that. Any opinion's or suggestion's would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 12:39 PM
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A car's panels are always lined from back to front, since the 1/4 panel is non adjustable. If the door has never been off and the hinges are ok, the door alignment should be ok. Check the gap where the door meets the rear 1/4 panel. If not ok, the door needs to be adjusted. That is a prodedure in itself, and I won't go into it now. If the door to 1/4 gap is ok, but the door to front fender gap is off, the fender needs to be adjusted. There are shims under the fender bolts, and the fender can be raised, lowered, moved forward, and moved back. Be careful of the hood gap and cowl gaps as you do this. Use masking tape on the fender and door edges to prevent paint damage. Go SLOW. If the car wasn't wrecked and the panels are decent, you will be able to get it aligned. Just takes time and patience. Use penetrating oil on the lower fender bolt at the bottom front of the door area....it's a caged nut, and water/rust collects around it and likes to freeze the bolt. If you mess that one up, you're in for a long ordeal. Good luck!
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks geeteeohguy,

I will post a pic of the front fender gap - front edge of the driver's door. The way it sits now is almost like the front fender is tilted down away from the driver's door. The top gap at the cowl is wider than the bottom gap at the door. As soon as I get home tonight, I'll take some pictures and post.

Thanks again for the help.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Didn't get any pic's last night. Too tired when I got home from work. I did look at the gap between the front of the driver's door and the LH fender. The gap is really off, wide on the top and from about the mid way point down, it's tight. The door is rubbing the fender, when it opens, and has rubbed the paint right through to the primer underneath.

I'm going to try and tackle this on the weekend, do I need to remove the front bumper, headlights and the LH hood hinge to be able to adjust this?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 09:14 AM
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You may or may not have to remove certain accessories to get at the bolts. Is the car a driver or a project? If a driver, remove as little as possible. It sounds like the fender is too low at the front. How is the other side of the car? Is the gap ok? Why is the gap off? Was the fender replaced? Car wrecked? There are shims under the top rear of the fender, and also in other key locations. Removal /replacement of these shims will allow you to position the fender. The key is to go slowly, making small adjustments.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks geeteeohguy,

The car is a driver, I will be doing a full restoration in a couple of years time, once I have a little more time and less work. As far as I can tell it was never wreaked/hit, the frame is very straight and it drives very nice.

The passenger side is perfect, the gap is uniform and no rubbing. The LH fender is diffineately too low in the front, the first time I turned on the headlights, I noticed the low beam is literally pointing straight down. I just want to adjust the LH fender up in the front a 1/8 - 1/16 and that will put my gap at the cowl inline with the passenger side fender. I think that will stop my door rubbing issue as well.

I have lots of spare shims all different sizes, just looking for a procedure to follow, kinda like... remove front bumper, remove driver's side headlight bezel, loosen fender bolts at position a, b, c, etc...

I went through the 1965 Shop manual, it says remove bumper, remove headlight brackets, loosen rad mounting brackets bolts, loosen fender bolts and then adjust to get proper uniformed gap. Just a little too vague for a noob like me.

Thanks again for your help.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 05:51 PM
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I would start by loosening the top rear fender bolt and pulling a shim out. the bolt may be hidden under the front cowl grille...can't remember and too lazy to go out and look! The other fender bolts will need to be loosened in order to move the fender. This type of work costs nothing, but is very time consuming.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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loosen, adjust, snug down, tighten, moves.....repeat procedure multiple times until you are happy or ready to get drunk....

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 10:54 PM
 
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actually to move a fender and align properly usually causes the hood to then be out of alignment (with the issue of weak hood hinges). could just be the fender needs to be pulled out at the bottom. look at the curve of the fender with respect to the door curvature and see how they line up.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 10:56 AM
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Ponitac is correct. One adjustment and gap has an effect on all the others that are related.....and it could be a lower adjustment issue, too. Can you post photos?? Good luck.
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