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Fender Alignment

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  • Fender Alignment

    I just bought a 1951 commander. I found that the hood hits the front driver side fender at the front edge. I have looked for a way to align the fender, but? The passenger side seems to be ok. I can not see how the fender can be moved out without bending the nose section some. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks. ghcoe

  • #2
    Fender and hood alignments are tough.

    I also have a hood that doesn't align properly. I tried using a a spreader under the hood (after bolts were loosened) - no good. It turned out it had ben hit, just slightly, but it was now 1/2 inch off.

    I took apart a 1955 that had (from the factory)5 spacers on one side and 2 on the other. Took me days to realign that one after I replaced the fenders.

    Easiest way seems to be to start with the door, and work the gaps forward and back. Rust under rubber gaskets and metal thicknesses and accidents can cause you grief.

    Best way to align may be to match it measure for measure to the left fender that is good now. This will identify if there has been a hit.
    e.g. centre of rad hold to fender, floor to fender opening, etc. Good luck. This is the part I find to be the toughest.



    • #3
      Thanks for the info 55s. The fender was hit by a falling tree. I can not tell that the fender has been pushed over though. I can not see any bends in the metal. The best guess is that the bullet section has bent enough to allow the fender to move in 1/4 inch.


      • #4

        Where the hood is hitting the fender--does it look like this has been going on forever, or does it look like a fresh event? (Fresh paint scrape or bare metal?) There is usually a lot of adjustment available on fenders. Under those fender washers the holes are usually large. Tolerances weren't quite what they are today. So a lot of adjustment was built in.
        Best advice I read for front end sheetmetal alignment is this:
        START with the hood. Specifically, the back edge of the hood. The panel gap between the rear edge of the hood and the cowl needs to be even. The cowl doesn't move. Align the hood with this and then you know the hood is pointed out straight from the car. Then get the radiator support (which the front sheet metal hangs from) and fenders aligned. A tedious process? Yes.

        (read it backwards)
        (read it backwards)

        Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


        • #5
          Just by guess your radiator support is bent. I had to put a long piece of all thread thru the support with washer and nuts on the inside. loosen the grill housing and anythig else in the way. And start spreading the suppot out. And you will have to lossen the radiator. Leave the good side tight. You will have to take the top shield off where the hood latch bolts on. I had to do mine that way.

          7G-Q1 49 2R12 10G-F5 56B-D4 56B-F2
          As soon as you find a product you like they will stop making it.


          • #6
            Thanks for the advice guys. I looked at the hood at the cowl and it looks fine. I think ST2DE5 is on the right track. I thought that the drivers fender had to move out about 1/2 inch at the front edge. I could not see how the nose piece would compensate for the gap that would generate. So I take it that there is some flex in the nose piece?