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Discussion Starter #1
So I just replaced my body mounts and now my front fenders are way out of whack. I can't even open the front doors without the fender and the door making major contact.

Anyone ever experienced this? Anyone got any thoughts on how to fix it?
 

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So I just replaced my body mounts and now my front fenders are way out of whack. I can't even open the front doors without the fender and the door making major contact.

Anyone ever experienced this? Anyone got any thoughts on how to fix it?
I have not but it may help to describe each step you took while doing this. Maybe something shifted somehow but unless you loosened panels and or removed shims, I see no reason why the panels would be so out of whack if you just raised the body off the frame slightly to remove/install. Did you just do 1 side at a time or do them all at once?

I've replaced the entire front end on my car (panel by panel) twice now. Most recently over the holidays and did run into some issues aligning the panels, but if you look at how things are secured, it's pretty easy to get things to line up really well. My fender to door gaps are (don't mean to brag) are surprisingly GREAT. I say that cause at first I had some tight door gaps the first time. The 2nd go around at alining, I just made sure the car was level and all 4 wheels were fully loaded on the suspension. Then tightened down ALL the front end fasteners at once and they didn't move.

Another thing, you need to be real careful and give yourself enough of a gap to allow for drooping of the nose. If you or a shop raises the car and then just supports it at the frame near the cats, the nose of the car will drop quite a bit. Keep this in mind cause you or your mechanic may try to open a door while the car is lifted this way and easily damage the paint and maybe even the panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have not but it may help to describe each step you took while doing this. Maybe something shifted somehow but unless you loosened panels and or removed shims, I see no reason why the panels would be so out of whack if you just raised the body off the frame slightly to remove/install. Did you just do 1 side at a time or do them all at once?

I've replaced the entire front end on my car (panel by panel) twice now. Most recently over the holidays and did run into some issues aligning the panels, but if you look at how things are secured, it's pretty easy to get things to line up really well. My fender to door gaps are (don't mean to brag) are surprisingly GREAT. I say that cause at first I had some tight door gaps the first time. The 2nd go around at alining, I just made sure the car was level and all 4 wheels were fully loaded on the suspension. Then tightened down ALL the front end fasteners at once and they didn't move.

Another thing, you need to be real careful and give yourself enough of a gap to allow for drooping of the nose. If you or a shop raises the car and then just supports it at the frame near the cats, the nose of the car will drop quite a bit. Keep this in mind cause you or your mechanic may try to open a door while the car is lifted this way and easily damage the paint and maybe even the panel.
I used a lift to do it and supported the frame and used a tall adjustable jack stand with a long 2x4 to jack up the body one side at a time. I took out all the mounts on one side while loosening them on the other then jacking it up enough to get them out. So I should have supported it on the suspension and not the frame?
 

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Ok, did you happen to remove the bolts completely on both sides before lifting the body? My guess is that you didn't and the fenders twisted as the body was lifted.
 

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If the core support bushings are new, or not, you can put a couple more fender washers under them. I put two washers under both sides on my 91 OCC, because the cladding was catching the fender. The washers will lift the front of the fender, but you must loosen all of the bolts on the fenders, and where the wheelhouse bolts to the firewall brackets, except the one at the top door hinge (so it rotates on it, as a pivot), and at the core support. The wheelhouse will move with the fender. You must adjust the front bumper to match. If the bolts are a little short when you raise the core support, you can get longer bolts. The fender/door gap will move about half of the height of the core support increase. It should not affect your hood alignment, because the core support aligns the hood, and you are not changing their relationship. Just make sure the core support is the same height from the frame on both sides. You may find that you need an eighth inch shim between the wheelhouse to firewall mounting brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, did you happen to remove the bolts completely on both sides before lifting the body? My guess is that you didn't and the fenders twisted as the body was lifted.
That makes alot of sense I only completely removed the bolt on the said I was lifting whilst the other one was only loosened.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the core support bushings are new, or not, you can put a couple more fender washers under them. I put two washers under both sides on my 91 OCC, because the cladding was catching the fender. The washers will lift the front of the fender, but you must loosen all of the bolts on the fenders, and where the wheelhouse bolts to the firewall brackets, except the one at the top door hinge (so it rotates on it, as a pivot), and at the core support. The wheelhouse will move with the fender. You must adjust the front bumper to match. If the bolts are a little short when you raise the core support, you can get longer bolts. The fender/door gap will move about half of the height of the core support increase. It should not affect your hood alignment, because the core support aligns the hood, and you are not changing their relationship. Just make sure the core support is the same height from the frame on both sides. You may find that you need an eighth inch shim between the wheelhouse to firewall mounting brackets.
I played around with adding washers today but not much change if any was happening, I didn't loosen the fender bolts tho I'll try that. It seems like the rear of the fender needs to come down and/or forward. Would removing washers help with this?
 

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I played around with adding washers today but not much change if any was happening, I didn't loosen the fender bolts tho I'll try that. It seems like the rear of the fender needs to come down and/or forward. Would removing washers help with this?
That's exactly what I did. Loosen every single bolt on the fender so the panels can move somewhat. Then as Fred mentioned use some washers under the rad support to lift or lower the fenders and you will see your door gaps tighten or loosen. They are pretty thick washers and I actually found removing a couple on each side gave the best results. Once you get things aligned really well, tighten up all the fasteners.

Once you're sure all looks good, take a few minutes to jack up the car and support it at the front corners of the frame (just under the front door hinges) and make sure the fender does not pinch into the door too closely. Maybe slowly open the doors just to make sure they don't hit. It will droop a little and tighten up the gaps. Then put the car back on the ground and check the gaps again and they should go back to what you had set them to before.
 

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Removing the washers will close the lower gap, and adding washers will make the lower gap wider. The top will stay the same if you do not loosen the bolt in the top hinge.


If you want to change the top gap, you must remove/insert a shim from/to the top bolt on the hinge. To lower the top of the fender, you must remove a shim from under the bolt below the foam seal in the corner of the engine compartment. If there is no shim, you need to bend the flange until it is in the proper position. You must also loosen the bolt in the top hinge (in addition to all of the other bolts).


The fender (each side) will not rotate upwards if you do not loosen all of the following bolts that hold it to the body. One at the brace inside the engine compartment, one under the foam seal in the corner of the engine compartment, two bolts at the interior brace below the hinge, bottom bolt under the lower hinge, screw under the fender, two bolts behind the wheel at the body bracket and the bolts for the core support to the frame. You may also have to remove the bolts that hold the bumper cover to the fender and the wheelhouse extension until you can move the bumper to match the new position of the fenders.


Everything else will move with the core support when it is lifted.


You will get about 1/16 of an inch of gap change with 1, 1/8 inch washer. Two will give you about 1/8 of an inch. By not loosening the upper hinge bolt, the fender will rotate around it like a pivot, and the top of the gap will stay about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks Fred that is a huge help. Hopfully I can get some time to mess with it today and get it right.

Which bolts are you referring to "two bolts at the interior brace below the hinge"? I don't think it matters but this is for a RMS.

Also should I have the car on the ground when adjusting it or is it fine to have it jacked up?
 

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The bolts on the RMS are at the same places as the Caprice. There is a bracket attached to the firewall in the engine compartment. The bolts are arranged vertically.

You can do it on the ground or in the air. I would do it on the ground, so that you have the car in the condition it will be used when opening the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got them both lined up. Looks great, I had to use a lot of washers on the drivers side for some reason and could've even used one more but the doors open and close now. Thanks again.
 

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Radiator Core Support Alignment and Body Mounts

This is a timely thread for me. I just posted in the body mount sticky that I'm looking for replacements for the retainers for the front body mounts for the radiator core support. I gather that you were able to reuse yours. Mine are rotted in my 96 Caprice from 21 years of Pittsburgh winters. Reading all of this has me concerned that I am going to have major alignment headaches because I am replacing the radiator core support and both front fenders now that winter is about over. My old rotted core support is finally out and I'm trying to gather up all of the body mount hardware that I'll need. I still have to remove both rotted fenders. The hood is obviously already off.

So, any leads on the retainers for the two front body mounts???
 

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You may be able to get them at your local hardware store. They are not necessary to assemble the parts of the core support. They are for production, so that the bolts do not fall out when they are putting the car together. Other than that, they are not needed.
 

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Fred - I'm not talking about the little washer thing that holds the bolt from falling down until you can put the not on. Im talking about the large retainer that holds the upper and lower cushions in place. A picture of one for a Jeep from a company called Crown Automotive is in my post in the "sticky" for the body mount thread at the top of this suspension section. I doubt that anything like the retainer in the photo can be obtained at a hardware store.

Bob
 

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Fred - I'm not talking about the little washer thing that holds the bolt from falling down until you can put the not on. Im talking about the large retainer that holds the upper and lower cushions in place. A picture of one for a Jeep from a company called Crown Automotive is in my post in the "sticky" for the body mount thread at the top of this suspension section. I doubt that anything like the retainer in the photo can be obtained at a hardware store.

Bob
I believe what you are looking for is what I would refer to as a "Body Bushing Shell". This is the picture of an extra I have and the Shell is on the right....



Is it this part you're after?

If so, think member JuniorWatson posted something up on these and where to get. Maybe shoot him a PM and see if he has info.

In doing a quick Google Search for "Body Bushing Shell", I found this kit from energy Suspension and they include those "same type" of shells with their kit. Not sure if they are the correct size for our application or if you could even buy them individually from ES but it may be worth a Phone Call to them.

https://jet.com/product/detail/7b6cfd6b253444e481a17c29160fb8ba?jcmp=pla:bng:nj_auto:auto_automotive_exterior_accessories:na:PLA_276117206_1222656946376238_kwd-4580015685530061:aud-805673604:na:na:na:2&code=PLA15

If you have no luck there, check the local yards for a good used set or maybe someone here parting a car. I plan on holding onto mine just cause this may be a tough find later. But you may get lucky with a Vendor and if you find something please post up the part number and let us know how they fit.
 

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Then you must be referring to the large somewhat crowned "washers" on the top. There is a flat washer on the bottom.
 

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No, what you are calling a "body bushing shell" from your photo is what I am talking about. There is a company called Crown Automotive that sells these for various models of Jeeps. The photo of their part with two part numbers that have dimensions that are the closest to our original parts are in the "body mount sticky" at the top of this suspension page. Crown Automotive calls them "body mount retainers". I can search for them as a "shell" and see what turns up. I contacted Energy Suspension directly last week before I posted to the forum. They have nothing for B-bodys that replaces these "shell" things. They told me that I have to reuse mine. When I told the customer service person that they were shot, their response was to contact automotive restoration companies.

I guess that I'm going to have to get a lot better at welding because the sleeve from a front stabilizer bar end link cut to the correct height and welded to a 2.5 inch diameter washer would probably work.
 
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