The first step was to physically mount the fenders to the car. One of the attach points is a captive nut in the bottom of the front section of the outer rocker. Mine were rusted away so I bought a new Scott Drake "Fender to Cowl Nut Kit". I've read stories where people have had serious trouble with these nuts staying in the rocker while they install the fender screws but either Scott Drake redesigned them or my rocker nut cut outs were in better shape than most because they went right in and stayed put. For those who have had problems with these staying in, people recommend tack welding the little tabs to the rocker so the nut doesn't move while you screw in the bolts.
|Scott Drake captive rocker nut behaving itself|
|Fender mounting hole not behaving itself|
|Oooops.. did I do that?|
I actually cut it away on purpose to weld in a patch that filled the hole and lengthened the tab by a quarter inch.
|Patch welded in|
|Ready to try again|
|New hood bumpers|
I then bolted the hood to the freshly phosphated hinges with the help of my lovely wife. Thanks hon!
|Now that's a panel gap!|
After fiddling around with the hinge adjustment for awhile, it occured to me that there's more than one way to drop the relative height of the back of the hood and the secret is to rock the hinges back, that drops the height of the cowl edge of the hood and then the play in the hinges allows the the hood to close as far as you need to to bring the side edges in alignment with the top of the fenders. The main variables for the hood to fender-top alignment are the fender to hood bumpers and the core support to hood bumpers and latch. After dropping the height of the rear edge of the hood, it can be slid back/forth to close/open the cowl to hood gap by the hinge to hood mounting holes. This is one of those "open the hood, adjust, close the hood, open the hood, adjust, close the hood, repeat" affairs.
|Not completely horrible|
The fender to hood panel gap is set by adjusting the fenders in and out using the top fender to apron bolts.
|Driver side fender to hood gap|
The tricky part is at the nexus of the cowl, the fender, and the door. Really tricky for me anyway. The problem is that you can pull the fender out to match the door but then the cowl to fender gap is way too wide and vice versa. Here's where the doors might need some further tweaking. Really the best I could do is split the difference between all the gaps and try to get them as close as possible.
|May not be good enough|
|Passenger side hood to fender gap|
I could give up a little more gap at the cowl but that still wouldn't be enough. Here you can also see why moving the doors way back will mess with the fender-to-door gap. You can only move the fenders back so far before that curved section at the back of the fender that butts up against the bottom of the windshield A pillar frame gets in the way. This is why I wasn't very gung-ho about shifting the doors as far back as they could go to close the door-to-quarter panel gap.
I haven't installed the hood latch or front hood bumpers but it's a good start I think. I'll probably do some more fiddling with the doors and the contour of the bottoms of the fenders.
|Hmm... looking more like a car every day|