Sunday, November 28, 2010

Panel Alignment Part 3

After stripping, repairing, and painting the fender extensions, with associated parts, I can now mount them on the fenders and finish test-aligning the sheet metal panels I've worked so long and hard on de-rusting.

Before I do that, I decided to install the headlight buckets into the fender extensions.  The old headlight aiming hardware was pretty much deteriorated beyond use but thankfully, reproduction adjusting kits are produced and sold by the various parts houses for about $5 a side.

The new adjusting assemblys just directly replace the old
The slots in the tabs on the headlight bucket are aligned with the groove in the screw heads and the spring is inserted as shown below:

This is how the hardware fits into the bucket

The buckets for left and right are unique to each side.  Note how the three tabs align with the openings in the side of the pot metal fender extension.  The adjusting screws are threaded into their nylon nuts, and the spring is pulled down and hooked onto the spring protrusion of the fender extension.

It's ready to have a headlight installed
New repro rubber extension seals are also available.  They need to be cut to fit the fender extension and slide into the slot around the perimeter of the housing.  Special attention needs to be paid to the area around the stud seen at the lower right corner of the picture below:

A view from the back side.  Notice where the spring hooks onto.
The fender extension is then attached to the front of the fender by 3 studs and associated nuts. 

The fender has been extended
 The fenders can then be remounted and realigned.  Also, I bolted on the hood latch striker bracket and the hood latch.  Adjustment of those parts involved centering the latch to the striker and then setting the latch all the way down and tightening it.  Then I noted how "too far up" the hood was in comparison to the fender tops and adjusted the hood latch up the corresponding distance.  I also mounted the front hood bumpers to their brackets and, after closing the hood, reached in and screwed them up until they barely touched the bottom of the hood and set the set nuts.

OMG, it has eyes again!
The whole point of this exercise is summed up in the following images.  The hood front lines have to align with the front edge of the fender extension.  Somehow, it just happened to align with no further need for adjustment.  If it had needed to be adjusted, it would be performed by moving the hood further forward or back as needed.

Passenger side

Driver side

Driver side overall panel alignment

Passenger side overall panel alignment
I went ahead and test-fitted the grill parts to remind me what she used to look like and hopefully will again someday. 

Hey, I remember you.
Now I get to take it all apart again and start doing minor body filler work.  Lots of little dings and such to fix before the body is ready for blocking and leveling.


  1. ALEX! THAT LOOKS BRILLIANT! That is absolutely fatastic looking work and results! That has got to be a big boost to start seeing the car take shape again. I am only in the dream phase of that! LOL

  2. Thanks Sven, you're too kind. Your car will be back together before you know it.

  3. Looks good Alex, extremely good. It's a rewarding moment when you can recognize her as a Mustang again, isn't it ?

  4. Thanks Ripa. Yes! I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.