Author Topic: New Body panels are kicking my butt  (Read 157 times)

Offline Chlngrcrzy

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New Body panels are kicking my butt
« on: January 10, 2021 - 10:51:43 AM »
My worst nightmare has come true. Many posters on here have indicated how bad reproduction body panels can be. Well its true! I purchased 2 new front fenders in my quest to convert my 73 challenger to a 70. Lines don't match up, gaps are all over the place. I literally had to cut and weld these fenders to perfection. If I am doing this, I'm doing this right. I spent 3 weeks (weekends and some evenings) just on one fender. I am almost there now, and the extra effort is worth it. 

Question, the door to fender gap, should be flat across the gap? I am trying to block sand across that gap, and it seems that the door has a slight curve inward at the gap.




Offline 70chall440

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Re: New Body panels are kicking my butt
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021 - 12:13:10 PM »
Despite what some will tell you, even NOS sheet metal had its issues, perhaps not as much as the reproductions but they still needed some tweaking. You have to remember that your car has been on the road for many years, most likely driven hard by someone at some point (more like several people) and the body does flex, this results in things not aligning when new metal is used. People ask why the original metal fit, because it was tweaked with the rest of the car.

Yes, all of the panels should be aligned, meaning on the same plane. If the door is proud (higher) then the fender, the fender needs to be shimmed out. Also, the contours should match between the fenders and the doors.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6 EFI, 73 Cuda 416-6 EFI
05 Hemi Durango, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 Ram 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger 6 spd RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR (under const)
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline jimynick

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Re: New Body panels are kicking my butt
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021 - 09:20:17 PM »
Generally, that's pretty much my take on it too, but having said that, I usually allow the door to be ever so slightly inboard of the fender. The fender has to swing inside the fender to open and having the leading edge of the door say a 1/16" shy of deadnuts level with the fender can also allow a closer fit fore and aft-wise. These cars were never built to achieve the tiny gaps you may have seen on some show cars and it is not uncommon to find gaps of 3/8ths and more from the factory. My own car had a gap between the bottom of the driver's door and the rocker that I could shove my fingers under- and I don't have particularly girl sized mitts, all from the factory; so my point is, fit the car so that you can drive it and neither knock the paint off the panel edges, nor be able to throw a small sized cat through them either. Other than that, I don't see why you should have to cut up new panels to get them to go on, either. Good luck  :cheers:

Offline 70chall440

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Re: New Body panels are kicking my butt
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021 - 12:38:48 AM »
I never even paid any attention to the gaps on a car until I did my Cuda. I went and looked at my Challenger and was shocked how wide the gaps were and how inconsistent they are (never noticed before). I spent some time trying to make the gaps nice between the fender and doors but in the end they didn't come out as nice and I saw it in my head and not I look at them with a bit of dissatisfaction but its done and together.

Not saying you shouldn't try, just saying that it can drive you a bit crazy.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6 EFI, 73 Cuda 416-6 EFI
05 Hemi Durango, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 Ram 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger 6 spd RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR (under const)
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline JayBee

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Re: New Body panels are kicking my butt
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021 - 02:02:49 PM »
The fender has to swing inside the fender

 :D  I think you meant to say, The door has to swing inside the fender  :stirpot:  I'm sure everyone knew that, just teasin'.
John

1970 Barracuda convertible
2000 Toyota Avalon

Offline jimynick

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Re: New Body panels are kicking my butt
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021 - 05:13:14 PM »
:D  I think you meant to say, The door has to swing inside the fender  :stirpot:  I'm sure everyone knew that, just teasin'.

You are absolutely correct John. Thanks for the eagle eye and correction.  :thumbsup:

Offline Chlngrcrzy

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Re: New Body panels are kicking my butt
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021 - 06:54:01 PM »
I have the metal work done on my front fenders, and I am glad I took the time to make it right. Gaps are all at 7/32nds. I taped some shims together to get the exact thickness. 
I was able to remove the tail panel and weld in the new panel in 2 days. It also reminded me how ugly the open area is below the bumper. That will be my next project.  I want to try and get some material added to the rear valance that will come up closer to the bumper and hide the gap.
After that project, on to my deck lid and hinges. Gaps need to be improved on the deck lid, but I need to install some gas shocks on the hinges first. I really like how my new Ring Brothers hood hinges fit and work. Very smooth and effortless to open and close.
I have laid in my trunk and closed and opened the lid many times and watched and measured the hinges movement for the best location for attaching the gas shocks. I think I got this.