Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,561 Posts
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!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,561 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,561 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
loosen, adjust, snug down, tighten, moves.....repeat procedure multiple times until you are happy or ready to get drunk....:cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
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.
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,561 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
:agree ....also the fender edge will stick out a bit farther than the door edge according to the Fisher Body Manual to avoid any buckleing when the door is opened. Pics will help form a plan.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Sorry Guy's, I'll post some pic's today. Didn't tackle the fender gap yet, I'm on-call covering two other Power Plants this weekend.

I did remove my rear bumber, took apart the rear taillight housings and cleaned them up. I also touched up the paint on the diecast pieces on the rear. I'm doing everything right now on a shoestring, trying not to piss-off the Wife with more expenses.

Thanks for all the suggestions and help, it's really appreciated.

Joe.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Okay, sorry it's taken this long to post some pic's, but been pretty hectic at work. I took some crappy cell phone pic's, I hope someone can let me know what I should do first, loosen bottom of fender and pull out....

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I want to get back to '65 this weekend.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
looks like the door and fender both need to move back a bit, thats one of the problems when a car has been disassembled for resto. Get the door gap at the quarter right before loosening and adjusting the fender. Work back to front once you get them lined up i would bet you will need to re-align the hood. I used a large paint stirrer as a guide for the fender to door gap top and bottom about midway and had a helper hold it against the sticks while i shimmed and tightened slowly, as stated the edge of the fender will need to be slightly proud of the door to avoid the scuffing and chipping, leave the sticks in while you tighten your way forward if they fall out shim the bolt until they stay. every bolt you tighten warps the fender slightly and can throw it off across from where you are fastening.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Instg8ter, I'm gonna tackle this on the weekend. I'll start with the door first and then work my way forward. :cheers
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,561 Posts
Exactly right, tho' to my eyes it looks like the door needs to come forward a hair...pretty narrow gap at the trailing edge. Yes, the door, fender, and hood will all need massaging. Not a lot, but a bit. How good does the door open and close? Also, a side shot along the body lines would help to see how far out the fender and door are, and if the door needs to be "rolled" one way or the other....that can make a huge difference...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
yep the top gap on pic one looked a bit wide hard to tell with that arrest me red glare....:D, looks like it may need to come down in the back just a hair judging from the pinstripes and beltline trim, try that first and your gap may even out as it looks good down low. It really is a balancing act, i am glad i only had to loosen my fender to bang back in a buckle in the radiator support where some idiot hooked a tow strap to it, just loosened it enough to not move while i straightened the support but i still had to fine tune the fit of the fender header panel and hood when i was done. I am glad i did not have to mess with the doors because they still close like its sitting in the showroom....love that sound. Whenever i look at a car if the doors sag and/or don't line up a red flag goes up...mistreated, bad reassembly, or an accident in it's past. I cringe when people slam mine and its all i can do to say "you don't need to slam them" politely....but i only do it once!!
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top