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Old 12-19-2017, 01:47 PM   #1
AngryPirate
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Front fender fitment

So, I've had the entire front clip sheet metal off while removing the engine and now it's time to paint and reassemble.

I ended up with 2 aftermarket front fenders and well, the passenger side has been massaged to fit before the tear down and the driver side is what I am tackling now.

The inner fenders and the radiator support are all original, but were removed and then put back on. I understand that the inner fenders and radiator support are the support structure for the outer sheet metal and that it is kind of a 'floating' box.

The driver side front fender isn't even close to fitting. I have loosened all of the bolts on the outer sheet metal to try to get things to align. I'm most likely going to have to cut into the new fender as it's hitting the air boxes by the cowl prematurely and making the fender protrude well past the door.

My question is, is it common to have to loosen the inner fenders and radiator support and manipulate the inner support structure to get everything else to start to like up?

Does anyone have any other tips for dealing with these front fender fitment issues?

I've done some searching, but mostly people say they all need some work, but I haven't seen any common problems mentioned and how they were remedied.

I'll attach pictures in the next post in this thread.

Thanks for any suggestions or help!
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Last edited by AngryPirate; 12-19-2017 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 12-19-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
vin63
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Re: Front fender fitment

I feel your pain. You're not going to like to hear what I had to do...all I can say is don't be afraid to make cuts and reshape where needed.

...I had to section my particular repop fenders (which fit worse than yours) into four parts. It was at that time, I decided to change the wheel opening. I also had to elongate the bolt holes along the top (as you pictured), as well as the attachment points to the grille support (pretty much all of them in the end).
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Old 12-19-2017, 05:11 PM   #3
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Re: Front fender fitment

Quote:
Originally Posted by vin63 View Post
I feel your pain. You're not going to like to hear what I had to do...all I can say is don't be afraid to make cuts and reshape where needed.

...I had to section my particular repop fenders (which fit worse than yours) into four parts. It was at that time, I decided to change the wheel opening. I also had to elongate the bolt holes along the top (as you pictured), as well as the attachment points to the grille support (pretty much all of them in the end).
Well, I guess I should be prepared to get the saw out then.

Thanks for the response and the commiseration. ;-)
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: Front fender fitment

Interested to see what info is shared. I just mocked up my whole frontend which is all original sheet metal and both of my doors need massaging on the bottom curve to match the fenders and the gap between my driver fender and door is not too good.

20171001_113341 by bjohnson388, on Flickr

20171001_113350 by bjohnson388, on Flickr

20171009_110631 by bjohnson388, on Flickr

Everything up top looks pretty good.

20171009_110622 by bjohnson388, on Flickr


As far as I can tell the radiator support and inner fenders don't have alot of slack to them. Especially from front to back.

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Old 12-20-2017, 12:30 AM   #5
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Re: Front fender fitment

It is common to have to rework the aftermarket front fenders.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: Front fender fitment

I ran into all of the issues your fenders are presenting, plus a few more. I joke with some of my friends that my front fenders are the most modified parts on my truck. In the end, it turned out for the best, as they fit way better than the originals ever did. The original sheet metal gaps and lines on my truck was all over the place to begin with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryPirate View Post
Well, I guess I should be prepared to get the saw out then.

Thanks for the response and the commiseration. ;-)
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:15 AM   #7
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Re: Front fender fitment

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It is common to have to rework the aftermarket front fenders.
Yeah, I get that. I was just looking for some tips and common problem areas and solutions is all.

;-)
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:16 AM   #8
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Re: Front fender fitment

Quote:
Originally Posted by vin63 View Post
I ran into all of the issues your fenders are presenting, plus a few more. I joke with some of my friends that my front fenders are the most modified parts on my truck. In the end, it turned out for the best, as they fit way better than the originals ever did. The original sheet metal gaps and lines on my truck was all over the place to begin with.
Wow. That fender looks amazing.
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:13 PM   #9
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Re: Front fender fitment

Just looking at your pic, is there any room to bring the door out?
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Old 12-21-2017, 08:19 PM   #10
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Re: Front fender fitment

Hmm I was going to go with repo front fenders. But maybe patch panels are a better idea. Same as my one rear fender.
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:54 AM   #11
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Re: Front fender fitment

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Originally Posted by dracko View Post
Just looking at your pic, is there any room to bring the door out?
There may be, the doors are currently hung and lined up with the old fender. Might be a mixed bag of everything.

Side question, when doing a repaint from bare metal, do folks seam seal the seams in the hood? Meaning the areas between the upper and lower hood as well as the bits in the front? I'm guessing no, just thought I'd throw it out there.
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:58 AM   #12
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Re: Front fender fitment

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Originally Posted by Harleymike View Post
Hmm I was going to go with repo front fenders. But maybe patch panels are a better idea. Same as my one rear fender.
If I had solid edges on the aft section where the fender brace is, I would've patched, but the brace and the entire rear portion by the door were rotten. I tried patching it, but I didn't get the cut for the patch quite right...like a few mills. off and then the sheet metal warped. I can weld normal steel just fine, but automotive sheet metal, well that seems to be a little trickier. I even took my time, moving around as to not get one spot of the patch too hot, but it still didn't matter.

I may re-use the front section of the old fender and mate it with the new rear portion. That may work. In the future, I'm going to do less tacks and just fill the seam once it's strong enough.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:21 AM   #13
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Re: Front fender fitment

I just had the seam and entire hood sandblasted and then primed with epoxy primer. That should seal it up pretty good.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:35 AM   #14
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Re: Front fender fitment

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Originally Posted by AngryPirate View Post
If I had solid edges on the aft section where the fender brace is, I would've patched, but the brace and the entire rear portion by the door were rotten. I tried patching it, but I didn't get the cut for the patch quite right...like a few mills. off and then the sheet metal warped. I can weld normal steel just fine, but automotive sheet metal, well that seems to be a little trickier. I even took my time, moving around as to not get one spot of the patch too hot, but it still didn't matter.

I may re-use the front section of the old fender and mate it with the new rear portion. That may work. In the future, I'm going to do less tacks and just fill the seam once it's strong enough.
If i remember correctly, mine are in storage until i get to that point, the brace section was good. Good luck with yours.
You would think with todays technology they could get the repo parts to fit a little bit better.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:15 AM   #15
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Re: Front fender fitment

I didn't...I had to take mine down to bare metal because of some sketchy stuff the PO did.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryPirate View Post
Side question, when doing a repaint from bare metal, do folks seam seal the seams in the hood? Meaning the areas between the upper and lower hood as well as the bits in the front? I'm guessing no, just thought I'd throw it out there.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:18 AM   #16
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Re: Front fender fitment

No I didnt either.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:46 PM   #17
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Re: Front fender fitment

Repro fenders no problem.Name:  DSCN0955.jpg
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:37 PM   #18
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Re: Front fender fitment

RVRfoot,

What manufacturer did you use? Keypart?
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:58 AM   #19
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Re: Front fender fitment

I think it was counter part.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:00 AM   #20
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Re: Front fender fitment

rvrfoot, are those front fenders from Counterpart Automotive?
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:08 AM   #21
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Re: Front fender fitment

Yes.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:10 AM   #22
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Re: Front fender fitment

I got doors, fenders, a complete bed no problems.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:40 AM   #23
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Re: Front fender fitment

Those fenders still have the horrible gap at the front seam like they all do.

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I got doors, fenders, a complete bed no problems.
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:02 AM   #24
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Re: Front fender fitment

Nope its just the angle. i will get better pictures this weekend.
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:24 PM   #25
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Re: Front fender fitment

Good to know, rvrfoot that you have good experience with counterpart. I have counterpart as well. Mine does have a gap at the seam. All in all, the fenders seem to be a decent fit, though. My original inner fenders are repairable (but of course the areas that are double-thick metal will still have rust in between). I am considering purchasing counterpoint inner fenders because the cost is not huge, it will save some time, and would have the advantage of clean e-coated metal throughout.
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