Body mounts replaced now fenders not aligned - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Body mounts replaced now fenders not aligned

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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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kjearl View Post
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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Last edited by 4DoorSS; 02-08-2017 at 07:10 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 4DoorSS View Post
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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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 08:42 PM
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Did you replace the mounts for the core support also? This is the only thing that I can think of that would cause fender to door alignment issues.

1996 DGGM Impala SS
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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The ones at the very front by the radiator? Yes I replaced those too.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 08:58 PM
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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.

1996 DGGM Impala SS
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:04 PM
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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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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Kiehl View Post
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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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:57 PM
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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.

================================================== =============


'95 Caprice SS conversion - Bonny Buckets - 96 Column, Shifter and Console - 3.73 Gear and Herter tune - Z/28 Cluster - Blazer OH Console - Green/Pink bushings - Chromed Impala Wheels - Eibach Springs and Bilstein Shocks - Corvette Engine Dress - the list goes on and still more to do...it never ends.

Last edited by 4DoorSS; 02-08-2017 at 10:04 PM.
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