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Old 08-14-2012, 12:37 AM   #4
Low Elco
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Indep, MO
Posts: 5,358
My method for Sheetmetal assembly

Here's what I did- John Buttera used to say that panels should fit like you could throw them on from across the room and they'd drop into place. Meaning, interconnected parts shouldn't be stressed into fitting. If you're worried, here's what to do. Blow it apart. Again. I know, but it's less than 30 min with air tools. I did mine twice, after it was painted! Ok, if your door hinges are loose AT ALL, STOP. Order a bushing and pin kit and tighten those dudes up. Bargain at twice the price. (Cheap!) Ok, now that the doors are solid, put them on and pay a LOT of attention to the gaps. 5/32, on the edges and 1/4 at the bottom. To hell with these numbers. Tape 2 paint sticks together until you have approximately 3/16 of wood. Make a couple three of those. Lightly bolt the doors in, with a bit of slip in the hinges. Have a buddy push the top of the door against the shims and the roof, establishing gap. Also good to put some padding approx. 1/2" thick on the door sill to stabilize the door. We also put old door seals in chunks around the door. When the gap looks good all the way around, Shake the hinges so they lay naturally and tighten the cab side. Open the door and futz until you have good fit up at the rockers and cab rear. Top roll of door should line up kinda with the bottom of the a pillar. Ok, got all this good? Hinges tight? Doors Open and shut no bind, no hit? Gaps look even, even from across the yard? Good Job! Now, replace the cab mounts. Assuming the frame is moderately straight and square, center the cab on all the mounts so the inner sleeves will slide up and down in the biscuits while the bolts are in. Especially if you use urethane, this should have you pretty tightly square. (I was.) Go ahead and cinch that sucker down snug, but don't kill it just yet. Now, hang the core support and leave the bottom bolts loose. Get some front end alignment shims. Use them to shim the rear of the fender when you hang it to run even with the front of the doors. Note that the factory doors of the era have a bit of a roll at the front for opening clearance, so line up about an inch back on the door body. Got that nice? Really nice? Gaps look good? From across the yard? OK. Tighten the fenders down good, and make sure it's all still cool at the doors. Now. Do whatever you gotta do to get the core support to fit naturally. I had a WAY funky frame horn I had to compensate for. I cut the biscuit in half plus on that side. When it "lays right", snug it down with all the bolts installed. Ok, find some good spot and do the x measurement on the fenders in the engine bay to determine if you're square. Shift the core support till it is, and snug it down. Measure your hood at the front and back outside points, and measure the corresponding points after installing the cowl to a snug-down point, with good gaps. If you have approximately 1/4" more opening than hood, put you hinges on, centering the bolts in the holes on the hinges. Snug this down. do the same for the hood, and CAREFULLY give it a test lowering. Shift about a samll amount a time and equally side/side till you get what you want, and set hood bumpers for front height. Crank all bolts down and be happy. Hope it helps!
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