72 Front Clip ReAssembly Question

Old October 6th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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72 Front Clip ReAssembly Question

I have the radiator support mounted. Doors are on. Am I better off reattaching all the grill and lighting assemblies first or should I attach both fenders first?

Once fenders and grill assy are on, how do I best make sure everything it set right before I reinstall the hood?

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Last edited by skryla; October 6th, 2011 at 07:48 AM.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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I prefer to do the fenders first!! Then I measure at the cowl and at radiator support compared to the dimensions of the hood. I also measure diagonally from the cowl to the radiator support.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by skryla View Post
I have the radiator support mounted. Doors are on. Am I better off reattaching all the grill and lighting assemblies first or should I attach both fenders first?

Once fenders and grill assy are on, how do I best make sure everything it set right before I reinstall the hood?

Pics under "photos" on facebook https://www.facebook.com/stanley.j.k...47310092008897

I beleive the mistake i made was tightening down the radiator support before lining up the fenders , and then tighten the support down.... i had a hard time getting the fender bolts to line up with the support is why
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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I have the cowl snugged up at this point. I can still shift it.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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IMO...Put the core support on loose enough so you can adjust(w/new bushings). Then hang the fenders and then the hood with hinges loose but not too loose so they don’t move around when you open and close it in other words snug. This is how you get all the gaps correct. Once you’re happy with the fenders and hood alignment then start tightening. I also leave the wheel wells out until final installation...easy access to the hood hinges etc.... Re-check all gaps as you tighten because things will move as you tighten. Get an assortment of shims. Not a bad idea to check the bumper for horizontal and vertical alignment. Also on some cars I like to insure the gap on anything that goes between the quarters like the stone guard and grills... say on 70-72s has the correct width. Sometimes that gap needs to be played with. Headlights grills etc all go on permanently after the sheet metals lined up.
Put the Cutlass or 442 badges on before any of this or any other trim piece that will be impossible to get at once the sheet metals hung.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by droldsmorland View Post
IMO...Put the core support on loose enough so you can adjust(w/new bushings). Then hang the fenders and then the hood with hinges loose but not too loose so they donít move around when you open and close it in other words snug. This is how you get all the gaps correct. Once youíre happy with the fenders and hood alignment then start tightening. I also leave the wheel wells out until final installation...easy access to the hood hinges etc.... Re-check all gaps as you tighten because things will move as you tighten. Get an assortment of shims. Not a bad idea to check the bumper for horizontal and vertical alignment. Also on some cars I like to insure the gap on anything that goes between the quarters like the stone guard and grills... say on 70-72s has the correct width. Sometimes that gap needs to be played with. Headlights grills etc all go on permanently after the sheet metals lined up.
Put the Cutlass or 442 badges on before any of this or any other trim piece that will be impossible to get at once the sheet metals hung.
i never thought of adj the hood this way ( leaving the inner wheel wells out ) good plan
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Old October 6th, 2011, 07:18 PM
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what should the gaps be between the doors and the fenders? Any easy ways to check the gaps (example, tape two quarters together)?
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by skryla View Post
what should the gaps be between the doors and the fenders? Any easy ways to check the gaps (example, tape two quarters together)?
Have a look at this: http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/membe...11__Part-2.pdf

from Wild About Cars. Free membership, learning and sharing. Free info too!! Look on page 11-180 and 180 (page 24/25 of the pdf) It should address the questions you have. BTW if you join WAC, you have all this resource material at your fingertips for more than just Olds too!

To check gaps, I usually use a feeler gauge for gapping spark plugs - works really good and you can pick your increments.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 03:54 AM
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Also, leave the hood latch out until you have everything lined up and closing perfectly. Then install the latch. This way, the latch wont have to pull anything over to align. It will also unlatch nicer as well.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 442_Mustang View Post
Also, leave the hood latch out until you have everything lined up and closing perfectly. Then install the latch. This way, the latch wont have to pull anything over to align. It will also unlatch nicer as well.
The hood is a tricky little bugger 'sometimes'. From what I've been told the 3 bolts on the hood springs were always left just a little loose for the final cowl seating. Have someone push up (fairly hard) on the center. It will overextend the spring and push the rear bolt down, and the forward bolt up. Snug them all down on both sides while the hood is in this position and your cowl stainless should line up perfectly.

When you took out the hood latch, did you notice whether there were any shims below to give the latch the right height? If so, you should put them back in, or you will probably end up with some 'slop' in the final latching. 442 Mustang is right, when the hood is properly aligned it is MUCH easier to unlatch, and can be closed by simply pushing down on the front edge instead of letting it 'slam' down. Slamming a hood is completely unnecessary IMO unless you've got anger issues or it is not aligned properly
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Old October 7th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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Yep. I always align panels with the latch or striker removed and i do a bunch. Im a bodyman.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 08:35 AM
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The factory gaps are in the Fisher body manual. Thats a starting point. There is alot of room for improvement. A high quality body job involves getting all these gaps right and tight!
Get yourself a body panel feeler gauge set. They are plastic and not expensive.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 442_Mustang View Post
Yep. I always align panels with the latch or striker removed and i do a bunch. Im a bodyman.
Too bad you live so far away! I'm not a bodyman but really admire the craft and skill it takes to do the job. Most new car owners think these cars 'just fit together' and don't know the time, patience (my a$$) and frustration some of them cause. They sure as heck weren't built with the tighter fit and tolerances of today's cars
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