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Discussion Starter #1
I had to replace the entire front cowl/firewall/hinge pillar section of my 1969 GTO convertible due to severe rot. I got a replacement section from a 1970 Lemans coupe, and welded my convertible windshield frame onto it. I'm mocking the car up and I can't get my repro front fenders to line up with the door. The top-rear fender bracket rests against the hinge pillar and places the fender about 1/2" out past the door. I need to be able to bring the fender in much more to line it up with the door.

My question is, is my 1970 replacement front section dimensionally different from the original section on my 1969 GTO? I can't determine if the bracket on the fender needs to be modified, or if it is not fitting correctly because the 1970 front section is different from the original 1969. These fenders are the ones advertised as "New" stampings and are supposed to be like NOS. That's why I'm hesitant to assume the fender bracket is the problem. Any ideas as to what the problem is would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Hate to be the bearer of bad news. Looks like they are different. Looking through several of my books here is what I find. Looking at a side view of each year model from an auto crash repair manual, the '69 windshield posts lay back more than the '70. From another book here are factory listed dimensions that show differences. '69 - track F/R 60.0" on both, '70 Front 61.0" Rear 60.0". The '70 is slightly wider at the front end width. '69 body width is 74.8", '70 body width is 76.7". The '70 body is almost 2 inches wider. Am not sure how this is measured as the body panels of the '70 have the "eyebrows" on the fenders. The concern here in my opinion is the windshield posts/slant and getting this correct -which you may have already taken into account. It is possible that the cowl section is indeed a bit to wide. I am also looking at my Original Parts Group catalog and they list the replacement lower windshield cowl as separate for '68-'69 and '70-'72. Can you measure this? You may have to make adjustments. If I were doing it, my main concern would be matching the lines of the door and hood. Does the door bolt on and fit? if not, you may have to do some reassembly. Fit the door to the quarter and rocker panel and make sure your door closes tight and is not gapped open at the front - a sure sign the cowl section is too wide.
If this fits OK, look to see if your hinge bolt holes match. If so, bolt it up secure. If not, you will have to do some adjusting/fabricating -may be as simple as changing hinges as I do not know if '69/'70 are same or different. Get the door in place, then basically you want to reassemble enough of the front end (probably the radiator/fender support) so you can hang the fenders. You want to match the gap/lines of the fender to the door. You also want to get your hood on to match the gap/lines of the top edge of the fender with the lines/edges of your hood. Adjust brackets as needed, but tack in place and don't make them permanent at this time. With both fenders in temporarily in place, I would then either measure the front section width of your fenders against the front section width of your nose piece, or have a buddy help hold it into place. if this look OK, then you could go back and make your brackets permanent by welding them solid. This is how I think I would do it and understand I am simply going over this in my head, so actual fit technique might change considerably once I got into it -never had to do this operation before. The correct gaps between doors/fenders/hood are the deciding factor to be used in aligning everything up and fitting it correctly, even if it is not as factory and you are trying to make it work. When squaring up fenders at the top where the hood goes, get dimensions side to side (the width needed for the hood) and do a diagonal measurement, front left edge of fender where the hood corner would be to right rear edge of fender where the hood corner would be. Repeat process for other side and your measurements should be the same. If not, it is not square even if your side to side (width measurements) are seemingly the same. Measure twice, cut once. Hope this is of some kind of help to you, but don't get discouraged as the joy of working on an old car is knowing how to fabricate. Again, just my silly thoughts on things.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I really appreciate all the info! I have the front cowl section mounted on the frame and welded to temporary supports connected to the inner quarter panel section. I was able to get very good alignment on both doors to the quarters and rockers. The repro front fenders are what threw me off. I should've kept my one useable original front fender for mock-up. But, I've come to the conclusion that the reproduction fenders are pretty far off as far as accuracy. I believe the fenders are my problem. I modified the one inner bracket (the one that bolts to the hinge pillar) on the driver's fender and got the fender to fit much better. It looks like I'll have to do a lot of tweaking to the front fenders. The fender contour matches the door contour poorly. There is a hard body line where the side of the fender transitions to the top of the fender. I don't have this line in either of my doors, so it just convinces me more that the fenders are repro crap and will need a lot of messaging to make this whole thing work.

I made wooden templates before I cut the windshield frame off of my original piece. I think I'm in the ballpark, but I'll have to wait for window mockup to know whether or not I have to adjust the position of the windshield frame. The guy who sold me this car screwed me so bad. It really belonged in a junk yard 30 years ago. I guess that's the risk of buying sight unseen.

Thanks again!
 
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